Keeping the blogosphere posted on the goings on of the world of submarines since late 2004... and mocking and belittling general foolishness wherever it may be found. Idaho's first and foremost submarine blog. (If you don't like something on this blog, please E-mail me; don't call me at home.)

Sunday, January 25, 2009

SUBASE NLON Beneficiary Of Government Spending

Check out this article from The New London Day on all the recent and planned infrastucture improvements at Submarine Base New London in Groton. Excerpts:
Last week at the submarine base, construction workers were putting the finishing touches on a new building for storage and maintenance of cranes. The $4 million project has kept them busy for the past seven months. The lead contractor, Mortenson Construction, hired local subcontractors from Mystic, Waterford and East Lyme...
...Work on a new $9.3 million building for the Submarine Learning Center and a new $11.9 million waterfront operations center will soon get under way. Two more contracts, for a $46 million pier and an $11 million indoor firing range to replace the current outdoor range, will be awarded later this year...
... About 35 older, excess buildings, totaling 400,000 square feet, will be torn down as part of an $11 million demolition project that finishes early next year. Two barracks could be taken down as early as next month.
Smaller infrastructure improvements are going on throughout the base, and a new submarine escape trainer, a $13 million project, is almost complete.
Millions more could be spent on the base this year if funding for military construction is included in the new administration's stimulus plan, aimed at bolstering the U.S. economy...
...There have been preliminary discussions between Capt. Mark S. Ginda, the base commander, and Defense Department officials about whether any of the base's projects, proposed for future years, could start earlier.
Additional piers, a renovated fitness center and new weapons handling and storage areas top Ginda's wish list, but it is too early in the congressional debate about the package to say whether any of those projects will come to fruition ahead of schedule.
Wider piers are being built so Virginia-class submarines can fit on both sides and cranes and trucks can work on one submarine without interfering with operations on the other side of the pier...
What do you think? Assuming that some sort of infrastucture improvement stimulus bill will pass this winter, is this a better use of taxpayer dollars than road and bridge improvements?


Blogger Harry Buckles said...

Although I wouldn't say that military infrastructure is bad per se, there's no way it has the same economic impact as infrastructure that facilitates civilian business. A new pier will create jobs while it's under construction, but doesn't create new jobs by allowing submarines to moor more efficiently. A new bridge is much more likely to lower shipping costs for a number of firms, hence do far more for the economy in the long run.

1/25/2009 6:52 AM

Blogger Jenn and Eric said...

We live at SUBASE NLON and let me just say, the roads around here are pretty much fine. They are widening 2A, 395, etc just fine while all the construction goes on at the base here. If any even just looks at the base you can see how rundown most of the building on the base really are. Especially the two barracks buildings that are being torn down.

Building new piers will hopefully allow more submarines to stay here in Groton, while allowing the Virginia class boats more flexibility in which piers they can moor at. With EB upping production to two subs a year, it's a welcome site to see all the production going on at SUBASE NLON.

1/25/2009 7:37 AM

Blogger Eddie W said...

I was just in Groton this week.
No amount of money will be able to disguise the fact that Groton is America's poophole.

The only thing that prevented this place being BRAC'd in 2005 were some BRAC accounting tricks (like calling the base 'joint' by opening up a tool shed for Army Reservists, calling work with EB a 'synergistic relationship' etc).

It's darn near impossible to perform topside maintenance work on boats in the winter. God forbid if you have to work with a boat when they are inside EB or owned by EB... this adds about 2 days's worth of administrivia to about any job. As for underway time, boats (and therefore the Navy) waste about a full day's worth of EFPH every time a BSP is necessary (due to the ridiculous ~10 hour surface transit time).

I hope they pave over this place on the next BRAC round and make Groton a waterfront outlet strip mall.

1/25/2009 8:55 AM

Anonymous T.J. said...

The government cannot borrow our way to prosperity. Doesn't matter really what they spend the money on it will only cause us all pain in the end. They are not talking about spending taxpayer money, they are talking about borrowing money from the Federal Reserve that we will have to pay back with interest. Building infrastructure may be better than borrowing money from the banks to give to the banks like they already did with the TARP nonsense, but in the end remember the government does not create anything, it only takes and consumes.

1/25/2009 9:10 AM

Blogger Navy Blue Cougar said...

Our infrastructure in the United States definitely needs to be improved. Bridges need to be repaired and our power grid needs to be upgraded. Putting money into these sorts of projects will give us something to show for our money when it is finished.

Military bases also need to be kept up to date. I was stationed at Pearl Harbor in the mid-90's while a lot of new barracks were being constructed. I was able to move from a room with a serious cockroach infestation, water-stained walls, windows that could not be adequately shut against the rain, and a generally poor state of repair into a modest, but clean and comfortable room. I felt this was a pretty good use of money.

The news outlets focus on TARP as being a way to put people to work and to stimulate the economy. I don't know how well this plan will work, but if we are going to spend the money, I hope we have something to show for it at the end. Even a shiny new building on a military base or a bridge that receives safety improvements is a lot better than the nothing that appears to have happened with the money that we handed over to banks.

It is hard for me to imagine that the government will turn into a good steward of taxpayer dollars, but I think that spending the money on infrastructure is a far better option than what we have been doing.

Spending on military bases will benefit the military which will benefit the nation. Spending on infrastructure will benefit the nation. I can't say which is more important, but they are not mutually exclusive. Both need to be done at some point and now is a good time to do it.

1/25/2009 10:26 AM

Blogger Oz said...

Headline needs work. All military bases in this country continuously benefit from govt. spending.

1/25/2009 11:03 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Estimates for an AP1000 or ESBWR have been putting them at $10B per unit. How many units can be built with the TARP funding? How many can be built with the proposed $1.2T (is that number still increasing) coming next. Think of all the boilermaker, pipe fitter, and electrician union skids that could be greased then. America would get upwards of 80 GW of increased power generation. Our power grid would get a serious overhaul to transfer all that power. Best part, the government could sell the completed units to private utilities for 80 cents on the dollar. Utilities aren't going to build the plants in uncertain economic times. They would rather buy an existing unit. The government could recoup the majority of their expenditures to put down on the debt. (Who am I kidding, the money would go to pay for the next socialist money hole). Total cost to the taxpayer would be a fraction of what they are proposing and the economic impact would last beyond the next election cycle.

1/25/2009 11:15 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

That's great that they are going to build new facilities, but who is going to maintain and clean them? Since the Navy is "force shaping," guess what? Yep, this will just become another burden to place on the backs of the Sailors.

1/25/2009 2:38 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

There won't be any ESBWRs built here. It's a no go. AP1000s and Toshiba's BWR are gonna happen, but the GE design is DOA.

As for TARP - it was/is a scam. Simply a method to use taxpayer funds to allow big, bloated, overdrawn and poorly managed financial institutions to gobble up the smaller competition. Soon we will have bigger, more bloated, more overdrawn and more poorly managed financial institutions.

An insider . . .

1/25/2009 4:50 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh, I wouldn't say nobody is going to build any AP1000s....SCANA is going to build two. Granted, there is government money involved, but that was in place before the meltdown.

And yes, I am sure. The long lead time stuff, like turbines and reactor vessles, is already on order....

1/25/2009 8:20 PM

Blogger montigrande said...

The plans for infrastructure improvement are already in motion in the commercial nuclear world. As of 9 December 2008, the following proposals for new reactors had been received by the NRC (source:

Proposed New Reactor(s) Design
Bell Bend Nuclear Power Plant U.S. EPR
Bellefonte Nuclear Station Units 3 and 4 AP1000
Callaway Plant Unit 2 U.S. EPR
Calvert Cliffs Unit 3 U.S. EPR
Comanche Peak Units 3 and 4 US-APWR
Fermi Unit 3 ESBWR
Grand Gulf Unit 3 ESBWR
Levy County Units 1 and 2 AP1000
Nine Mile Point Unit 3 U.S. EPR
North Anna Unit 3 ESBWR
River Bend Station Unit 3 ESBWR
Shearon Harris Units 2 and 3 AP1000
South Texas Project Units 3 and 4 ABWR
Victoria County Station Units 1 and 2 ESBWR
Virgil C. Summer Units 2 and 3 AP1000
Vogtle Units 3 and 4 AP1000
William States Lee III Units 1 and 2 AP1000

While I am a strong proponent of the light water PWR, I do understand that the efficency of the BWR’s is several percent higher and this may make up for the additional cost of operation and maintenance on the units. And I do know for a fact that Westinghouse is hiring across the board in northwest PA.

Hey bubblehead, what happened to that JO over at “don’t call me sir?”

1/26/2009 9:46 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Eddie W. Your comments are typical for someone from San Diego and show a complete lack of understanding of reality. Topside work gets done all the time in Winter. You deal with it. As for EB delays, it's like that with any shipyard. How that is the fault of anyone from the Sub Base is beyond me. And the EFPH problem applies to any East coast port. In fact, Norfolk and Kings Bay are somewhat longer surface transits. (Bangor is even longer, still.) So what is your solution? Keep boats in SOCAL and Hawaii only?

1/26/2009 12:14 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

If Subase NLON is not upgraded, where will the 23 boats stationed there go. Does anyone really think in this political climate we could build a new pier capable of mooring a nuclear submarine anywhere else in the country?

Subase NLON needs to be upgraded. A new pier is a start, new buildings and new trainers should be next. The facilities in NLON pale in comparison to those availabel in Bangor or Kings Bay. And NLON is where over 24K students get trained each year.

Everyone in the submarine services goes through Basic Enlisted Submarine School there. Just about every enlisted member goes through Apprentice training there. Every Department Head goes through 5 months of training there.

That's a huge training lift, one no other base can provide without a large cost to the Navy.

1/30/2009 6:55 PM

Blogger sumathi kalpana said...

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3/28/2013 12:47 AM


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