NASSCO’s Navy repair business also continues to grow.
“As the U.S. Navy continues its rebalance or pivot to
the Pacific, NASSCO and the working maritime industry partners here in San Diego are critical to the region’s
success,” said Kevin Graney, vice president and general
manager of General Dynamics NASSCO.
Investing in the Future
Bob Koerber, general manager of BAE Systems Ship Repair
in San Diego, said his company is making a $100 million
investment to upgrade the facility to handle more ships.
“We’ve just dedicated a new modern pier [on March
27] where we can berth two more ships. It enables us
to do more work in the port, which is, obviously, a con-
cern with the Navy, because they’re sending more ships
out to San Diego.”
The other big investment is a new dry dock to join
the “Pride of San Diego,” the yard’s current dry dock.
“Our current dry dock has a 26,000-ton lift capacity.
The new one we’re getting is 55,000 ton — that’s twice
the lift capacity,” Koerber said.
The new 950-foot long dry dock will be able to dock
two guided-missile destroyers at the same time. It is
expected to be operational in 2017.
“We have approximately 2,000 full-time BAE
Systems employees, plus another 4,000 subcontractors
and vendors coming through those gates every day to
work on these ships,” Koerber said. “We plan to add
more workers over the next several years.”
Some developers have proposed replacing the indus-
try along the waterfront with condos and apartments that
can take full advantage of the spectacular waterfront
view. But such a rezoning could have a far-reaching and
detrimental effect for the Navy and the community.
“That buffer zone around us is where a lot of those
businesses that support us reside,” Koerber said. “They
might be an injector/ejector shop, a rigging shop, a gauge
calibration shop or a propeller repair facility. They’re all in
that buffer zone. So if that area is rezoned, then those people have to move further out — if they are able to move at
all, or they may be forced out of business. We need to keep
that intact because that is the industry that supports this
15 WWW.SEAPOWERMAGAZINE.ORG SEAPOWER / MAY 2015
The second Mobile Landing Platform (MLP) USNS John Glenn departs the dock at General Dynamics NASSCO facilities
in San Diego for Builder’s Trials Jan. 9, 2014. The company is building a third MLP, Lewis B. Puller, for Military Sealift
Command designed to function as an Afloat Forward Staging Base.