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Originally published Tuesday, January 11, 2011 at 8:10 PM

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Kitsap Navy base is getting a new boss

Capt. Mark Olson, Naval Base Kitsap commanding officer, will be relieved by Capt. Pete Dawson on April 15.

BREMERTON — Capt. Mark Olson, Naval Base Kitsap commanding officer, will be relieved by Capt. Pete Dawson on April 15.

Olson, who assumed command in June 2008, has accepted orders to serve as the next deputy commandant of Naval District Washington, at the nation's capital.

Olson, speaking at a Navy League luncheon, described the complexity and diversity of the Kitsap base. It's the third-largest Navy base in the U.S., with 13,000 active-duty personnel, 13,000 Department of Defense civilian employees and 10,000 contractors, totaling almost as many people as live in Bremerton.

"Twice as many people come to work at Naval Base Kitsap dressed like you [civilians] than dressed like us," he said.

About 54 percent of Kitsap residents are directly or indirectly tied economically to the base, he said.

The base houses one of the country's four nuclear shipyards, one of two nuclear-weapons facilities, the only West Coast dry dock capable of handling a Nimitz-class aircraft carrier and the Navy's largest fuel depot.

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