I know not with what weapons World War III will be fought, but World War IV will be fought with sticks and stones
-Albert Einstein (contemplating nuclear devastation)

Sunday, May 13, 2012

"No plans for Bangor to lose or gain Trident submarines, the Navy says"

The Navy is moving forward on its plans for a Second Explosives Handling Wharf at Naval Base Kitsap-Bangor!  The final Environmental Impact Statement has been filed, the 30-day wait period is up, and a contract has been awarded for construction.

Here's an interesting statement from the follwoing article in the Kitsap Sun. It says a great deal about the Navy's plans for the future of Trident.

There are no plans for Bangor to lose or gain Trident submarines, the Navy says.
That statement is pretty clear; the Navy is confident that Trident is here to stay, and that future plans for a new ballistic missile submarine will include a full complement of twelve of those "boomers."


Navy selects builders for second explosives handling wharf

By Ed Friedrich

Originally published 11:08 a.m., May 10, 2012
Updated 06:52 p.m., May 10, 2012

BANGOR — BANGOR — The Department of Defense awarded a Virginia joint venture a $331 million contract to build a second explosives handling wharf at Naval Base Kitsap-Bangor, one of the largest Navy contracts in Kitsap County history.

The partnership, formed specifically for this project, comprises Skanska USA Civil, American Bridge and Nova Group.

The group will construct a covered slip long enough for a 560-foot-long submarine, a warping wharf where another can wait, trestled roads on which trucks can haul missiles to and from subs, power utility booms, hardened guard gun positions, a waterfront support building and two traveling overhead crane systems. The facility will cover 6.3 acres of Hood Canal and require up to 1,250 piles.

The proposal, one of five submitted, came in well below the Navy's estimate of $450 to $550 million, according to Navy spokeswoman Leslie Yuenger. The cost of the entire project is estimated at $715 million, which includes hardening about 15 existing structures and demolishing five to comply with requirements to protect buildings near explosives handling operations. Three new buildings will replace four old ones. It also includes environmental mitigation, program management and contingency.

The existing 30-year-old wharf needs frequent maintenance and is undergoing a 12-year pile-replacement program that limits its availability to 200 days a year. That's not enough to support the base's eight Trident ballistic-missile submarines, which can each carry 24 missiles, the Navy says. An upgrade will only increase it to 300 days because of annual maintenance, primarily on cranes. The Navy needs 400 days.

The existing wharf was built to accommodate C4 missiles. They've been swapped out for bigger, more complex D5 missiles, which require more time for handling. There are no plans for Bangor to lose or gain Trident submarines, the Navy says.

Construction will begin this summer, after permits are approved, and is expected to be completed by January 2016.

The final environmental-impact statement appeared in the Federal Register on March 30. It was followed by a 30-day waiting period. After that comes a Record of Decision, which the Navy expects to issue on May 18, Yuenger said.

The Army Corps of Engineers hasn't approved a permit. It's reviewing comments and responses, and awaiting a final environmental mitigation plan, said spokeswoman Patricia Graesser. She couldn't say how long that will take.

It's not unusual for a construction contract to be awarded before permits are approved, she said.

"A lot of the times when permit applicants are wanting to meet a specific time line, they may go ahead and issue actions on their own before a permit decision has been made," she said. "They do that at their own risk, but it's not uncommon."

Other permits outstanding are the Coastal Consistency Determination and Marine Mammal Protection Act authorization.

The Navy announced in January it will require a project labor agreement (PLA) for the project, its first ever. A PLA is a pre-hire collective bargaining agreement negotiated between a project's owner and a labor organization. It sets the basic terms and work conditions for the project. The Navy has agreed to use workers from Olympic Peninsula Building and Construction Trades Council and Northwest Regional Council of the National Construction Alliance II.

PLAs typically require that employees hired for the project be referred through union halls, that nonunion workers pay union dues while on the project and that the contractor follow union rules on pensions, work conditions and resolving disputes.

Skanska spokeswman Jay Weisberger said Thursday the contract hasn't been signed, so he couldn't talk about the project.


(Original article at: http://www.kitsapsun.com/news/2012/may/10/virgina-company-selected-to-build-explosives/)

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