GAO: Billions More Needed to Maintain Navy Shipyards, Including Portsmouth

Dec 2, 2019

Portsmouth Naval Shipyard.
Credit Dan Tuohy / NHPR

A new government report says the Navy will need to spend billions more in the next 20 years to maintain its aging shipyards, including at Portsmouth.

The Navy made a plan in 2017 to spend $21 billion improving poor conditions at its shipyards over the next 20 years.

Now, the Government Accountability Office says that estimate was billions short - in areas like environmental remediation, infrastructure, utility upgrades, and historic preservation.

The shipyards at Portsmouth and Kittery, Norfolk in Virginia, Pearl Harbor in Hawaii, and Puget Sound in Washington State are tasked with maintaining the Navy’s nuclear fleet. Portsmouth, for example, focuses on nuclear submarines.

The GAO says Portsmouth’s equipment is more than three years past its service life on average. In Virginia, that figure is more than 15 years.

The Navy has concurred with the GAO’s recommendations and will work to address them.