Puget Sound Naval Shipyard and Intermediate Maintenance Facility History
Originally established in 1891 as a Naval Station, Puget Sound Naval Shipyard has proudly built and serviced our nation’s vital naval assets through two world wars and several conflicts, many technological changes, as well as fluctuations in our nation’s economy. Adaptability, perseverance and devotion to duty remain the driving forces behind the Command’s ability to earn and keep its reputation as a provider of world-class service to the fleet.
The early years
In 1877, Navy Lt. Ambrose Wyckoff was assigned the task of locating a deep water protected harbor where the Navy could establish a shore facility above the 42nd parallel north. He, along with a team of surveyors, scouted the Puget Sound from the San Juan Islands to Olympia. Sinclair Inlet was identified as an ideal location. In 1889, Congress approved a budget to purchase some land around Sinclair Inlet for the establishment of a naval station.
On Sept. 16, 1891, the Navy finalized the purchase of the original 145 acres of land and formally dedicated the opening of Naval Station Puget Sound with Lt. Wyckoff as the station’s first commandant.
In 1892, Lt. Wyckoff acquired additional land, bringing the total to approximately 190 acres. That same year, in December, the Navy broke ground for the construction of the first of six dry docks that would be built. The first battleship to be dry-docked was the former USS Oregon (BB-3) in 1897.
In 1901, the Naval Station was re-designated Navy Yard Puget Sound.
World wars and conflicts
During World War I, the Navy Yard constructed ships, including 25 subchasers, seven submarines, two minesweepers, seven sea-going tugs, and two ammunition ships, as well as 1,700 small boats.
During World War II, the Shipyard’s primary effort was the repair of battle damage to ships of the U.S. fleet and those of its allies. Following World War II, Navy Yard Puget Sound was designated Puget Sound Naval Shipyard. The Shipyard engaged in an extensive program of modernizing carriers, including converting conventional flight decks to angle decks.
During the Korean conflict, the Shipyard primarily activated new ships. In the late 1950's the Shipyard entered an era of new construction with the building of a new class of guided missile frigates. In 1965, the former USS Sculpin (SSN 590) became the first nuclear powered submarine worked on at Puget Sound Naval Shipyard.
Modernization, consolidation and beyond
In 1990, the U.S. Navy authorized a program to recycle nuclear powered ships at Puget Sound Naval Shipyard. This work involves inactivation, reactor compartment disposal, and recycling of ships. The Shipyard has pioneered an environmentally safe method of deactivating and recycling nuclear-powered ships. This type of work will continue as more and different classes of ships are decommissioned and require disposal. This process places the U.S. Navy in the role of being the world's only organization to design, build, operate, and recycle nuclear powered ships.
In 1998, the Shipyard stood up a detachment in San Diego, CA to support work on nuclear powered aircraft carriers homeported there.
On May 15, 2003, Puget Sound Naval Shipyard and the Naval Intermediate Maintenance Facility, Pacific Northwest (located at Bangor, Bremerton and Everett, WA) consolidated into one maintenance activity, creating “Puget Sound Naval Shipyard and Intermediate Maintenance Facility” (PSNS and IMF).
The Shipyard’s consolidation with IMF (formerly the Trident Refit Facility, Bangor and the Shore Intermediate Maintenance Activity at Everett and Bremerton) improved fleet readiness by allowing the Navy to accomplish the highest priority, real-time ship maintenance requirements while achieving the maximum maintenance effort possible.
In 2004, another opportunity arose to further increase efficiency and improve service to the fleet. Surface ship maintenance organizations, including the Supervisor of Shipbuilding, Puget Sound; portions of the Commander, Naval Surface Group, Pacific Northwest Maintenance Staff; and Fleet Technical Support Center, Pacific Detachment Everett joined PSNS & IMF in standing up the Northwest Regional Maintenance Center.
In 2007, Puget Sound Naval Shipyard and Intermediate Maintenance Facility established a detachment in Yokosuka, Japan to support maintenance on the Navy’s forward deployed aircraft carrier.
The Shipyard currently performs work in Bremerton, WA (Naval Base Kitsap – Bremerton); Silverdale, WA (Naval Base Kitsap – Bangor); Everett, WA (Naval Station Everett); San Diego, CA (Naval Air Station North Island); Yokosuka, Japan and Guam. The Northwest Regional Maintenance Center is one of the few regional organizations that provide maintenance for nearly every class of U.S. Navy vessel.
Today, the Shipyard site at Naval Base Kitsap - Bremerton provides longer-term, full-service maintenance and inactivation/recycling work on surface ships and submarines utilizing six drydocks and adjacent piers.
The IMF site at Naval Base Kitsap - Bangor conducts operations on Delta Pier, consisting of refit piers, repair shops and a drydock for homeported submarines. Bangor has expertise in hull, mechanical, electrical, electronics, and weapons systems repair, and it continually responds to meet the fleet’s maintenance and repair needs with on-time, cost-effective and quality service. IMF personnel also conduct maintenance work on surface ships and aircraft carriers at piers in Everett.
The sharing of expertise and resources among all PSNS & IMF sites provides the Navy with a streamlined approach to maintenance and allows for the savings to be reinvested in the fleet. The organization is well-equipped to continue to provide superb leadership and continuous process improvement in the areas of productivity, environmental stewardship, and technical innovation.
Puget Sound Naval Shipyard and Intermediate Maintenance Facility is the Pacific Northwest's largest Naval shore facility and one of Washington State's largest industrial installations. The Shipyard is proud of its history as a naval presence on the West Coast since 1891 and of its current status as a world-class maintenance facility for the U.S. Navy.