Portsmouth Shipyard is a United States Navy installation located on the border of New Hampshire and Maine in the northeastern United States. The shipyard technically falls in Kittery, Maine on Seavey’s Island. The 54 acre facility is a mere two miles from the New Hampshire city of Portsmouth. The location of the base has often led to its confusion with another shipyard located within the actual boundaries of Portsmouth.
The Portsmouth Naval Shipyard has a fairly straightforward mission. The facility is tasked with repairing and maintaining much of the US Navy’s fleet of Los Angeles Class Nuclear Submarines on the east coast. Due its location, the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard deals almost exclusively with Navy vessels from the Atlantic fleet. The shipyard keeps on staff experts in all types of structural, internal and engine repair in order to service any and all parts of the ships needing their service. In addition to the regular maintenance and repair operations, the shipyard is equally adept at upgrading and updating ships. Navy ships in need of structural and technological upgrades can receive all services at the Portsmouth Shipyard.
The Portsmouth Naval Shipyard was established in 1800 by the Federal Government to deal with aging fleets of merchant and government ships and was in full operation by 1815. Throughout the years the shipyard took on additional roles, including housing prisoners of war during the Spanish American War. During World War I and II the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard was in constant activity, repairing battle damaged vessels and building new additions to the fleet. It was during World War II that the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard gained a reputation as the premier facility for the construction and repair of submarines, a tradition it continues with today.
Today, the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard deals primarily with the maintenance, repair and upgrading of Los Angeles Class Attack Nuclear Submarines. In 2008, the base was recognized as Star Site by the OSHA Voluntary Protection Program.
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.