The US Naval Facilities Engineering Systems Command (NAVFAC) has awarded a $500-million architecture-engineering contract for structural and waterfront-related projects at Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard and Intermediate Maintenance Facility (PHNSY & IMF) in Hawaii and Puget Sound Naval Shipyard and Intermediate Maintenance Facility (PSNS & IMF) in Washington state.
The five-year contract will mainly support construction, repair, and alteration projects at both shipyards as part of the navy’s Shipyard Infrastructure Optimization Program (SIOP) and will help ensure that both shipyards — originally designed and built in the 19th and 20th centuries — are able to maintain, modernize, and repair navy ships and submarines and return them to the fleet on time.
The contract was awarded to Hawaii-based WSM Pacific SIOP joint venture.
“To create the public shipyards that our nation needs requires investments to improve their capacity and capability,” said Capt. Warren LeBeau, program manager for SIOP. “This contract directly supports the vital roles that Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard and Puget Sound Naval Shipyard have in terms of our national defense by executing maintenance and modernization on submarines and aircraft carriers to provide combat-ready ships to the fleet.”
SIOP is a joint effort between Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA), NAVFAC, and Commander, Navy Installations Command (CNIC) to recapitalize and modernize the infrastructure at the Navy’s four public shipyards, including repairing and modernizing dry docks, restoring shipyard facilities and optimizing their placement, and replacing aging and deteriorating capital equipment.
“SIOP will provide critical infrastructure investments into the shipyards that enable our Navy’s lethality and ability to operate forward in the era of strategic competition,” said Rear Adm. Dean VanderLey, commander, NAVFAC Pacific. “The award of this contract provides NAVFAC with the capacity and capability to plan and execute critical NAVSEA and CNIC projects at Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard and Puget Sound Naval Shipyard to meet urgent fleet readiness needs.”
The upgrades to the navy’s four public yards are urgently needed as the navy consistenly faces maintenance delays. According to a Government Accountability Office report from August 2020, the navy had spent about $2.8 billion from 2015 to 2020 in capital investments at its shipyards to improve shipyard performance.
Norfolk Naval Shipyard in Virginia, Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard and Intermediate Maintenance Facility in Hawaii, Portsmouth Naval Shipyard in Maine, and Puget Sound Naval Shipyard and Intermediate Maintenance Facility in Washington maintain the readiness of critical aircraft carriers and submarines required for military operations.
Specifically, these shipyards provide the navy with the capability to perform complex maintenance on ships, emergency repairs, and ship modernization, among other things. The ability of shipyards to complete this maintenance on time directly affects military readiness as maintenance delays reduce the amount of time the aircraft carriers and submarines are available for training and operations.