Shutdown: Navy Public Shipyards Furlough Thousands

October 1, 2013 1:02 PM - Updated: October 1, 2013 4:34 PM
Puget Sound Naval Shipyard removes propeller four from USS John C. Stennis (CVN-74) for maintenance. US Navy Photo
Puget Sound Naval Shipyard removes propeller four from USS John C. Stennis (CVN-74) for maintenance. US Navy Photo

The Navy’s four public shipyards will all suffer furloughs that may affect Naval Sea Systems Command’s (NAVSEA) ability to conduct ship maintenance, Navy officials told USNI News on Tuesday.

Thousands of workers at the shipyards have been told to stay at home as the standoff between House Republicans and the Obama administration over a pending continuing resolution measure continues.

The yards — responsible for the bulk of the Navy’s ship maintenance — are only authorized to conduct critical maintenance on ships being serviced while the shutdown is ongoing, according to information from the service.

-Puget Sound Naval Shipyard, Bremerton Wash. will furlough 3,500 of its 10,900 workers, yard officials told USNI News.

-Norfolk Naval Yard, Norfolk, Va. will furlough about 3,400 of its 9,000 employees, according to spokesman Jeff Cunningham at Norfolk.

-Portsmouth Naval Shipyard, Kittery, Maine will furlough 1,520 of its 4,600 workforce, according to information provided to USNI News.

-Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard, Hawaii could furlough 3,330 of its 4,500 employees, according to a report from KHON 2 Hawaii. USNI News was unable to reach the shipyard by the time of this posting.

Privately owned yards conducting maintenance will suffer less of an immediate impact.

“[Those] shipyards will continue on ongoing availabilities, as the funding is already authorized,” Lt. Cmdr. Reann Mommsen, with U.S. Fleet Forces command, told USNI News.
“However, no new contracts will be let and no new work will be added to the availabilities.”

The work the Navy is getting done is tied to ships most needed in the fleet.

For example, maintenance on strategic assets — the Navy’s carriers and ballistic missile submarines (SSBNs) — will continue. Emergent repairs from deployments and voyage repairs on the Navy’s SSBNs and guided missile submarines will also continue.

Navy flight operations and ship deployments remain unaffected by the shutdown, Mommsen said.

Sam LaGrone

Sam LaGrone

Sam LaGrone is the editor of USNI News. He has covered legislation, acquisition and operations for the Sea Services since 2009 and spent time underway with the U.S. Navy, U.S. Marine Corps and the Canadian Navy.
Follow @samlagrone

Get USNI News updates delivered to your inbox