US Navy’s new program office to lead shipyard modernisation

Image: US Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Dakota L. David
Image: US Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Dakota L. David – Norfolk Naval Shipyard

A new US Navy program office is set to centrally coordinate a plan to re-capitalise the service’s four public shipyards.

The Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA) Shipyard Infrastructure Optimization Plan (SIOP) Program Office, PMS-555, is working in concert with Commander, Navy Installations Command (CNIC) and Naval Facilities Engineering Command (NAVFAC) to re-capitalise and modernise the infrastructure at the four public nuclear shipyards to include critical dry dock repairs, restoring needed shipyard facilities and optimising their placement, and replacing aging and deteriorating capital equipment.

The navy claims that, without major upgrades and reconfigurations, the shipyards would not be able to meet the fleet’s future aircraft carrier and submarine depot maintenance and inactivation requirements looking out through 2040.

The navy’s public shipyards are: Norfolk Naval Shipyard in Portsmouth, Virginia; Porstmouth Naval Shipyard in Kittery, Maine; Puget Sound Naval Shipyard and Intermediate Maintenance Facility in Bremerton, Washington; and Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard and Intermediate Maintenance Facility in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. All four were originally designed and built in the 19th and 20th centuries to support construction of sail- and conventionally-powered ships using industrial models of the time.

As a result, they are not configured to maintain and modernise both current and planned nuclear-powered aircraft carriers and submarines.

Developing, programming, and executing the plan falls to the PMS-555 program office. The first milestone the office is scheduled to achieve is the development of a “virtual twin” of the naval shipyards.

The virtual twin will be a virtual representation of the shipyards that will be used to conduct modeling and simulations of the shipyard environment to aid in evaluations and decisions for future shipyard infrastructure.

The program office is also developing comprehensive strategies to address historic preservation and environmental compliance during the re-capitalisation effort.

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