Norfolk Naval Shipyard Dedicates Submarine Maintenance Facility

PORTSMOUTH, Va. — Norfolk Naval Shipyard dedicated its new submarine maintenance facility on June 14.

The dedication marked the next crucial step in the NNSY’s realization of a shipyard infrastructure optimization plan that will enhance the ability of the four public shipyards to meet the mission of delivering ships back to the fleet on time and within budget.

The new facility consolidates submarine maintenance, production and support shops into a single facility adjacent to NNSY’s submarine drydocks. This two-story structure features shops, storage and support spaces on the ground level, with office spaces and conference rooms on the second floor.

“NAVSEA Cmdr. Vice Adm. Tom Moore has challenged us to build an environment that promotes increased levels of innovation, collaboration and knowledge sharing,” the shipyard’s commander, Capt. Kai Torkelson, said at the dedication.

“This will give our people the space and tools they need to forge high-performing teams and complete our mission of returning submarines to the fleet with superior quality and reliable delivery.”

More than three years in the making, the $10 million project is designed to withstand the impact of a 500-year flood, and the 24,000-square-foot building should also hold up against a Category 4 hurricane. The building also follows antiterrorism protection requirements, featuring blast-proof windows and 18-inch thick concrete walls. It also features amenities such as a kitchen, break room, nursing mothers room and showers.

NNSY’s current submarine projects include conversions of USS La Jolla and USS San Francisco into moored training ships and the refueling and upgrading of USS Wyoming for return to the nation’s active submarine fleet.

NNSY submarine program manager Pat Ensley said the building supports work on Los Angeles-class submarines and will support work on the future Virginia and Columbia classes of subs.

“It improves our abilities by having a permanent facility and place to perform production work as close to the boat as possible,” he said. Adding that the building is segmented by mechanical, electrical, nuclear and nonnuclear work areas, he said: “We’re going to have capability for every shop, with ergonomically designed work areas as well as giving individuals all the amenities they would want from starting to ending their work days.”