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

Logo for news use featuring Whidbey Island in Island County, Washington. 220118
Floatplane wreckage recovery in Puget Sound begins

The U.S. Navy will use a remotely operated vehicle Deep Drone 8,000, a barge and a crane in recovery efforts.

U.S. 2 was closed from the Money Creek tunnel to Skykomish on Monday evening because the Bolt Creek fire spread close to the highway. (Washington State Department of Transportation)
U.S. 2 closed near Skykomish as Bolt Creek fire spreads

The highway was closed from the Money Creek tunnel to Skykomish, mile posts 46 to 50.

This screenshot shows a man being hoisted to a rescue helicopter Monday after being involved in a plane crash near Lake Cavanaugh. (Snohomish County Sheriff's Office)
Brothers rescued after plane crash en route to Snohomish area

The two men, 78 and 79, were flying from Skagit County to an airstrip south of Snohomish when their plane went missing.

A woman was injured in an attack Sunday at Clark Park in Everett. (Everett Police Department)
Police: Purse snatching in Everett park led to stabbing

A Snohomish woman, 36, was arrested for investigation of first-degree assault and first-degree robbery.

A semi truck blows smoke out of its exhaust pipes while driving southbound on I-5 on Friday, Sept. 23, 2022 in Everett, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Reader: Did a tractor-trailer cover my car in diesel soot?

Probably not, according to a Department of Ecology spokesperson, since diesel emissions are getting “cleaner.”

Lynnwood City Council members, from left: Jim Smith, Shirley Sutton, Shannon Sessions, Josh Binda, George Hurst, Julieta Altamirano-Crosby, and Patrick Decker. (City of Lynnwood)
No penalty for Lynnwood council member’s ‘underinformed’ views on racism

The City Council didn’t censure Jim Smith after a report found he discriminated against a Black city employee.

Christian Sayre at his bail hearing at the Snohomish County Courthouse on Wednesday, April 6, 2022 in Everett, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Anchor Pub ex-owner arrested again, released on Oregon sex crime warrant

On Monday, Everett police arrested Christian Sayre for the fifth time in the past year. A judge released him Tuesday.

Michael Adams is trying to navigate the school district's procedure for addressing complaints about racism after his son was the subject of some racist Snapchat messages sent by Granite Falls High School students in May. 

Photographed in Granite Falls, Washington on September 20, 2022. (Kevin Clark / The Herald)
After threat to ‘lynch’ Granite Falls boy, father says school fell short

Michael Adams helped craft the district’s diversity policy. Then his son became a target of racism. He now wants more changes.

Sunny Taylor (Family photo)
After cop’s suicide, Everett picked ‘money over the people,’ family says

The city argued on-the-job trauma had little to do with detective Sunny Taylor’s sudden death in 2020, to her family’s horror.

Most Read