Navy secretary thanks Mississippi, Alabama shipyard workers

USS Jackson
The USS Jackson sits in front of Austal USA on the Mobile River.

PASCAGOULA, Miss. (AP) – The Navy secretary is thanking Gulf Coast shipyard employees for their work.

Ray Mabus (MAY’-buhs) appeared Friday at Ingalls Shipbuilding in Pascagoula, Mississippi, and the Austal Inc. Shipyard in Mobile, Alabama.

Multiple news organizations report that he spoke with elected officials and company executives and shook hands with many of the shipbuilders.

The stops were part of a farewell tour for Mabus, who will leave his job when the Obama administration ends early next year.

The former Mississippi governor was appointed by President Barack Obama as Navy secretary in 2009 and is the longest-serving leader of the Navy and Marine Corps since World War I.

Ingalls has long been one of the largest private employers in the Mississippi, also drawing part of its workforce from southern Alabama.

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