US Naval Presence In Washington State

What Beauties and Sense of Security

 Trident Class Submarine at Bangor, Washington

I have often wondered how anything so large and heavy in weight could ever float.

For those that are not sure what a submarine is used for, let me provide for you a brief exclamation. A submarine is a watercraft capable of independent operation underwater. It differs from a submersible, which has more limited underwater capability. The term most commonly refers to a large, crewed vessel.

The one photographed above represents a boat that protects the integrity of the USA soil, against enemy navies.

This submarine is based at the Naval Sub Base Bangor, Washington. The Naval Base Kitsap, is located on the Kitsap Peninsula in Washington State with it’s mission is to serve as the home base for the Navy’s fleet throughout West Puget Sound and to provide base operating services, including support for both surface ships and Fleet Ballistic Missile and other nuclear submarines having their home ports at Bremerton and Bangor.

The Bangor Base, began it’s history in 1942, when it became a site for shipping ammunition, to the Pacific Theater of Operations during World War II. In order to expand and to become a permanent naval base, the U.S. Navy purchased 7,676 acres on the Hood Canal which is located near the town of Bangor.for approximately $18.7 million. 

Beginning with World War II through the Korean and Vietnam War, and up to January 1973, the Bangor Annex continued its service as a U.S. Navy Ammunition Depot responsible for shipping conventional weapons abroad.

In 1973, the Bangor Base was selected to become the home port for the first squadron of Ohio-class Trident Fleet Ballistic Missile submarines.

The connection to the Keyport Naval facility is that Bangor works on missiles and submarines and Keyport works on torpedoes.

NUWC-Naval Undersea Warfare Center

NUWC Keyport is located on Puget Sound, Keyport Washington on a small peninsula, and part of Liberty Bay, near Poulsbo, Washington, where I spent the afternoon, after touring the Keyport facility. The facility is surrounded by the Cascades Mountains to the east and Olympic Mountains to the west. The Navy provides support services which include in-service engineering, test and evaluation, custom engineered solutions and cutting edge technologies that sustain and maintain our nation’s Undersea Warfare Systems. Division, Keyport, one of two divisions of the Naval Undersea Warfare Center (NUWC), provides Fleet readiness support for submarines, surface ships, torpedoes, mines, land attack systems, and Fleet training systems.

This Naval Base was named after Keyport, New Jersey in 1896. It sports a nickname of Torpedo Town USA, where it is the home of a small United States depot, tasked with ranging and repairing torpedoes for the US Navy and allies. Source: Wikipedia

From the earliest days (pre-World War I), the naval station had a number of names such as Pacific Torpedo Station and Naval Torpedo Station, until in the 1990s when the base was named the Naval Undersea Warfare Engineering Station (NUWES). The land the base sits on was originally a pig farm, which led to some interesting nicknames in the base’s early years. As the Cold War drew to a close, a number of budget cuts, two RIFs and several Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) actions caused Keyport’s parent command in Newport, R.I. to reserve the engineering function to itself, at least on paper, resulting in a name change to Naval Undersea Warfare Center, Keyport (NUWC).

This base is the third (3rd) largest Navy base in the United States, featuring one of the U.S. Navy’s four nuclear shipyards, one of two strategic nuclear weapons facilities, the only West Coast dry dock capable of handling a Nimitz-class aircraft carrier and the Navy’s largest fuel depot. 

Our visit to the Keyport facility, was most interesting, and we plan to re-visit such historical facilities on our next road trip to the USA. My son, Simon, and I had a splendid time with our friends, Doug and Mamie, with our next visit being overseas!.

My son, Simon Ambrose, had the  time of his life in the mock up submarine.

Imagine the size of this remarkable boat…yes, it is not a ship but considered a 560 foot boat! The one featured above is a Trident and weighs approximately 18,750 tons…37.5 million pounds! Yes, I did say…37.5 million pounds! Now, that’s impressive.

We had worked up quite an appetite walking the museum so we were persuaded to visit the lovely city of Poulsbo, Washington, only a 15 minute drive away. Although Poulsbo is a city, its downtown is as quaint of a Norwegian area as any, I’ve ever seen. It is the 4th largest city in Kitsap County…with a population of 9,200 people according to a census in 2010.

Although, I had no plans for hiking, I wanted to be prepared in case there was an area we could not resist!  

What about a few fun facts?

FUN FACTS ABOUT The United States Navy

Did you know?

  • I find it most interesting that the soft serve ice cream machine is the most critical equipment on board the trident sub.
  • At 560 feet, Trident submarines are the Navy’s largest subs, slightly more than the height of the Washington Monument.
  • Trident 1 missiles have a range of more than 4,000 miles and carry a type of 150-kiloton warhead, which is the W-76, and it is about 10 times more powerful than the atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima.
  • Each sub has two crews, a Blue crew and Gold crew, of about 150 men. The two crews rotate duties; while one takes the boat to sea, the other trains and prepares for its next 70-day patrol.
  • During patrols, sailors work six-hour shifts followed by 12 hours off, seven days a week.
  • Nine sailors share 10-by-12-foot sleeping quarters, which are cubicles stuck in between the sub’s 24 missile silos. The nine bunks are stacked three high along the silos and the back wall of each cubicle.
  • About 200,000 pounds of food are carried aboard a Trident during a typical 70-day patrol. About 150,000 individual meals are served to a crew during a typical patrol.
  • Each boat’s desalination plant every day processes about 12,000 gallons of seawater into fresh water for drinking, cooking, showers and laundry. The plant also supplies the boat’s oxygen while submerged.
  • Biodegradable trash is compacted into a package and ejected from the boat far out at sea. Plastic material is compressed and stored aboard until the boat returns to port.
  • Each crew member of a nuclear-powered submarine wears a dosimeter, a device that measures levels of exposure to radiation. Each man’s dosimeter is checked on a regular basis.






Well now, do you think there’s any time or  place I could walk while traveling around on a boat like this one?

May I remind you that my boots are made for walkin’ and that’s just what they will do…no matter where I am. At 560 feet long with a few levels, that certainly could make my walk a decent one…after all, I could not even get much closer to the water even though there is no beach close by!

Please be sure to leave a comment and follow me along on my exploration of different terrains, as we walk each mile of varying pathways


Chris Ambrose, Author

My Boots Are Made For Walkin’

The First 3,000 miles

Soon available on AMAZON or direct

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