Magazine to Subase: You're No. 1

Sailors and their families like Subase Bangor so much that many often request a transfer back after they leave.

So when Navy Times readers were asked to vote on the magazine’s inaugural Best Base Award, it was no surprise the local installation received top honors.

Navy Times’ thousands of readers, many active or retired sailors, ranked Subase Bangor as the best base in the Navy. The facility on the shores of Hood Canal also was honored as the best base for community spirit and support, and for having the best recreation opportunities, in the Monday, Jan. 14 issue of the national publication.

“It’s what the sailors say is the best, it’s not coming from the Pentagon,” said Bill Yamanaka of the Navy Times marketing department. “(Bangor) had the most consistent scores in every category and was very high in each of the seven categories.”

The honor was accorded to the base, Subase commander Capt. Duane Baker said, but it’s a reflection on the entire Silverdale community.

“We wouldn’t be the best if we weren’t in the community we are in,” said Baker, who has commanded the 7,500-acre base since April 2001. “The team here, including military, contractors, civilians and Johnson Controls, is elated. This justifies the hard work everyone has put in and it shows how we’re taking care of our customers.”

Navy Times asked voters to comment on their selections.

“Once you’ve been to Bangor, you’ve gotten the best the Navy has to offer,” one sailor wrote.

A sailor at another base wrote, “I’m desperately trying to return to Subase Bangor.”

Yamanaka said the award was started by the Virginia-based Military Times Media Group after Sept. 11 to recognize well-performing troops and bases.

“It’s good for esprit de corps,” said Yamanaka, a retired Navy officer who was stationed at Bangor from 1983-1986.

Baker said officials were still planning how the base would respond to the award.

“This is going to be celebrated far and wide,” he said.

Bangor is the home of eight Trident ballistic missile submarines and the USS Parche, a Sturgeon-class attack submarine. It won the Commander in Chief’s Installation Award (the Navy’s official best base honor) in May 1987, as well as various environmental quality awards in 1988, 1991, 1992, 1994, 1995, 1996 and 1998.

For more information about the award, visit

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