Portsmouth Naval Shipyard


Portsmouth Naval Shipyard (PNS) is one of four remaining naval shipyards in the nation. Centrally located about 50 miles from Boston, Massachusetts, Portland, Maine and Manchester, New Hampshire, at the southernmost tip of Maine, the Shipyard fully encompasses Seavey Island that sits at the mouth of the Piscataqua River. This federally-owned island is across the harbor from Portsmouth, New Hampshire, with access to the mainland by two bridges that connect to Kittery, Maine.

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Established by the Federal Government in 1800, Portsmouth Naval Shipyard (PNS) launched its first product, the 74-gun warship USS WASHINGTON, in 1815. During World War I, the PNS workforce expanded to nearly 5,000. At this time, PNS took on a new and important role-the construction of submarines-in addition to the overhaul and repair of surface vessels. World War II saw the civilian employment rolls swell to over 25,000. Over the course of World War II over 70 submarines were constructed at PNS, with a record four submarines launched on one day. Following World War II, PNS was the Navy’s center for submarine design and development. The research submarine, USS ALBACORE, with its revolutionary “tear drop” shaped hull and round cross section, set the standard for all subsequent submarine hull design world-wide. PNS continued to build submarines until 1969, when the last submarine built in a public shipyard, the nuclear powered USS SAND LANCE, was launched. Today the Shipyard continues the tradition of excellence and service to the Navy and the nation by supplying the Submarine Fleet with high quality, affordable, overhaul, refueling and modernization work.


Portsmouth Naval Shipyard employs approximately 3,900 civilian employees. PNS has an active apprentice and engineer recruitment program. In addition to the civilian workforce, there are approximately 89 naval officers and enlisted personnel assigned to the Shipyard.

PNS encompasses over 297 acres including the main base and a family housing site off base in Kittery, Maine. Many of the buildings located at the Shipyard are in an historic district and 50 buildings are listed on the National Register of Historic Places. PNS has three dry docks and is capable of docking all active classes of submarines including the LOS ANGELES and TRIDENT classes.

Population Served

Portsmouth Naval Shipyard is home to approximately 200 naval officers/enlisted personnel, and their family members. The Shipyard supports, on average, four submarine crews and their family members. Three Coast Guard Cutters are also home ported at PNS. PNS also provides services to a large retiree population. Portsmouth Naval Shipyard employees approximately 4500 civilians.

Base Transportation

The shipyard is located on a very small island and parking is a problem. A bus runs from the outer parking areas to main work areas during heavy commute times. There is no organized transportation from the outside military housing area (1-2 miles) into the shipyard.


Each command coordinates their own Sponsor Program and assigns sponsors trained by the FFSC. Reporting military members please contact the Command Master Chief, 207-438-4100.

Contact Central Files, 207-438-2377, to establish a General Delivery mailing address. Be sure to give them a good estimated arrival date. Once authorized, you can forward your mail to them and they will hold it until your arrival.

Temporary Quarters

Limited lodging is available on base. Rooms are routinely occupied by sub mariners; however, when available, other active duty military personnel have priority. Advanced reservations can be made 120 days prior to arrival. Pets are not allowed however, the Billeting Office maintains a list of local kennels. Contact the Billeting Office at 207-438-1513 to check on reservations. Lodging facilities are available in the local area. You can contact the FFSC 207-438-1835 for recommendations.

Relocation Assistance

Detailed planning before any move is essential. Before and after you move, there is help available from the FFSC for assistance. The FFSC can be a valuable resource to you in providing household effects until your shipment arrives, relocation assistance, information about base and community activities, employment information for family members, deployment support, and any other help you may need prior to, or after your arrival. Please contact the FFSC, 207-438-1835, for Loan Closet information and Newcomers Briefing times and locations.

Critical Installation Information

Information on pets is important when moving to Portsmouth Naval Shipyard:

Rental properties that allow pets are limited.
Many area hotels do not allow pets, including the CBQ.
Some hotels charge extra for pets.
Kennels for boarding are expensive and there are no boarding facilities on base.
Dogs must be registered at 6 months of age or older.
You must show the dog’s Maine State Rabies Certificate.

The Portsmouth Naval Shipyard is physically located in Kittery, Maine specifically on Seavey Island. However; the mailing address used for the Shipyard is Portsmouth, NH 03804. The Shipyard uses building numbers vs. street addresses for mail delivery which makes it difficult to accurately map all locations.

Frequently Called Numbers on Base

Base Housing Office (207) 438-2732 DSN: 684-2732

Base Support Office 207 438-3203 DSN: 684-1821

Child Developement Center 438-2083 DSN: 684-2083

Clinic, Dental 438-1802 DSN: 684-1802

DEERS / ID Cards 438-2640/2648 DSN: 684-2640/2648

Fleet And Family Support Center 207-438-1835 DSN: 684-1830

Morale, Welfare & Recreation (MWR) (207) 438-1583 DSN: 684-1583

Naval Ambulatory Care Center 1-888-628-9633 DSN: 684-4940/4941