Huntington Ingalls Industries (HII) announced today that its Newport News Shipbuilding division has opened a new facility that provides workspace for the crews of Virginia-class submarine (VCS) pre-commissioning units (PCUs) while their submarines are under construction.
The facility is collocated with Newport News’ submarine final outfitting and assembly facilities, thereby increasing the crews’ ability to access and train with the ship systems during the final stages of construction.
To provide convenient offices and training space, the building’s second floor provides separate sections for the three PCU crews that are on-site in an overlapping manner as a result of the two-per-year VCS construction pace.
In addition to office space, each section includes hospital corpsmen’s offices, classrooms, galleys and bunk rooms for male and female sailors. The first floor of the building houses office space and a calibration lab for Newport News and AMSEC employees from a number of departments, including facilities maintenance and dimension control.
“As we have ramped up the Virginia-class submarine program to a rate of two boats a year,” said Ken Mahler, Newport News’ vice president of Navy programs, “we recognized that we needed a state-of-the-art building capable of supporting submarine crews at this increased pace. This new facility is a great addition to the shipyard and to the submarine program. It provides for a very efficient work environment, and we’re confident it will continue to enhance our great teamwork with our teammate, the Navy crews of the Virginia-class program.”
Members of the crew from pre-commissioning unit Indiana (SSN 789) currently work in one of the PCU spaces.
“This facility is amazing and certainly needed and well-deserved,” said Vice Adm. Joseph Tofalo, commander of Submarine Forces, Submarine Forces Atlantic and Allied Submarine Command, who toured the facility. “It’s the manifestation of two-per-year, which is so important for this country. You come to this shipyard, it literally is where America’s maritime power comes to life.”