When it comes to government spending, a project that costs $840 million is likely to draw a cringe or two at its projected price tag. It’s understandable, as that is a lot of money to dedicate to a single project. But when it comes to making sure that our submarine fleet is up to par, money shouldn’t be an issue. Naval Submarine Base Kings Bay’s waterfront is getting an $840 million overhaul in preparation for the arrival of the new Columbia-class submarines, scheduled to be ready in 2028. Included in the project is $500 million in upgrades to the dry dock and other infrastructure needed to accommodate the new ballistic missile submarines. Other planned work includes a $160 million transit protection program facility, a $138.6 million nuclear regional maintenance facility and an expansion of the Columbia training facility.

The work is scheduled to start next year and to take about three years to complete. It is encouraging to see the government continue to invest in Kings Bay. The sub base has become a crucial part of our national defense efforts and will serve as the base where all 12 Columbia-class submarines will undergo sea trials before they are permanently assigned to either Kings Bay or Bangor, Wash.

Kings Bay is also an important economic part of our area. Along with all the Navy personnel that call the area home, there are civilian workers who work at the base in a variety of roles. That number is going up when the project begins.

While the base is prepared for its new submarines, the expansion will provide around 1,000 local jobs. The base will need civilian workers performing skilled and unskilled labor during the construction and renovation project.

That provides an opportunity for people to not only help their country, but also earn a good chunk of change. Since the work will take place on the base, prospective workers will be thoroughly vetted. All workers will be required to pass a background check and drug test in order to work at the high-security waterfront.

We are confident that there are plenty of workers in Camden and surrounding counties that can fill those positions.

The base expansion is a win-win for Kings Bay and the community at-large. The base gets an overhaul, its largest construction project since the base was constructed in the 1980s. The community gets the benefits of more jobs and the knowledge that Kings Bay will be around for decades to come. We look forward to seeing Kings Bay take another step in its ongoing mission to protect and defend the United States.

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