Naval Base Ventura County
|Located near: Oxnard, California, U.S.|
An E-2C Hawkeye flies over NBVC Point Mugu
(San Nicolas Island)
|Controlled by||United States Navy|
|Commanders||Captain Lawrence R. Vasquez, USN|
|IATA: NTD – ICAO: KNTD – FAA LID: NTD|
|Operator||United States Navy|
|Elevation AMSL||13 ft / 4 m|
Naval Base Ventura County (NBVC) is a United States Navy base located near Oxnard, California. The base was formed in 2000 through the merger of Naval Air Station (NAS) Point Mugu and Naval Construction Battalion Center (CBC) Port Hueneme. NBVC is a diverse installation comprising three main facilities—Point Mugu, Port Hueneme and San Nicolas Island—and serving as an all-in-one mobilization site, deep water port, railhead, and airfield. NBVC supports more than 100 tenant commands with a base population of more than 19,000 personnel, making it the largest employer in Ventura County.
At Point Mugu, NBVC operates two runways and a 36,000-square-mile (93,000 km2) sea test range, anchored by San Nicolas Island. The range allows the military to test and track weapons systems in restricted air- and sea-space without encroaching on civilian air traffic or shipping lanes. The range can be expanded through interagency coordination between the U.S. Navy and the Federal Aviation Administration. Telemetry data can be tracked and recorded using technology housed at San Nicolas Island, Point Mugu and Laguna Peak, a Tier 1 facility also controlled by NBVC.
At Port Hueneme (pronounced "Why-nee-mee"), NBVC operates the only deep-water port between Los Angeles and San Francisco. The port also boasts 16 miles (26 km) of rail with dedicated access for on- and off-loading military freight for the various branches of service. The port is the west coast homeport of the U.S. Navy Seabees and supports the training and mobilization requirements for more than 2,600 active-duty personnel. The port facility is located on the vast agricultural Oxnard Plain, about 60 miles (97 km) northwest of Los Angeles, on the Southern California coast.
At San Nicolas Island (SNI), NBVC operates Naval Outlying Field San Nicolas Island, which has a 10,002-foot (3,049 m) concrete and asphalt runway capable of accommodating aircraft the size of a C-5 Galaxy. Other facilities on the island include radar tracking instrumentation, electro optical devices, telemetry, communications equipment, missile and target launch areas, as well as personnel support. SNI serves as a launch platform for short and medium missile testing and as an observation facility for missile testing.
Tenant commands encompass an extremely diverse set of specialties that support both the fleet and fighter, including three warfare centers: Naval Air Warfare Center Weapons Division, Naval Surface Warfare Center Port Hueneme Division, and Naval Facilities Engineering and Expeditionary Warfare Center. NBVC is also home to deployable units, including the Pacific Seabees and the west coast E-2C Hawkeyes. The facility also shares runways with the California Air National Guard's 146th Airlift Wing at the Channel Islands Air National Guard Station. The Naval Satellite Operations Center (NAVSOC), responsible for controlling and maintaining the Navy's fleet of communications satellites, is located at NBVC. NBVC is also responsible for maintaining a training area used by the 31st Seabee Readiness Group at Fort Hunter Liggett, located approximately 240 miles (390 km) north of NBVC's main facilities.
Point Mugu tenants
- 146th Airlift Wing, California Air National Guard
- Commander, Airborne Command Control and Logistics Wing
- Fleet Readiness Center South West - Site Mugu
- NAVAIR Weapons Division
- Naval Operational Support Center
- Naval Computer & Telecommunications Station San Diego - Ventura County Site
- Naval Satellite Operations Center
- Naval Test Wing Pacific
- Fleet Logistics Support Squadron 55
Port Hueneme tenants
- Center for Seabees & Facilities Engineering
- Naval Construction Training Center
- Naval Civil Engineer Corps Officers School
- Defense Contract Management Agency
- Detachment 1, 345th Air Force Training Squadron, United States Air Force
- Defense Logistics Agency, Document Services
- Engineering Duty Officer School
- Mobile Utilities Support Equipment
- Naval Construction Force Support Unit Two
- Naval Facilities Acquisition Center for Training
- Naval Facilities Engineering Service Center
- Naval Facilities Expeditionary Logistics Center
- NAVSEA Port Hueneme Surface Warfare Center Division
- Navy Cargo Handling Battalion 14
- U.S. Naval Construction Force
The facility at Port Hueneme was built as a temporary depot in the early days of World War II to train, stage, and supply the newly created Seabees. The base was officially established and began operating May 18, 1942 as the Advance Base Depot. In 1945 the Advance Base Depot was renamed the Naval Construction Battalion Center.
In 1941, as the United States entered World War II, Point Mugu also became a training area for the Seabees. The Seabees put down a section of Marston mat runway that would become Point Mugu’s first airstrip. NAS Point Mugu served as an anti-aircraft training center during the war and was developed in the late 1940s into the Navy's major missile development and test facility. This facility was the site where most of the Navy's missiles were developed and tested during the 1950s and 1960s, including the AIM-7 Sparrow family and the AIM-54 Phoenix air-to-air, Bullpup air-to-surface, and Regulus surface-to-surface missiles.
NAS Point Mugu has dominated the area since the 1940s, and is one of the few places in the area that is not agricultural. The base has been home to many ordnance testing programs, and the test range extends offshore to the Navy-owned San Nicolas Island in the Channel Islands. In 1963 the U.S. Navy Marine Mammal Program was established on a sand spit between Mugu Lagoon and the ocean. The facility was relocated in 1967 to Point Loma in San Diego, California.
NAS Point Mugu was the airfield used by former President Ronald Reagan during his presidency on visits to his Santa Barbara ranch. The airfield was used during the state funeral in 2004, as the place where the former President's body was flown to Washington, D.C. to lie in state in the Capitol Rotunda. The body was flown to Point Mugu aboard presidential aircraft SAM 28000 two days later.
Until the late 1990s, the base hosted Antarctic Development Squadron SIX (VXE-6), the squadron of LC-130s equipped to land on ice in Antarctica, to supply the science stations there. Now, the New York Air National Guard's 109th Airlift Wing has assumed that responsibility.
Naval Base Ventura County was established on October 11, 2000, during a ceremony held at Point Mugu. The two commands of NAS Point Mugu and CBC Port Hueneme were consolidated into a completely new organization. San Nicolas Island was transferred to NBVC on October 1, 2004, after several years under the Naval Air Warfare Center, Weapons Division.
NBVC provides the Pacific Fleet with an all-in-one mobilization site, deep water port, railhead, and airfield. NBVC hosts more than 100 tenant commands and, as of 2006, is the largest employer in Ventura County, with over 19,000 military and civilian personnel working for or stationed on the base. The base contributes directly or indirectly to another 8200 jobs throughout the county.
In February 2013, the U.S. Navy proposed to base four MQ-4C Tritons beginning in 2020; this would require 700 personnel and dependents to move to the base, and $74.3 million in estimated construction cost.
Located on Naval Base Ventura County is the U.S. Navy Seabee Museum, one of fifteen official U.S. Navy museums. The museum is the principal repository for the Seabees’ operational history. The Seabee Archive contains various operational records, battalion histories, manuscripts, oral histories, biographies, and personal papers pertaining to the Seabees.
Accidents and incidents
- On 4 August 1972, Douglas DC-3 N31538 of Mercer Airlines suffered an in-flight engine fire shortly after take-off from NAS Point Mugu on a cargo flight to Hollywood-Burbank Airport. The aircraft departed the runway in the emergency landing and was destroyed by the subsequent fire. All three people on board survived.
- On 20 April 2002, during an air show at Point Mugu, Navy pilot Commander Michael Norman and radar intercept officer Marine Corps Captain Andrew Muhs were killed when their McDonnell-Douglas QF-4S+ Phantom II stalled and crashed after pulling away from a diamond formation. The Navy report stated in part: "The cause of this tragic accident was the failure of the pilot to manage the energy state of the aircraft, and then to recognize a departure from controlled flight at low altitude, and apply the NATOPS recovery techniques."
- On 18 May 2011, a Boeing 707 belonging to Omega Aerial Refueling Services and chartered to the U.S. Navy skidded off the Point Mugu runway and burst into flames shortly after landing. A reported amount of approximately 150,000 pounds of jet fuel was on board when the plane crashed. All three personnel aboard the aircraft survived with non life-threatening injuries.
- "NBVC History". Naval Base Ventura County. Retrieved May 9, 2013.
- "San Nicolas Island (SNI)". Naval Base Ventura County. Retrieved May 9, 2013.
- "U.S. Naval Activities World War II by State". Patrick Clancey. Retrieved 2012-03-19.
- "Navy proposes drone operations base in California". Fox News. Associated Press. 24 February 2013. Retrieved 5 March 2013.
Melissa Caskey (25 February 2013). "Navy proposes drone site near Malibu". Malibu Times. Retrieved 1 March 2013.
"Navy Releases Draft Environmental Assessment of MQ-4C Triton UAS at Naval Base Ventura County, Point Mugu". Public Affairs Office. U.S. Navy. 22 February 2013. Retrieved 5 March 2013.
- Stephanie Snyder (25 February 2013). "Navy's proposed drone center at Point Mugu would cost $74 million". Ventura County Star. Retrieved 5 March 2013.
- U.S. Navy Seabee Museum webpage. Naval History & Heritage Command official website. Retrieved 2010-03-09.
- "N31538 Accident description". Aviation Safety Network. Retrieved 7 September 2010.
- "QF-4S+ Crash at Pt Mugu – April 20, 2002". Goleta Air and Space Museum. Retrieved June 27, 2008.
- "3 Passengers Escape Uninjured After Plane Crashes After Takeoff". Retrieved 19 May 2011.
- Blankstein, Andrew; Hennigan, W.J. (19 May 2011). "3 hurt as refueling plane bursts into flames at Point Mugu". Los Angeles Times.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Naval Base Ventura County.|
- Naval Base Ventura County, official site
- Point Mugu Air Station, GlobalSecurity.org
- Sea Range, Point Mugu
- Naval Air Warfare Center Weapons Division
- Naval Surface Warfare Center Port Hueneme Division
- FAA Airport Master Record for NTD ( PDF)
- Resources for this U.S. military airport: