Naval Station Ingleside
Naval Station Ingleside is located on the northern shore of Corpus Christi Bay, 12 miles northeast of the city of Corpus Christi, about 150 miles south of San Antonio, and approximately 200 miles south of Houston. This region is known as the Coastal Bend. The Naval Station is ideally situated astride the Corpus Christi ship channel, which links the Port of Corpus Christi with the Gulf of Mexico. South Texas Navy is made up of commands and units aboard Naval Station Ingleside, Naval Air Station Corpus Christi, and Naval Air Station Kingsville.
A groundbreaking ceremony on February 20, 1988, marked the beginning of Naval Station Ingleside. On April 9, 1990, the Station and the community dedicated Hayden W. Head Boulevard, the main thoroughfare providing access from the community to the Station.
Named for a distinguished citizen of South Texas who played a major role in bringing Naval Station Ingleside to the Coastal Bend, this event symbolized the partnership between the Navy and South Texas in the common enterprise of Naval Station Ingleside. That same month, the Station received its first unit of the Operating Forces of the Navy on-berth when USS LEXINGTON (AVT 16) visited Corpus Christi Bay.
Work on the various military construction projects proceeded to the point where the Chief of Naval Operations established Naval Station Ingleside as an activity of the Shore Establishment of the Department of the Navy in a "development" status as of June 1, 1990. By September 1990, sufficient construction had been completed to permit Naval Station Ingleside's military and civilian "plank owners" to move aboard the Station from temporary office and working spaces in the community.Later that same month, the Naval Station's modern and very capable waterfront was dedicated. The "move aboard" was completed when the Station accepted the Headquarters Building on December 14, 1990.
Although originally planned as the homeport of a training aircraft carrier, USS LEXINGTON, and a battleship, USS WISCONSIN (BB 64) and its surface action group, changes in the Navy's force structure caused these ships to be decommissioned. However, on May 3, 1991, the Secretary of the Navy announced plans to homeport Avenger Class mine countermeasures ships and Osprey Class coastal mine hunters at Ingleside. Construction continued to support what was now designated the Navy's "Mine Warfare Center of Excellence."
The Secretary of the Navy, the Chief of Naval Operations and the Commander of the revitalized Mine Warfare Command made good on the commitment when USS SCOUT (MCM 8) reported to its new homeport at Ingleside on June 25, 1992. Two weeks later, Commander, Naval Surface Forces, US Atlantic Fleet, placed Naval Station Ingleside in an "operation" status on July 6, 1992, during the same ceremony that marked the Station's first change of command.
The Navy continues the process of consolidating the operations and training of its mine countermeasures forces in South Texas under the leadership of Commander, Mine Warfare Command. Naval Station Ingleside is a vital component of this concept of operations. Currently 25 of the Navy's newest mine countermeasures ships, coastal mine hunters and MCM command and control ship, USS Inchon, call Ingleside home
NAVSTA Ingleside was originally constructed to accommodate a Battle Group composed of a battleship, a large aircraft carrier, and several smaller vessels. These plans led to the construction of a 1,100 ft pier, with additional berthing space provided along two quay walls. Ingleside is now home port to the Navy's Mine Warfare Force, comprised of 14 MCM-1 Avenger Mine Countermeasure Class vessels, 10 MHC-51 Osprey Mine Hunter Class vessels and the Mine Countermeasures Command, Control and Support Ship USS Inchon (MCS-12). The 1,100 ft pier has a deck height of 23.5 ft above mean tide level. The east and west quay walls are 13.5 ft above mean water. Project depths are 45 ft for the east basin and 35 ft for the west basin.
Ingleside, Texas is located near 27°49'N 97°12'W on the north side of Corpus Christi Bay. Corpus Christi Bay is located on the south Texas coast of the Gulf of Mexico. Naval Station (NAVSTA) Ingleside is situated adjacent to Corpus Christi Channel on the north side of Corpus Christi Bay, about 8.5 nmi west of the open waters of the Gulf of Mexico.
According to US Coast Pilot 5, vessels should anchor off Aransas Pass in the Aransas Pass Fairway Anchorages. There is no suitable anchorage for deep-draft vessels inside Aransas Pass. Shallow-draft vessels of up to 10 ft draft can anchor about 1 nmi inside Aransas Pass in an area just north of Inner Basin. Other shallow-draft anchorages can be found in Corpus Christi Bay in depths of 13 to 15 ft.
A heavy weather mooring system was designed and installed for mooring the US Navy's fleet of minehunters and minesweepers homeported at NAVSTA Ingleside. The system was based on a modified Mediterranean mooring configuration that allows clusters of vessels to be moored together. Alternative locations for these moorings were not available due to the lack of deep draft areas in the Corpus Christi Bay area. The bows of each vessel cluster tie into a mooring plate that is secured to two chain ground legs. The sterns of each vessel cluster are secured to the Naval Stations berthing pier using a spring-line arrangement. The system can accommodate up to 24 vessels in four clusters of six vessels each. The systems were design to withstand winds in excess of 110 miles per hour and accommodate storm surges of 11 feet. Since the mooring systems were installed in the middle of the Naval Station's operational basin, the moorings had to be submerged during normal operational periods. So, a modified YC "mooring barge" with a mounted A-frame and winch system is utilized to recover a pick-up line attached to the mooring plate. The mooring plate is brought back up to the deck of the YC to make the connection to the vessel cluster.
Secretary of Defense Recommendations: In its 2005 BRAC Recommendations, DoD recommended to close Naval Station Ingleside. As a result, DoD recommended to relocate its ships along with dedicated personnel, equipment and support to Naval Station San Diego, CA; relocate the ship intermediate repair function to Shore Intermediate Maintenance Activity San Diego, CA; consolidate Mine Warfare Training Center with Fleet Anti-submarine Warfare Training Center San Diego, CA.
Assuming no economic recovery, DoD estimated that this recommendation, along with recommended realignment of NAS Corpus Christi, could result in a maximum potential reduction of 6,864 jobs (3,184 direct jobs and 3,680 indirect jobs) over the 2006-2011 period in the Corpus Christi, TX, Metropolitan Statistical Area, which would be 3.1 percent of economic area employment.
Secretary of Defense Justifications: This recommendation would move mine warfare surface and aviation assets to major fleet concentration areas and reduce excess capacity. Gulf Coast presence could be achieved as needed with available Navy ports at Naval Air Station Key West, FL, and Naval Air Station Pensacola, FL. The Minehunter Coastal ships at Naval Station Ingleside were scheduled for decommissioning between FY 2006 and FY 2008 and would not recommended to relocate. Additionally, U.S. Coast Guard presence would be expected to remain in the Gulf Coast region. Relocation of Commander Mine Warfare Command and the Mine Warfare Training Center to San Diego, CA, would create a center of excellence for Undersea Warfare, combining both mine warfare and anti-submarine warfare disciplines. This reorganization would remove the Mine Warfare community from a location remote from the fleet thereby better supporting the shift to organic mine warfare. This recommendation would also support mission elimination at Shore Intermediate Maintenance Activity Naval Reserve Maintenance Facility Ingleside, TX and reduce excess repair capacity. The relocation of Helicopter Mine Countermeasures Squadron 15 (HM-15) to Naval Station Norfolk single sites all Mine Warfare Aircraft in a fleet concentration area. This location better supports the HM-15 mission by locating them closer to the C-5 transport Air Port of Embarkation for overseas employment and mine countermeasures ship and helicopter coordinated exercises.
Community Concerns: The community expressed concerns that the loss of civilian jobs and high quality military personnel would have a negative economic impact. The Navy would lose synergies from collocating air and surface mine warfare communities. They believe Ingleside's military value score did not give appropriate credit for the facilities' unique mine warfare mission and training ranges or modern base facilities (including double decker piers and a one of a kind Electro-Magnetic Roll facility). The recommendation would weaken military presence in an area vulnerable to terrorist threats.
Commission Findings: The Commission found that naval assets in the Gulf of Mexico are important to homeland defense because over 50 percent of imported oil and gas comes into the United States through the Gulf of Mexico ports. Additionally, 50 percent of the US refining capability is located in the Gulf of Mexico.
The Commission also found that DoD has other air and ground assets in the region that can be tasked as needed and that naval assets can also be tasked as required if the seaborne threat conditions escalate. The Commission found that the staff of the Mine Warfare Command, considered the essence of the Mine Warfare Center of Excellence that will relocate to San Diego, will have better access to the various Strike Group Commanders and that the surface minesweepers can integrate more readily with the fleet and participate in exercises to improve the operational effectiveness of the Mine Warfare Force. This is a prelude to the next generation of air and surface Mine Warfare assets that will be organic units assigned to Strike and Expeditionary forces for operations and training.
The Commission found that the original cost savings were overstated by 33.8 percent because of incorrect data submitted by Naval Station Ingleside. Consequently, the cost data was revised by the Department of Defense and recertified with a resulting savings projected in 2025 to be $614.2 million dollars.
In view of the Commission's finding that Department of Defense recommendations to close Naval Station Ingleside and Naval Station Pascagoula are consistent with BRAC selection criteria and the Force Structure Plan, the Secretary of Defense is encouraged, in conjunction with the Department of homeland security, to ensure that there is an adequate response plan in place for Naval forces to respond to threats in the Gulf of Mexico, and that response plan be shared as appropriate with Governors responsible for the protection of their citizens.
Commission Recommendations: The Commission found the Secretary's recommendation consistent with the final selection criteria and the Force Structure Plan. Therefore, the Commission approves the recommendation of the Secretary.
Mine Warfare South Texas Impact (approximate figures)
|Naval Station Ingleside
*includes ships and shore-based commands
that support Mine Warfare units.
|Naval Air Station Corpus Christi
*COMINEWARCOM headquarters, COMOAG,
|Naval Air Station Kingsville
|Family members of above personnel||5700|
|Total Mine Warfare-related Presence||10,000|
|Approximate ecomonic impact
*Includes base maintenance contracts, employee
payroll, ship repairs, local food services, etc.
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