Amanda R. Gray/U.S. Navy
The Ohio-class ballistic-missile submarine USS Kentucky transits the Hood Canal as the boat returns to Naval Base Kitsap-Bangor on April 11, 2016. The Navy on Friday, April 29, urged residents to report any sightings of drones flying in or around the base.
By Lynda V. Mapes
The Seattle Times
Published: April 30, 2016
A Trident nuclear submarine sitting in Puget Sound near Sequim, Washington, in 2006 is one of eight in the Pacific fleet, stationed at Naval Base Kitsap Bangor. The Navy says having a second wharf to load and unload weapons at the base is crucial to national security.<br>MCT
Explosives-handling wharf at Bangor costs $267 million less than expected
The Navy recently returned $267 million it had allocated for an explosive-handling wharf project at Naval Base Kitsap-Bangor.
The Ohio-class ballistic-missile submarine USS Kentucky departs Naval Base Kitsap-Bangor, Wash., Sunday, March 13, 2016, for its first strategic deterrent patrol since 2011.
The Pacific-based nuclear ballistic-missile submarine USS Kentucky has deployed for the first time since 2011 after an overhaul as part of efforts to extend the life of aging Ohio-class boats while the U.S. develops a replacement.
Sailors help moor the submarine USS Henry M. Jackson after its return to Naval Base Kitsap-Bangor from a patrol in January 2014. A drone was spotted in February 2016 flying in prohibited airspace over the naval base, home to eight Trident nuclear-armed submarines. The incident is under investigation in coordination with civilian law enforcement.<br> Courtesy of U.S. Navy
Who’s flying drones over submarine base? Navy wants to know
A Navy employee spotted a drone earlier this month flying in prohibited airspace over Naval Base Kitsap-Bangor, home to eight Trident nuclear-armed submarines. The Feb. 8 sighting was confirmed by a Navy spokeswoman, who in a written statement said the incident is under investigation in coordination with civilian law enforcement.
Sightings of unauthorized drones flying over Naval Base Kitsap have prompted a request from the Navy to local residents to say something if they see something flying over the base.
“Unauthorized drone flights pose a potential threat to national security,” said Rear Adm. Jeff Ruth, commander of Navy Region Northwest, in a Friday news release.
The Navy asks any resident who sees a drone flying over the base to report it to the regional dispatch center at 360-396-4444.
Be ready to provide the following details: Location, including the direction the drone is flying, and where it came from, including landmarks or street intersections. Note the date and time of the sighting, and the approximate size and color of the drone; number of propellers and color of lights. If possible, take a photo or video.
Reports should be made as soon after sightings as possible.
A Navy employee on Feb. 8 spotted a drone flying in prohibited airspace over the base, which is home to eight Trident nuclear-armed submarines.
The sightings come as the U.S. military is scrambling to improve defenses against the rapidly evolving capabilities of remote-controlled drones.
With drones increasingly available and affordable, hobbyists often fly them near airports or other places. There also is concern within the military that drones could be used as tools for espionage or hostile actions.