Submarine repair facilities upgraded at US Navy base Polaris Point

Works on improving the submarine repair facilities at the U.S. Navy base Polari Point, Guam, are set to be completed in December, the U.S. Navy said.

An expanded Emergent Repair Facility (ERF), dehumidified warehouse and ship’s support building will allow submarine tenders USS Emory S. Land (AS 39) and USS Frank Cable (AS 40) to enhance submarine maintenance and repair on the Guam waterfront.

“It expands our capabilities significantly,” said Lt. Kristopher Kyzar, tender facilities manager assigned to Frank Cable. “When a tender is deployed, their stay-behind crew will now be able to complete production there, as well as the tender that’s in port. It essentially doubles our production capability on the island.”

Plans for the new support buildings were initially drawn in 2011, with construction beginning in 2013. Commander, Submarine Force, U.S. Pacific Fleet (SUBPAC) contracted the work to Naval Facilities Engineering Command, who drew plans based on Frank Cable’s needs and desires. From there, Watts Construction and Bulltrack Construction put those plans in motion.

“The dehumidified warehouse is owned by both tenders and CSS-15 (Commander, Submarine Squadron 15),” said Richard Gaskill, SUBPAC Guam on-site representative. “It has storage for all the repair department divisions and a storage area for CSS-15.”

“The ship’s support building will have Puget Sound Naval Shipyard, Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard, Lockheed Martin Towed Array area, and a calibration lab annex that the tenders use,” said Gaskill. “This building will provide some support needed when maintenance is being performed on homeported SSNs (attack submarines) and deployed SSGNs (guided-missile submarines).”

The ERF will be occupied by personnel from the deployed tender, and the repair department will operate from that facility. It will contain machines, equipment, and spacing needed for them to operate ashore.

Despite the increased capabilities on shore, Kyzar says there is still no substitute for the expeditionary capabilities of a submarine tender.

“There is still a need for a highly-mobile repair platform in this uncertain world,” said Kyzar. “Both tenders, while deployed, have conducted thousands of man-hours of repairs on forward-deployed naval forces ranging from minor to major repairs, keeping those not in Guam fit to fight.”

Emory S. Land, homeported in Guam, conducts maintenance on submarines and surface ships in the U.S. 5th and 7th Fleet areas of operations.