NAS Jacksonville is one of the two advanced naval bases placed in Duval County. Although it is seen like a military base, it is actually a military airport. It is only 6 km away from the Jacksonville business district. This is the second base in size in the southern part of the United States and also the third one in the country. It is one of the bases with the fastest growth rate over the years. The main purpose of this camp is to train some of the best pilots in the world, not to mention about various techniques and technologies used in the anti submarine warfare for the United States and all the allied countries.
The place was initially known as Camp Joseph E. Johnston and was created around World War I, in 1917. During its first years, it counted not less than 600 buildings, representing one of the largest bases at those times. It also included the second largest and most important range for rifle. Soon after the war ended, the place was disestablished in 1919. It took less than 10 years to be reactivated in 1928 and also renamed to Camp J. Clifford R. Foster. The first Marines got there before World War II, in 1940. The same years brought in some reconstructions and a few updates. At the same time, the camp was commissioned. The commissioning process coincided with the first pilot landing at the camp, although the runway was not finished yet. Jimmy Grant opened a gate for the upcoming years. The base released more than 10000 pilots and 11000 air specialists during World War II. A few more runways were built during the war too, along with more buildings, such as a very professional hospital, a prison for the prisoners of war and so on. The prison managed to take in over 1500 German prisoners.
By 1960, NAS Jacksonville got to see a very prominent period, with new facilities built in and plenty of updates. The development coincided with the growth of Jacksonville as well. With 11000 military troops and 5000 civilians employed, the base was seen like an economical boom in the area. These days, it counts around 23000 employees.
Most of the initial Marines are gone from NAS Jacksonville now, with the latest group leaving the base in 1986. The base currently hosts 16 aviation units, 17 shore commands and a few other agencies. Some of the most important units include the Patrol Squadron 5, the Helicopter Antisubmarine Squadron 3, the the Fleet Logistics Support Squadron 58 and the United States Customs and Border Protection.
According to the duration of your stay, you may be hosted at one of the few inns and hotels in the area or visit the NAS Jacksonville Housing Service Center. The purpose of this center is to help any newcomer, whether you are alone or with your family. It will analyze your needs and income, then suggest you some appropriate homes you can afford. You can also opt for the privatized system through this service center.