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Category: Naval Base Kitsap

May
14th

South Sound DOD employees still facing furloughs, but new plan calls for fewer unpaid days off

Thousands of Defense Department employees in Pierce and Thurston counties are still facing the likelihood of unpaid time off this summer, but not as much as the Pentagon initially proposed.

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel on Tuesday released a plan requiring about 680,000 civilian employees across the country to take 11 furlough days through the end of September.

The furloughs are scheduled to begin July 8 unless Congress allocates money to prevent the spending reduction, meaning workers will take off about one day a week for three months.

That’s down from an initial Pentagon furlough proposal that would have mandated 22

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Oct.
4th

Joint chiefs chairman talks transitions in visit to NW military bases

Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Gen. Martin Dempsey is wrapping a visit to Puget Sound military installations today with a trip to Joint Base Lewis-McChord.

Yesterday, Dempsey attended a town hall forum at Naval Base Kitsap where he took questions about the Pentagon’s direction as it draws down the war in Afghanistan and looks to new challenges. Read about it here in The Kitsap Sun.

“We’ve been focusing like a laser beam on Afghanistan and Iraq, one deployment after another,” he said. “What are we going to do with more time?”

By the Sun’s account, sailors had

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Aug.
22nd

Navy gets a green light to build $700 million project for Kitsap submarines

The Army Corps of Engineers today issued a permit for the Navy’s $700 million project to improve the explosives handling wharf at Naval Base Kitsap.

The Navy expects to begin construction next month, a spokeswoman said.

The Defense Department’s 2012 budget included $280 million to begin the work. It’s the biggest defense-related project in Washington State, and it’s intended to improve the wharf for the base’s eight Trident ballistic-missile submarines.

“I have determined, based on all the data and analysis available to the Corps, that the proposal is the least environmentally damaging practicable alternative available to the applicant and is

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Aug.
22nd

Defense Secretary Leon Panetta praises Stennis crew, expects ‘Bremerton is going to stay busy’

Defense Secretary Leon Panetta today thanked a Bremerton-based aircraft carrier that accelerated its deployment schedule to meet threats in Persian Gulf nations such as Syria and Iran.

“You’re the best I have,” he told the crew of the USS John C. Stennis.

His trip marked his first visit to the Puget Sound as defense secretary. Rep. Norm Dicks, D-Belfair, greeted him. Panetta called the retiring congressman a champion for the country’s defense.

The Stennis returned from its last deployment to the Persian Gulf in March and anticipated another mission at the end of this year. Panetta in July expedited the

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Aug.
21st

Defense Secretary visiting Naval Base Kitsap to see off 5,500 sailors

Defense Secretary Leon Panetta tomorrow plans to visit Naval Base Kitsap to meet with sailors deploying to the Persian Gulf four months earlier than they expected.

The strike group of the USS John C. Stennis returned from its most recent deployment in March and anticipated another mission to the Persian Gulf at the end of this year. The Pentagon in July accelerated that timeline to maintain an enhanced carrier presence there.

That decision meant 5,500 families in the Stennis group had a little less time at home with their families.

In July, Pentagon spokesman George Little said the

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May
31st

Bremerton-based Navy K-9 handler killed in Afghanistan

A Navy K-9 handler based in the Puget Sound was killed Wednesday in Afghanistan, the Pentagon announced today.

Petty Officer 2nd Class Sean Brazas, 26, was killed during a combat operation in the Panjwai District of Kandahar Province. He was assigned to the Naval Base Kitsap Security Detachment in Bremerton.

A high school friend told Brazas’ hometown TV news station in Greensboro, N.C. that the sailor had recently moved to Seattle and that he was a father. Brazas joined the Navy in 2006, Naval Base Kitsap spokesman Thomas Danaher said.

“My husband died serving his country,” his wife,

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Feb.
13th

Defense budget steers more money to Washington for military construction at JBLM, Kitsap

Spending on military construction in Washington State continues to rise in President Obama’s 2013 budget request despite talk of nationwide defense cuts.

The state would gain $581 million for work at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Naval Base Kitsap and Naval Station Whidbey Island, up from $519 million in Obama’s 2012 defense budget.

About half of the state’s military construction work in 2013 would take place at Lewis-McChord. The base south of Tacoma stands to receive $91 million for a long-awaited sewage plant upgrade, as well as $73 million for a new battalion complex.

The base’s growing Special Forces units

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Jan.
6th

Slight differences in how WA lawmakers see defense reductions playing out here

Yesterday Democratic Reps. Norm Dicks and Adam Smith told us the Puget Sound has a good chance of coming off relatively well under the new defense strategy President Obama disclosed yesterday, but I didn’t have time to explain the differences in their perspectives.

Both are defense heavyweights on Capitol Hill, with Smith from Tacoma serving as the ranking member on the House Armed Services Committee and Dicks from Belfair taking the role as ranking member on the House Subcommittee on Defense Appropriations.

Dicks feels the region’s Navy resources will remain a priority under Obama’s plan because

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