An artist’s rendering of the USS Constellation, the first of a new class of frigate which the Navy will homeport in Everett. (Fincantieri Marine Group via. U.S. Navy)

An artist’s rendering of the USS Constellation, the first of a new class of frigate which the Navy will homeport in Everett. (Fincantieri Marine Group via. U.S. Navy)

New frigates could bring other improvements to Everett base

Local leaders say the Navy’s decision to locate 12 frigates in Everett bodes well for the base’s future.

EVERETT — For the commanding officer of Naval Station Everett, the announcement last week that Everett will someday be home to a dozen new frigates speaks volumes to the steady, years-long campaign to promote the advantages of the base.

It also bodes well for other investments ahead along the waterfront.

The Navy chose Naval Station Everett as the future homeport for the Constellation-class Frigates, which are still in design phase. The first one is expected to arrive in 2026 and the others by 2036.

“Naval Station Everett proponents have worked incredibly hard at all levels of the Navy to make this a reality and this announcement is the culmination of 30 months of deliberate and diligent work,” the station’s commanding officer, Capt. Mike Davis, said via email. “This announcement isn’t just ships, it is everything else that comes with them; additional training and support facilities, broader surface ship maintenance capability, and a myriad of additional infrastructure and personnel support requirements.”

On the day of the announcement Wednesday, Congressman Rick Larsen, whose district includes the Navy base, said it is too early to know if the choice of Everett could lead to larger ships, up to an aircraft carrier, returning once again to the shores of Snohomish County. He does expect it will result in other improvements along the waterfront, and hopes that could someday include replacing two antiquated piers on the north end of the waterway.

“This isn’t just a big win for the installation, but also the waterfront, city and county,” Davis said. “I am humbled by what these Naval Station Everett champions have brought to fruition and excited to see the Navy’s contribution to the rich community which is Snohomish County.”

Lisa Lefeber, the Port of Everett CEO and executive director, said the Navy’s decision will allow the base to be used to its full potential. Representatives from the Port, City of Everett, Snohomish County and Economic Alliance Snohomish County have traveled to Washington, D.C., to advocate for Naval Station Everett over the last decade, she said.

“Over the years, the Port has worked tirelessly to support infrastructure and support services that make Naval Station Everett more efficient and attractive for more ships,” Lefeber said. “One of the big additions to the Port is Everett Ship Repair – a new shipyard that is designed and planned to accommodate the drydock needs of surface combatants, such as the new FFGX that will be homeported in Everett.”

Having ship repair in the harbor improves maintenance and the quality of the life for sailors by keeping their ships in port and not having to travel, she said. The Port has also been investing heavily in trade infrastructure through additional upland and berthing capacity.

Mayor Cassie Franklin said she looks forward to welcoming the new fleet as well as its crews and families to Everett.

“It’s great news that Naval Station Everett will serve as the future homeport for the next generation of guided missile frigates,” she said. “After years of advocating for growth at the base, I’m pleased to see these efforts come to fruition with the addition of these new ships.”

Eric Stevick:

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