Naval Air Station Point Mugu is one of the military bases established in the United States of America that no longer operate as independent bases. The air station is located in the southwestern side of California, in Ventura County. The base popularity and usage didn’t always place it among the most important ones in the country, therefore it was one of the most controversial subjects at the 2000 Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) commission. As a result, it had to be “mixed” San Nicholas Island and Port Hueneme. The mixture is now referred to as the Naval Base Ventura County. Both prior and after the unification, the base was operated by the United States Navy. The base shares some of the runways with one of the Air National Guard units in the area.
The history of NAS Point Mugu places it among the relatively new military bases opened by the US Navy. Most of the current bases were established prior or during World War II. If many of them were old enough and only needed some renovations before the war, some others were set up only to strengthen the United States of America before joining World War II. This one is among the results of the war. Soon after the war ended, the authorities had enough time to figure out what went wrong and where they had to improve. A testing site and missile production area was mandatory. This is how Point Mugu was picked. The construction was done in the late ’40s. It was an excellent asset for the military power of the country. During the conflicts from the ’50s and the ’60s, it represented the most important site for testing some of the most advanced and powerful missiles. Some of them include Aim 54 Phoenix, Bullpup, Regulus or AIM 7 Sparrow. The authorities tested any form of missile, from ground to air, vice versa and combined.
NAS Point Mugu was one of Ronald Reagan’s favorite sites. He always used the local airfield during the visits to his nearby ranch. The same airfield was also used for a final tribute to the former American president in 2004, when he passed away. His body was taken to Capitol Rotunda with the popular SAM 28000 aircraft.
The base has almost 20,000 employees and represents the most important local employer in Ventura County.
NAS Point Mugu is not popular for its military purpose only, but also for the surrounding parks. The nearby state park covers more than 60 square kilometers of protected areas. The visitors can admire and study various flowers, birds or marine animals. The sightseeing is amazing and includes canyons and beaches.
Over the years, NAS Point Mugu hosted more or less significant units, both permanent and temporary. These days, it hosts the Airborne Command Control and Logistics, the Fleet Logistics Support, two Test and Evaluation squadrons and an Air National Guard unit – the 146-th Airlift Wing. These units are permanent, while a few others are deployed for limited periods of time.