Posted on August 24, 2022
Austal USA welcomes Michelle Kruger as vice president of global services and support. Operating from Austal’s San Diego waterfront services facility, Kruger is responsible for Austal USA’s global post-delivery repair and warranty efforts, including the development of business strategy and strategic alliances. As the primary customer interface for ship repair and maintenance services, Kruger will lead the pursuit of future government and commercial business opportunities and post-delivery initiatives.
Kruger is a marine engineer who brings more than 25 years of maritime industry experience in new construction, repair and maintenance operations. Prior to joining Austal USA, she served as the vice president of operations at General Dynamics Bath Iron Works (BIW) where she led approximately 4,000 men and women and invoked a process disciplined approach to maximize safety and first time quality.
“Michelle’s extensive maritime services industry experience will be invaluable to Austal USA’s global services team,” Austal USA President Rusty Murdaugh stated. “She’s a proven leader and we are excited to have her leading our San Diego services center so we can leverage her expertise in vessel repair and maintenance and the many valuable relationships she has forged in our industry to best serve our customers.”
Kruger worked for General Dynamics for over 25 years. Before her position as a vice president at BIW, she was responsible for the Littoral Combat Ship Program completing nearly 150 maintenance availabilities worldwide. As General Dynamics NASSCO’s Director of Repair Administration, Kruger was responsible for overseeing ship repair estimating, contracts, purchasing, and planning functions, optimizing pre-production and production processes. When she first joined NASSCO as the director of outfitting, Kruger led international benchmarking efforts that contributed to facility upgrades maximizing outfitting on the ground.
Kruger is an Ohio native and holds a bachelor’s degree in marine engineering from the United States Merchant Marine Academy and a master’s degree in marine engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.
Austal USA significantly expanded the company’s Services business in late 2021 with the establishment of a waterfront repair facility in the Port of San Diego adjacent to Naval Base San Diego. The 15-acre site will focus on ship repair for small combatant-size U.S. Navy, Military Sealift Command, and U.S. Coast Guard ships. The facility will be centered on a newly-built dry dock designed to efficiently dock small surface combatants and similar sized ships. The dry dock will have a 9,000 light ton lifting capacity. It will be 531 feet (162 meters) long, 154 feet (47 meters) wide, with a maximum draft of 36 feet (11 meters) and is scheduled to be fully operational in fall 2023.