Naval Station San Diego is one of the multitude of military bases in California owned and operated by the United States Navy. In fact, this is the largest one located on the West Coast. It is the base with the most important operations in the Pacific. It hosts more than 50 ships on 13 piers. However, it only spreads on four square kilometers, plus 1.3 square kilometers on the water. Currently, the base hosts more than 20,000 military troops. At the same time, there are about 6,000 civilians on site. They are mostly families and independent contractors. The base is located in San Diego and is commanded by Captain Winton Smith.
The land occupied by NS San Diego today belonged to a ship building corporation. If the business was very profitable throughout World War I, things changed a little when the war reached to an end. In fact, the profit began to drop until the whole business became worthless. This is why the owner decided to hand the land back to the local authorities for some small costs. Meanwhile, the United States Navy was carefully exploring the West Coast to find a perfect place for a new base. Around 1920, the Navy found the site that was once owned by the ship manufacturer and picked it right away. After a long bureaucratic process and a lot of problems raising out of nowhere, the base was finally over and the groundbreaking ceremony was held in 1922.
The first years saw an amazing ascension of the base. The authorities kept injecting money in the upcoming projects, so the base rapidly saw multiple housing opportunities, facilities, buildings, schools and shops. Although the future seemed pretty bright, World War II saw a different face of this facility. It rapidly grew in the years before the war, but during the war, it changed its objectives a little. It actually became a repair base, dealing with the maintenance and repair operations of various ships. Although this move was seen as a little drawback, the experts at NS San Diego dealt with exactly 5,117 ships throughout the war, counting an amazing record.
Once this war got to an end, the base operations were reconsidered and the base was restructured. No one knew precisely what its purpose was. The world renowned status NS San Diego has today was achieved during the ’60s, when it became the most important name in the Pacific.
NS San Diego hosts around 120 different tenant units. Naming all of them is impossible, since most of them are temporary and come or leave every once in a while. However, the most important names include the Afloat Training Group Pacific, the Medical Center San Diego, the Marine Corps Relief Society, the Training Support Center and the Sea Logistics Center.
There are also a lot of ships “parked” there, including 18 destroyers, 10 amphibious ships, 7 cruisers, 6 frigates, a couple of cutters and littoral ships. The base is as complete as it can be if you count all the units and ships representing it.