Charleston Naval Weapons Station, North Carolina
NWS Charleston is home to 11,500 military and contract employees and their 3,600 family members and dependents. Personnel support the Naval Nuclear Power Training Command, Nuclear Power Training Unit and Border Patrol Satellite Academy; an engineering center, with the Space and Naval Warfare Systems Center and nearby Southern Division, Naval Facilities Engineering Command; and as the Army logistics hub, the busiest CONUS surface port in the defense transportation system.
The station encompasses over 17,000 acres of land with 10,000 acres of forest and wetlands, 16 miles of waterfront, 4 deep-water piers, 38 miles of railroad and 292 miles of road. It has an integrated rail-head, surge mobilization capability and the only unencumbered explosive arcs in the continental US. The installation has a workforce of over 11,000 active duty/civil service/contractor personnel in 43 diverse tenant commands. The Station has state-of-the-art facilities such as the $27 Million Space and Naval Warfare Systems Center and the Naval Nuclear Power Training Command, both built within the last 15 years. There are more than 1600 buildings on the installation which encompass more than 42 million square feet and have a replacement value of $2.5 Billion.
As the station name implies ordnance storage capability is an important pillar of NWSC support to the warfighter, with 269 bunkers and a 62 million pound capacity storage complex that requires no explosive safety waivers. The station houses Navy tenant commands ranging from a medium-security brig to the Navy's nuclear training center of excellence (where all Navy nuclear personnel begin training) to the 3,000 person Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command which provides engineering excellence to the warfighter. The station also has a joint mission as it is home to the 841st Army Transportation Battalion and the Army Field Support Battalion Afloat which coordinate the distribution of warfighting equipment from the busiest port in the Army. Approximately 35% of all Army combat equipment in the OIF/OEF theater was loaded through NWS Charleston.
NWS Charleston sets the standard for quality of life and consistently earns the coveted 5-star Zumwalt Award for Bachelor Housing excellence as well as a 5-star galley accreditation in the Ney award competition. Additionally, recent additions of a $3.2M Child Development Center and a $1.4M Navy Exchange/MWR Facility exemplify the emphasis on sailor and family quality of life. The area is a draw for outdoor enthusiasts with the 10,000 acres of wetlands/forest available for hunting, fishing, biking and boating. The station has robust MWR and family support programs and it's location near sparkling beaches, spacious marshes, and historic Charleston is second-to-none. Nicknamed the "Holy City", Charleston was originally settled in 1670 (originally as Charles Towne) and is the oldest English city south of Virginia. NWS Charleston is an integral part of the South Carolina lowcountry and is the #1 employer in the area with a $2B economic impact.
Commissioned in 1941, the Station had two distinct missions: as home for two strategic submarine squadrons and a tender, and as an ordnance station with capacity for more than 60 million pounds conventional ordnance. The ordnance mission continues today, and Naval Weapons Station Charleston is the only military installation in the continental U.S. with completely unencumbered explosive safety arcs.
The Weapons Station has expanded its mission and DoD support role, and today is a training center, with the Naval Nuclear Power Training Command, Nuclear Power Training Unit, an engineering center with the Space and Naval Warfare Systems Center and nearby Southern Division, Naval Facilities Engineering Command; and as the Army logistics hub, the busiest CONUS surface port in the defense transportation system.