The Washington Times:
The Navy’s fleet of ballistic missile submarines employ cutting-edge technology and at sea represent one-third of the U.S. nuclear arsenal.
But at port, critics warn, those sophisticated subs are serviced and prepped for missions at government-owned shipyards, all of which can trace their origins back before World War I and are desperately in need of 21st-century upgrades.
The need could not be more critical as the Trump administration seeks to return U.S. defense policy to a focus on “great-power competition,” with China in particular. The transition means an increased reliance on the Navy, government officials and defense analysts say.
“These shipyards really are essentially elements to the national defense. Without them, the fleets would not be able to do their jobs,” said Steven Lagana, a program manager with Naval Sea Systems Command.
The Navy owns and operates four public shipyards: Portsmouth Naval Shipyard in Maine, Norfolk Naval Shipyard in Virginia, Puget Sound Naval Shipyard and Intermediate Maintenance Facility in Washington, and Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard and Intermediate Maintenance Facility in Hawaii. They are responsible for maintenance on all the Navy’s nuclear-powered ships — aircraft carriers and submarines.