Washington Navy Yard, the site of the Sept. 16 shooting that left 13 people dead, is usually not on the radar screen of most members of the public. But it has played – and continues to play -- a key role in U.S. naval warfare.
The yard, located in Southeast D.C., is home to the headquarters of Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA), which manages the design, construction and maintenance of aircraft carriers, submarines and other Navy vessels. NAVSEA oversees 150 acquisition programs, a nationwide work force of tens of thousands of employees and an annual budget of almost $30 billion. Its commander is a vice admiral.
The yard, which has been operating for more than two centuries, was once the Navy’s largest shipbuilding facility. It later evolved into a major ordnance plant. Today, it no longer builds ships or ordnance and is mainly an administrative and ceremonial center for the Navy. It is also home to the U.S. Navy Museum, which chronicles the Navy’s history from the American Revolution to the present day, and the USS Barry, a retired destroyer that serves as a museum.
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