Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort
|Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort|
|Near Beaufort, South Carolina in the United States|
|Type||Marine Corps air station|
|Owner||Department of Defense|
|Operator||US Marine Corps|
|Controlled by||2nd Marine Aircraft Wing|
|Built||1943(as Naval Air Station Beaufort)|
|In use||1943 – 1946 and 1956 – 1960 (US Navy)|
1960 – present (US Marine Corps)
|Colonel Timothy P. Miller|
|Garrison||Marine Aircraft Group 31|
|Identifiers||ICAO: KNBC, FAA LID: NBC, WMO: 722085|
|Elevation||11.2 metres (37 ft) AMSL|
|Other airfield facilities||5x V/STOL pads and 1x simulated landing helicopter dock|
|Source: Federal Aviation Administration|
Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort or MCAS Beaufort (ICAO: KNBC, FAA LID: NBC) is a United States Marine Corps air base located 5 kilometres (3.1 mi) northwest of the central business district of Beaufort, a city in Beaufort County, South Carolina, United States. About 4,700 personnel serve at the station, and it is home to four Marine Corps F/A-18 Hornet fighter-attack squadrons and two F-35B Lighting II training squadrons.
Naval Air Station Beaufort was commissioned on June 15, 1943, for advanced training operations of anti-submarine patrols during World War II. It was deactivated in 1946 and reactivated in 1956.
On March 1, 1960, it was re-designated Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort.
On September 19, 1975, the airfield was named Merritt Field in honor of Major General Lewie G. Merritt, USMC, a 1917 graduate of The Citadel, The Military College of South Carolina. A native of Ridge Spring, Merritt was a Marine Aviation pioneer who served in both World Wars and commanded several major flying units in the South Pacific during World War II, after retirement he also served as legal counsel to the South Carolina Legislature.
The air station encompasses 6,900 acres (28 km²). It is also associated with a large air-to-air combat area off the coast of South Carolina and Georgia as well as a 5,200 acre (21 km²) air-to-ground combat and bombing range in McIntosh County, Georgia. Also attached to the base is the housing complex of Laurel Bay, just 3 miles (5 km) from the station, that provides family housing for area servicemembers.
Formerly home to USMC F-8 Crusader and F-4 Phantom II operations, MCAS Beaufort currently hosts all active duty USMC F/A-18 air operations on the East Coast, said aircraft and squadrons being assigned to Marine Aircraft Group 31 (MAG-31). The mission of MCAS Beaufort is to provide support as an operational base for MAG-31 and its associated squadrons, Marine Corps support units and tenant Navy strike fighter squadrons. The mission of the Marine Aircraft Group (MAG-31) is to conduct anti-air-warfare and offensive air support operations in support of Fleet Marine Forces from advanced bases, expeditionary airfields, or aircraft carriers and conduct such other air operations as may be directed. An additional Navy F/A-18 strike fighter squadron under the claimancy of Strike Fighter Wing Atlantic at NAS Oceana, Virginia is also homeported at MCAS Beaufort. The population of the on-base "city" includes nearly 4,000 active-duty servicemembers and more than 700 civilian workers.
As is the case with many air bases, MCAS Beaufort hosts a bi-annual air show open to the public. In April 2007, a fatal crash occurred involving an aircraft from the Blue Angels demonstration team during the show.
MCAS Beaufort's nickname is "Fightertown East". MCAS Miramar in San Diego, California is the more commonly known "Fightertown", also called "Fightertown USA", the latter having acquired the nickname when it was under Navy control as NAS Miramar.
MCAS Beaufort's Dental Clinic shares a building with the Medical Clinic. The Dental Clinic has 5-7 dentists who support the squadrons' oral health care needs.
United States Marine Corps
- Marine Air Control Group 28
- Marine Aircraft Group 31
- Marine All Weather Fighter Attack Squadron 224 (VMFA(AW)-224) – F/A-18D Hornet
- Marine All Weather Fighter Attack Squadron 533 (VMFA(AW)-533) – F/A-18D Hornet
- Marine Aviation Logistics Squadron 31 (MALS-31)
- Marine Fighter Attack Squadron 115 (VMFA-115) – F/A-18A/C Hornet
- Marine Fighter Attack Squadron 312 (VMFA-312) – F/A-18C/D Hornet
- Marine Fighter Attack Training Squadron 501 (VMFAT-501) – F-35B Lightning II
- Marine Fighter Attack Training Squadron 502 (VMFAT-502) – F-35B Lightning II
- Marine Wing Support Detachment 273 (MWSD-273)
- Marine Aviation Training Support Group 42
- Marine Fighter Attack Training Squadron (VMFAT-501) Squadron Augment Unit – F-35B Lightning II
Aircraft on display at the entrance
- 135841 - North American FJ-3 Fury representing VMF-312
- 147772 - Douglas A-4C Skyhawk representing MALS-31
- 146963 - Vought F-8C Crusader representing VMF-122
- 152270 - McDonnell Douglas F-4N Phantom II representing VMFA-251
- 163157 - McDonnell Douglas F/A-18 Hornet representing VMFA-115
- "(NBC) BEAUFORT MCAS /MERRITT FIELD". Federal Aviation Administration. 5 November 2020. Retrieved 17 November 2020.
- Aviation Safety Network: IATA: BFT, ICAO: KARW
- Kaminski, Tom (2019). "Aircraft of the US Marine Corps". US Navy & Marine Corps Air Power Yearbook 2019. Key Publishing. pp. 88–92.
- "Units". MCAS Beaufort. US Marine Corps. Retrieved 13 June 2020.
- Buss, Kevin. "VMFAT-502 Activation and Re-designation". www.marines.mil. United States Marine Corps. Retrieved 28 June 2020.
- "FJ Fury/135841." Warbird Registry. Retrieved: 23 September 2014.
- "MCAS Beaufort, SC gate guards." Aircraft Resource Center. Retrieved: 23 September 2014.
- "A-4C Skyhawk/147772." Warbird Registry. Retrieved: 23 September 2014.
- "F8U Crusader/146963." Warbird Registry. Retrieved: 23 September 2014.
- "F-4 Phantom II/152270." Warbird Registry. Retrieved: 23 September 2014.
- "F/A-18 Hornet/163157." Warbird Registry. Retrieved: 23 September 2014.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort.|
- Official website of MCAS Beaufort
- MCAS Beaufort at GlobalSecurity.org
- FAA Airport Diagram (PDF), effective October 7, 2021
- Resources for this U.S. military airport: