A noted leader in shipbuilding, the General Dynamics NASSCO (National Steel and Shipbuilding Company) shipyard in San Diego, California, began its work with the United Sates Navy in 1960. At the peak of production, more than four thousand employees worked in the shipyard. Amongst these skilled workers were many welders, engineers, boilermakers and riggers. The relationship between the United States Navy and NASSCO has included both building new ships and serving as a repair facility for the Pacific fleet of naval vessels. NASSCO was awarded with a Master Ship Repair certification contract for their work with both the Navy and the Military Sealift Command.
Founded in 1905 as California Iron Works, the shipyard has undergone many changes in ownership, but the quality of its products has never varied. Since 1959, NASSCO has been behind the building and development of nearly one hundred large ocean vessels, primarily commercial cargo ships. Active in both production and development of new designs and improvements to ocean-going vessels, this shipyard has primarily served the United States Navy. Leading the way in advancements in construction of both destroyers and carriers, the General Dynamics ship yard has helped the US Navy to excel in its service. Many other types of work have been completed at the yard, including repairs to a variety of strategic Sealift, destroyer support and hospital vessels as well as combat logistics support ships.
A long history between the US Navy and the General Dynamics yard has seen many innovations and improvements to both construction methods and the vessels used by the Navy. Not merely a construction site for ships or a repair yard, development of new technologies has been a big part of NASSCO history. The Navy showed their appreciation for NASSCO and their innovative work in October of 2001, extending a $9.7 million contract for a new project. The goal was to develop and construct the initial two vessels in the T-AKE program. This new endeavor created top of the line dry cargo and ammunition ships for the Military Sealift Command as part of NASSCO’s contribution to the United States military’s ongoing advancements.