The Navy’s permanent presence in West Puget Sound dates back to 1891 when the Navy purchased 190 acres of Pacific Northwest wilderness for less than $10,000. On this acreage, the Navy established Puget Sound Naval Station, Bremerton. After initial surveying by Lt. Charles Wilkes, a commission chaired by Alfred T. Mahan selected Lt. Ambrose Wyckoff as Naval Station Puget Sound, Bremerton’s first and founding commandant. The first dry dock, known today as the Puget Sound Naval Shipyard, was completed in 1896 and proved critical during the Spanish-American War in 1898.
In 1914, the Pacific Coast Torpedo Station was commissioned in Keyport. As the Pacific Theater grew in importance to national security in the first half of the 1900s, so did the Navy in West Puget Sound. This led to the commissioning of Naval Magazine Indian Island in 1941. Soon thereafter, Bangor began operating as an ammunition depot and officially became a naval magazine in 1944.
The beginnings of today’s Naval Hospital Bremerton began in 1900 when a makeshift hospital was created aboard the USS Nipsic, a converted brigantine moored at Puget Sound Naval Station. This temporary facility evolved into a larger, shoreside hospital built on Puget Sound Naval Station and was the main naval medical facility in the area until 1976 when funds were allocated to build the Naval Hospital Bremerton at Jackson Park. At about the same time as the hospital facilities expanded, the Navy in the Western Puget Sound region experienced a major surge of growth when Bangor was selected to homeport the first squadron of Trident submarines. Not long after the Tridents’ arrival, Bangor was formally commissioned as Naval Submarine Base Bangor in 1977. With the homeporting of the Tridents at Bangor it required the creation of a new maintenance facility called the Trident Refit Facility. Trident Refit Facility would eventually evolve into today’s Intermediate Maintenance Facility, Bangor.
More recently, the Navy adopted the Sea Enterprise Initiative, a program designed to optimize resource allocation. This initiative led to the consolidation of bases at Bremerton, Bangor, Keyport and Manchester into one installation. This new installation became NBK on June 4, 2004, the largest naval installation in the Northwest and third largest in the nation. NBK provides services to more than 60 tenant commands, including two Nimitz-class aircraft carriers, three types of submarines and three flag commands on a sprawling 10,000 acres.
Naval Hospital Bremerton provides quality care to some 88,000 qualified residents in the Puget Sound area, with a staff of more than 1,400 military and civilian personnel, up to 10 percent of whom deploy abroad annually. In addition to serving as a community-based urgent care and obstetrical hospital providing health services in a peacetime setting, Naval Hospital Bremerton maintains a deployable fleet hospital. This fleet hospital is capable of providing a fully operational hospital with up to 500 beds, anywhere in the world, in less than 10 days.
Naval Magazine Indian Island, commonly referred to as “NAVMAG,” provides ordnance logistics support to the Pacific Fleet and joint services in times of peace and war. NAVMAG also boasts the Department of Defense’s largest industrial crane, which can lift more than 89,000 pounds.
There are many other commands and organizations that are vital to the Navy and the surrounding communities here in west Puget Sound. All major bases, commands and organizations are listed in this guide as well as key phone numbers and contacts. A summary of services and a number of local base maps are also included to help familiarize personnel with the surrounding area and what Naval Base Kitsap, Naval Hospital Bremerton and Naval Magazine Indian Island have to offer. The Navy is proud to call West Puget Sound home, and we welcome you to Naval Base Kitsap, Naval Hospital Bremerton and Naval Magazine Indian Island!