JOINT BASE PEARL HARBOR HICKAM, Hawaii -- Secretary of the Navy, Carlos Del Toro, visited Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard and Intermediate Maintenance Facility (PHNSY & IMF) February 27 to discuss the Shipyard Infrastructure Optimization Program (SIOP) with shipyard and Naval Facilities Engineering Systems Command (NAVFAC), Pacific leadership.
SIOP will improve needed efficiencies across the U.S. Navy’s four public shipyards to ensure the fleet is prepared to support the nation’s national security mission by synchronizing with current efforts to improve the productivity of the workforce, processes and procedures. By modernizing the infrastructure and industrial plants to deliver availabilities needed in strategic competition, the shipyards will be able to support surge capacity necessary for operational and global events.
“SIOP at our naval shipyards is a top priority for my office,” said Del Toro. “PHNSY & IMF is the second naval shipyard I have visited since my confirmation and seeing first-hand the need for infrastructure improvements further cements my commitment to the SIOP initiative. The level of maintenance work done here every day is often challenged by aging facilities and equipment. Each shipyard worker recognizes that every ship and submarine undergoing maintenance and necessary modernization must be returned to the fleet on time, every time to keep our adversaries in check. In order to achieve this, we must provide our shipyard workforces with necessary upgraded facilities, tools and equipment.”
The Navy’s four public shipyards are the backbone of our nuclear-powered fleet, and essential elements of our national defense strategy. Though still encumbered by a non-stop schedule of maintenance availabilities on our fleet of ships and submarines, their performance has been plagued by aging conditions, configurations and locations of supporting facilities, dry docks and equipment.
Originally designed and built in the 19th and 20th centuries to support wind- and steam- powered vessels, the Navy's public shipyards are currently not efficiently configured to maintain and modernize a nuclear-powered fleet. These inefficiencies along with obsolete facilities result in higher maintenance costs and delayed schedules. SIOP will refurbish and reconfigure the public shipyards with the 21st century industrial technology our workforce requires through integrated infrastructure investment.
While SIOP is a high priority for the Navy, members of Congress have also lent their support for this key initiative that will further strengthen the Navy’s ability to respond to world events at a moment’s notice. Over the past few months, PHNSY & IMF has hosted numerous congressional and staff delegations to highlight the important work of the Navy’s maintenance community and showcase the need firsthand for upgraded infrastructure and facilities at the century-old shipyard.
“Since the inception of the shipyard in 1908, there have only been two periods of modernization- to support operations during World War II and again post-Korean War to support the launch of our nation’s nuclear-powered Navy,” said Captain Richard Jones, Shipyard Commander. “SIOP will give us the opportunity to continue supporting our mission in keeping the U.S. Pacific Fleet fit to fight by providing our workforce with upgraded facilities and a new dry dock to support the next generation of Virginia-class submarines.”
Dry dock re-capitalizations must be completed to provide needed capacity for current and future platforms - accommodating the future configurations of Virginia-class submarines at PHNSY & IMF and Portsmouth Naval Shipyard and the Ford-class aircraft carriers at Norfolk Naval Shipyard and Puget Sound Naval Shipyard and Intermediate Maintenance Facility.
For PHNSY & IMF, the need for a new dry dock is critically important as Dry Dock 3 will become obsolete at the end of 2023. With a projected need date of 2028, Dry Dock 5, as it may be called, is working toward completion of its Environmental Impact Statement (EIS).The EIS is the culmination of more than three years of research, planning and coordination by the U.S. Navy and our local, state and federal partners to propose the best design alternatives for a new dry dock with the least amount of environmental impact.
“As PHNSY & IMF is the largest industrial employer in Hawaii, we also have strong historical and cultural ties to the community, “said Jones. “By working closely with our local partners, we will continue to honor the important legacy of Pearl Harbor.”
The Navy recently held a virtual public meeting on February 24 to receive feedback from the local community on how the proposed project alternatives may impact the local environment. The public is invited to comment on the draft EIS until March 21. To learn more about the project and to make an official comment, visit the project website at www.pearlharbordrydockeis.org.
PHNSY & IMF is a field activity of Naval Sea Systems Command and a one-stop regional maintenance center for the Navy’s surface ships and submarines. It is the largest industrial employer in the state of Hawaii. It is the most comprehensive fleet repair and maintenance facility between the U.S. West Coast and the Far East, strategically located in the heart of the Pacific, being about a week’s steaming time closer to potential regional contingencies in the Indo-Pacific.
For more news from Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard & IMF, visit navsea.navy.mil/Home/Shipyards/PHNS-IMF or facebook.com/PearlHarborNavalShipyard.