In early June, a cross-functional team from the NNSA Kansas City Field Office (KCFO) visited Naval Base Kitsap (NBK) as part of an ongoing KCFO effort to help employees from all disciplines expand mission awareness by visiting Naval and Air Force installations.
“It’s important for us to take a moment once in a while to remember why we do what we do every day; and there’s no better way to do that than to visit with those who serve on the front line,” said KCFO Field Office Manager Jeff Shoulta.
NBK is the Navy’s third largest fleet concentration area in the United States. Spanning more than 12,000 acres across the Kitsap Peninsula in the Seattle, Washington area, the base supports a diverse range of strategic missions, including all types of submarines, Nimitz-class aircraft carriers, Puget Sound Naval Shipyard and Intermediate Maintenance Facility, and a large fuel depot. NBK is also the home of several Research, Development, Testing & Evaluation commands that ensure the Navy’s technological advantage.
During the visit, KCFO staff received overview briefings, toured base operations, and met the men and women who proudly serve the nuclear security mission. When asked for their favorite tour stop, the answer was all the same – touring the USS Nevada submarine.
“It’s impressive to see the dedication and rigor to daily tasks. The attention the men and women take to their jobs to ensure the deterrent is safe and ready is impressive,” said KCFO Program Engineer John Minihan. “It reminds me of how important it is to do my daily tasks with the same dedication and rigor.”
Randy Butler, KCFO Site Counsel gained a clearer understanding of KCFO’s contribution to the Navy’s nuclear weapons forces. “It was both encouraging and inspiring to hear each Sailor describe the importance of their part ensuring the submarine be in the right place, at the appointed time, in order to execute the President’s order,” he explained. “And implicit in what they said, the Sailors are counting on us to do our job, so they can do theirs.”
“It did not take long for me to realize that lives really are dependent on our production success at the Kansas City National Security Campus,” added KCFO Contracting Officer Travida Byas.
As an Army veteran, KCFO Assistant Manager Kingsley Edwards personally related to the passion demonstrated by the servicemen and women. “This trip was a great reminder that products we help create are relied upon by our nation’s defenders,” he said.
“For those of us that do not work directly with the weapons, we must remind ourselves that the support that we provide, whether it is taking care of infrastructure needs or safeguarding our personnel and property, plays a role in the delivery of a safe, secure, and reliable weapon to our warfighters,” Edwards added.
The team also learned some interesting factoids along the way. For example, all the fresh fruit and vegetables brought on board the submarine for a deployment are consumed in the first 4 days underway. Also, the crews do not have to do “on the boat” training, they are fully proficient when they step onto their submarine due to their extensive training and simulation capabilities.