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NEWS | Aug. 30, 2023

New lathe dedicated to fallen Navy SEAL

By Max Maxfield, PSNS & IMF Public Affairs

Capt. JD Crinklaw, commander, Puget Sound Naval Shipyard & Intermediate Maintenance Facility, helped pay tribute to a fallen U.S. Navy SEAL during a ceremony Aug. 12, 2023, in Rochester, N.Y.

During the ceremony, a new propulsion shaft lathe built by Machine Tool Research, which will be used by PSNS & IMF, was dedicated to Special Warfare Operator 1st Class (Navy SEAL) Patrick D. Feeks, who was killed in Afghanistan Aug. 16, 2012. Components for the new lathe are expected to begin arriving at PSNS & IMF Sept. 14. After a brief period of testing and training, the lathe is expected to enter production by the end of January 2024.

Crinklaw was joined by Patrick’s parents Thomas and Virginia Feeks; Rep. Joe Morelle, Tom Allen, vice president of MTR; members of the Navy SEAL Foundation, and members of the MTR team who built the tool, in honoring Patrick’s service, sacrifice and legacy.

A bronze plaque affixed to the lathe was unveiled. The plaque depicts the Navy SEAL Trident, a Bronze Star medal with “V” device, a Purple Heart, along with Feeks’ name and some details of his service. It also denotes the device as a propulsion shaft lathe, and the words “Puget Sound Naval Shipyard.”

Crinklaw explained some of the 132-year history of PSNS & IMF to the crowd, as well as how the MTR-built lathe will be used to pay tribute to Feeks’ legacy, and the hard work of the MTR team.

“PSNS & IMF teammates are proud of the work we perform for all the classes of ships and submarines we work on,” said Crinklaw. “Part of what we do includes providing U.S. Navy SEALS with fully mission-capable vessels that can be counted on to get even the most challenging mission accomplished. In fact, USS Seawolf, USS Connecticut, and USS Jimmy Carter – all Seawolf-class submarines – are currently homeported in the Puget Sound region, and are serviced and modernized by skilled and dedicated members of PSNS & IMF.”

Crinklaw said Shop 31, the Inside Machine Shop, currently uses two manual lathes that are 79 years old, and that it’s possible the lathe being dedicated that day could be in use 100 years from now.

“The quality of the machine you have built, combined with the skill PSNS & IMF workers will employ when using it, is a proud testament to such a special Sailor,” he said. “Once we dedicate this lathe it becomes our lathe; – yours, the Navy’s and Patrick’s. Countless Sailors and Marines will serve aboard proud U.S. Navy warships touched by OUR lathe.”

Patrick is currently standing eternal watch in Arlington National Cemetery, alongside fellow SEAL teammates, and service members who have served the nation.

“Someday soon, your legacy and U.S. Navy Special Warfare Operator 1st Class (SEAL) Patrick D. Feeks’ name and legacy will also be at Puget Sound Naval Shipyard & Intermediate Maintenance Facility — in Building 431 – inspiring the Inside Machine Shop team as they continue their never-ending mission of maintaining, repairing and modernizing warships of the U.S. Pacific fleet.”