Base Contact Information
New Orleans Joint Reserve Base Operator 504-678-7569, DSN 678-7569
Public Affairs Office 504-678-3260
Base Housing 504-678-2089
Geography and Area Information
The Naval Air Station Joint Reserve Base New Orleans (NAS JRB) is located in Belle Chasse unincorporated Plaquemines Parish Louisiana at 29°49′31″N 090°02′06″W. The facility is 3.72 miles south of downtown New Orleans central business district and approximately 35 miles south of Lake Pontchartrain. The Naval Air Station Joint Reserve Base New Orleans is bordered by water on 3 sides with the Mississippi River forming the eastern border and a tributary of the river forming the western boundary. The northern border is marked by the residential area of Belle Chasse and the southern border by Walker Road. The 3,239 acre (5.1 square miles) base sits at an elevation of a mere 3 feet above sea level in wooded area with intermittent swampy sections. This low elevation, in conjunction with costal proximity of NAS JRB puts the area at risk of flooding from the storm surges and seasonal tide changes of the Mississippi River. The climate of area is classified as sub-tropical humid and experiences warm humid summers and mild winters with an average annual precipitation of 61.88 inches.
Naval Air Station Joint Reserve Base New Orleans as it is known today is actually a combination of two former air bases. The original facility was located on the shore of Lake Pontchartrain on the northern side of New Orleans. This facility existed from 1941 until 1957 when the base was moved 15 miles south of New Orleans. The air base on Lake Pontchartrain was turned over to the State of Louisiana and became site of the University of New Orleans.
During the era of the Lake Pontchartrain facility the Department of The Navy was quickly expanding its in country system of Naval Reserve air bases with facilities being constructed in Atlanta, Dallas and New Orleans. Each facility was built to be identical with accommodations for 8,100 personnel. The bases included barracks for 100 cadets, a steel hangar, capacity for storage of 50,000 gallons of fuel, a repair shop and assembly hall. In January of 1942 the Naval Reserve Air Base New Orleans was further expanded to include a ground school and two additional barracks facilities. Within 5 months the Naval Reserve Air Base New Orleans had 21 flight instructors and a 27 strong squadron of N3N-3 (Yellow Peril) training aircraft.
At this time the base began receiving prospective pilots from the 16 surrounding bases who would undergo a 30 day basic ground course and then enter selection for further flight training. In November of the same year the Naval Reserve Air Base New Orleans was officially designated as a Naval Air Station and was tasked with being a Primary Training Base for prospective naval aviators. This role was changed at the end of 1943 and the sole focus of Naval Reserve Air Station New Orleans became training naval flight instructors. In July of 1946 the role of Naval Reserve Air Station New Orleans expanded to training not only Navy flight instructors but Marine Corps Air Reservists as well. The base continued to expand and by April of 1947 Naval Reserve Air Station New Orleans was training 600 enlisted sailors, 50 Marines and 350 officers and was home to two fleet maintenance squadrons, a Marine fighter squadron, a light carrier squadron and a carrier escort squadron.
At the end of the 1940’s it was quickly becoming apparent that the current air station would be outgrown in a few short years. The current Secretary of Defense, James V. Forrestal, in conjunction with engineers from the Army, Navy and Air Force set to find a suitable site for a joint air station in the New Orleans area. An area south of the business district of New Orleans in Plaquemines Parish was determined to be the most suitable. The site included the 515-acre Alvin Callender Field and an additional 2,724 acres of low lying swamp land. Construction of the new facility began in August of 1954 and Naval Air Station New Orleans was officially commissioned on December 13 1957. Supplies, aircraft and equipment were transferred from the Lake Pontchartrain base in addition to Navy, Marine Corps and Air Force Reserve units from surrounding facilities. Air Force units from Texas Ellington Air Force Base and a Louisiana Air National Guard Unit from the local municipal airport were also moved to the new Naval Air Station New Orleans. Over the next year several more Air Force units and a Louisiana Coast Guard Air Detachment were moved to the base.
Over the 1960’s and 70’s the mission of Naval Air Station New Orleans remained the same, training air reserve components of the Navy, Coast Guard and Marine Corps including VR-54 flying C- 118s, VP-94 flying SP-2s and VC-13 flying A-4Ls. In May of 1994 Naval Air Station New Orleans was renamed Naval Air Station Joint Reserve Base New Orleans to reflect its goal of accommodating all branches of the Armed Services. In the new millennium Naval Air Station Joint Reserve Base New Orleans saw multiple Navy and Marine Corps units deploy in support of Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom. Following the devastation of Hurricane Katrina the base had the only functioning runways in the region and became the center of search and rescue missions.
Primary and Ancillary functions
The primary mission of Naval Air Station Joint Reserve Base New Orleans is the training of Navy and Marine Corps Reserve pilots and the fiscal, logistical and operational support for the massive number of units that call the station home. Units stationed at Naval Air Station Joint Reserve Base New Orleans include:
Louisiana National Guard
159th Fighter Wing
Marine Corps Reserve
Marine Light Attack Helicopter Squadron 773 Det A
Marine Corps Band New Orleans
4th Marine Logistics Group
3rd Battalion 23rd Marines
MAG 49 DET C
Marine Transport Squadron (VMR) Belle Chasse
4th Marine Air Craft Wing
4th Marine Division
Coast Guard Sector New Orleans
Coast Guard Air Station New Orleans
LA Army National Guard
Army Corps of Engineers
377th Theater Sustainment Command
Military Entrance Processing Station
1199nd Terminal Transportation Brigade
Naval Facilities Southeast Public Works
Naval Branch health Clinic Belle Chasse
NAS JRB New Orleans
Navy Recruiting District New Orleans
Navy Operational Support Center
Fleet Readiness Center Mid -Atlantic Site New Orleans
Naval Reserve Professional Development Center
Navy Intel Reserve Southeast DET NOLA
Space and Navy Warfare Systems Center
Naval Air Logistics Office
Navy Band New Orleans
Active duty and reserve military personnel possessing a current valid Common Access Card (CAC) can enter the base through any of its open gates. Non-military visitors are required to check in at the security office at the main gate. They will need a valid vehicle registration, current insurance and valid government issued identification.