Naval Station Everett shares its story

EVERETT — Naval Station Everett opened the gates to the public Saturday and gave people their first opportunity to tour the aircraft carrier USS Nimitz since it was stationed in Everett in 2012.

Navy Community Day, as the event was called, was primarily an opportunity for the public to view the ships up close and talk to the sailors who work on them.

In addition to the Nimitz, the public was given the opportunity to tour the guided missile destroyer USS Shoup and the frigate USS Rodney M. Davis.

On the base, Navy Band Northwest performed and kids played in bouncy houses and other inflatables, but the longest line was to tour the Nimitz.

“We look forward to the opportunity to share our Navy stories with the community,” said Rear Admiral Dee Mewbourne, who commands Carrier Strike Group 11, of which the Nimitz is the flagship.

Mewbourne spent the afternoon on the flight deck of the Nimitz in the bright sun welcoming and chatting with visitors and posing for photos with children and adults alike.

Among the guests Saturday was Bob Vigil, of Strasburg, Colorado, who was visiting his son, Trini Vigil, and his family in Lynnwood.

“I specifically came in from Colorado to see the Nimitz,” said Vigil, who served in the Marine Corps in Vietnam and who said he’d never been on an active-duty aircraft carrier before.

“I don’t pass up a chance to come and see this,” Vigil said. “It’s just amazing to see the size of the ship.”

Nearby, the shell of an F-18 Hornet, used for practice exercises, was attached to a “tilly,” an aircraft carrier crash crane capable of lifting and carrying a fully fueled and armed fighter jet across the deck.

The flight-deck crew, in bright “rainbow” colored jerseys denoting whether they served as catapult operators or firefighters or in another role, answered questions about their jobs and the equipment.

On the hangar deck below, more sailors sold souvenirs, and demonstrated firefighting equipment, bombs and a missile (all disarmed). Also on display were various firearms, photos of the Nimitz’s recent Pacific deployment and a biography of the ship’s namesake, Admiral Chester W. Nimitz, who commanded the U.S. Pacific Fleet in World War II.

Andy Apsitis, of Everett, backed up to get one last picture of the Nimitz from the pier before leaving. He said the Nimitz was very impressive, and he recalled his years working at Western Gear Corp. in Everett.

“We built a lot of equipment for the Navy,” Apsitis said.

Apsitis was visiting the base with his grandson, Skyler Clinton, 11, and Skyler’s cousin, Danielle McCollum, 12, the latter of whom said she’d toured an aircraft carrier before in California but couldn’t remember which one.

The Nimitz, she said, “was interesting, even though I’ve been on other boats.”

Chris Winters: 425-374-4165;

Talk to us

More in Local News

Monroe High School with (inset) a Facebook video screenshot from Nov. 10, 2021, which showed a white student repeatedly using racial slurs in a confrontation with a Black student.
‘It makes me angry’: Black students in Monroe report persistent racism

“Please help stop this racism,” a first-grade student told the Monroe school board Monday. Other kids reported racist slurs.

Zachary Robbins
Marysville superintendent could start a month early

A June start means Zachary Robbins could weigh in on a $13.5 million budget shortfall and a parental consent policy for clubs.

Driver dies after rollover crash at Smokey Point

The deceased man, 25, reportedly sped off from police before crashing into a nearby utility pole. A woman, 19, was injured.

FILE - In this Oct. 24, 2020, file photo, a Washington state Department of Agriculture worker holds two of the dozens of Asian giant hornets vacuumed from a tree in Blaine, Wash. Authorities say they've found the first Asian giant hornet nest of 2021 in a rural area east of Blaine. State entomologists will now develop a plan to eradicate the nest. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson, File)
Scientists will set 1,000 traps for murder hornets this year

Asian giant hornets, first detected in 2019, are are believed to be confined in Whatcom County.

Lynnwood City Council member George Hurst moves to postpone action on the vehicle license fees ordinance during the council's meeting Monday. (Screenshot/City of Lynnwood)
Lynnwood to keep collecting a car tab fee and utility tax, for now

City Council members will consider repealing them in October when they write a new city budget.

Epic Ford on the corner of 52nd Street and Evergreen Way in Everett is closed. The dealership has been in business for more than 50 years. (Janice Podsada / The Herald)
After 50 years, Everett’s Epic Ford dealership closes shop

It opened in 1971, when gas guzzling muscle cars like the Ford Mustang still ruled the road.

Lyon Torns enters the courtroom for his sentencing Wednesday afternoon in the Snohomish County Superior Courtroom in Everett, Washington on May 25, 2022.  (Kevin Clark / The Herald)
Everett man gets 19 years in fatal Marysville shooting

Lyon “Nick” Torns sold fentanyl to Jason Castle, 42. In November 2020, Torns shot and killed him, then fled to Las Vegas.

Ian Saltzman
School leaders in Everett, Mukilteo districts receive raises

Superintendents Ian Saltzman in Everett and Alison Brynelson in Mukilteo secured contract extensions through 2025.

Brace for Memorial Day weekend traffic and long ferry lines

Leave at non-peak hours to avoid road congestion and ferry backups. The passes will be busy, too.

Most Read