The Philadelphia Naval Shipyard served as a preeminent ship building facility well before the founding of our nation. Home to the first government-owned Navy yard in the United States, it became operational in the late 1700s. A decade later, Congress purchased 10 acres in the southernmost point of the city and the formal U.S. Navy presence was established — a presence that would serve as the foundation for the world’s most powerful sea-bearing force.
The Philadelphia Navy Yard’s activities mirrored the ebb and flow of our nation’s naval wartime engagements. The first warship built in the yard — the USS Franklin — was in response to the War of 1812. Several decades later, the Civil War led to a 400 percent increase in the yard’s workforce. After the Civil War, shipbuilding waned for decades. In World War I, the transport Henderson was launched in 1917 — the first Navy yard vessel built from the keel up. It was with World War II, however, when the golden age of the ship yard came to be. More than 50 ships were built, and 1,281 more were converted or overhauled through the mid-1940s. The workforce skyrocketed from 4,500 to some 70,000 coming through the gates each day. This was the high-water mark for employment at the Philadelphia Naval Shipyard.
From the 1950s forward, the Navy’s footprint and associated ship building projects dwindled with each passing year. As other East Coast Navy installations expanded their missions and programs, the Philadelphia Navy Yard reduced capacity and programs. In response, the Base Realignment and Closure Commission announced plans to close the yard to the dismay of thousands of employees and those who worked here over the decades. In 1996, the Philadelphia Navy Yard was closed. In 2000, the Philadelphia Authority for Industrial Development acquired 1,000 acres on behalf of the city of Philadelphia. Approximately 200 acres were retained by the Navy, who today still call the Philadelphia Navy Yard Annex home.
THE NAVY YARD TODAY
This once defense-centric site has now branched out into a thriving, dynamic hub of progressive commercial innovation mixed among several Navy and Department of Defense activities. On behalf of PAID, Philadelphia Industrial Development Corp., Philadelphia’s public-private economic development corporation, oversees the master development of The Navy Yard campus. Today, GlaxoSmithKline and Urban Outfitters Inc. reside on the same campus as the Naval Surface Warfare Center, Philadelphia Division, the Navy’s primary machinery engineering organization. Heralded as the hallmark process of transitioning a military industrial complex to commercial activities, this 1,200-acre site is home to a diverse mix of office, industrial, manufacturing, research and development, and defense activities on an open campus.
NAVY ORGANIZATIONS AT PNYA TODAY
NAVAL SUPPORT ACTIVITY PNYA: Coordinates and provides common base support services to fleet units, tenant activities, hosted commands and other naval activities as directed by Commander, Navy Region Mid-Atlantic.
NAVAL SURFACE WARFARE CENTER, PHILADELPHIA DIVISION: Serves as the Navy’s principal test and evaluation center and in-service engineering agent for hull, mechanical and electrical ship systems and equipment and is the research and development center for all naval machinery.
THE NAVAL FOUNDRY AND PROPELLER CENTER, DETACHMENT PHILADELHIA: The largest public-owned foundry and propeller shop in the nation. It provides the Navy marketing, designing, engineering, manufacturing and repair of propellers for all types of surface and sub-surface craft of the U.S. Navy and its customers.
NAVFAC MID-ATLANTIC, PWD PENNSYLVANIA: Provides transportation services, maintenance and repair of facilities, roads and utilities, and construction management and oversight for Navy installations within Pennsylvania.
NAVAL CRIMINAL INVESTIGATIVE SERVICE: Investigates crimes committed on Navy property and provides counter-intelligence services.
NAVAL INACTIVE SHIP MAINTENANCE FACILITY: Inactivates, stores, removes parts and components from inactive ships for reutilization and prepares for disposal Navy non-nuclear ships assigned.
NAVAL MEDICAL CLINIC: Provides basic medical aid to installation commands and provides occupational health and OSHA-mandated screening services to those activities.
THE BASE REALIGNMENT AND CLOSURE PROGRAM MANAGEMENT OFFICE: Oversees all facets of the implementation — budgeting, realignment, environment cleanup, caretaker and conveyance — of the Navy BRAC Program with its headquarters and west regional office in San Diego and an east office in Philadelphia.
Naval Facilities Engineering Command
4921 South Broad St.
Philadelphia, PA 19112
CDR Roland J. DeGuzman, PE, CEM
Public Works Officer
NAVFAC Mid-Atlantic’s Public Works Department Pennsylvania provides facilities engineering and maintenance solutions to NSA Mechanicsburg, NSA Philadelphia, Philadelphia Navy Yard and naval operations support centers throughout Pennsylvania and West Virginia. NAVFAC exists to enable supported commands and turn their facilities and expeditionary requirements into efficient, innovative and responsive solutions. NAVFAC’s commitment to increasing productivity and decreasing costs strengthens its ability to provide mission-critical support and enable supported commander success. NAVFAC uses this fundamental concept to guide its efforts and measure its effectiveness. Public Works Department Pennsylvania provides support through four NAVFAC business lines: capital improvements, environmental, public works and asset management.
The NAVFAC Capital Improvements Business Line is the Navy’s technical lead for facility design and construction criteria, acquisition delivery methods, cost engineering and determination of facility total ownership cost. A cornerstone of NAVFAC activities, large-scale projects are designed and constructed annually. Capital Improvements Business Line reduces total facility ownership costs by standardizing best technical practices, solutions, material and processes to support the entire life cycle of U.S. Navy and Marine Corps facilities, while meeting operational and readiness requirements.
The NAVFAC Environmental Business Line delivers quality products and services worldwide, ensuring stewardship through environmental planning, conservation of natural and cultural resources, environmental compliance and environmental restoration. NAVFAC EV provides responsive, best value and sustainable environmental solutions. This team of specialists focuses on a broad range of environmental programs, to include permitting, compliance, restoration, remediation, consultation and community support.
The NAVFAC Public Works Business Line provides services across several main areas: facilities maintenance and sustainment, utilities management and transportation. Facilities sustainment includes maintenance and repair, facilities management and facility energy management, including facility-related energy projects and energy efficiency. Utilities management provides the engineering and technical program management responsible for Navy shore utility systems and utility energy assets and infrastructure, financial stability (utility rates and utility commodity procurement), and a reliable and stable level of utility and energy services. Transportation provides management, operations and maintenance in order to deliver fleet management services that fully meet the warfighter’s readiness requirements. Routine maintenance and upkeep of facilities are core NAVFAC activities. PWD Pennsylvania and its professional workforce ensure that 12,000 employees come to work each day with a functioning, efficient and effective work environment. Annually, thousands of work requests are handled by the NAVFAC public works staff, striving to meet emergency, urgent and routine service calls in an effective and efficient manner.
The NAVFAC Asset Management Business Line provides strategic shore planning, facilities integrated product support, shore investment planning, land use planning, sustainable development planning, site approval and initial project development at global, regional and installation levels. Energy Management is responsible for supporting the multitude of energy mandates and goals by coordinating, integrating, communicating, facilitating, overseeing and advocating the energy program.
NSA Philadelphia: 50
NSA Mechanicsburg: 100
Navy Inactive Ships Office
The Navy Yard
Building 545, 4701 S. 16th St.
MISSION: Work with the International Fleet Support Office to transfer assets to friendly foreign navies, transition ships from the fleet for storage and disposal, preserve our naval heritage through ship donations, enhance marine ecosystems through artificial reefing, and protect the environment through ship dismantling and recycling.
The Navy Inactive Ships Office manages U.S. Navy ships and craft that have reached the end of their life cycle. This office is responsible for planning, programming, budgeting and executing the Navy’s inactivation and disposal of conventionally powered surface ships and craft. After decommissioning or cessation of normal ship operations, inactive Navy ships are delivered to one of the three inactive ships on-site maintenance offices: Bremerton, Washington; Philadelphia; or Pearl Harbor, Hawaii.
Philadelphia has by far the most ships with 32 in its inventory. Thanks in part to the effort of Philadelphia’s inactive ships program, the Navy has successfully reduced its inventory of inactive conventionally powered ships from nearly 200 in 1997 to approximately 60 today.
Moored in the hallowed spots along the historic Delaware River, the Charleston, Mobile, El Paso and Nashville now float silent. Casting the largest shadow in the shipyard, the aircraft carrier ex-John F. Kennedy still supplies active ships with important parts as do many of these other ships. The program of removing parts and material for use in active ships saves the Navy millions annually.
Even after the Base Realignment and Closure Commission closed major portions of the installation in 1991, the inactive ships program remains a vibrant cornerstone of Navy programs at the Philadelphia Navy Yard Annex.
Branch Health Clinic Philadelphia
The Navy Yard
Building 615, 4898 South Broad St.
INDUSTRIAL HYGINE SERVICES:
7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday
Branch Health Clinic Philadelphia operates under the direction of Naval Health Clinic Annapolis, and is at The Navy Yard.
Naval Surface Warfare Center Philadelphia Division
Building 4, 5001 South Broad St.
Philadelphia, PA 19112
Capt. Francis E. Spencer III, USN
NSWC Philadelphia Division
Michael R. Kistler
NSWC Philadelphia Division
MISSION: Provide research, development, test and evaluation, acquisition support, engineering, systems integration, in-service engineering and fleet support with cybersecurity, comprehensive logistics, and life cycle savings through commonality for surface and undersea vehicle machinery, ship systems, equipment and material, and to execute other responsibilities as assigned by Commander, Naval Surface Warfare Center.
NSWC Philadelphia Division provides the Navy’s primary technical expertise for naval machinery research and development and in-service engineering, as well as machinery cybersecurity and life cycle engineering.
The division is responsible for the U.S. Navy machinery systems and serves as a central point for academia and industry to join forces with Navy technical experts to develop solutions to needs in naval machinery. Consistent with its machinery systems responsibility, the division fulfills key functions including research, design, development, shipboard and land-based test and evaluation, acquisition support, in-service engineering, fleet engineering, integrated logistics support and concepts and overall life cycle engineering. The division's key technical areas include machinery programs and platforms; machinery research, logistics and ships integrity; propulsion, power and auxiliary machinery systems; and cybersecure machinery controls systems and networks. In addition, the division has comptroller, contracting and business operations departments to support its technical mission.
BRAC Program Management Office East
Building 679, 4911 S. Broad St.
MISSION: Expeditiously and cost effectively provide all services necessary to realign, close and dispose of Department of Navy BRAC properties through sound business management practices and transformational thinking to support the warfighter and provide savings to the Department of Navy and the federal taxpayer.
The Base Realignment and Closure Program Management Office resides within the headquarters of the Naval Facilities Command. The office oversees all facets of the implementation (budgeting, realignment, environment cleanup, caretaker and conveyance) of the Navy BRAC program with a headquarters, a west regional office in San Diego, an east office in Philadelphia and a support office in Washington, D.C. The Philadelphia office oversees operational BRAC staff residing in Charleston, South Carolina, and three caretaker site offices established in South Weymouth, Massachusetts; Brunswick, Maine; and Willow Grove, Pennsylvania.
Chapel Of Four Chaplains
Although not aligned with the Navy or DOD programs at the Philadelphia Naval Yard Annex, there is nothing more representative of military service and sacrifice than the Chapel of Four Chaplains. Located on the east side of the Yard, the chapel is dedicated to four U.S. Army chaplains who gave up their life jackets and prayed together when their transport ship, the SS Dorchester, was torpedoed 80 miles south of Greenland Feb. 3, 1943. The chaplains came from different faiths and backgrounds. John P. Washington was a Catholic priest from Kearny, New Jersey; Rabbi Alexander D. Goode was a native of York, Pennsylvania; Clark V. Poling was a minister in the Reformed Church in America at the First Reformed Church in Schenectady, New York; and George L. Fox, a decorated World War l veteran, was a Methodist minister in Gilman, Vermont. Today the Four Chaplains Memorial Foundation promotes “unity without uniformity” by encouraging goodwill and cooperation among all people. The organization achieves its mission by advocating for and honoring people whose deeds symbolize the legacy of the Four Chaplains aboard the SS Dorchester in 1943. For more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 215-218-1307.