Ventura County Naval Base, California
First built as a temporary depot in the early days of World War II, the Construction Battalion Center at Port Hueneme is a veteran of that war. The base was originally established to train, stage, and supply the newly created Seabees. 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. The Port Hueneme 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.
As the need for a sea test range became evident, Commander Grayson Merrill, head of the Bureau of Aeronautics Special Projects Branch, drafted a letter explaining the need for a sea test range. A new missile center at Point Mugu was endorsed by the Secretary of the Navy, and was approved by President Truman in May 1946. Capt. Albert N. Perkins, the first commanding officer of the new center, established the Naval Air Missile Test Center at Point Mugu. The Naval Air Station was established on Aug. 1, 1949, to support the U.S. Naval Air Missile Test Center by providing material and service support, including military personnel administration, air traffic control and flight line functions.
When the Korean War came in 1950, Port Hueneme was ready to serve the Navy again. Almost all of the Navy construction equipment and supplies for that war were routed through the base.
For 57 years Point Mugu has had an impact on research, development, test and evaluation of missile weapons systems, and for 59 years Port Hueneme has provided integral supplies, equipment, camps and roads, to support not only the Seabees, but the Army, Air Force and Marines as well.
As the decade of the 1990’s came to a close, and with the former Soviet Union ceasing to exist, the Department of the Navy began to look for new ways of streamlining base commands to better serve our Fleet customers.
The regionalization process formally began in Ventura County in 1998, with the transfer of the commands at Naval Air Station (NAS) Point Mugu and Construction Battalion Center (CBC) at Port Hueneme to Commander in Chief, U.S. Pacific Fleet, via regional management by Commander, Navy Region Southwest, San Diego. Base Operating Support (BOS) services were first consolidated in 1998 as a part of a Navy-wideprogram to gain efficiencies and cost savings. CBC was designated as providers of general BOS support for the Navy at Point Mugu and Port Hueneme. NAS Point Mugu was responsible for the aviation mission at Point Mugu. BOS services encompass the common services required to operate a base such as fire, safety, security, public affairs, public works, environment controls, family services, morale, welfare and recreation, and housing services. Marked also in 1998 was the arrival of the E-2C Hawkeye to Point Mugu from MCAS Miramar, California. Four E-2C squadrons along with the staff of Commander Airborne Early Warning Wing U.S. Pacific Fleet brought 16 E-2C Hawkeye aircraft and more than 1,000 personnel to Ventura County.
Fleet Logistics Support Squadron 55 (VR-55) became a new reserve tenant command at Point Mugu during 1999. VR-55 operates four C-130T Hercules transport aircraft. VR-55 filled the void as VXE-6 was disestablished after 55 years of service to the Navy and the National Science Foundation.
Oct. 11, 2000 marked the establishment of Naval Base Ventura County (NBVC) 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. Naval Base Ventura County provides the Pacific Fleet with a premier mobilization site, complete with a deep water port, rail head, and airfield-all in one package. Two outstanding commands - Construction Battalion Center Port Hueneme and Naval Air Station Point Mugu - have evolved into one full-service organization that is one of the major naval installations on the West Coast.
A 2006 Economic Impact Study about Naval Base Ventura County, presented by the Workforce Investment Board of Ventura County, reported NBVC as the largest employer in the county, with over 19,000 personnel (military and civilian) working for, or stationed on the base in all categories, and contributing directly or indirectly to another 8,200 jobs throughout the county.
At Port Hueneme the deep water port is one of the few military ports on the West Coast. Port Hueneme has more than 300 acres of lay-down space and 16 miles of railroad with portside access. Point Mugu operates and maintains two runways, Runway 3-21 is 11,000 feet and Runway 9-27 is 5,500 feet. Runway 3-21 is capable of handling the largest of Air Force aircraft, including the C-5 Galaxy.
NBVC Point Mugu site welcomed Naval Air Maintenance Training Group Detachment Point Mugu (NAMTRAGRU DET) on Oct. 17, 2000. NAMTRAGRU DET was the final piece of the Hawkeye community to relocate from San Diego to Point Mugu. In 2001 the Aircraft Intermediate Maintenance Department functions were transferred from Naval Base Ventura County to Commander Airborne Command Control and Logistics Wing.
The more than 100 military commands located at NBVC are ready to support the diverse missions of the Department of Defense. These missions include combat and weapon systems testing on the 36,000 miles Sea Range off the coast of Point Mugu. Four Seabee battalions, Underwater Construction Team TWO of the Third Naval Construction Brigade, and Naval Construction Training Center (Seabee College) are homeported at Port Hueneme. The Navy’s combat skilled construction force serves around the world in support of military construction requirements.