WASHINGTON — On recent visit to Huntsville, U.S. Sen. Tommy Tuberville toured the area’s defense companies and two things stood out to him.
Supply and labor issues.
Tuberville (R-Auburn) addressed the situation during a recent Senate Armed Services Committee hearing.
“[Y]ou talk about the issues with the supply chain,” Tuberville said. “I was in Huntsville last week at some of our missile motor factories, and huge problem of getting parts. And we think we’re going to fight a war? It’s ridiculous.”
The senator pointed to a specific issue that could affect the military readiness in the Indo-Pacific.
“We need tankers that are gonna be able to haul longer and carry more fuel,” he said. “And unfortunately, we’ve got a contract out there that we can’t get a decent refueler finished and it seemed like it takes forever, but that’s what happens up here. We give out contracts and we can’t fulfill them.”
Tuberville said he’s also troubled by the shortage of skilled labor as well.
“In Alabama we build submarines, ships, airplanes, missiles, you name it we build it, and we’re having to go out and hire people from McDonald’s to train them themselves,” he said. “And that’s how bad our education system got. I did it for 40 years so I’ve seen the decline in our education system. And a lot of the universities teach degrees that they should never even think about teaching. We should teach people how to work and how to make a living, all of those things.
“It really concerns me.”