But that’s where the US Navy’s top sub base is located. ARD Bayview sits in Lake Pend Oreille.
The US Navy’s submarine bases are some of the most high-security installations in the world, but one of their most important and shadowy submarine outposts is not located along the ocean, but rather in a lake in landlocked Idaho.
The Navy’s been using the area for the past 65 years to test new sub designs and accoustic signatures. They’ve also recently added surface vessel testing into the mix. The old propeller/rudder propulsion systems have been jettisoned due to their loud accoustic signatures; electro-magnetic drives are now the order of the moment.
They even check the toilets:
From testing an entirely new hull-form, to evaluating a the acoustic signature of a toilet pump, it’s bewildering just how many types of tests ARD can perform.
The Navy’s testing grounds on Lake Pend Oreille are so valuable and important to the future of America’s ability to project power that it has been called “the US Submarine force’s most important body of water” by Admiral Edmund Giambastiani, who was the head of the Navy’s submarine warfare group at the time of the quote. Interestingly enough, similar claims have been made about the USAF’s shadowy Area 51 test-base, which is also located on another big lake, albeit a very dry one.
Every new ship, sub, and related technology is first tested in Idaho before moving into production.
And you thought NCIS was cool.