In 1983, Congress approved the Navy's Strategic Homeport Initiative to build additional bases and disperse the fleet from existing concentration areas. Everett, Washington was selected in 1984 as the ideal location to homeport a battle group, followed by the official ground breaking on November 9, 1987.
The installation became operational after its dedication on April 8, 1994, when personnel from the former Naval Station Puget Sound in Sand Point began transitioning to Naval Station Everett's new facilities.
The Navy acquired a second 52-acre site to locate community support facilities in Marysville. The Smokey Point Family Support Complex was dedicated on August 25, 1995. Its completion marked the final transition of tenant commands from Naval Station Puget Sound to Everett.
Among the first ships to be assigned to Everett were the frigates USS Ingraham and USS Ford in 1994. The destroyers USS Paul F. Foster, USS David R. Ray, USS Callaghan, and USS Chandler arrived during the next few years, from 1994-1996. To complete the first battle group, the aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln made a change of homeport from Puget Sound Naval Shipyard in Bremerton to Everett on January 8, 1997.