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Portsmouth Naval Shipyard

U.S. Navy

The Navy has begun releasing documents from the investigation into the deadliest submarine disaster in U.S. history.

A judge ordered the release of the documents pertaining to the sinking of the USS Thresher 57 years ago, and the first batch was made public Wednesday.

Maine is investigating a possible COVID-19 outbreak at the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard.
Dan Tuohy / NHPR

A commuter van that transported workers in Maine to the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard in Kittery may be the source of a new COVID-19 outbreak, the Maine Centers for Disease Control announced Thursday.

Officials say they’re investigating 18 cases total at the facility, with 13 among Maine residents and the rest from New Hampshire and Massachusetts.

Portsmouth Athenaeum / via Portsmouth Peace Treaty Forum

Portsmouth marks the 115th anniversary Saturday of its hosting of peace talks that ended the Russo-Japanese War.

The 1905 armistice earned President Theodore Roosevelt a Nobel Peace Prize for ending the conflict between the Russian and Japanese Empires.  

The delegations involved in the peace talks stayed at the Hotel Wentworth in New Castle, and met for about a month at the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard before reaching an agreement. 

Jim Cleveland / US Navy

The Portsmouth Naval Shipyard will help the Army manufacture thousands of COVID-19 diagnostic test swabs.

The facility in Kittery, Maine will 3D print up to 10,000 swabs a day using surgical grade resin.

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The long, bristled swabs are inserted into a person’s nose to get a sample that can determine if they have COVID-19. There have been widespread shortages of these swabs during the pandemic. 

F-16s Virginia with KC-135R New Hampshire via Wikimedia Commons

As relations between the United States and Iran remain tense, New Hampshire's military personnel and veterans are also considering the implications for the two nations.

New Hampshire veteran Kevin Grady spent 25 years in the Air Force. He says nobody dislikes going to war more than those in uniform.

"Because we're the ones who have to go out and do the actual fighting" Grady says. "So we always are big fans of somebody figuring out a way that the shooting doesn't start, and we get by our differences and move on. We're big fans of that."

Dan Tuohy / NHPR

A new study points to a range of options for easing traffic and improving economic development around the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard.

The land use study was spearheaded by the town of Kittery, Maine. It's designed to help local officials plan improvements and seek federal funding.

Larry Dennis is president of the engineers' union at the shipyard, where nearly 7,000 people work.

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.


A New Hampshire company has won a nearly $60 million contract to build a new facility at the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard in Kittery, Maine.

Maine Sen. Susan Collins announced Friday that the contract was awarded to Methuen Construction Company  of Plaistow to build a paint, blast, and rubber consolidation facility at the shipyard.

Her office says the project will consolidate and renovate some existing facilities.

The new facility will be comprised of industrial shop areas and offices, break rooms, locker rooms, training and support spaces.

Todd Bookman/NHPR

The country’s oldest continuously operated shipyard has a new commander. 

On Friday, Captain Daniel Ettlich took control of the 219-year old Portsmouth Naval Shipyard during a tradition-filled ceremony. Ettlich succeeds Captain David Hunt, who oversaw 11 major operations during his three years at the shipyard.

“It has been a wicked awesome tour,” said Hunt to an audience of military personnel and civilian employees. 

UNH Partners with Portsmouth Naval Shipyard

Aug 5, 2019
Dan Tuohy / NHPR

The University of New Hampshire has announced that it is officially partnering with the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard.

The partnership will make it easier for UNH students and faculty to engage in educational opportunities and conduct research with the Shipyard.


Kevin Gardner, UNH's vice provost for research, says it will especially benefit students in STEM fields, who will have greater access to paid internship and on-site learning opportunities.


Dan Tuohy / NHPR

A former contractor says he was the target of racism and discrimination at the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard.

The federal suit was filed in U.S. District Court of Maine by pipefitter Brandon Overton, who is black.

His complaint names Secretary of the Navy Richard Spencer, as well as two Virginia firms that employed Overton on a contract at the Portsmouth Shipyard from 2016 to 2017.

During that time, Overton says shipyard employees and other contractors treated him and other black workers differently than their white counterparts.

Dan Tuohy / NHPR

The USS California has arrived for scheduled maintenance at Portsmouth Naval Shipyard.

The Virginia-class attack submarine traveled up the Piscataqua River to the shipyard on Sunday. It'll undergo system upgrades and maintenance in coming months.

The nuclear-powered submarine, which is homeported in Groton, Connecticut, traveled 42,000 nautical miles on its last tour that wrapped up in the fall.

The submarine has crew of 15 officers and 115 enlisted personnel. It's the seventh Navy ship — and the first submarine — to be named for the Golden State.


Annie Ropeik / NHPR

Federal lawmakers say they've been assured that funding won't be taken from Portsmouth Naval Shipyard to pay for President Donald Trump's proposed Southern border wall.

The Congressional delegations of New Hampshire and Maine toured the shipyard Friday with Secretary of the Navy Richard Spencer, touting its successes and its impact on the local economy.

Maine Democratic Rep. Chellie Pingree says Spencer’s visit reaffirms the shipyard's importance.

Dan Tuohy / NHPR

U.S. Senators from Maine and New Hampshire say they are encouraged by a new Defense Department memo that appears to maintain funding for projects at the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard.

Members of the congressional delegation have been working to prevent the construction projects from being cut to fund President Donald Trump's wall at the southern border.

Emily Corwin for NHPR

Democrats are calling on Governor Chris Sununu to join a multi-state lawsuit challenging President Trump's plans to fund a border wall.

Five state senators wrote to Sununu about the issue Monday, saying the president’s plan could jeopardize $223 million in projects at the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard.

Sununu has said it's unfortunate that planned upgrades at the shipyard may be up for grabs as the federal government looks for money to put toward the president's wall proposal.

Federal lawmakers want Portsmouth Naval Shipyard spared from budget cuts tied to plans for a wall at the southern border.

President Trump hopes to use his recent emergency declaration to reallocate potentially billions of dollars from military projects and other funding areas.

In a recent fact sheet, the Department of Defense says it won't consider tapping into any projects slated for funding before September.

NHPR Photo


The Defense Department's list of projects that could be cut to fund President Donald Trump's border wall includes more than $200 million at Portsmouth Naval Shipyard.

Projects that could be slashed include $110 million for dry dock improvements, $62 million for a consolidated paint, blast and rubber facility; and $40 million for an extended crane rail.

Robert Garrova

Trade workers at the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard said they’re worried President Trump’s plan to divert money for military construction to help pay for the border wall could affect work underway there.  


More than 6,000 workers at the shipyard repair the Navy's growing fleet, with a focus on Los Angeles-class submarines.


Courtesy of Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA)

The Portsmouth Naval Shipyard is getting a new commander this year.

Captain Daniel Ettlich is taking over from Captain David Hunt, who has been there since 2016.

Captain Ettlich will oversee more than 6,000 employees at the shipyard, which repairs and maintains navy submarines.

Ettlich is currently serving as the Military Deputy for Shipyard Operations, NAVSEA, in Washington, D.C.

He's also served in Oregon, California, and Iraq.

USS Virginia - U.S. Navy

The USS Virginia is back at Portsmouth Naval Shipyard for maintenance and upgrades.

The nuclear-powered attack submarine with a crew of 132 officers and sailors arrived Wednesday.

Capt. David Hunt, the shipyard commander, said workers aim to return the submarine to the fleet "with Portsmouth quality." The submarine also underwent maintenance at the shipyard in 2012.



Measures helping the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard are included in the defense policy bill that President Donald Trump signed into law.

Democratic New Hampshire Sen. Jeanne Shaheen says the law repeals a policy that targeted shipyard workers.

It had reduced the per diem rate for civilian workers for each day while they were away from their families to provide maintenance to ships and submarines.

The law also addresses shallow water levels at the shipyard and the impediment to the docking and undocking of submarines by creating a flood basin.

Via Wikimedia Commons

A Plaistow-based construction company has won a $13-million contract for work at the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard.

Methuen Construction is the winner of a competitive bidding process to upgrade and repair pumping facilities at the Shipyard. The federal contract was announced by the U.S. Navy and hailed by Senators Jeanne Shaheen and Maggie Hassan as a win for Granite State business.

NHPR File Photo


The Portsmouth Naval Shipyard is conducting a routine training event Tuesday.


During the training exercise, gates to the Shipyard will be closed for a short duration, which could impact traffic. The gate closures will be around mid-morning - not during peak commuting times.


The regularly scheduled training is meant to better prepare Shipyard staff in case of emergency. 

Coordination has taken place with local law enforcement and first responders, the Navy says.

The shipyard conducted a similar security drill in January.

The Portsmouth Naval Shipyard is hosting a job fair next week.

The shipyard is hoping the fair will help them fill about 160 open positions.

The positions range from chemists and electricians to painters and pipefitters.

In a statement, shipyard commander Captain Dave Hunt says their workload is increasing and they need the extra help to keep up.

The Portsmouth Naval Shipyard repairs and refits nuclear-powered submarines.

The facility already employs more than 5,500 civilian employees. The fair will run Nov. 14 from noon to 8 p.m. in Eliot, Maine.

A new report says the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard is in poor condition and unable to keep up with the demands of the Navy.

The report comes from the legislative watchdog agency, the Government Accountability Office. It paints a bleak picture of the nation’s four public naval shipyards, including the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard.

It says the aging facilities together have racked up deferred maintenance costs of almost 5 billion dollars.

Emily Corwin / NHPR

  New Hampshire Sens. Jeanne Shaheen and Maggie Hassan say the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard and all Navy public shipyards will be exempt from Republican President Donald Trump's federal hiring freeze.

The Department of Defense clarification comes in response to calls from the senators, both Democrats, to establish this exemption after Shaheen's office learned that several new hires at the Kittery, Maine-based shipyard received letters indefinitely postponing their start date.

Via Wikimedia Commons

U.S. senators from Maine say Cianbro Corp. of Pittsfield has been awarded a nearly $29 million contract from the U.S. Navy to do structural repair work at Portsmouth Naval Shipyard.

Sens. Susan Collins and Angus King made the announcement on Monday. The senators say the contract will support repairs and modernization of structures at a berth at the Kittery shipyard.

Jeff L / Flicker Creative Commons

The Navy is planning 33 million dollars in repairs and construction at the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard.

$25.7 million dollars will go toward repairs to components of one of the shipyard’s dry docks that are nearing the end of their service life.

The remaining 7.2 million dollars will go to the construction of a flood basin for another dry dock that will allow submarines to dock regardless of tidal activity.

Emily Corwin / NHPR


The Senate Appropriations Committee has approved nearly $75 million in funding for Portsmouth Naval Shipyard.

The proposal includes $17.8 million for new housing for single sailors and married couples without children; $27 million for a new dental and medical clinic; and $30.1 million for utility improvements for nuclear platforms.

Brady Carlson / NHPR

Ohio Governor John Kasich says his recent comments about the federal Base Realignment and Closure process weren't meant as a criticism of workers at the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard.