Military


Charleston Naval Station
Charleston, South Carolina

The Charleston Naval Complex is located on the west bank of the Cooper River about 5 miles north of Charleston, South Carolina. There are multiple Naval commands located on the complex: Naval Shipyard (NSY), Naval Station (NS), Naval Fleet and Industrial Supply Center (FISC), Fleet and Mine Warfare Training Center (FMWTC), and the Naval Reserve Center (NRC) (which is not a closing facility) and several other small organizations. The Naval Station and Shipyard combined encompass approximately 1,800 acres. The property and the majority of the commands were slated for closure by the Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) commission in 1993, except for the FISC, which was closed by the BRAC commission in 1995. Four of the largest activities were listed for closure by the 1993 Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) Commission: The Shipyard, Naval Station, Fleet and Industrial Supply Center, and the Fleet and Mine Warfare Training Center. Operations on the complex ceased on 01 April 1996 with the complex to be transferred sometime after that, depending on the cleanup schedule. The 1996 closure resulted in the loss of 8,722 military and 6,272 civilian jobs. Southern Division of the Naval Facilities Engineering Command is the cognizant caretaker for the base.

In August 2001 Charleston International Ports, after two years of negotiations, obtained a license to develop a pier at the former Charleston Naval Base into a cargo terminal. No dollar figures are mentioned in the 30-year license for Pier Zulu. But Charleston international Ports will pay half its net income from base operations to the State Ports Authority as a license fee. Besides acquiring Pier Zulu, the largest and newest pier at the base, Charleston International also will get two other piers -- Mike and November. The license also allows the company to acquire several buildings and to improve about 200 acres around Pier Zulu.

The Charleston Naval Base was located on the west bank of the Cooper River about five miles north of the City of Charleston proper. Located within the confines of the base are the Naval Supply Center, the Naval Station, Charleston and the Naval Shipyard facilities. These activities provided the primary berthing, logistics and repair services to US Navy ships in the Charleston area.

The Naval Weapons Station is located about five miles north of Charleston Naval Shipyard on the west bank of the Cooper River. Berth Alfa is 1100 ft long and Berth Bravo is 970 ft long.

Anchorage for deep-draft vessels is available in the triangle westward of the junction of Rebellion Reach of the main channel with South Channel. However, if that anchorage is used, a scope of 10:1 (rather than the customary 7:1) should be used and a second anchor should be ready for use. This anchorage is not considered a good hurricane anchorage due to the poor holding quality and confined harbor space.

In October 1993, the reuse committee selected a consultant team to prepare a base reuse plan for the naval complex within eight months. The effort included the preparation of the reuse/redevelopment plan and the establishment of a Business Development Center to assist workers in transforming existing shipyard shops and functions into viable private businesses. In May 1994, the Committee unanimously approved the Civic and Marine Reuse Plan with a focus on five major employment areas: a shipyard function, an industrial park, an office district, an intermodal cargo port district, and a rail-served marine industrial park. The plan also calls for a community park, a community support district providing facilities for the area's social service agencies (e.g., homeless providers), and public and recreational facilities for the city of North Charleston.

In June 1994, the South Carolina House and Senate passed legislation creating the Charleston Naval Complex Redevelopment Authority to administer the reuse/redevelopment of the naval base. The authority 12 appointed members: five from the city of North Charleston, one each from the city of Charleston, Berkeley County, Charleston County, and Dorchester County, one appointed by the House, one appointed by the Senate, and one appointed by the Governor to serve as initial Chairman. Total cost to the redevelopment authority is estimated at $60 million to prepare the property for redevelopment and job creation consistent with the redevelopment plan. The cost of building renovations and site improvements (parking, lighting, landscaping, utilities) within development parcels was estimated at over $200 million and would be undertaken by others.

Findings Of Suitability to Lease (FOSL) had been completed for 472 facilities at Naval Base Charleston as of 1996, and FOSLs for an additional 231 facilities were prepared. No Findings of Suitability to Transfer (FOST) had been completed as of 1996. The Federal to Federal transfer of property (no FOST is necessary for fed to fed) at Naval Base Charleston to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the State Department, the United States Coast Guard, the United States Marine Corps, Naval Command Control and Ocean Surveillance Center In Service Engineering - East (NISE-East), and the United States Army Corps of Engineers involving over 1400 acres has taken place. Initial reuse plans include a privately-owned commercial shipyard, public recreational facilities and other community and commercial uses. The Border Patrol has set up an academy on the base for the training of Border Patrol and Immigration and Naturalization Service agents. The National Community Civilian Corps (NCCC) is also located on the base. The Defense Financial Accounting Service (DFAS) and the Defense Printing Services Detachment Office (DPSDO) are using facilities on the base.

The military remains a major industry in the Charleston area today, despite major downsizings. The 1995 round of Base Realignments and Closures resulted in the decision for Charleston to receive the Naval Nuclear Power Training Command transferring from Orlando, Florida, bringing with it 500 permanent active military jobs as well as 2,500 transient students attending the school each year. The Navy expects to have an estimated 7,800 active and civilian employees after the April '96 closure, with the 500 Power Training Command employees to be added by 1999.



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