Bangor Naval Submarine Base, Washington
The land for the Bangor base, 7,000 acres on the East side of the Hood Canal and approximately 500-600 acres directly across the Canal on the Toandos Peninsula, was purchased from local landowners beginning in 1941, and completed by 1944. In 1943 the Marginal Pier had been built to handle the loading of ammunition on Navy transport ships headed for the Pacific Theater during WWII.
In those early days the base was commissioned as Naval Ammunition Depot, Bangor - "Bangor" was the name of the small community where the acreage was located, which, in turn was named after Bangor, Maine due to their geographical similarities (mountains, evergreen trees, inland waters and artesian wellwater).
Ammunition handling was Bangor's chief mission all through WWII, the Korean Conflict, and the Vietnam era.
In 1964 the base became a Polaris Missile Storage Facility, in addition to its original mission of handling ammunition. Subsequently, in the late '70s this missile handling activity became known as Strategic Weapons Facility, Pacific, or SWFPAC, responsible for the Trident Missile program.
The Trident submarine concept was born in the late '60s and early '70s. From the first it was determined that Bangor would be the home of the Trident fleet. Construction began in 1972, and then in 1974 the decision was made to have the fleet divided between the East Coast and the West. Kings Bay, Georgia was selected to be the East Coast location of the "other half" of the Trident fleet.
In February 1977 Naval Ammunition Depot stood down and the base was commissioned as Naval Submarine Base, Bangor. In August of 1982 the first Trident submarine, USS Ohio, arrived at the Delta Refit Pier on the Bangor waterfront. It was followed thereafter about every 10 months with the arrival of seven more Trident submarines, for a total of eight boats. Ten more Tridents were built, each of them going to Kings Bay.
The USS Parche, a fast-attack submarine came to Bangor in 1995, changing homeports from Mare Island, California. It, however, was not a part of the Trident program. USS Jimmy Carter has replaced the USS Parche.
Year 2002 saw the arrivals of the USS Pennsylvania and USS Kentucky, changing homeports from Kings Bay, and the departure of the USS Florida and USS Georgia, moving to the East coast as well as the USS Ohio and USS Michigan undergoing SSGN conversion at PSNS. In 2004 the USS Nebraska arrived as well.
June 4, 2004 Naval Submarine Base Bangor was enveloped into a regional concept under Commander, Naval Installations and, along with Naval Station Bremerton was renamed Naval Base Kitsap (NBK). Captain Douglass T. Biesel, the incumbent Naval Submarine Base Commanding Officer, was named Naval Base Kitsap's first Commanding Officer in a ceremony at Naval Base Kitsap at Bremerton's Olympic Lodge. Admiral Walter Doran, CINCPACFLT was the principal speaker. That same ceremony joined Puget Sound Naval Shipyard (PSNS) and Intermediate Maintenance Facility (IMF), Bangor under one tenant command, PSNS. Captain Clark Orzalli was the first Commanding Officer of PSNS-IMF.
Naval Base Kitsap was initially located at Bangor in building 1100. In March of 2005, the headquarters were moved to building 443 at NAVBASE Kitsap Bremerton and remain there today.
Facts about Bangor:
- 7,300 acres
- 63 commands
- ,500 workers (5,900 active duty [includes 450 Marines], 2,300 civilian & 1,300 contractor)
- 1,320 homes in family housing (approx. 4,500 residents)
- 1,300 beds in BEQs for single Sailors
- Monthly payroll for all workers -- $30 mil
- 11,000 cars daily through the gates
- 8 SSBN Trident submarines - HENRY M. JACKSON, ALABAMA, NEVADA, PENNSYLVANIA, KENTUCKY & NEBRASKA, MAINE, and LOUISIANNA- 2 crews, each 165 men; 560 ft long, 18,700 tons, 42 ft diameter, cost $1.6B with missiles.
- 2 SSGNs OHIO and MICHIGAN (Formally SSBNs)- 2 crews, each 155 men; up to 154 Tomahawks, 4 torpedo tubes for MK 48 torpedoes, Advanced SEAL Delivery System (ASDS)
- 3 SSNs, JIMMY CARTER ,CONNETICUTT and SEAWOLF-1 crew of 130 men; 353 ft long, 7,800 tons, 40 ft diameter, Tomahawk Cruise Missiles, Mk 48 torpodoes
- Trident Training Facility (TTF) - 7½ acres of classrooms, 350 faculty, 22,000 students ea. year
- Strategic Weapons Facility-PAC - Lockheed Martin (300 people) prime contractor caring for missiles; 200 Sailors and civilians, and 450 Marines; going through C-4 to D-5 upgrade process; D-5 missile is 44 ft tall, 6 ft 9 inches in diameter, cost $32 mil
- Intermediate Maintenance Facility (IMF) - largest command on base; 1,600 at Bangor & 400 at Everett Detachment., split 50/50 between Sailors and civilians; Bldg 7,000 is 250,000 square feet.