Rhode Island has struggled with a lagging economy for years. Though the state is still behind its New England neighbors by some measures, there are bright spots. The defense industry is one of them.
In the Ocean State the defense sector primarily means work for the Navy, though other branches of the military do have a presence. The Navy’s history in Rhode Island extends back to the 1860’s when the U.S. Naval Academy temporarily relocated to Newport during the Civil War. A few years later, Goat Island would serve as the Navy’s first torpedo station.