Thursday, 15 March 2018 17:27

Naval Changes to Impact Community

Gallery photo shows an oversized shipping container used by the U.S. Navy.  

"...the number of Navy personnel will be reduced."--Naval Nuclear Laboratory spokesman. 

WEST MILTON — A spokesman for the United States Navy’s nuclear submarine training site in West Milton confirmed this week that significant personnel changes would occur after an ambitious upgrade project starts there in September. 

Public Affairs Officer Gene Terwilliger, on behalf of the Naval Nuclear Laboratory, reported in an email that one submarine “prototype” at the Kesselring facility would be shut down completely “because it has reached its end of life.” 

A second prototype, which he called the “S8G,” is scheduled for a major “Refueling and Overhaul” that is expected to last until 2021.  

The result, according to Terwilliger, is that the current number of 1,200 Navy officers and enlisted personnel who are active in West Milton will be reduced to 525 when the three-year project commences.  

He added that there would be only one nuclear submarine prototype used for training when the Kesselring project is complete, requiring a steady presence thereafter of 800 officers and enlisted men and women.   

“Between September 2018 and 2021,” Terwilliger continued, “the reduced number of Navy personnel will be partially offset by increases to the on-site industrial subcontractors’ staff, highly skilled shipyard workers who will temporarily relocate to the area, and local trades that will be hired to support the Refueling and Overhaul project.” 

He further explained how the 200 subcontractors who are “normally” at Kesselring to perform prototype maintenance have already doubled in number to 400. Their ranks will be increased to 600 until the upgrade work is completed.     

Previous statements by Navy officials have indicated that the prototype projects would ultimately cost $180 million. 

Last summer, county and local officials were informed that the Navy’s plans would include numerous oversized shipments of materials on train tracks in the Village of Ballston Spa and roadways between there and West Milton.        

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