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Navy goes on attack with sub movements

The USS Seawolf, the first of its three-boat class, is joining its sister boat the USS Jimmy Carter at Naval Base Kitsap in 2007. - 2003 U.S. Navy photo
The USS Seawolf, the first of its three-boat class, is joining its sister boat the USS Jimmy Carter at Naval Base Kitsap in 2007.
— image credit: 2003 U.S. Navy photo

Naval Base Kitsap (NBK) will be welcoming two more Seawolf class submarines in the summer of 2007, completing a shift in military resources from the Atlantic to the Pacific coast.

The USS Seawolf and the USS Connecticut are scheduled to arrive in July and August 2007 from New London, Conn., joining the USS Jimmy Carter on the peninsula. The Navy has not yet announced whether the pair will join the Carter in Bangor or the aircraft carrier USS John C. Stennis in Bremerton, according to U.S. Rep. Norm Dicks (D-Belfair).

“It is not clear whether they will ultimately be at Bremerton or the Trident base in Bangor. The Navy, for whatever reason, was not prepared yet to say,” Dicks said in a press conference Monday at the Norm Dicks Government Building in Bremerton. “There’s a lot of people that feel they should be in the shipyard. That would be my personal preference.

“We were always told there wasn’t enough room at Bangor. They are going to be repaired at the shipyard and that’s the most important thing.”

Bremerton Mayor Cary Bozeman echoed the sentiment that the submarines’ arrival was nothing but good news for the region.

“Obviously, this is a huge economic impact,” Bozeman said. “This is a big day for Kitsap County, not just Bremerton.”

The two subs will each bring a crew of 15 officers and 125 enlisted men. The USS Seawolf was commissioned in 1997, followed by the USS Connecticut in 1998. At the time of their construction, they were dubbed, “the most capable attack submarines ever built.”

Dicks said in addition to the economic impact of the crew and their families, there is a great opportunity for the Puget Sound Naval Shipyard.

“We’re in the right location. People like to live here. These bases have tremendous value and they’re all ranked at the top. What the mayor and I are trying to do is make this a better place for the Navy ... and for people to live,” he said. “I think in the future this is good for us ... and it gives the shipyard workers additional skills.”

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