Puget Sound Naval Shipyard (NSY)
Puget Sound Naval Shipyard was established in 1891 as a naval station. During World War I, the shipyard built new ships including 25 submarine chasers, six submarines, two minesweepers, seven seagoing tugs, and two ammunition ships, as well as 1,700 small boats.
The site originally opened as a repair facility, then expanded in World War I to accommodate shipbuilding. Many mothballed ships were stored here after World War II. The Korean War caused reactivation of many of these ships, and several carriers received alterations. During the war, the workforce doubled to over 15,000. Ships completed at the yard included AOEs, LPDs, and FFs. In 1979, ship construction ended at the yard and overhaul work was performed on carriers and submarines.
During World War II, the shipyard's primary effort was the repair of battle damage to ships of the US fleet and those of its allies. At the start of World War II, Puget Sound had been the premier navy yard in the Pacific and the only one with the facilities to handle large capital ships such as battleships. After the attack at Pearl Harbor, five of the six surviving battleships returned to Bremerton for repair and modernization. As with the other navy yards, shipbuilding was only a small part of Puget Sound' s mission. The report of the Greenslade Board in January 1941 had recommended that no more than 20 percent of the capacity of the navy yards be used for new construction; the rest of the facilities should be reserved for repair activities in the event of war. Construction activity at Puget Sound appears to have been limited to smaller vessels such as destroyer escorts; however, the yard performed extensive work modifying and upgrading the ships of the Pacific Fleet.
On its waterfront, Puget Sound had five large drydocks (a sixth was added later). These docks ranged in size from Drydock No. 1 (completed 18961, 639 feet long by 120 feet wide by 39 feet deep, to Drydock No. 5 (completed 19421, 1,030 feet long by 147 feet wide by 54 feet deep. One of them, Shipbuilding Dock No. 3, was, as its name suggests, used for ship construction. Instead of sliding down the traditional inclined ways, a new" vessel was launched simply by flooding the dock. This was an innovation that Puget Sound introduced at the end of World War I. Shipbuilding Dock No. 3 was made of concrete and was divided into two compartments by a large, steel-clad bulkhead to allow greater control of flooding. It was adjacent to the primary industrial shops and, like all the docks, was served by heavy-gauge crane rail and railroad tracks that were used for moving and distributing components and materials. The yard also had four new ship-building ways for the construction of escort vessels. These ways were built in pairs, each pair being 400 feet long and 109 feet wide.
Following World War II, the shipyard engaged in an extensive program of modernizing carriers, including conversion of conventional flight decks to angled decks. During the Korean conflict, the shipyard entered an era of new construction with the building of a new class of guided missile frigates. Another milestone was passed in 1961 when the shipyard was designated as a repair facility for submarines, and again in 1965 with the establishment of the shipyard as a nuclear capable repair facility. In 1987, the shipyard became the homeport for the nuclear carrier USS NIMITZ (CVN 68).
Puget Sound Naval Shipyard is the largest and most diverse shipyard on the West Coast, as well as being the northwest's largest naval shore activity. Additionally, it is the second largest industrial facility in the State of Washington, both in terms of plant investment and in the number of civilians employed. The shipyard mission is wide ranging in that it possesses the capabilities to overhaul and repair all types and sizes of ships of the United States Navy while also serving as home port for a nuclear aircraft carrier, two nuclear cruisers and three fleet support ships (two fast combat support ships (AOE), one replenishment fleet tanker (AOR)). The shipyard's other significant capabilities include alteration, construction, deactivation, and drydocking of all types of naval vessels. The shipyard has a state-of-the-art emergency power generating system capable of providing backup power for all ships. In addition to in-yard work, the shipyard has a very active program of providing repair teams to accomplish on-site repair work on a variety of naval ships at their home port locations. Puget Sound Naval Shipyard has been recognized as the Navy's best installation worldwide and is the recipient of the 1991 Commander-in-Chief's Installation Excellence Award.
The Puget Sound Naval Shipyard is located adjacent to the city of Bremerton in Western Washington on the west side of Puget Sound. Major cities within proximity to the shipyard include Seattle (one hour by ferry) and Tacoma (approximately 30 miles by road). The shipyard is also located within 50 miles of such DOD installations as the US Navy's TRIDENT Submarine Base, Bangor, WA; Fort Lewis Army Base, and McChord Air Force Base, both in Tacoma, WA.
The shipyard covers 327 acres of hard land and 338 acres of submerged land. Included in the complex are nine piers, with 12,300 lineal feet of deep water pier space, four moorings, 382 buildings with a total of 6,078,000 SF and six drydocks, of which Drydock No. 6 is the largest on the West Coast and is suitable for aircraft carriers. The facility acquisition cost is $433M and the plant equipment acquisition cost is $261M. A natural harbor and temperate climate provide deep, clear water and ice-free moorage for any size of naval vessel throughout the year.
In 1994 Puget Sound NSY had a civilian work force of 10,588 and a military work force of 330. The total payroll is $550M. The local area population (Kitsap County) is approximately 190,000 residents. An estimated 80 percent of the shipyard's work force comes from the Greater Bremerton, Kitsap County area. Another 10 percent from the Seattle/Tacoma (King/Pierce counties) and the remainder coming predominantly from out-of-county areas, including Mason, Jefferson and Thurston counties. Approximately 61 percent of the shipyard's work force is skilled, while 22 percent are semi-skilled, and 1 percent are unskilled and the engineering force is 16 percent.
In its 2005 BRAC Recommendations, DoD recommended to close the Naval Shipyard Portsmouth, Kittery, ME. As a result, it recommended to relocate Portsmouth's ship depot repair function to Naval Shipyard Pudget Sound and two other naval stations. This recommendation would retain one nuclear-capable shipyard on each coast, plus sufficient shipyard capacity to support forward deployed assets. The environmental concerns with this recommendation are identical to those mentioned in the previous recommendation. Environtmentally, Naval Station Bremerton, WA, was in Attainment. There would be potential impacts for cultural, archeological or tribal resources, waste management, and wetlands.
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