Keyport is an unincorporated community in Kitsap County, Washington, United States. The community is located at the eastern terminus of State Route 308 on the Kitsap Peninsula, east of Subase Bangor. Keyport's ZIP Code, 98345, had a ZCTA population of 403 at the 2000 census, in addition to a small contingent of Navy personnel.
Keyport's nickname is "Torpedo Town USA". Situated on a small peninsula jutting into Liberty Bay near Poulsbo, it is the home of a small United States Navy depot tasked with ranging and repairing torpedoes for the US Navy and allies.
The photo on the Wiki Torpedo link appears to be taken aboard one of the locally based Torpedo test craft YTT
Base name changes
From the earliest days (pre-World War I
), the naval station
had a number of names such as, Pacific Torpedo Station and Naval Torpedo Station, until in the 1990s the base was named the Naval Undersea Warfare Engineering Station (NUWES). The land the base sits on was originally a pig farm, which led to some interesting nicknames in the base's early years. As the Cold War
drew to a close a number of budget cuts, two RIFs
and several Base Realignment and Closure
(BRAC) actions caused Keyport's parent command in Newport, R.I.
to reserve the engineering function to itself, at least on paper, resulting in a name change to Naval Undersea Warfare Center, Keyport (NUWC). One of many subsequent reorganizations resulted in another name change to Naval Sea Systems Command, Keyport (NAVSEA). Following the US Navy's current trend of aligning base names locally the current station name is Naval Base Kitsap
- Keyport, similar to the other facilities in Bremerton
. However the tenant Commands remain's as before (NAVSEA and NUWC). Keyport survived all these threats without closing its gates but the civilian workforce at Keyport has fallen from about 3,500 personnel in 1990 to 1,348 in 2005.
Keyport's major tourist facility is the Naval Undersea Museum
which exhibits many displays on undersea technology, including the Trieste II
, which descended to 20,000 ft (6,100 m). There is also a boat dock operated by the local Port Authority. Kitsap County
maintains a small county park on the beach just across SR-308 from the main gate.
The base sports a boat launch, a large picnic area on a lagoon, and a number of hiking trails on "Radio Hill" used by employees during lunch breaks. Recreational boaters, however, are cautioned to stay at least away from the production area of the base.
You can also stop by for some sandwiches, coffee, or a few groceries at the Keyport Mercantile which is right up from the boat launch.
Like many American bases, the Navy base at Keyport is designated a Superfund
site with four areas requiring action due to chemical contamination, including the former landfill
on the western edge of the installation with the potential to contaminate neighboring well water. The chemicals of concern are chlorinated aliphatic hydrocarbons
(CAHs) and polychlorinated biphenyls
(PCBs). Treatment for CAH hot spots in the landfill is by phytoremediation
(growing poplar trees). Also removal of PCB-contaminated sediments, upgrade the tide gate, upgrade and maintain the landfill cover and conduct long-term monitoring.