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NAVSEA's primary objective is to engineer, build, and support the U.S. Navy's fleet of ships and its combat systems. NAVSEA accounts for one quarter of the Navy's entire budget, with more than 150 acquisition programs under its oversight.
The origin of NAVSEA dates to 1794, when Commodore John Barry was charged to oversee the construction of a 44-gun frigate and ensure that all business "harmonized and conformed" to the public's interest. Since then various organizations were established and succeeded them to oversee design, construction and repair of ships and ordnance.
The Naval Ship Systems Command was established in 1966 replacing BuShips.
The Naval Sea Systems Command was established on July 1, 1974 with the merger of the Naval Ship Systems Command (NAVSHIPS) with the Naval Ordnance Systems Command (NAVORD). NAVORD was the successor to the Bureau of Naval Weapons and the earlier Bureau of Ordnance.
On Monday, September 16, 2013, a 34-year-old former U.S. Navy veteran and current IT contractor, identified as Aaron Alexis, gained access to the Navy Yard using a valid ID card, entered Building 197, and opened fire with a sawed-off shotgun and a stolen handgun, killing twelve people and wounding three others, including a D.C. police officer. Alexis was killed after engaging in a shootout with responding police.