|Newport Naval Station|
I have no idea as to the date of this article, but it has some interesting insights into the history and structure of the Navy activity in Newport.
Naval Station Newport is a United States Naval base located near Newport, RI. Newport is located near the mouth of a broad glacial inlet, Narragansett Bay, on the north shore of Rhode Island Sound. The port itself is at the southwestern tip of Aquidneck Island, which is the largest of the numerous islands and peninsulas (known locally as "necks") that rise out of the broad glacial bay.
Iron steamships first fought one another during the Civil War, during which both Confederate and Union navies also used submarines and steamships. As these new ships and weapons battered one another, a number of important men in uniform saw how naval warfare would evolve. Among those was Adm. Dixon Porter, who realized that in the future of ships would slip beneath the sea to perform silent services, or be covered in metal and fight with huge cannons. It was under Porter's efforts that the Navy established torpedoes, mines and other explosives as part of naval warfare's "emerging technology." In accordance with his vision, the Navy created the Torpedo Station on Goat Island in 1869, which has since become the Newport Naval Complex, home of the Navy Education and Training Center. This is the only active military base in Rhode Island.
The center's role in the Navy is to train a wide array of personnel: officers who serve above and below the sea's choppy surface, senior enlisted personnel and young men and women preparing to attend their first year at the Naval Academy.
The 3,677 active-duty personnel and 3,897 civilians make up the
Ex-USS Saratoga (AVT-60), one of the inactive aircraft carriers mothballed at the old Philadelphia Naval Shipyard, was towed out of Philadelphia for the last time 03 August 1998 by the Fleet-tug USNS Powhatan (T-ATF-166). Saratoga was the first of three deep-draft vessels to be relocated to Newport, RI, for storage. The relocation was done as part of the lease arrangement between the Navy, the City of Philadelphia and Kvaerner Philadelphia Shipyard and as a result of BRAC-91. Saratoga arrived at the Naval Education and Training Center's Pier 1 in Coddington Cove on 07 August 1998 returning a Navy ship presence to Newport that has been missing from that historically Navy town for many years. ex-USS Forrestal (AVT/CV 59) and ex-USS Iowa (BB 61) joined Saratoga in Newport in mid-September 1998. None of the ships will be open to the public.
In 1973 the Navy controlled 31 miles of shoreline and 6,000 acres of shorefront property within Narragansett Bay, concentrated in two areas. The Naval Air Station and the Construction Battalions occupied an area on the western shore of the Bay, northward from Quonset Point, that was linked to the main fairway of East Passage by a dredged channel. On the eastern shore of the East Passage the Navy also occupied a six-mile stretch between Newport and the Melville Fuel Depot. The US Atlantic Fleet Cruiser-Destroyer Force was homeported at Coddington Cove. Commander, Naval Surface Group Four occupied deep water berths on the north side of Pier 2 (Naval Education and Training Center (NETC) currently controls the south side of this pier), which is of modern robust construction with steel piling and concrete capping.
Piers 1 and 2 were built in 1955 and 1958, respectively, to accommodate ships of the Cruiser-Destroyer Force and Service Force. Naval supply and public works facilities were expanded at this time to support the fleet, and Headquarters, Commander Cruiser-Destroyer Force, Atlantic was established here in 1962. This command moved to Norfolk, Virginia, in July 1973. COMNAVSURFGRU FOUR occupied deep-water berths on the south side of Pier 2 on completion of pier improvements in FY1985.
From its infancy during the Revolutionary War to its present day sophistication, the United States Navy has been a part of Narragansett Bay. The first Commander-in-Chief of the Continental Navy, Rhode Islander Esek Hopkins used the bay as a haven for his small fleet between combat engagements. During the Civil War, the government transferred the faculty and student body of the US Naval Academy from Annapolis to Newport.
In 1869 the Navy authorized the establishment of an experimental torpedo station at Goat Island. The torpedo station reached its peak of importance in World War II, when more than 13,000 persons were employed on three shifts in the manufacture of 80 percent of the torpedoes used by our country during the war. The station was the largest single industry ever operating in Rhode Island.
In 1940 Congress appropriated money for construction of a Naval Air Station at Quonset Point on the West Side of the Bay which went into operation in 1941
In 1951 the Torpedo Station was permanently disestablished, and the manufacture of torpedoes was awarded to private industry. Goat Island was transferred to the City of Newport, and redevelopment of the island included a causeway, luxury hotel and restaurant, marina, shopping facilities, and apartments. In place of the Torpedo Station, a new research development facility, the Naval Underwater Ordnance Station, was established. A merger in 1970 with another naval activity in New London, Connecticut, created what is now the Naval Undersea Warfare Center (NUWC).
Early in 1973, a Shore Establishment Realignment study directed the closing of the Quonset Point Naval Air Station, a drawdown of facilities at Davisville, the movement of the active fleet from Newport, and a cutback of personnel and activities. Five previously independent commands were disestablished and their personnel absorbed by a new activity - the Naval Education and Training Center (NETC). A series of Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) commissions changed the Navy in Newport to the approximately 30 different naval and Department of Defense commands and activites resident today.
The Naval Education and Training Center is an amalgam of five former shore commands - the
Newport is the home of the Navy's most prestigious educational institution, the Naval War College. The oldest such institution in continuous existence anywhere in the world, the college is organized to pursue and integrate both academic and research endeavors.
The Naval Undersea Warfare Center Division Newport (NUWCDIVNPT) is the Navy's principal research development, test, and evaluation center for submarine weapons systems.
In 1974 the Rhode Island Port Authority and Economic Development Corporation was established to oversee the redevelopment of ex-Navy holdings, leaving the mainstay of the Navy presence centering on the Naval War College on Coasters Harbor Island and the Naval Education and Training Center at Coddington Point on the southern tip of Coddington Cove. The State Port Authority controls and Derektor Shipyard leases Pier 1. Shallow draft craft and the four Naval Education and Training Center yard patrol craft are berthed at the Stillwater Basin to the north of Pier 2.
Visiting deep-draft vessels under Military Sealift Command occasionally may berth for short periods to discharge or load stores at Davisville (north of Quonset Point) by arrangement with the State Port Authority. Most of the traffic from these piers is now concerned with offshore oil and gas drilling operations. The large pier at Quonset Point, which formerly provided berthing for aircraft carriers, is a concrete-capped wood piling structure in a poor state of repair; it probably will not be used by visiting naval vessels in the foreseeable future. The Melville Fuel Depot is only rarely used by US Navy ships.
Most ocean-going traffic into Narragansett Bay enters via the central East Passage channel. An additional dredged channel from East Passage running northwestward to Quonset Point provides access for naval vessels to anchorages in West Passage to the south of Quonset Point. West Passage is frequently utilized by lighter draft vessels and tows, especially those bound for the Graduate School of Oceanography Pier and piers at Quonset/Davisville.
The project depth for the channel to Providence is 40 ft, and remaining channels have a project depth of 35 ft. Silting at the port of Providence and at other points along the channel, however, restricts the maximum draft of vessels handled at the port to 35 ft. This restriction on the depth of dredged channels stems from a total embargo on dredging in the Narragansett Bay area that has been in effect since 1971. The embargo was the result of a successful legal suit brought against the Army Corps of Engineers to prevent any further dumping of polluted dredging spoils at Brenton Reef, 5 n mi south of the East Passage entry to the Bay.
|Source: Global Security|