EVERETT—Rep. Rick Larsen, WA-02, today announced that the Navy will boost its presence at Naval Station Everett, replacing each of the three frigates with new or modified destroyers over the next seven years. Larsen will join Everett Mayor Ray Stephanson to make further comments on the announcement on a press conference call today at 2:30 p.m. PST (details below).
“The decision to homeport three more destroyers here secures the future of Naval Station Everett,” Larsen said. “Today’s announcement is a validation of the community’s long and steadfast support for Naval Station Everett. I have spent years convincing the Navy that Everett is ready, willing and able to support more and larger ships. Not only is Everett a strategically important location, but its facilities are among the best the Navy has to offer.”
Larsen, who was informed of the decision by Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus last week, has long pushed to homeport more destroyers at Naval Station Everett. The change will mean Naval Station Everett will be homeport to five destroyers in addition to an aircraft carrier, resulting in a 7 percent increase in personnel from 3,956 to 4,235.
“Bringing the destroyers to Everett shows the Navy is committed to the base and recognizes its importance in our Asia-Pacific security strategy,” Larsen added. “While many military communities are worried about impending cuts to the Defense Department budget, the decision to bring the destroyers to Everett should relieve our community of any fears of losing this cornerstone of our community.”
“The ships will also bring hundreds of new sailors and their families to Snohomish County, boosting our economy,” Larsen said. “This means hundreds of new customers for our businesses and residents in our neighborhoods. I look forward to joining the community in welcoming the crews and families over the next few years.”
Larsen and Stephanson will comment further on the announcement in a press conference call at 2:30 p.m. PST today. To participate, dial 1-866-640-0417 and enter the passcode 7214551.
The Navy will homeport the destroyers to replace the frigates USS Ford (FFG 54), USS Rodney M. Davis (FFG 60), and USS Ingraham (FFG 61) as they are decommissioned in 2014, 2016 and 2019 respectively. The destroyers will be a mix of new and modified ballistic missile defense-capable ships.
Larsen has a long record of calling for more destroyers at Naval Station Everett. Since 2005 he has regularly written and spoken to top Naval officers about placing destroyers at Everett. In a July 2005 letter to then Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Michael Mullen, Larsen wrote, “Of all the bases overlooking the Pacific, Naval Station Everett is the Navy installation with the pier capacity most able to accommodate new assets such as destroyers. Additionally, Naval Station Everett and the Pacific Northwest provide our sailors with the highest quality of life in the country.”