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Any major construction in the rural woodlands of the Pacific Northwest is an ecological challenge. Naval Submarine Base Bangor—located on the Kitsap Peninsula between Hood Canal and Puget Sound—meets that challenge. One of the largest naval bases in the country has been constructed without disturbing the natural wilderness of Washington state. Indeed, Bangor’s mild climate, deep-water accessibility, and isolation from heavily populated areas are advantages in favor of the site, which occupies 7,676 acres on the east bank of the Hood Canal and an additional 678-acre buffer strip on the Toandos Peninsula on the other side of the canal.
As the future home of the United States’ most modern strategic deterrent system—Trident—the Bangor site includes the Trident Training Facility, Strategic Weapons Facility Pacific, Marine Barracks Bangor, and Explosive Ordnance Disposal Group One Detachment Bangor, as well as several compo-
between cruises, the Trident crews will serve at the Trident Training Facility (TriTraFac), which supplies initial submarine training, advanced, functional, and refresher training for both officers and enlisted personnel. Simulated on-board conditions will be employed for most of the training, with the final objective being to produce highly skilled crews with the ability to operate each Trident—and keep her invulnerable—for a period of 70 days. TriTraFac, the largest building on the base, is constructed of oxidized steel, the same material used in bridges. Covered with solar reflective glass and formed concrete, it forms a virtually maintenance-free exterior.
The Trident Refit Facility (TriRefFac), which con- fists of refit berths, drydocks, support shops for Submarine repair work, and extensive resupply facilities, will be the site of intermediate level maintenance and replenishment of the subs. Delta Refit Tier will house a supply of operable replacement Parts, ready to be installed in the submarines, hereby enabling them to return to the sea while their original equipment is repaired or replaced.
Strategic Weapons Facility Pacific (SWFPac) is designed to provide Fleet Ballistic Missile/Trident Strategic Weapons Program support for both the Solaris A3 and Trident weapon systems. Facilities in this area include a missile handling pier, magazines f°r stowage, and production and assembly facilities.
The Trident submarines will be equipped with interior modular components which may need to be tepaired, renewed, or replaced, and three 6-foot diameter hatches through which these components may be reached. To service the components, along with °ther elements of the ship, such as her 40-foot periScope, an enormous facility is needed. For this, the ^•9-acre Refit Industrial Facility was built.
Living conditions for the 4,800 military personnel ar Bangor will be modern and comfortable. Virtually every aspect of life will be available on base: housing,
recreation, education, medical and dental care, chapel facilities, food service, shopping, a bank, and a credit union. Right now, base housing is about 80% completed. Senior enlisted personnel and officers are encouraged to live in the community, because on-base housing was designed for junior enlisted and junior officers. Eventually, the families of personnel assigned to Bangor will be housed there permanently. The decision to allow Trident crew members to remain with their homes and families has a practical basis: in addition to minimizing travel expenses, this allows the men to live in an atmosphere of family stability—an important factor in the retention rate for this all-volunteer force.
Bachelor officer quarters, bachelor enlisted quarters, and family housing will all be available when the base is completed. The recreation complex will feature athletic facilities, bowling alleys, an indoor swimming pool, hobby shops, and a motion picture theater. In addition, opportunities for hunting, fishing, boating, snow and water skiing, camping, hiking, and picnicking abound in the Pacific Northwest. The rustic atmosphere of the area appeals to many stationed there; it is not uncommon to see deer roaming freely over parts of the base or ducks swimming leisurely in the ponds.
The Tridents’ home, then, is as modern as the Trident system itself. The submarines, which are designed to display strength and survivability in the face of future threats, will be quieter and better equipped than any of their predecessors. With the construction of a single concentrated base for the Trident fleet, these new ships won’t have to rely on overseas bases or submarine tenders. For the base personnel, the consolidation of all work in one area means that sea and shore billets may be rotated without leaving established homes in the Bangor area. A home for Trident, a home for its people: Bangor will provide both.
The Proceedings appreciates the significant assistance provided by Lieutenant C. Camila Estrada, USN, public affairs officer of the Naval Submarine Base Bangor.
Mr. Davis began his photographic career in the U. S. Coast Guard while serving on board the USS General William Mitchell (AP-114) in World War II. He obtained his photographic degree from City College of San Francisco in 1949. During the Korean War, he was assigned to Navy photo intelligence at Pearl Harbor. From 1969 to 1972, he was senior photographer for Lockheed Shipbuilding and Construction Co. in Seattle. He is now teaching classes in photography and is a free-lance photographer, working in the maritime trade in the Pacific Northwest. Mr. Davis lives in Des Moines, Washington.
‘Oceedings / March 1979
Proceedings / March 10^®
COURTESY NAVAL SUBMARINE BASE
Ahove " the Trident Training Facility, and below is the facility’s entrance area