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Navy says USS Nimitz to be based in Everett
Islanders fond of watching Navy vessels cruise past Whidbey Island on the way to Naval Station Everett will get the chance to see a new ship in the coming year.
The aircraft carrier USS Nimitz will be homeported at the Navy base in Everett after it finishes maintenance work in Bremerton, Navy officials announced today.
The announcement is good news for local officials, who have been worried about the economic impact of the loss of the carrier USS Abraham Lincoln once that ship is sent to a new homeport after its next major overhaul.
“Bringing the USS Nimitz to Naval Station Everett is great news for our community and the right move for our national security," said Congressman Rick Larsen.
"The Navy constructed a base in Everett to support a nuclear-powered aircraft carrier because it is a deepwater port that never needs to be dredged with unimpeded access to the Pacific," said Larsen, a 2nd District Democrat who has fought to keep Naval Station Everett and Naval Air Station Whidbey Island off base-closure lists. "Having a carrier at Everett is vital to the local economy, supporting hundreds of good jobs in the ship repair industry and thousands of jobs in the community."
“Local officials and leaders in the business community have worked together to support sailors and their families stationed in Everett. The over 4,000 sailors on the Nimitz will enjoy an outstanding quality of life in Everett while serving at the most modern base in the Navy," Larsen added.
The Nimitz left Naval Air Station North Island in California earlier this week for Bremerton and arrived today. It will undergo maintenance at Puget Sound Naval Shipyard and Intermediate Maintenance Facility in Bremerton for one year.
The Lincoln, a 21-year-old nuclear-powered carrier, is one of 10 Nimitz-class carriers in the Navy's arsenal. It joined the fleet in 1989, 14 years after the Nimitz, the namesake of the class that comprises the largest warships in the world.
The Lincoln is expected to undergo a three-year effort on the East Coast to refuel its nuclear reactors in 2013. The Nimitz was homeported in San Diego before its move this week to Bremerton.