Navy: Puget Sound Submarine Dry Docks to Complete Seismic Repairs by July

March 28, 2023 6:32 PM
Two submarines enter dry dock at Puget Sound Naval Shipyard, Bremerton, Wash. US Navy photo.

The four dry docks that the Navy shut down in Puget Sound to shore them up against seismic threats should be available for submarine maintenance by July, Navy officials told the Senate on Tuesday.

In two separate hearings, service leaders told senators the extra work is to provide additional support to the walls of the dry docks in case of a seismic event.

The four dry docks – three at Puget Sound Naval Shipyard & Intermediate Maintenance Facility in Bremerton, Wash., and the delta pier at the Trident Refit Facility in Bangor, Wash., – were found to be at risk.

“We’re focused on those portions of the dock that are closest to the nuclear power plant in the submarines,” Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Mike Gilday told the Senate Appropriations defense subcommittee during a morning hearing.
“That’s the most substantial work that we’re doing, essentially repairing both sides of the entire drydock.”

The work, which began last month with an $80 million task order, will wrap up for the three dry docks at the Puget Sound Naval Shipyard & Intermediate Maintenance Facility by May, while the dry dock that services nuclear ballistic missile submarines should be finished in June or July.

The repair schedule for the dry dock has had minimal effect on the submarine force.

“From an operational perspective, right now, there is no operational impact other than having to move one submarine maintenance period, which is recoverable,” deputy chief of naval operations for warfighting requirements and capabilities (OPNAV N9) Vice Adm. Scott Conn told the Senate Armed Services seapower subcommittee.

The Navy requested $300 million in its unfunded priorities list to backfill projects that served as bill payers for the last minute repairs, Gilday told Senate appropriators.

“Longer term, we’ll be looking at other upgrades that we need to make in order to ensure the seismic resiliency of that facility,” Gilday 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.
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