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Portsmouth Naval Shipyard

United States Navy shipyard
Kittery, ME 03904

Portsmouth Naval Shipyard (PNS) is one of four remaining naval shipyards in the nation. Centrally located about 50 miles from Boston, Massachusetts, Portland, Maine and Manchester, New Hampshire, at the southernmost tip of Maine, the Shipyard fully encompasses Seavey Island that sits at the mouth of the Piscataqua River. This federally-owned island is across the harbor from Portsmouth, New Hampshire, with access to the mainland by two bridges that connect to Kittery, Maine.


Portsmouth Naval Shipyard employs approximately 3,900 civilian employees. PNS has an active apprentice and engineer recruitment program. In addition to the civilian workforce, there are approximately 89 naval officers and enlisted personnel assigned to the Shipyard.
PNS encompasses over 297 acres including the main base and a family housing site off base in Kittery, Maine. Many of the buildings located at the Shipyard are in an historic district and 50 buildings are listed on the National Register of Historic Places. PNS has three dry docks and is capable of docking all active classes of submarines including the LOS ANGELES and TRIDENT classes.


Established by the Federal Government in 1800, Portsmouth Naval Shipyard (PNS) launched its first product, the 74-gun warship USS WASHINGTON, in 1815. During World War I, the PNS workforce expanded to nearly 5,000. At this time, PNS took on a new and important role-the construction of submarines-in addition to the overhaul and repair of surface vessels. World War II saw the civilian employment rolls swell to over 25,000. Over the course of World War II over 70 submarines were constructed at PNS, with a record four submarines launched on one day. Following World War II, PNS was the Navy’s center for submarine design and development. The research submarine, USS ALBACORE, with its revolutionary “tear drop” shaped hull and round cross section, set the standard for all subsequent submarine hull design world-wide. PNS continued to build submarines until 1969, when the last submarine built in a public shipyard, the nuclear powered USS SAND LANCE, was launched. Today the Shipyard continues the tradition of excellence and service to the Navy and the nation by supplying the Submarine Fleet with high quality, affordable, overhaul, refueling and modernization work.

Arriving at Portsmouth 
Military members reporting to Portsmouth Naval Shipyard: must check-in at the Base Support Office, Building 86, 1st floor, 207-438-1112 during normal business hours. Military members reporting to Portsmouth Naval Shipyard after hours must call the Shipyard Duty Officer, 207-451-3405.

Base Population

Home to approximately 200 naval officers/enlisted personnel, and their family members. The Shipyard supports, on average, four submarine crews and their family members. Three Coast Guard Cutters are also home ported at PNS. PNS also provides services to a large retiree population. Portsmouth Naval Shipyard employees approximately 4500 civilians.