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Newport, Rhode Island

Newport Naval Station is a United States Naval base located near Newport, RI. Newport is located near the mouth of a broad glacial inlet, Narragansett Bay, on the north shore of Rhode Island Sound. The port itself is at the southwestern tip of Aquidneck Island, which is the largest of the numerous islands and peninsulas (known locally as "necks") that rise out of the broad glacial bay.

Iron steamships first fought one another during the Civil War, during which both Confederate and Union navies also used submarines and steamships. As these new ships and weapons battered one another, a number of important men in uniform saw how naval warfare would evolve. Among those was Adm. Dixon Porter, who realized that in the future of ships would slip beneath the sea to perform silent services, or be covered in metal and fight with huge cannons. It was under Porter's efforts that the Navy established torpedoes, mines and other explosives as part of naval warfare's "emerging technology." In accordance with his vision, the Navy created the Torpedo Station on Goat Island in 1869, which has since become the Newport Naval Complex, home of the Navy Education and Training Center. This is the only active military base in Rhode Island.

The center's role in the Navy is to train a wide array of personnel: officers who serve above and below the sea's choppy surface, senior enlisted personnel and young men and women preparing to attend their first year at the Naval Academy. The 3,677 active-duty personnel and 3,897 civilians make up the Naval War College; Surface Warfare Officers School Command; Naval Undersea Warfare Center; Naval Justice School; Naval Academy Preparatory School; Broadened Opportunity for Officer Selection and Training; Officer Indoctrination School; and the Senior Enlisted Academy.

Ex-USS Saratoga (AVT-60), one of the inactive aircraft carriers mothballed at the old Philadelphia Naval Shipyard, was towed out of Philadelphia for the last time 03 August 1998 by the Fleet-tug USNS Powhatan (T-ATF-166). Saratoga was the first of three deep-draft vessels to be relocated to Newport, RI, for storage. The relocation was done as part of the lease arrangement between the Navy, the City of Philadelphia and Kvaerner Philadelphia Shipyard and as a result of BRAC-91. Saratoga arrived at the Naval Education and Training Center's Pier 1 in Coddington Cove on 07 August 1998 returning a Navy ship presence to Newport that has been missing from that historically Navy town for many years. ex-USS Forrestal (AVT/CV 59) and ex-USS Iowa (BB 61) joined Saratoga in Newport in mid-September 1998. None of the ships will be open to the public.

In 1973 the Navy controlled 31 miles of shoreline and 6,000 acres of shorefront property within Narragansett Bay, concentrated in two areas. The Naval Air Station and the Construction Battalions occupied an area on the western shore of the Bay, northward from Quonset Point, that was linked to the main fairway of East Passage by a dredged channel. On the eastern shore of the East Passage the Navy also occupied a six-mile stretch between Newport and the Melville Fuel Depot. The US Atlantic Fleet Cruiser-Destroyer Force was homeported at Coddington Cove. Commander, Naval Surface Group Four occupied deep water berths on the north side of Pier 2 (Naval Education and Training Center (NETC) currently controls the south side of this pier), which is of modern robust construction with steel piling and concrete capping.

Piers 1 and 2 were built in 1955 and 1958, respectively, to accommodate ships of the Cruiser-Destroyer Force and Service Force. Naval supply and public works facilities were expanded at this time to support the fleet, and Headquarters, Commander Cruiser-Destroyer Force, Atlantic was established here in 1962. This command moved to Norfolk, Virginia, in July 1973. COMNAVSURFGRU FOUR occupied deep-water berths on the south side of Pier 2 on completion of pier improvements in FY1985.

From its infancy during the Revolutionary War to its present day sophistication, the United States Navy has been a part of Narragansett Bay. The first Commander-in-Chief of the Continental Navy, Rhode Islander Esek Hopkins used the bay as a haven for his small fleet between combat engagements. During the Civil War, the government transferred the faculty and student body of the US Naval Academy from Annapolis to Newport.

In 1869 the Navy authorized the establishment of an experimental torpedo station at Goat Island. The torpedo station reached its peak of importance in World War II, when more than 13,000 persons were employed on three shifts in the manufacture of 80 percent of the torpedoes used by our country during the war. The station was the largest single industry ever operating in Rhode Island.

In 1940 Congress appropriated money for construction of a Naval Air Station at Quonset Point on the West Side of the Bay which went into operation in 1941

In 1951 the Torpedo Station was permanently disestablished, and the manufacture of torpedoes was awarded to private industry. Goat Island was transferred to the City of Newport, and redevelopment of the island included a causeway, luxury hotel and restaurant, marina, shopping facilities, and apartments. In place of the Torpedo Station, a new research development facility, the Naval Underwater Ordnance Station, was established. A merger in 1970 with another naval activity in New London, Connecticut, created what is now the Naval Undersea Warfare Center (NUWC).

Early in 1973, a Shore Establishment Realignment study directed the closing of the Quonset Point Naval Air Station, a drawdown of facilities at Davisville, the movement of the active fleet from Newport, and a cutback of personnel and activities. Five previously independent commands were disestablished and their personnel absorbed by a new activity - the Naval Education and Training Center (NETC). A series of Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) commissions changed the Navy in Newport to the approximately 30 different naval and Department of Defense commands and activites resident today.

The Naval Education and Training Center is an amalgam of five former shore commands - the Naval Base Staff, Naval Station, Naval Officer Training Center, Public Works Center, and the Supply Center Annex. Newport is the home of the Navy's most prestigious educational institution, the Naval War College. The oldest such institution in continuous existence anywhere in the world, the college is organized to pursue and integrate both academic and research endeavors. The Naval Undersea Warfare Center Division Newport (NUWCDIVNPT) is the Navy's principal research development, test, and evaluation center for submarine weapons systems.

In 1974 the Rhode Island Port Authority and Economic Development Corporation was established to oversee the redevelopment of ex-Navy holdings, leaving the mainstay of the Navy presence centering on the Naval War College on Coasters Harbor Island and the Naval Education and Training Center at Coddington Point on the southern tip of Coddington Cove. The State Port Authority controls and Derektor Shipyard leases Pier 1. Shallow draft craft and the four Naval Education and Training Center yard patrol craft are berthed at the Stillwater Basin to the north of Pier 2.

Visiting deep-draft vessels under Military Sealift Command occasionally may berth for short periods to discharge or load stores at Davisville (north of Quonset Point) by arrangement with the State Port Authority. Most of the traffic from these piers is now concerned with offshore oil and gas drilling operations. The large pier at Quonset Point, which formerly provided berthing for aircraft carriers, is a concrete-capped wood piling structure in a poor state of repair; it probably will not be used by visiting naval vessels in the foreseeable future. The Melville Fuel Depot is only rarely used by US Navy ships.

Most ocean-going traffic into Narragansett Bay enters via the central East Passage channel. An additional dredged channel from East Passage running northwestward to Quonset Point provides access for naval vessels to anchorages in West Passage to the south of Quonset Point. West Passage is frequently utilized by lighter draft vessels and tows, especially those bound for the Graduate School of Oceanography Pier and piers at Quonset/Davisville. The project depth for the channel to Providence is 40 ft, and remaining channels have a project depth of 35 ft. Silting at the port of Providence and at other points along the channel, however, restricts the maximum draft of vessels handled at the port to 35 ft. This restriction on the depth of dredged channels stems from a total embargo on dredging in the Narragansett Bay area that has been in effect since 1971. The embargo was the result of a successful legal suit brought against the Army Corps of Engineers to prevent any further dumping of polluted dredging spoils at Brenton Reef, 5 n mi south of the East Passage entry to the Bay.

BRAC 2005

Secretary of Defense Recommendations: In its 2005 BRAC Recommendations, DoD recommended to realign Naval Station Newport by relocating the Navy Warfare Development Command to Naval Station Norfolk, VA. Navy Warfare Development Command performs the functions of warfare innovation, concept development, fleet and joint experimentation, and the synchronization and dissemination of doctrine.

The total estimated one-time cost to the Department of Defense to implement this recommendation would be $11.8M. The net of all costs and savings to the Department during the implementation period would be a cost of $8.3M. Annual recurring savings to the Department after implementation would be $1.0M with a payback expected in 13 years. The net present value of the costs and savings to the Department over the next 20 years would be a savings of $2.1M. Assuming no economic recovery, DoD estimated that this recommendation could result in a maximum potential reduction of 490 jobs (200 direct, and 290 indirect jobs) over the 2006-2011 period in the Providence-New Bedford-Fall River, RI-MA, Metropolitan Statistical Area, which would be less than 0.1 percent of economic area employment. This recommendation indicates impacts of costs at the installations involved, which reported $0.075M in costs for environmental compliance activities. These costs were included in the payback calculation.

DoD also recommended to realign Naval Air Station Pensacola, FL by relocating Officer Training Command Pensacola, FL to Naval Station Newport, RI, and consolidating with Officer Training Command Newport, RI. As of 2005, Navy Officer Accession Training was conducted at three installations: (1) U.S. Naval Academy Annapolis, MD hosted Midshipman Training; (2) Naval Station Newport hosted Naval Academy Preparatory School and Officer Training Command Newport, which included Officer Indoctrination School and Seaman to Admiral-21 Program courses; and (3) Naval Air Station Pensacola hosted Officer Training Command Pensacola which included Navy Officer Candidate School, Limited Duty Officer Course, Chief Warrant Officer Course, and the Direct Commissioning Program. Consolidation of Officer Training Command Pensacola and Officer Training Command Newport would reduce inefficiencies inherent in maintaining two sites for similar training courses through reductions in facilities requirements, personnel requirements (including administrative and instructional staff), and excess capacity.

In another recommendation, DoD recommended to close the naval installation at Athens, GA. As a result, DoD recommended to relocate the Navy Supply Corps School and the Center for Service Support, formerly stationed in Athens, to Naval Station Newport, RI.

DoD also recommended to realign Naval Station Newport, RI, and the Washington Navy Yard, Washington, DC, by consolidating Naval Reserve Readiness Command Northeast with Naval Reserve Readiness Command Mid-Atlantic and relocating the consolidated commands to Naval Station, Norfolk, VA.

In another recommendation, DoD recommended to realign Naval Weapons Station Charleston, SC, as follows: relocate Subsurface Maritime Sensors, Electronic Warfare, and Electronics Research, Development & Acquisition, and Test & Evaluation of the Space Warfare Center to Naval Station Newport. DoD also recommended to realign Naval Station Newport and two other installations by relocating Maritime Information Systems Research, Development & Acquisition, and Test & Evaluation to Naval Submarine Base Point Loma, San Diego, CA, and consolidating with the Space Warfare Center to create the new Space Warfare Systems Command Pacific, Naval Submarine Base Point Loma, San Diego, CA. DoD would also realign Naval Submarine Base Point Loma, San Diego, CA, by relocating Subsurface Maritime Sensors, Electronic Warfare, and Electronics Research, Development & Acquisition, and Test & Evaluation of the Space Warfare Center to Newport. DoD also recommended to realign NAS Patuxent River, MD, by relocating Subsurface Maritime Sensors, Electronic Warfare, and Electronics Research, Development & Acquisition, and Test & Evaluation of the Naval Air Warfare Center, Aircraft Division to Naval Station Newport.

In another recommendation DoD would realign Naval Station Newport, RI; along with Naval Air Station Meridian, MS and Maxwell Air Force Base, AL; by relocating religious training and education to Fort Jackson, SC, establishing a Joint Center of Excellence for religious training and education.

Secretary of Defense Justifications: Relocating the Navy Warfare Development Command to Norfolk would better align the Navy's warfare development organization with those of the other joint force components and Joint Forces Command, as well as place Navy Warfare Development Command in better proximity to Fleet Forces Command and the Second Fleet Battle Lab it supports, resulting in substantial travel cost savings to conduct experimentation events. Location of Navy Warfare Development Command in Hampton Roads area would place it in proximity to the Army Training and Doctrine Command, Fort Monroe, VA and Marine Corps Combat Development Command, Quantico, VA, as well as in closer proximity to the Air Force Doctrine Center at Maxwell Air Force Base, AL, which would further joint interoperability concepts.

This second action would also support the Department of the Navy initiative to create a center for officer training at Naval Station Newport. As of 2005, Naval Station Newport, RI, was in Serious Non-attainment for Ozone (1- Hour) and in Moderate Non-attainment for Ozone (8-Hour) but no Air Conformity Determination would be required in order to relocate the command to Newport.

This third recommendation would close a single-function installation and relocate its activities to a multi-functional installation with higher military value. DoD claimed that Naval Station Newport had a significantly higher military value than Navy Supply Corps School and the capacity to support the Navy Supply Corps School training mission with existing infrastructure, making relocation of Navy Supply Corps School to Naval Station Newport desirable and cost efficient. Relocation of this function would support the Department of the Navy initiative to create a center for officer training at Naval Station Newport. The Center for Service Support, which establishes curricula for other service support training, would be relocated to Naval Station Newport with the Navy Supply Corps School to capitalize on existing resource and personnel efficiencies. Environmental concerns expressed by the DoD were similar to those shown in the previous recommendation.

This fourth recommendation would enhance the Navy’s long-standing initiative to accomplish common management and support on a regionalized basis, by consolidating and collocating reserve readiness commands with the installation management Regions. This collocation would also align management concepts and efficiencies and would ensure a reserve voice at each region as well as enablle future savings through consolidation of like functions. This recommendation would result in an increase in the average military value for the remaining Naval Reserve Readiness Commands and would ensure that each of the installation management Regions had an organization to manage reserve matters within the region. Assuming no economic recovery, DoD estimated that this recommendation could result in a maximum potential reduction of 114 jobs (49 direct jobs and 65 indirect jobs) over the 2006-2011 period in the Providence-New Bedford-Fall River, RI-MA, Metropolitan Division (less than 0.1 percent).

These recommended realignments and consolidations would provide for multifunctional and multidisciplinary Centers of Excellence in Maritime C4ISR. This recommendation would also reduce the number of technical facilities engaged in Maritime Sensors, Electronic Warfare, & Electronics and Information Systems RDAT&E from twelve to five. This, in turn, would reduce overlapping infrastructure increase the efficiency of operations and support an integrated approach to RDAT&E for maritime C4ISR. Another result would also be reduced cycle time for fielding systems to the warfighter. Assuming no economic recovery, this recommendation could result in a maximum potential reduction of 4 jobs (2 direct jobs and 2 indirect jobs) over the 2006-2011 period in Providence-New Bedford-Fall River, RI-MA, Metropolitan Statistical Area (less than 0.1 percent). Environmentally, Naval Undersea Warfare Center, Newport was in serious non-attainment for Ozone (1hr) and proposed to be in serious non-attainment for Ozone (8hr). Threatened and endangered species were present at Newport and have delayed or diverted testing. Newport also discharged to impaired waterways, and groundwater and surface water contamination were reported.

The last recommendation would consolidation of a Joint Center of Excellence for religious training and education at Fort Jackson, SC, creates a synergistic benefit by having each Service's officer and enlisted programs conducted in close proximity to operational forces. Realized savings result from consolidation and alignment of similar officer and enlisted educational activities and the merging of common support functions. This recommendation supports the following DoD transformational options: (1) establish center of excellence for joint education and training by combining like schools and (2) establish joint officer and enlisted specialized skills training.

Community Concerns: Community representatives and employees of the Navy Warfare Development Command noted that workers would be highly unlikely to move to the Tidewater area, resulting in a loss of experience, and that it would take several years to train a new staff. They also noted DoD's proposal would adversely affect the close synergy with the Naval War College, a relationship which was instrumental in the decision to locate the NWDC at Newport in the first place.

Commission Findings: The Commission found no reason to disagree with the recommendation of the Secretary of Defense. The Commission's review and analysis concluded that while the realignment was not particularly cost effective, it met the Department of the Navy's goals to improve military value by relocating the Navy Warfare Development Command to Norfolk so it would be in close proximity to Fleet units. The community's arguments about potential losses of human capital were found to be insufficiently supported and did not rise to the level of a substantial deviation because the labor force in and around Norfolk is more than adequate to implement the recommendation during the BRAC six year implementation period.

For the third recommendation the Commission found no reason to disagree with the Secretary’s recommendation and justification. The Commission believes a Joint Center for Religious Education and Training at Fort Jackson will provide significant jointness benefits to the Chaplain Corps, and better prepare chaplains to comfortably minister to members of all service branches. The Commission also believes that during DoD implementation, course curricula can be developed to achieve both goals of consolidating training where appropriate, and providing service-unique training where necessary.

Commission Recommendations: The Commission found the Secretary's recommendation consistent with the final selection criteria and the Force Structure Plan. Therefore, the Commission approves the recommendation of the Secretary.

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Page last modified: 05-07-2011 02:54:15 ZULU