Naval Magazine (NAVMAG) Indian Island’s strategic mission is to provide ordnance-related support including receipt, storage, issuance, and inspection,to the Pacific Fleet and the joint services in peace and war. It has a staff of approximately 12 active duty members and 124 civil service and contract employees. The type of cargo that is loaded/off loaded is primarily ammunition (e.g., bombs, bullets and missiles). Indian Island is approximately 4.2 nmi long and oriented on a north-south axis between Marrowstone Island and the mainland of the Quimper Peninsula.
NAVMAG Indian Island is the only deep water ammunition depot on the West Coast. They are responsible for the joint transfer shipment of ammunition between the five branches of the military services. The base is also a critical site for joint training exercises, including waterborne security and logistics mobilization drills.
Two explosives anchorages are noted on DMAHTC Chart 18464, Port Townsend. One is a fair weather anchorage located on Port Townsend approximately 4,000 yd (3,658 m) northeast of the Ammunition Pier. The second is a foul weather anchorage located approximately 600 yd (549 m) south of the south end of the Ammunition Pier. United States Coast Pilot 7 mentions a "usual" anchorage of unspecified holding quality about 0.5 to 0.7 nmi south of the “railroad ferry terminal” at Port Townsend, on a muddy bottom in depths of 48 to 60 ft (14.6 to 18.3 m). The location would place the anchorage approximately 1.4 nmi north-northwest of the Ammunition Pier. The same document states that in southerly gales, better anchorage is afforded close inshore off the north end of Marrowstone Island or near the head of the bay on a muddy bottom in “moderate depths.”
In 1999, the 40-ton container crane was delivered and certified for the ammunition pier. The crane, or “Big Blue” as it is commonly referred to, is the largest container crane in the Navy and operates on a rail system. This system allows multiple loading and offloading evolutions for two ships at the same time. It is capable of lifting 89,600 pounds.
By 2000, NAVMAG had become the Pacific’s joint ordnance mobilization command, supporting numerous joint exercises designed to test and validate the mobilization of ordnance to the Pacific Theater of operations. At the same time, a significant part of NAVMAG’s— and the Navy’s—mission and vision has been to incorporate and develop the best practices of environmental stewardship and sustainability.
The Ammunition Pier is the primary maritime facility of Naval Ammunition Depot NAD Indian Island. The Ammunition Pier is located on the extreme northwest part of the island. It is large enough to accommodate a Nimitz class aircraft carrier (1,040 ft long/91,487 to 96,358 tons). The pier is 1,500 ft (457 m) long, not counting tug berths on mooring floats on the south end of the pier.
According to harbor pilots at Bremerton, the wooden pilings used in the construction of the pier would not support an aircraft carrier in an on-setting wind, so steel pilings 600 ft apart were installed. Because of the distance between the steel pilings, camels are now needed by moored ships to accommodate the pilings.
In 1941, the Navy commissioned the Naval Magazine and Net depot on Indian Island and used the organization for the storage of Navy munitions and assembly of mines and submarine nets. The island was placed in a reduced activity status in 1959 and then reactivated in 1979 when munitions storage and handling facilities at Bangor were moved to Indian Island.
NAVMAG comprises the entirety of the 2,716-acre Indian Island located on the northeast corner of Washington State’s Olympic Peninsula. Residents live on nearby Marrowstone Island, to the east and in Port Townsend, which is north-northwest of the site. Port Townsend is the largest population center near the island. NAVMAG Indian Island is approximately 7 square miles. The island contains a wealth of cultural and natural resources. There are several Native American sites on the island, as well as historically significant pioneer homestead sites and WWII era buildings.
After the Persian Gulf War, NAVMAG was selected as one of two West Coast ports to be upgraded for the efficient trans-shipment of containerized ammunition in the event of mobilization. Several infrastructure improvements were made including construction of a rail-to-truck transfer facility in Bangor on Naval Base Kitsap and installation of the Department of Defense’s largest crane at the Indian Island ammunition pier in 2000.
NAVMAG also works closely with four local Indian tribes. They coordinate the planting and harvesting of shellfish on the installation's nine beaches.
Navy Exchange: There is a small exchange located in Building 69. The hours areMonday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Boat launches are located just north of the small boat pier. The small boat pier is off limits for recreational purposes. Anderson Pond can accommodate canoes or a small rowing boat.