Feb. 14 (UPI) -- The Navy's assistant secretary for research, development and acquisition visited Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard and Intermediate Maintenance Facility this week to see sites that will be affected by the Navy's $21 billion Shipyard Infrastructure Optimization Program.
"The Shipyard Infrastructure Optimization Plan is recapitalizing these shipyards, putting in new facilities, improving efficiency, improving the quality of life for the shipyard workers so they can continue to get our ships in and out on time," Secretary James F. Geurts said in a press release.
Pearl Harbor will be the first shipyard to undergo maintenance infrastructure upgrades through the program, which will make changes to the nation's four public shipyards over the next 20 years.
The planned upgrades at Pearl Harbor include upgrading the dry dock to support modern ship classes, restore needed shipyard facilities and replace aging equipment.
The Navy said it has accommodated the added workload by adding more than 1,000 employees between 2010 and 2018.
Pearl Harbor is a field activity of Naval Sea Systems Command and a regional maintenance center for the Navy's surface ships and submarines. It is the largest industrial employer in the state of Hawaii with a combined civilian and military workforce of about 6,500, according to the Navy.
In January, Norfolk Naval Shipyard in Virginia broke ground on the renovation of its historic Dry Dock 4, a $200 million project expected to last four years.