GULFPORT — The Maritime Administration has approved a $476,670 grant that will allow United States Marine Inc. (USMI) to purchase shipyard equipment to improve its production of military, patrol and special warfare boats.
The Maritime Administration, an agency within the U.S. Department of Transportation, awarded the funds as part of the Assistance to Small Shipyards grant program. The grant to Gulfport is taken from the $17.5 million provided by Congress in the FY2010 Omnibus Appropriations Bill for the small shipyards program.
“The small-shipyard grant program provides resources to increase the competitiveness of small shipyards. I am pleased that this Gulfport facility will receive funding to acquire equipment that will help it expand its contributions to our national security and the economic base of the Gulf Coast,” said Sen. Thad Cochran (R-Miss.), who as vice chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee has advocated funding for the small shipyard grant program.
USMI applied for the grant to help it purchase an epoxy oven, composite freezer and CNC material cutter. Founded in 1971, this Gulfport-based company builds high-performance, special mission-capable boats for military and other agency use.