Re(5): $1.5 Billion Spent on Idle Submarines Awaiting Repairs Posted on 11/28/2018 at 12:41:58 by Mike Stoffel '24
I was stationed at the Portsmouth, NH Naval Shipyard in 1964 t0 1967 in my first tour as an E.D. officer. It was a most pleasant place to live: small cadre of good officers, reasonable working conditions and good housing. That is over 55 Years ago!
I had a variety of waterfront jobs, including that of Docking Officer. I was astonished to learn that in 55 years the shipyard capability is still limited by the availability of only three drydocks, only one of which is designed to handle large nuclear submarines. The others can be used but only with a lot of extra effort.
Public yards can more easily handle ships under maintenance that have embarked crews and the supplementary support. I believe that is the primary reason for their use.
The immensely complicated requirements of nuclear power limit the capability to only a few yards. The qualified private yards are consumed with new construction and the needs of the submarines under maintenance are under a competitive disadvantage.
Portsmouth has some unique characteristics: some of the buildings in current use are pre-Civil War. But its nuclear capability and easy access to deep water make it desirable to keep around.