In honor of Military Appreciation Month, I am dedicating my May column to the great partnership between Snohomish County and our military. The county has played host to the U.S. military numerous times, beginning in the spring of 1941. The Army Corps of Engineers operated Paine Field for five years in support of World War II. In 1946, the military left Paine Field and two years later it was transferred to the county’s ownership.
The most significant military presence in the county is Naval Station Everett. We are fortunate to have great neighbors in the Navy as the station contributes greatly to our communities and local economy.
Naval Station Everett was officially opened on April 8, 1994. It is currently home to five guided-missile destroyers, including the USS Shoup, USS Momsen, USS Kidd, USS Gridley and USS Sampson, as well as commander of Carrier Strike Group 11 and commander of Destroyer Squadron 9. The military also operates the Smokey Point Naval Support Complex in Marysville. The center provides assistance with many aspects of military life, including housing, education, social and recreational opportunities, and more. Naval Station Everett is host to over 7,000 active duty and civilian members.
These members live in our communities, frequent our local businesses, and send their children to our schools. The overall economic impact of Naval Station Everett on Snohomish County is estimated at $475 million annually.
This impact is in the form of direct and indirect transactions from maintenance of military equipment to local spending by the members of the military. Many members live in Marysville, and we have a public-private venture to help support military families’ housing at Carroll’s Creek Landing.
On April 12, I attended the State of the Station address where Station Cmdr. Capt. Mark Lakamp shared important information about Naval Station Everett. Lakamp detailed the innovative ways that the station and its fleet are saving energy as well as their commitment to clean water. He also announced the arrival of a sixth guided-missile destroyer, the USS Ralph Johnson, which arrived at port in Everett on April 27.
Snohomish County is proud to host Naval Station Everett and the many military and civilian personnel associated with it.
I hope we all take time this Military Appreciation Month to let them know how much we value their sacrifice for our freedoms and remember those lost while fighting for them. The Arlington Memorial Day Parade will be May 28 starting at 10 a.m. The American Legion also hosts a Memorial Day ceremony at the Marysville Cemetery (8801 State Ave.) These are great opportunities to show our appreciation, and I hope to see you there.
Council Councilman Nate Nehring represents District 1, which includes Arlington and Marysville. Nate.Nehring@snoco.org.