Add news
March 2010
April 2010
May 2010June 2010July 2010
August 2010
September 2010October 2010
November 2010
December 2010
January 2011
February 2011March 2011April 2011May 2011June 2011July 2011August 2011September 2011October 2011November 2011December 2011January 2012February 2012March 2012April 2012May 2012June 2012July 2012August 2012September 2012October 2012November 2012December 2012January 2013February 2013March 2013April 2013May 2013June 2013July 2013August 2013September 2013October 2013November 2013December 2013January 2014February 2014March 2014April 2014May 2014June 2014July 2014August 2014September 2014October 2014November 2014December 2014January 2015February 2015March 2015April 2015May 2015June 2015July 2015August 2015September 2015October 2015November 2015December 2015January 2016February 2016March 2016April 2016May 2016June 2016July 2016August 2016September 2016October 2016November 2016December 2016January 2017February 2017March 2017April 2017May 2017June 2017July 2017August 2017September 2017October 2017November 2017December 2017January 2018February 2018March 2018April 2018May 2018June 2018July 2018August 2018September 2018October 2018November 2018December 2018January 2019February 2019March 2019April 2019May 2019June 2019July 2019August 2019September 2019October 2019November 2019December 2019January 2020February 2020March 2020April 2020May 2020June 2020July 2020August 2020September 2020October 2020November 2020December 2020
News Every Day |

The U.S. Navy is Getting a New Submarine Repair Facility—Its First Since World War II

Caleb Larson

Security, Americas

It’s all part of a strategy for countering an increasingly expansionist China. Here's why this matters.

The United States Navy has big plans for Pearl Harbor. Planning and preparation is underway for building a large dry dock complex from which extensive submarine repair can be done. Though Pearl Harbor already hosts four dry docks that were used during World War IIand built in 1919, 1941, 1942, and 1943they've since grown somewhat long in the tooth, necessitating upgraded support infrastructure.

The demand for another dry dock has been driven by the importance submarines would play in the event of a conflict with China. Lying silent and unseen below the wave, American submarines would be the linchpin to American naval strategy in the event of a conflict in the Pacific region.

One of the current four docks is used for servicing surface ships, whereas the other three were built at a time when submarines were considerably smaller and are therefore unable to accommodate longer, more modern submarines.

This new fifth dry dock would, unlike the preceding four docks, be fully covered in order to protect submarines undergoing repair from prying eyesand satellite observation. The construction effort is said to cost somewhere between $2 billion to $4 billion.

The new dry dock project has not yet begun, so what exactly it would look like remains speculative. Still, it is just the latest in a larger trend of modernization for not just the Navybut also the Navy’s right hand on land.

Not Just the Navy, but the Marines, Too

It is not just the Navy that is gaining new infrastructure with China in mind. The Navy’s sister branch, the Marine Corps, also recently activated a new base on the island of Guam in the western Pacific. 

The first new Marine Corps base in seventy years, Camp Blaz will host thirteen hundred Marines permanently, as well as thirty-seven thousand additional Marines on a rotational basis. Blaz pushes the boundary of where Marines in the Pacific region are stationed and plays well to the rapid transformation the Marine Corps is making from a second land army with a focus on anti-terrorism, to a land-based extension of United States Naval power.

To that end, the Marine Corps is currently undergoing a rapid overhaul of breath-taking proportionsall tank battalions have been divested, as well as a large amount of mortar and artillery battalions. They’ve also fielded a new Amphibious Combat Vehicletheir first in nearly half a centuryto better face the challenge from China.


Writ large, the United States, and the U.S. Navy, in particular, is slowly moving toward reestablishing a credible deterrent in the Pacific region, not just in terms of capability, but in determination. This latest dry-dock construction planning, though not as attention-grabbing as a new missile system or surface ship, is no less clear though perhaps more subtle: for the first time since the end of World War II, U.S. interests in the Pacific region are important enough to warrant more Navy support. Enemies beware.

Caleb Larson is a Defense Writer with The National Interest. He holds a Master of Public Policy and covers U.S. and Russian security, European defense issues, and German politics and culture.

Image: Reuters

Read also

Cuomo: Beware the 'COVID Grinch' this holiday season

NYC restaurateurs are pressing on with openings amid COVID-19 restrictions

San Francisco public utilities chief charged with corruption

News, articles, comments, with a minute-by-minute update, now on — latest news 24/7. You can add your news instantly now — here