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NEWS | April 3, 2023

Undersecretary of the Navy, Vice Chief of Naval Operations visit PSNS & IMF

By PSNS & IMF Public Affairs

Under Secretary of the Navy, the Honorable Erik Raven, and Vice Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Lisa Franchetti, visited Puget Sound Naval Shipyard & Intermediate Maintenance Facility March 29, 2023, to discuss implementation of the Shipyard Infrastructure Optimization Program and Naval Sustainment System – Shipyards, and to assess ongoing seismic upgrades to the shipyard’s dry docks. 

During conversations with shipyard leadership, Franchetti emphasized the valuable impact expanded and upgraded facilities at PSNS & IMF will have on the Navy’s mission. 

“The skilled maintenance and modernization work our shipyard employees provide is central to our national defense strategy and ensures the Navy’s strategic advantage over any potential adversaries’ advancing sea power,” said Franchetti. “Your workforce plays a vital role in those efforts, and in return, we must continue to invest in the facilities, equipment and support services they need.” 

Franchetti’s visit highlights the importance the Navy places on ensuring PSNS & IMF remains the primary provider for the maintenance, repair, modernization, inactivation and disposal of ships, submarines, and nuclear-powered aircraft carriers in the Pacific Fleet. 

“Our shipyards are a national treasure and ensuring their success is one of my top priorities, second only to implementing the Chief of Naval Operations’ NAVPLAN,” said Franchetti. “We must continue to take a holistic approach and work together as a team to deliver the Navy the nation needs, today and in the future. SIOP and NSS-SY become even more essential when we think about them as part of the Navy’s broader ecosystem.” 

The Navy established the Shipyard Infrastructure Optimization Program in 2018, laying out a strategy to recapitalize the four public shipyards by optimizing facilities and infrastructure, improving industrial process efficiencies, and increasing dry dock capacity and capability. NSS-SY is the Navy’s overarching initiative to reduce availability duration for the Navy’s nuclear-powered warships to increase on-time delivery of submarines and aircraft carriers across all four public shipyards.   

In addition to the shipyard’s infrastructure upgrades and systemic process-improvement efforts, Capt. Jip Mosman, commander, PSNS & IMF, spoke with Franchetti in detail about how the Bremerton area’s increased cost of living and the narrow gap between private sector and federal wages make it difficult to compete for and retain the best talent. 

“As we look forward to building the world-class shipyard of the future, we must maintain our focus on a number of competing priorities, from our substantial infrastructure needs, to building a workforce with the right mix of skills,” Mosman said. “We are continuing our efforts to hire 1,700 new employees this year because our future workload demands it.” 

PSNS & IMF is actively preparing for the arrival of the Ford-class aircraft carriers, Virginia-class submarines, and Columbia-class ballistic missile submarines to the Pacific fleet. 

“Our people are our greatest asset and we must keep that at the forefront of every decision we make,” added Mosman. “Organizations thrive when they invest in their people and, in turn, their people invest in the mission and vision of the organization. We owe it to our employees, our country, and our men and women whose lives rely upon our ability to keep the Fleet fit to fight.” 

Franchetti’s Pacific Northwest visit also included a stop at Naval Base Kitsap – Bangor for a meeting with Commander, Navy Region Northwest, Rear Adm. Mark Sucato, and installation commanding officers and Senior Enlisted leaders to discuss the challenges facing Sailors in the Navy’s third largest Fleet concentration area. 

PSNS & IMF maintains, modernizes and retires the U.S. Navy’s fleet. The command is dedicated to delivering ships back to the fleet on time or early, every time. PSNS & IMF has permanent sites in Bremerton, Bangor, and Everett, Washington; in San Diego, California; and at Commander, Fleet Activities Yokosuka, Japan. Dedicated professionals across those locations maintain aircraft carriers, surface ships and submarines of the U.S. Pacific Fleet.