NH delegation reacts to D.C. shootings; Portsmouth shipyard is part of commandBy BILL SMITH
New Hampshire Union Leader
September 16. 2013 9:41PM
The Washington Navy Yard is the headquarters for the Naval Sea Systems Command, which includes the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard.
Officials said the local facility’s official threat condition has not been changed as a result of the attack that left at least 13 dead in Washington Monday.
“Portsmouth Naval Shipyard continues to monitor the situation as it unfolds,” said the statement from spokesperson Danna Eddy. “Our thoughts and prayers are with those employees and their families affected by this event.”
The nation’s oldest shipyard employs about 4,700 civilian employees at the mouth of the Piscataqua River; approximately 100 naval officers and enlisted personnel are assigned to the facility at the Maine-New Hampshire border.
“We do not discuss specifics of our security measures at the installation,” said a statement released Monday by the Portsmouth facility’s news office. “We continually review and adjust security measures as appropriate.”
President Barack Obama issued a proclamation Monday night ordering the lowering of flags on all public buildings to half-staff until sunset Friday as a mark of respect for the victims.
Gov. Maggie Hassan issued the following statement: “I join the people of New Hampshire and all Americans in mourning those whose lives were tragically taken today in Washington, D.C., and in sending thoughts and prayers to their families, loved ones and all who have been impacted by this senseless violence.”
Sen. Kelly Ayotte, R-N.H., vowed to closely follow the investigation into the shooting at the Washington Navy Yard.
Ayotte expressed sorrow at the deaths and said she would be closely following the situation.
“As a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee and the Homeland Security Committee, I am monitoring developments and will closely follow the investigation as it unfolds,” Ayotte said in a statement released Monday by her Washington office.
Like other members of the New Hampshire delegation, Ayotte said she is “deeply saddened” by the events.
“My thoughts and prayers are with all those affected — especially the victims and their families, and our first responders on the scene,” she said.
Statements released by other members of the Congressional delegation emphasized sympathy for the victims.
“I am horrified by the tragic events in Washington this morning,” said a statement from U.S. Rep. Carol Shea-Porter. “ My thoughts and prayers are with the victims, first responders, and individuals in the area.”
Sen. Jeanne Shaheen said she is waiting to hear more information about what led to the shootings.
“My thoughts and prayers are with the victims of this morning’s shootings and their families,” the Democrat said in a statement. “While officials are still gathering information about this senseless act of violence, I am hoping that those responsible for today’s tragedy are immediately brought to justice.”
U.S. Rep Ann Kuster also reacted with sympathy for the victims and their families.
“My thoughts and prayers are with the victims, families, and first responders affected by today’s senseless tragedy at the Washington Navy Yard,” the Democrat said in a prepared statement.