Southwest Marine began operations in Ingleside, Texas in 1995, supporting the U.S. Navy minesweepers, minehunters and the minewarfare command ship, USS INCHON. The yard also provides repair services to the commercial marine industry in the area. In October 1995 Southwest Marine Inc (SWM), the West Coast's largest network of ship repair yards, announced the award of an $11.5 million dollar contract for work to be performed in Ingleside, Texas. The award of this five-year, phased maintenance contract on four MCM Class ships --Minecounter Measures -- opened a new market for SWM in a new location on the Gulf of Mexico. SWM leased the repair facility from Braswell Services Group Shipyard based in Charleston, South Carolina. The Navy required the ships, based at the Naval Station, Ingleside, to be worked on in the area of their homeport.
In 1997, Southwest Marine was awarded a contract to provide repairs and maintenance for the U.S. Navy on mine-countermeasures class vessels that were home-ported in Ingleside, Texas. Southwest Marine established a ship repair operation on leased facilities to accomplish this contract as well as follow-on contracts. In January 2000 Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA) awarded a five-year, 10-ship contract to Southwest Marine's Ingleside shipyard (SWMI) for the repair, overhaul, drydocking and upgrade of the mine countermeasure (MCM Class) vessels homeported at Naval Station Ingleside. With options, the value of the contract exceeds $20 million. SWMI is a subsidiary of United States Marine Repair (USMR), America's largest non-nuclear, ship repair, modernization, conversion and overhaul company. The yard currently employs 45 people. Under the contract, the employment number will average over 100 workers and could grow to as many as 175. The first availability on USS AVENGER (MCM 1) was scheduled to begin on March 27, 2000 and continue through June 2000. The remaining nine ships in the contract are USS GLADIATOR (MCM 11), USS SENTRY (MCM 3), USS DEFENDER (MCM 2), USS CHAMPION (MCM 4), USS PIONEER (MCM 9), USS DEVASTATOR (MCM 6), USS CHIEF (MCM14), USS SCOUT (MCM 8), and USS WARRIOR (MCM 10). The last availability is scheduled to complete in February 2005.
During 2004, the U.S. Navy's contract awards in Ingleside were protested by a competitor. Although UDI was not directly involved in this protest, the U.S. Navy elected to terminate UDI's contract as well as other related ship repair contracts at Ingleside for the convenience of the U.S. Government. UDI chose not to participate in re-procurement activities because this process is expected to be lengthy and costly. UDI's operation in Ingleside ceased in October 2004, and all employees were either relocated or terminated by December 2004.
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