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VCNO Visits Portsmouth Naval Shipyard

22 February 2024

Vice Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Jim Kilby traveled to Portsmouth Naval Shipyard in Kittery, Maine, to meet with Naval leadership and Sailors, Feb. 21.

PORTSMOUTH NAVAL SHIPYARD, Maine – Vice Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Jim Kilby traveled to Portsmouth Naval Shipyard in Kittery, Maine, to meet with Naval leadership and Sailors, Feb. 21.

PNS is an essential element of our nation’s national defense, providing maintenance for the Navy’s fast-attack submarine maintenance, repair and modernization.

Kilby met with PNS leadership to discuss the ongoing work in the shipyard and the investments in Shipyard Infrastructure Optimization Program.

“The investments we’re making in our public shipyards will support our Navy and our nation for generations at a critical time in this decisive decade,” said Kilby. “Installations like PNS are as much a warfighting platform as aircraft carriers and submarines. We must continue to ensure our shipyards are able to maintain and modernize our fleet, and for this shipyard, our undersea capabilities.”

SIOP is a holistic, once-in-a-century effort to completely update and modernize the Navy’s four public shipyards. Upgrading and building new dry docks is critical to ensure the Naval Shipyards are able to maintain and modernize the newest submarines and aircraft carriers. This includes PNS’s work on constructing and recapitalizing its dry docks to support new requirements of the Virginia-class and future classes of submarines.

PNS completed an addition to Dry Dock #1 in 2022, called the Super Flood Basin. This allows submarines to enter and exit without the help of tides or buoyancy assist tanks. USS Cheyenne (SSN 773) was the first submarine to enter the basin in 2022 for its Engineering Refueling Overhaul.

Kilby also toured shops on the shipyard and met with leadership aboard Cheyenne to talk about the Sailor’s Quality of Service and maintenance availability challenges and accomplishments. Cheyenne is the first Los Angeles-class submarine to undergo a service life extension.

“While our submarines are a critical platform for our Navy and the defense of our nation, we can’t do our undersea mission without our Sailors,” said Kilby. “We know a shipyard period is challenging and the Navy is taking a hard look at how to improve our warfighters’ Quality of Service. In order to build strong warfighting teams, we must take care of our people first.”

In addition to Cheyenne leadership, Kilby met with submarine leadership from USS North Dakota (SSN 784), USS Texas (SSN 775) and USS Greeneville (SSN 772) undergoing maintenance at PNS. The fast-attack submarines are undergoing maintenance in the shipyard from an Engineering Refueling Overhaul to a Depot Modernization Period.

“These submarines and Sailors are an indispensable element of America’s Warfighting Navy,” said Kilby. “The work we do in our shipyards maintaining and modernizing our fleet is just as important as what our forward-deployed crews are doing. I am incredibly proud of the work our Sailors and civilians are accomplishing here and I look forward to getting these boats delivered back to the fleet.”

For more information about the Shipyard Infrastructure Optimization Program, visit

For more information about Portsmouth Naval Shipyard, visit


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