The Herald of Everett, Washington
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Published: Sunday, May 1, 2011, 12:01 a.m.

Those big ships have a big impact on Snohomish County

If you have a view of Naval Station Everett, you might know all about the ships that call Port Gardner home.

If you aren't able to look out and see these huge vessels, however, we've put together a little primer on the Navy ships here.

At the newspaper office, we have an exceptional view of the Navy base pier. As I write this, I am looking out the window watching sailors performing maintenance work on the nuclear aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln.

The Lincoln (CVN 72) has been a fixture here in Everett for 15 years. The Everett Silvertips hockey team's mascot is named Lincoln and the bear's jersey number is 72, same as the ship's hull number. Many people will miss the ship when it leaves this year headed to the East Coast for a long-term refueling of the ship's nuclear reactors.
Having covered the Navy for a few years, I've seen the care people in this community have for the sailors on the Lincoln. That's a big reason why the base is nicknamed "the sailor's choice." And I think people will care just as much for the crew of the USS Nimitz when Everett officially becomes its new homeport sometime this fall.

For my part, I'll have to get to know the public affairs crew on the Nimitz. Their counterparts on the Lincoln will be a hard act to follow.

Lt. Cmdr. William Marks, Ensign Robyn Gerstenslager and their media relations colleagues this spring rightfully earned themselves the reputation as the Navy's best onboard public affairs crew on the West Coast.

With an annual payroll of $230 million, Naval Station Everett is Snohomish County's second-largest employer, right behind Boeing. Thousands of civilians and military personnel work fulltime at the base.

Everett Mayor Ray Stephanson said the Navy's boost to the economy in Everett and in all of Snohomish County is "huge."

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