Military


Charleston Naval Weapon Station

Sixty W-80-0 Tomahawk SLCM munitions and 85 nuclear aerial bombs for deck-based aircraft are stored at Charleston Naval Weapons Station, located on the west bank of the Cooper River, 40 km from Charleston, South Carolina.

The mission of the Naval Weapons Station Charleston is to maintain and operate facilities and provide, as appropriate, services and material to support operations of commands of the operating forces of the Navy, and other organizations designated by the Chief of Naval Operations (CNO), and to perform such other functions and tasks as may be directed by higher authority. The facility also supports the Maritime Prepositioning Force (MPF) Program; and serves as homeport for ships as directed by the Chief of Naval Operations (CNO), and Commander, Military Sealift Command (MSC).

Naval Weapons Station, Charleston (NAVWPNSTA CHASN) was commissioned as the US Naval Ammunition Depot on 5 November 1941. The 6,701 acre original site was purchased when it became apparent that ammunition could no longer be safely handled in large quantities at the Naval Station. One year later, an additional 5,187 acre tract was purchased. During World War II the mission of the depot was to receive ammunition from inland plants and issue it to ships being built at the Charleston Naval Shipyard. Following the war, the depot was tasked with handling the removal of ammunition from some 370 ships being deactivated. In 1947 the depot was nearly deactivated and returned to private ownership; however, in 1948 it was placed in standby status. Only those operations required to store ammunition for ships undergoing overhaul at the shipyard were conducted. This condition continued until the mid 1950s. The mission was then expanded to include handling of guided missiles and loading new Polaris submarines.

By 1960, the first Polaris Missile Facility Atlantic (POMFLANT) was constructed. During this same period, facilities were built at the NAVSPNSTA CHASN for handling the first surface launched Terrier guided missile. During the 1960s, both NAVWPNSTA CHASN and its major tenant, POMFLANT, continued to expand their missions with NAVWPNSTA CHASN acquiring an additional 1,656 acres of land in leases, easements, and through civil actions. Facilities were added at NAVWPNSTA CHASN for the new Terrier, Tartar, and Hawk missiles in 1965 and the Standard and Red Eye missiles in 1969. In the 1970s, over 2,730 acres of additional land was acquired. NAVWPNSTA CHASN continued to improve its torpedo and mine capability during this time. In September 1980 NAVWPNSTA CHASN assumed coordination responsibilities of Charleston Army Depot for Anniston Army Depot, Anniston, Alabama. By Memorandum of Understanding, Commanding Officer, NAVWPNSTA CHASN, agreed to manage maintenance, utilities, supply, and security services at Charleston Army Depot until the formal turnover from the Department of the Army to the Department of the Navy. Acquisition rights to the real estate and buildings at the Charleston Army Depot were transferred to NAVWPNSTA CHASN on 30 September 1981. At that time the name changed to NAVWPNSTA South.

NAVWPNSTA CHASN is located on the west bank of the Cooper River in the southeast portion of Berkeley County, 25 miles from Charleston and 13 river miles from the Atlantic Ocean.

SIZE: The station occupies a total of 16,274 acres. The current plant value is $652.M. Buildings include 1356 permanent (5,212,905 sq ft), 79 semi­permanent (153,857 sq ft), and 37 temporary (103,433 sq ft). The current estimated replacement value of plant equipment is $97.7M. It has 292 miles of roads and 25 miles of railroads. As of November 2001, there were 417 active buildings, of which 40 buildings were devoted to industrial use; 16 were tasked for administrative purposes; 59 served as warehouses; while another 217 buildings were tenant-occupied. Additionally there was an excess of 69 buildings and another 16 buildings used for miscellaneous purposes.

As of 31 August 1994, the total civilian work force was 827. The projected yearly payroll for FY94 was $35.4M. As of November 2001, the population at NAVWPNSTA CHASN could be approximately broken down into about 284 civilians, 181 military, 170 Non-Appropriated, 215 contractors, and about 6,000 Family Housing Residents. The total tenant personnel (Military, Civilian and Contractor) numbered roughly 8,400.

The total civilian work force population at NAVWPNSTA CHASN comes from three surrounding counties: 24 percent from Charleston County, 60 percent from Berkeley County, and 16 percent from Dorchester County. The station work force includes approximately 4 percent professional, 45 percent wage grade, 12 percent technical, and 39 percent administrative/clerical.

One railroad, one major highway (I­26), one navigable river (Cooper) with one wharf and two piers, one international airport, Charleston AFB, and two small craft airports service the weapon station.

The first C4ISR [command, control, communications, computers, intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance] engineering center for the Navy, SPAWAR Systems Center, Charleston (SSCC), is located at the Naval Weapons Station Charleston, Southside. Containing laboratory and administrative space totaling 256,000 square feet, this building is the focal point for serving DoD and federal government customers well into the 21st century. A few of the specialty areas included in the center are an interactive board room, a briefing theater, a showcase command and control laboratory, and a gallery to display engineering systems. Nearby staging areas and military transport capabilities (including airlift) allow SPAWARSYSCEN Charleston to assemble and ship equipment rapidly.

A new naval command was commissioned in Charleston, S.C., on Jan. 9, 1994, establishing the Naval Command, Control and Ocean Surveillance, In-Service Engineering, East Coast Division (NISE East). NISE East was established as a result of a 1993 Base Realignment and Closure Commission (BRAC) decision. This new command brought together the expertise of approximately 1,000 federal workers from four former naval activities along the East Coast -

  • Naval Electronic Systems Engineering Center in Charleston, S.C.;
  • Naval Electronic Systems Engineering Center in Portsmouth, Va.;
  • Naval Electronic Systems Engineering Activity in St. Inigoes, Md.; and
  • Naval Electronic Systems Security Engineering Center in Washington, D.C.

On Oct. 11, 1994, a ground-breaking ceremony celebrated the beginning of construction of the Navy's first custom-designed command, control, communications, computers, intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (C4ISR) facility. Named in honor of US Senator Fritz Hollings at a ceremony on Aug. 21, 1995, employees began moving into the 256,000 sq.ft. building in May 1998. This event marked the accomplishment of the 1993 BRAC direction to consolidate the East Coast engineering activities. This building is the Navy's first custom-designed command, control, communications, computers, intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (C4ISR) facility.

On Oct. 1, a 1995 BRAC decision merged the Naval Command, Control and Ocean Surveillance Center (NCCOSC) into its parent command, the Space and Naval Warfare (SPAWAR) Systems Command. As a result, the field activities were renamed and NISE East became SPAWAR Systems Center, Charleston.

In the spring of 1995, the first phase of the construction converted building 3113 at the Naval Weapons Station to provide 90,000 square feet of laboratory and administrative space. The Intelligence and Information Warfare C2I Systems Engineering Department moved into the building, enabling employees in those groups to consolidate from their various locations. The conversion of a 90,000-square foot building 3112 at the Naval Weapons Station provides a system integration facility, engineering labs, and a 15,000-square foot conference center.

The Naval Computer and Telecommunications Command (NCTC) signed an agreement on Aug. 10, 1999 to transfer their Navy Working Capital Fund (NWCF) activities and associated NCTC headquarters personnel directly supporting the NWCF activities to the Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command. NCTC activities in Norfolk, Va., Washington, D.C., Pensacola and Jacksonville, Fla., transferred to SPAWAR Systems Center, Charleston. As a result, this command now employs 2,300 civil servants located all around the world.

One of SPAWAR Systems Center, Charleston's many areas of expertise is air traffic control (ATC). As a center of excellence for naval shore ATC systems worldwide, along with today's advanced technological responsibilities and an increasing workforce, a $7.2 million contract was recently awarded for the construction of a new 38,783 sq. ft. ATC facility just a few blocks away from the main engineering center. Employees, dignitaries, sponsors, and customers witnessed that ground-breaking ceremony July 13, 2000. At completion, over one hundred employees will physically move into the new ultramodern ATC building.

BRAC 2005

In another recommendation, DoD would realign Naval Weapons Station Charleston, SC, by relocating the installation management functions to Charleston AFB, SC.

All installations employed military, civilian, and contractor personnel to perform common functions in support of installation facilities and personnel. All installations executed these functions using similar or near similar processes. Because these installations shared a common boundary with minimal distance between the major facilities or are in near proximity, there was significant opportunity to reduce duplication of efforts with resulting reduction of overall manpower and facilities requirements capable of generating savings, which would be realized by paring unnecessary management personnel and achieving greater efficiencies through economies of scale. Intangible savings would be expected to result from opportunities to consolidate and optimize existing and future service contract requirements. Additional opportunities for savings would also be expected to result from establishment of a single space management authority capable of generating greater overall utilization of facilities and infrastructure. Further savings would be expected to result from opportunities to reduce and correctly size both owned and contracted commercial fleets of base support vehicles and equipment consistent with the size of the combined facilities and supported populations. Regional efficiencies achieved as a result of Service regionalization of installation management would provide additional opportunities for overall savings as the designated installations are consolidated under regional management structures.

The quantitative military value score of Charleston AFB compared to that of Naval Weapons Station Charleston was too close to be the sole factor for determining the receiving installation for installation management functions. Military judgment favored Charleston AFB as the receiving installation for the installation management functions because of its mission in support of operational forces compared to Naval Weapons Station Charleston, which had a primary mission to support training and industrial activities. As an installation accustomed to supporting operational forces, it was the military judgment of the JCSG that Charleston AFB would be better able to perform those functions for both locations. Assuming no economic recovery, this recommendation could result in a maximum potential reduction of 657 jobs (264 direct jobs and 393 indirect jobs) over the 2006-2011 period in the Charleston-North Charleston, SC Metropolitan Statistical Area (0.2 percent).

In another recommendation, DoD recommended to realign Naval Weapons Station Charleston, SC, as follows: relocate Surface Maritime Sensors, Electronic Warfare, and Electronics Research, Development & Acquisition, and Test & Evaluation of the Space Warfare Center to Naval Surface Warfare Center Division, Dahlgren, VA; relocate Subsurface Maritime Sensors, Electronic Warfare, and Electronics Research, Development & Acquisition, and Test & Evaluation of the Space Warfare Center to Naval Station Newport, RI; and relocate the Command Structure of the Space Warfare Center to Naval Amphibious Base, Little Creek, VA, and consolidate it with billets from Space Warfare Systems Command San Diego to create the Space Warfare Systems Command Atlantic, Naval Amphibious Base, Little Creek, VA. The remaining Maritime Information Systems Research, Development & Acquisition, and Test & Evaluation functions at Naval Weapons Station Charleston, SC, would be assigned to Space Warfare Systems Command Atlantic, Naval Amphibious Base, Little Creek, VA. DoD also recommended to realign NAS Pensacola, FL, by relocating the Space Warfare Systems Center Charleston, SC, detachment Pensacola, FL, to Naval Weapons Station Charleston, SC.

These recommended realignments and consolidations would provide for multifunctional and multidisciplinary Centers of Excellence in Maritime C4ISR. This recommendation would also reduce the number of technical facilities engaged in Maritime Sensors, Electronic Warfare, & Electronics and Information Systems RDAT&E from twelve to five. This, in turn, would reduce overlapping infrastructure increase the efficiency of operations and support an integrated approach to RDAT&E for maritime C4ISR. Another result would also be reduced cycle time for fielding systems to the warfighter. Assuming no economic recovery, this recommendation could result in a maximum potential reduction of 74 jobs (28 direct jobs and 46 indirect jobs) over the 2006-2011 period in Charleston-North Charleston, SC, Metropolitan Statistical Area (less than 0.1 percent). Environmentally, Naval Weapons Station Charleston was in attainment for all Criteria Pollutants. Charleston also discharged to impaired waterways, and groundwater and surface water contamination were reported.



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