Navy Bases

Kitsap Keyport Naval Base, Washington

In June 1910, Congress appropriated $145,000 for the purchase of the site at Keyport now known as the Naval Undersea Warfare Center Division, Keyport. The Command was formally commissioned in November 1914 as the Pacific Coast Torpedo Station (PCTS). In 1915, the first torpedoes were prepared, and Building 1 was completed as the first permanent structure. By the 1920's, the PCTS was well established and became a center of instruction with a fully equipped torpedo school. In 1930, the Pacific Coast Torpedo Station was officially renamed the United States Naval Torpedo Station (NTS).

During World War II, employment at the Naval Torpedo Station began to grow at a rapid pace, reaching 2,035 civilians and 821 military at the close of the war. The workload of torpedo proofing reached a peak of 100 per day in 1944. The workforce decreased to 275 in 1946, but significant activity continued after the war as 3-dimensional underwater tracking ranges were designed and installed, and antisubmarine warfare (ASW) acoustic homing torpedoes were tested and perfected on those ranges. In 1963, the first joint U.S. - Canadian 3-dimensional range was placed in operation in the Strait of Georgia, and is still in operation today.

The disestablishment of Naval Ammunition Depot Bangor and the Closure of Naval Ordnance Station Forest Park in 1970 led to added responsibilities as the functions of those Commands were transferred to Keyport. In the middle 1970's, four Station detachments and operational sites were established: the Southern California site and Hawaii Detachment to provide ASW test analysis services and mobile target support; the Hawthorne, Nevada, site to maintain the West Coast inventory of naval mines; and the Indian Island Detachment to provide ammunition support for the north Pacific fleet.

In 1978 the Station's name was changed to the Naval Undersea Warfare Engineering Station to reflect new responsibilities primarily related to undersea warfare engineering. In 1992, Keyport's name changed again when it became one of two Divisions with in the newly created Naval Undersea Warfare Center (NUWC), an echelon-three Command established as a result of recommendations made by the Base Realignment and Closure Commission. The organizational realignment was implemented to form stronger core technical mission capabilities in support of naval undersea warfare and to eliminate unwarranted duplication of effort and resources. In 1992, Indian Island Detachment was transferred to Naval Weapons Station, Seal Beach, California. In 2000, the Submarine Torpedo Intermediate Maintenance Activity (IMA) Pearl Harbor became a new Keyport operational site.

NUWC Keyport currently employs approximately 1,489 civilian, 20 military, and 669 contractor personnel. Keyport is the Pacific Fleet's designated ASW systems test agent, and is the site of a comprehensive weapon quality engineering and environmental test laboratory. Keyport is also a major in-service engineering activity in support of mine warfare, sonar, underwater fire control and other undersea warfare systems including those aboard Trident Submarines. Keyport is the Navy's overhaul depot for torpedoes and mobile targets. NUWC Keyport continues to perform its original mission of underwater weapons proofing and testing, utilizing a comprehensive set of 3-dimensional ranges in the Pacific Northwest that provide a board variety of environmental and test condition.

In June 2004, regionalization enveloped the site and the location name was changed to Naval Base Kitsap Keyport. Today, NUWC Division Keyport remains the largest tenant command on the site and Naval Base Kitsap remains the landlord.