Naval Air Station Jacksonville
Naval Air Station Jacksonville, a multi-mission base hosting more than 100 tenant commands, is the third largest naval installation in the United States. Jacksonville has a large population of active duty military, dependents and retired military personnel in the greater Jacksonville area. This installation serves as the host for the Patrol Wing Eleven, the southern component of the Atlantic Fleet P-3C force, and VP-30, the Fleet Replacement Squadron for that aircraft. The installation also hosts Sea Control Wing Atlantic and its five squadrons of S-3B aircraft, and Helicopter Antisubmarine Wing Atlantic, and five squadrons of SH-60/HH-60 helicopters.
The oldest of three Navy installations in the area, NAS Jacksonville occupies 3,896 acres along the scenic St. Johns River and employs more than 23,000 active duty and civilian personnel. In addition to the employees, NAS Jacksonville services thousands of retirees and dependents resulting in more than $2 billion being infused into the local community. Vital to our nation's defense, our personnel take seriously the rich tradition, support and customer service they provide to our forces and are deeply committed to the station's logo of "Service to the Fleet."
In addition to the many operational squadrons flying P-3, C-12, C-9 aircraft, and SH-60F helicopters, NAS Jacksonville is home to Patrol Squadron Thirty (VP-30), the Navy's largest aviation squadron and the only "Orion" Fleet Replacement Squadron that prepares and trains U.S. and foreign pilots, air crew and maintenance personnel for further operational assignments.
Support facilities include an airfield for pilot training, a maintenance depot employing more than 150 different trade skills capable of performing maintenance as basic as changing a tire to intricate micro-electronics or total engine disassembly, a Naval Hospital, a Fleet Industrial Supply Center, a Navy Family Service Center, and recreational facilities for the single sailor or the entire family.
The Naval Aviation Depot (NADEP), Jacksonville is an industrial facility that performs rework, repair, and modification of aircraft, engines, and aeronautical components. NADEP, Jacksonville covers over 100 acres of land on the St. John's River in Jacksonville, Florida and maintains a work force of over 2,500 personnel. Depot maintenance is performed on the P-3 Orion, T-2 Buckeye, F/A-18 Hornet, S-3 Viking and A-7 Corsair. NADEP, Jacksonville is the Navy's premier engine facility and reworks jet engines and over 36,000 components and avionics.
The men and women of NAS are active participants in their neighborhoods serving on community action committees and boards, as youth sport coaches, PTA members, lay leaders in their churches, scout leaders and as members and leaders of other civic and social organizations. They are committed to good stewardship of human, fiscal, material and environmental resources.
As the benchmark for aviation installation excellence, NAS Jacksonville continuously and aggressively strives to improve quality while focusing on the future and expanding the bounds of aviation support. The professionalism, team spirit and customer-oriented atmosphere ensure the highest quality products and services while meeting the challenges of a rapidly changing defense environment.
The installation is located in an urban environment, although the approaches to its primary instrument runway (runway 27) are over the three mile wide St. John River. Navy ownership and use of additional property south of the runway permits the preferred left hand pattern to be flown primarily over the installation. However, at Jacksonville, as in many other traditional operating locations (e.g. San Diego and Virginia Beach), the Navy coexists with a resurgent economy that is significantly less dependent on Navy presence than in years past. Therefore encroachment is an increasing problem.
Both NAS Jacksonville and NS Mayport face community concerns for aircraft and helicopter noise; in both cases the concerns reflect the growing prosperity of the communities, which have permitted (in fact, virtually encouraged) residential development in waterfront areas adjacent to the air stations. The NAS Jacksonville radar traffic pattern overflies upscale suburbs on the east side of the St. Johns River, while NS Mayport air operations, especially by the MH-53, are the source of complaints from newly established upscale communities on the riverfront northwest of the installation.
Limitations are also encountered as a result of the BRAC-directed closure of NAS Cecil and the loss of this relatively isolated beddown location. While NAS Cecil, a Master Jet Base, surely contributed to the overall noise picture in north Florida, its location well outside Jacksonville's urban areas permitted relatively unconstrained use of its traffic patterns. This is not the case today; fighter/attack aircraft are difficult to accommodate at NAS Jacksonville, and a moderate-sized deployment of fighter aircraft to the base can create significant community noise reaction.
Nevertheless, Jacksonville does host 6 to 8 deployments each year from CNATRA naval aviation training units. These deployments use the facilities of NAS Jacksonville and also those of the former NAS Cecil.
Secretary of Defense Recommendations: Realign Naval Air Station Brunswick, ME, to a Naval Air Facility and relocate its aircraft along with dedicated personnel, equipment and support to Naval Air Station Jacksonville, FL. Consolidate Aviation Intermediate Maintenance with Fleet Readiness Center Southeast Jacksonville, FL. This recommendation was modified to Close Naval Air Station Brunswick, ME as an addition the Secretary's recommendation list.
DoD also recommended to consolidate Naval Facilities Engineering Field Division South, Charleston, SC, with Naval Facilities Engineering Field Activity Southeast at Naval Air Station Jacksonville, Naval Facilities Midwest at Naval Station Great Lakes, IL and Naval Facilities Atlantic at Naval Station Norfolk, VA.
In another recommendation, DoD recommended to realign Naval Air Station Pensacola, FL, by consolidating Navy Region Gulf Coast with Navy Region Southeast at NAS Jacksonville. It also recommended to realign NAS Corpus Christi, TX by consolidating Navy Region South with Navy Region Midwest at Naval Station Great Lakes, IL and Navy Region Southeast at Naval Station Jacksonville, FL.
DoD would realign Naval Air Station Jacksonville, FL, by disestablishing storage and distribution functions for tires, packaged petroleum, oils, and lubricants, and compressed gases.
DoD would also realign NAS Jacksonville, FL, by disestablishing the Space Warfare Systems Center Charleston, SC, detachment Jacksonville, FL.
Secretary of Defense Justifications: The realignment of Naval Air Station Brunswick will reduce operating costs while single-siting the East Coast Maritime Patrol community at Naval Air Station Jacksonville. This recommendation retains an operational airfield in the northeast that can be used to support the homeland defense mission, as needed, and maintains strategic flexibility. The Fleet Readiness Center portion of this recommendation realigns and merges depot and intermediate maintenance activities. It supports both DoD and Naval transformation goals by reducing the number of maintenance levels and streamlining the way maintenance is accomplished with associated significant cost reductions.
The second recommendation would enhance the Navy's long-standing initiative to accomplish common management and support on a regionalized basis by consolidating and collocating Naval Facilities commands with the installation management Region at the above sites. This relocation would also achieve savings by moving from leased space to government-owned space. Naval Facilities Engineering Command would undergo organizational transformation; this recommendation would facilitate the evolution of organizational alignment and would increase the average military value of each Engineering facility. Environmentally, Jacksonville's Attainment figure is identical, but there could also be impacts for cultural, archeological and tribal resources; and wetlands associated with this recommendation.
In conjunction with other recommendations that would consolidate Navy Region Commands, the third recommendation would reduce the number of Installation Management regions from twelve to eight, streamlining the regional management structure and allowing for opportunities to collocate other regional entities to further align management concepts and efficiencies. This recommendation would support the Department of the Navy establishment of Commander, Navy Installations in order to align shore assets in support of Navy requirements, to find efficiencies through common business practices, and to provide consistent shore installation services to allow the operational commander and major claimants to focus on their primary missions. Consolidating Navy Regions would allow for more consistency in span of responsibility and would better enable Commander, Navy Installations to provide operational forces support, community support, base support, and mission support to enhance the Navy's combat power.
The fourth recommendation would achieve economies and efficiencies that would enhance the effectiveness of logistics support to forces as they transition to more joint and expeditionary operations. This recommendation would disestablish the wholesale supply, storage, and distribution functions for all tires; packaged petroleum, oils and lubricants; and compressed gases used by the Department of Defense, retaining only the supply contracting function for each commodity. The Department would privatize these functions and would rely on private industry for the performance of supply, storage, and distribution of these commodities. By doing so, the Department could divest itself of inventories and eliminate infrastructure and personnel associated with these functions. This recommendation would result in more responsive supply support to user organizations and would thus add to capabilities of the future force. The recommendation would provide improved support during mobilization and deployment, and the sustainment of forces when deployed worldwide. Privatization would enable the Department to take advantage of the latest technologies, expertise, and business practices, which translates to improved support to customers at less cost. It centralizes management of tires; packaged petroleum, oils, and lubricants; and compressed gases and eliminates unnecessary duplication of functions within the Department.
The fifth set of 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 81 jobs (34 direct jobs and 47 indirect jobs) over the 2006-2011 period in Jacksonville, FL, Metropolitan Statistical Area (less than 0.1 percent).
Commission Recommendations: The Commission found that the Secretary deviated from selection criteria 2 and 5 and the Force Structure Plan. Therefore the Commission recommends the following regarding recommendation one:
Close Naval Air Station Brunswick, ME. Relocate its aircraft along with dedicated personnel, equipment and support to Naval Air Station Jacksonville, FL. Consolidate Aviation Intermediate Maintenance with Fleet Readiness Center Southeast Jacksonville, FL.
The Commission found that this change and the recommendation as amended are consistent with the final selection criteria and the Force Structure Plan. The full text of this and all Commission recommendations can be found in Appendix Q.
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