Portsmouth Naval Shipyard (PNS) is one of four remaining naval shipyards in the nation. Centrally located about 50 miles from Boston, Massachusetts, Portland, Maine and Manchester, New Hampshire, at the southernmost tip of Maine, the Shipyard fully encompasses Seavey Island that sits at the mouth of the Piscataqua River. This federally-owned island is across the harbor from Portsmouth, New Hampshire, with access to the mainland by two bridges that connect to Kittery, Maine. The cost of living along the NH seacoast and in southern Maine is higher in comparison to inland towns. Many people choose to live slightly farther inland from PNS and commute. The military does receive a fair housing allowance and federal civilian employees are compensated with a Cost of Living Allowance (COLA). The Base Operator can be contacted at 207-438-1000.
Established by the Federal Government in 1800, Portsmouth Naval Shipyard (PNS) launched its first product, the 74-gun warship USS WASHINGTON, in 1815. During World War I, the PNS workforce expanded to nearly 5,000. At this time, PNS took on a new and important role-the construction of submarines-in addition to the overhaul and repair of surface vessels. World War II saw the civilian employment rolls swell to over 25,000. Over the course of World War II over 70 submarines were constructed at PNS, with a record four submarines launched on one day. Following World War II, PNS was the Navy's center for submarine design and development. The research submarine, USS ALBACORE, with its revolutionary "tear drop" shaped hull and round cross section, set the standard for all subsequent submarine hull design world-wide. PNS continued to build submarines until 1969, when the last submarine built in a public shipyard, the nuclear powered USS SAND LANCE, was launched. Today the Shipyard continues the tradition of excellence and service to the Navy and the nation by supplying the Submarine Fleet with high quality, affordable, overhaul, refueling and modernization work. Portsmouth Naval Shipyard's homepage contains additional information.
Portsmouth Naval Shipyard employs approximately 3,900 civilian employees. PNS has an active apprentice and engineer recruitment program. In addition to the civilian workforce, there are approximately 89 naval officers and enlisted personnel assigned to the Shipyard.
PNS encompasses over 297 acres including the main base and a family housing site off base in Kittery, Maine. Many of the buildings located at the Shipyard are in an historic district and 50 buildings are listed on the National Register of Historic Places. PNS has three dry docks and is capable of docking all active classes of submarines including the LOS ANGELES and TRIDENT classes.
PNS has converted two of its four Power Plant boilers to natural gas, part of an award winning comprehensive energy management program. This project invested millions of dollars to implement a major power plant and utility distribution recapitalization effort utilizing an Army Corps of Engineers Regional Energy Savings Performance Contract.
Portsmouth Naval Shipyard is home to approximately 200 naval officers/enlisted personnel, and their family members. The Shipyard supports, on average, four submarine crews and their family members. Three Coast Guard Cutters are also home ported at PNS. PNS also provides services to a large retiree population. Portsmouth Naval Shipyard employees approximately 4500 civilians.
The shipyard is located on a very small island and parking is a problem. A bus runs from the outer parking areas to main work areas during heavy commute times. There is no organized transportation from the outside military housing area (1-2 miles) into the shipyard.
Logan International Airport Boston, Massachusetts
This airport is located just outside of downtown Boston and is the preferred airport for arrivals. Logan Int. Airport offers direct ground transportation to Portsmouth, NH through C & J Trailways. The cost is $18.00 per ticket one way. To get bus schedules you can call 603-430-1100 or visit their website.
After arriving at the Portsmouth, NH bus terminal take a taxi to the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard. The cost is approximately $20.00.
Driving Directions from Boston, Massachusetts
Follow signs for Route 95 North (Maine/New Hampshire). Take Route 95 North through the Hampton, NH tollbooth ($1.00 toll) and continue on Route 95 to Maine. On Route 95 North you will pass over the Piscataqua River Bridge into Maine. (This is a very large high-rise bridge). You will see the Shipyard to your right as you reach the top of the bridge - large cranes in the
distance. Take Exit 2 - Route 236.
Once on Route 236, move to the left lane. Pass under the overpass and enter into the Kittery Traffic Circle. Go a quarter of the way around the circle and exit on the right, after the 7-Eleven store (before Dairy Queen). Follow this road until you come to an intersection with a set of lights (approximately one mile). (TD Bank North is on your left.) Take a left at this intersection.
Pass straight through the next set of lights (approximately ½ mile). Straight through this set of lights is Gate 1 of Portsmouth Naval Shipyard.
Directions from Portland, Maine
Take Route 95 South all the way through the York, Maine tolls and continue until you reach the exit for Route 236 Kittery, Maine. (This will be the second exit after the tolls). Stay right on the exit.
Once on Route 236 South, move immediately into the left lane. You will be entering the Kittery Traffic Circle. Exit from the circle just after the 7-Eleven store and just before Dairy Queen. Follow this road for approximately one-mile to the traffic light at TD Banknorth. Take a left at this light and follow approximately a half-mile to the next traffic light.
Immediately through this light is Gate 1 of Portsmouth Naval Shipyard.
Each command coordinates their own Sponsor Program and assigns sponsors trained by the FFSC. Reporting military members please contact the Command Master Chief, 207-438-4100.
Contact Central Files, 207-438-2377, to establish a General Delivery mailing address. Be sure to give them a good estimated arrival date. Once authorized, you can forward your mail to them and they will hold it until your arrival.
Limited lodging is available on base. Rooms are routinely occupied by sub mariners; however, when available, other active duty military personnel have priority. Advanced reservations can be made 120 days prior to arrival. Pets are not allowed however, the Billeting Office maintains a list of local kennels. Contact the Billeting Office at 207-438-1513 to check on reservations. Lodging facilities are available in the local area. You can contact the FFSC 207-438-1835 for recommendations.
Detailed planning before any move is essential. Before and after you move, there is help available from the FFSC for assistance. The FFSC can be a valuable resource to you in providing household effects until your shipment arrives, relocation assistance, information about base and community activities, employment information for family members, deployment support, and any other help you may need prior to, or after your arrival. Please contact the FFSC, 207-438-1835, for Loan Closet information and Newcomers Briefing times and locations.
Critical Installation Information
Information on pets is important when moving to Portsmouth Naval Shipyard:
The Portsmouth Naval Shipyard is physically located in Kittery, Maine specifically on Seavey Island. However; the mailing address used for the Shipyard is Portsmouth, NH 03804. The Shipyard uses building numbers vs. street addresses for mail delivery which makes it difficult to accurately map all locations.
Check In -- Military members reporting to Portsmouth Naval Shipyard: must check-in at the Base Support Office, Building 86, 1st floor, 207-438-1112 during normal business hours. Military members reporting to Portsmouth Naval Shipyard after hours must call the Shipyard Duty Officer, 207-451-3405.
New Parent Support Program -- The New Parent Support Program is located at the FFSC, Building 241,207-438-1441. Assistance is available from our local Navy Marine Corp Relief Society (207-438-1832) volunteers.
Defense Service Network (DSN) Dialing Instructions
The DSN is the provider of long-distance communications service for the Department of Defense (DoD). Every installation has a special DSN number and the numbers vary by world-wide location. In order to place a call using DSN, the caller must be using a military phone on an installation. Cell phones cannot dial DSN numbers. When dialing a DSN number from a United States installation to another United States installation, it is unnecessary to dial the DSN 312 area code. When dialing a DSN number to/from overseas locations, the DSN area code must be included. The operator can be reached at commercial (719) 567-1110. Please note that long distance charges may be incurred.
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