NAS JRB New Orleans
Naval Air Station, Joint Reserve Base, New Orleans, Louisiana is located 20 minutes south of downtown New Orleans, and is home to VP-94, VFA-204, VR-54, Louisiana Air National Guard, U.S. Air Force Reserve, U.S. Coast Guard, and the U.S. Customs Service. When the base was redesignated in May 1994 to add "Joint Reserve Base," it broke the paradigm of Naval Air Station.
NAS JRB New Orleans maintains a 24-hour operational capability to support launches and recoveries of U.S. Coast Guard Sea-Air Rescue, U.S. Customs Alert and 159th Fighter Group/Louisiana Air National Guard, North American Air Defense Command alert requirements.
Part of the joint-service business since 1957, the base provides Navy, Air Force Reserve and Air National Guard units the training ground for an array of fighter aircraft. Staging "mini-wars" over the Gulf of Mexico, F-18, F-16 and F-15 pilots engage in some of the most hotly contested bayou brawls since the Battle of New Orleans in 1815. For Air Force units "anchored" at NAS JRB New Orleans, these mini-wars offer vital dissimilar fighter training that many organizations elsewhere receive sporadically. But it's an everyday happening for the Reserve's 926th Fighter Wing (F-16s) and the Louisiana ANG's 159th Fighter Group (F-15s). And it kept them sharp for recent deployments supporting Operation Deny Flight in Italy and Operation Provide Comfort in Turkey.
As a claimancy Base Communications Office (BCO) which reports to Naval Computer and Telecommunications Area Master Station Atlantic, NCTAMS LANT Det New Orleans is responsible for managing the BLII in the New Orleans area. As such, NCTAMS LANT Det New Orleans serves as the central management activity, operations and maintenance agent, and dedicated navy advocate for the BLII which includes managing inside and outside cable plants (fiber/copper); base telephone switch systems; base-wide and metropolitan area network switches such as ATM, routers, concentrators, and servers supporting the entire user population; implementing and managing the Defense Message System to include providing gateguard service to all DoD activities in the New Orleans LA, Gulfport MS, and Memphis TN areas and operating the Local Control Center (LCC), when installed; and provide for centralized telephone/network billing for all users.
Naval Aviation first came to New Orleans in July 1941, when the Naval Air Reserve Air Base, located on the shores of Lake Pontchartrain, was commissioned. Due to the Navy's need for Naval Aviators in the early part of World War 11, the station was re-designated a Naval Air Station in November, 1942, and assumed the role of a primary training base for student aviators.
After the end of hostilities, the station again changed its primary mission. In 1946, the training of selected Naval Air Reservists became the chief task.
In the summer of 1948, the idea of a Joint Reserve Air Training Center was conceived and the plans laid for the present facility located near Belle Chasse, Louisiana. Congressman F. Edward Hebert was the dominating figure behind the construction of the new Naval Air Station, which began in 1955.
It was not until the fall of 1957 that the first contingent of naval personnel was assigned workstations at the new field. In December 1957, the American flag was raised and the station rapidly prepared for resumption of operations. The first aircraft flew from the runways January 6, 1958, by the Naval Air Reserve squadrons. The installation was dedicated in April 1958 to Alvin Andrew Callender, a native of New Orleans who lost his life in World War I while flying with the Royal Flying Corps. Since that time, the station has been known to the public as Alvin Callender Field.
There have been many changes in squadrons, types of aircraft and tactical missions, but the basic mission of the Naval Air Station, supporting Reserve aviation units, has remained unchanged.
This joint reserve facility is overseen by the Chief of the Navy Reserve. The primary Navy unit at the field is VFA-204, an F/A-18 unit of the Navy Reserve. Its other tenants include Air Force Reserve and Air National Guard fighter squadrons. This installation schedules Warning Area W-92 in the Gulf of Mexico. Other airspace is available nearby, generally in conjunction with interservice training opportunities.
NAS New Orleans continues to experience some minor air and ground encroachment pressures. Working relationships between the Air Station and the FAA terminal ATC facility are described as professional, but NAS New Orleans ATC managers did note some inefficiency in terminal airspace designation and delegation.
Coast Guard Air Station New Orleans
Located on Naval Air Station New Orleans, Coast Guard Air Station New Orleans is under the operational control of the Eighth Coast Guard District. The primary mission of the station is search and rescue coverage in the Gulf of Mexico, from Apalachiola, Florida, to the Texas-Louisiana border.
The Coast Guard Air Station was commissioned in July 1955 and was then located at the old Naval Air Station at Lake Ponchartrain. In December 1957, the Coast Guard Air Station moved with the Navy to Alvin Callender Field, and shared a hangar with the Navy and Marine Air Reserve. The present (as of December 1985) hangar facilities were opened in September 1968. A new addition, a building to house administration, medical, and operations departments was scheduled for completion in the summer of 1986.
Many milestones have been achieved at the station: On April 1, 1969, CG Air Station New Orleans was the first operational unit flying the Sikorsky HH-3F twin engine helicopter, which had the most sophisticated electronics package installed in a helicopter at that time. On March 24, 1980, rescue efforts resulted in the 1500th life saved by Air Station New Orleans personnel. During August 1985, the station became the first CG air station to operate the Aerospatiale HH-65A Dolphin helicopter, becoming fully operational on September 11, 1985. The computerized navigation system of the HH-65A includes on auto-pilot function, thus freeing the pilot to spend more time searching. In the early 1980s, Coast Guard Air Station New Orleans was the busiest all-helicopter air station in the Coast Guard with over 500 SAR cases annually.
Air Station New Orleans area of responsibility extends from Apalachicola, Fla., to White Lake, La., 150 nautical miles offshore and inland to Memphis, Tenn. The air station's mission is search and rescue. In FY99, the unit's members saved 53 lives, assisted 134 others, and prevented the loss of $1.2M worth of property. The unit also supports three Coast Guard marine safety offices in the region assisting with spill response and detection of illegal hazardous waste dumps. Air Station New Orleans utilizes five American Eurocopter HH-65A Dolphin helicopters. The twin turbine, 165-knot aircraft has an operational radius of 150 nautical miles with 20 minutes on-scene time.
The Naval Air Station, Joint Reserve Base, is located in Belle Chasse on the Westbank of the Mississippi River. Take I-10 to US-90 Business West and cross the Crescent City Connection Bridge to the Westbank Expressway. Exit at Lafayette Street. Make a left turn, cross over the traffic light. Keep straight on Belle Chasse Highway LA-23. Go through the tunnel, at the the traffic light after the tunnel, either make a left turn to go in the back gate OR stay on Highway 23 about 7 miles to go in the main gate.
Secretary of Defense Recommendations: In its 2005 BRAC Recommendations, DoD recommended to close Naval Air Station Atlanta, GA. As a result, JRB New Orleans received several of NAS Atlanta's relocations. DoD would relocate Atlanta's aircraft and necessary personnel, equipment and support to several Air Stations, including Naval Air Station Joint Reserve Base New Orleans. It also recommended to relocate intermediate maintenance in support of E-2C aircraft to Fleet Readiness Center Mid-Atlantic Site New Orleans at Naval Air Station Joint Reserve Base New Orleans. DoD claimed that with these recommendations, the aviation assets would be located closer to their theaterof operations and/or would result in increased maintenance efficiencies and operational synergies. The Fleet Readiness Center portion of this recommendation would realign and merge depot and intermediate maintenance activities. It would support both DoD and Navy transformation goals by reducing the number of maintenance levels and streamlining the way maintenance is accomplished with associated significant cost reductions. Naval Air Station Joint Reserve Base New Orleans, LA was in Attainment, and would expect few environmental reprocussions as a result of this recommendation.
In another recommendation, DoD recommended to close Naval Support Activity New Orleans, LA. As a result, it recommended to relocate the Headquarters of Marine Forces Reserve to Naval Air Station Joint Reserve Base New Orleans, LA, and consolidate it with Marine the Corps Reserve Support Command element of Mobilization Command, which would relocate to NAS JRB New Orleans from Marine Corps Support Activity, Kansas City, MO. Along with this closure, DoD also recommended to relocate Naval Air Systems Command Support Equipment Facility New Orleans, LA, Navy Recruiting District New Orleans, LA, and the Navy Reserve Center New Orleans, LA, to NAS JRB New Orleans. Base operations support organizations and tenant activity services that were shared between Naval Support Activity New Orleans and NAS JRB New Orleans would also consolidate at NAS JRB New Orleans to support the remaining area population.
The relocation of the Marine Forces Reserve HQ and the Marine Corps Reserve Support Command element of Mobilization Command to NAS JRB New Orleans would maintain a central location for management of widely-dispersed Marine Corps Reserve elements and would allow for the consolidation of Marine Reserve management functions. Marine Corps Reserve Support Command was the only geographically separated element of the Marine Forces Reserve. Consolidation with its Headquarters would significantly increase interaction and operational efficiency as well as eliminate duplicative staff. Location of this consolidated headquarters at a joint reserve base would enhance joint service interoperability concepts. Althoug NAS JRB New Orleans was in Attainment, there would be potential impacts to waste management and wetlands as a result of these relocations.
DoD also recommended to close Marine Corps Support Activity, Kansas City, MO. As a result, it recommended to relocate Marine Corps Reserve Support Command element of Mobilization Command to NAS JRB New Orleans and consolidate with Headquarters, Marine Forces Reserve. The relocation of Marine Corps Reserve Support Command and its parent command, Headquarters, Marine Forces Reserve to New Orleans would maintain a central location for management of widely dispersed Marine Corps Reserve elements and would allow consolidation of Marine Reserve management functions. Marine Reserve Support Command was the only geographically separated element of the Marine Forces Reserve. Consolidation with its headquarters would significantly increase interaction and operational efficiency as well as eliminate duplicative staff. Location of this consolidated headquarters at a joint reserve base would enhance joint service interoperability concepts. NAS JRB New Orleans is in Attainment. There are potential impacts to water resources.
In another Recommendation, DoD recommended to realign NAS New Orleans ARS, LA. It would distribute the 926th Fighter Wing's A-10 aircraft to the 442d Fighter Wing (AFR), Whiteman AFB, MO (nine aircraft), and the 917th Wing (AFR) at Barksdale AFB, LA (six aircraft). The 442 wing HQ element would realign to Nellis AFB, NV, and the wing Expeditionary Combat Support would realign to Buckley AFB, CO. Both Whiteman (28) and Barksdale (33) bases had a higher military value for the A-10 operational mission than New Orleans (49). These realignments would bring the units at Whiteman and Barksdale to optimal size. Additionally, the Barksdale A-10 unit would provide close air support to the U.S. Army's Joint Readiness Training Center, one of the nation's premier joint training opportunities. Finally, realigning these A-10s to reserve units would helpe keep the active/Air National Guard/Air Force Reserve force structure mix constant.
The total estimated one-time cost to the Department of Defense to implement this recommendation would be $50.2M. The net of all costs and savings to the Department during the implementation period would be a cost of $32.5M. Annual recurring savings to the Department after implementation would be $11.3M, with a payback expected in five years. The net present value of the costs and savings to the Department over 20 years would be a savings of $80.7M. Assuming no economic recovery, this recommendation could result in a maximum potential reduction of 625 jobs (312 direct jobs and 313 indirect jobs) over the 2006-2011 period in the New Orleans-Metairie-Kenner, LA, Metropolitan Statistical economic area (less than 0.1 percent). Environmentally, there would be potential impacts to air quality; cultural, archeological, or tribal resources; land use constraints or sensitive resource areas; noise; threatened and endangered species or critical habitat; waste management; and wetlands that might need to be considered during the implementation of this recommendation. Impacts of costs included $0.5M in costs for environmental compliance and waste management.
In another Recommendation, DoD recommended to realign the 142d Fighter Wing (ANG) at Portland IAP AGS, OR by distributing the wing's F-15 aircraft to the 159th Fighter Wing (ANG), New Orleans ARS, LA (nine aircraft) and another installation. In addition, DoD recommended to relocate the 214th Engineering Installation Squadron (ANG), a geographically separated unit at Jackson Barracks, LA, onto available facilities at New Orleans.
While New Orleans (79) ranked slightly below Portland for the fighter mission, the Air Force used military judgment in realigning Portland's remaining F-15 aircraft to New Orleans. New Orleans had above average military value for reserve component bases, and realigning aircraft from Portland would create another optimum-sized fighter squadron at New Orleans. Although the ANG would continue to support an alert commitment at Portland, the Air Force determined it was also a priority to support North American Defense Command (NORAD) and United States Northern Command (USNORTHCOM) air sovereignty alert requirements at Atlantic City and New Orleans. Creating effective sized squadrons at these reserve component locations would ensure the Air Force could maintain trained, experienced pilots and maintenance technicians, and would be able to fulfill its Homeland Defense alert requirements. By relocating the geographically separated Air National Guard squadron onto New Orleans, the Air Force would best utilize available facilities on the installation while reducing the cost to the government to lease facilities in the community.
In another recommendation, DoD would establish a CIRF for F100 engines at New Orleans Air Reserve Station (Air National Guard unit) by realigning base-level F100 engine intermediate maintenance from Tyndall Air Force Base and Jacksonville Air Guard Station. This recommendation would standardize stateside and deployed intermediate-level maintenance concepts, and compliment other CIRF recommendations made by the Air Force. These CIRFs would increase maintenance productivity and support to the warfighter by consolidating dispersed and random workflows, improving reliability-centered maintenance. Realigning F100 engine maintenance from Tyndall and Jacksonville into a CIRF at New Orleans (ANG unit) would establishe a southeast region CIRF that would service F100 engines for up to 96 F-15 aircraft of active duty and Air National Guard aircraft, complimenting other Air Force recommendations that would increase New Orleans and Jacksonville to an optimum 24 aircraft squadron size. The Air Force considered both New Orleans and Jacksonville for the southeast CIRF, but analysis indicated New Orleans would require less construction than Jacksonville due to existing maintenance facilities. A CIRF at New Orleans could also potentially capitalize on capacity and recruitment of experienced maintenance technicians as a result of the recommended realignment of the New Orleans Reserve A-10 mission.
DoD also recommended to realign NAS New Orleans ARS, LA. Distribute the 926th Fighter Wing's A-10 aircraft to the 442d Fighter Wing (AFR), Whiteman Air Force Base, MO (nine aircraft), and the 917th Wing (AFR) at Barksdale Air Force Base, LA (six aircraft). The 442nd wing HQ element realigns to Nellis Air Force Base, NV, and the wing Expeditionary Combat Support realigns to Buckley Air Force Base, CO.
Secretary of Defense Justification: The recommendation reduces excess capacity while maintaining reserve forces in regions with favorable demographics. The aviation assets will be located closer to their theater of operations and/or will result in increased maintenance efficiencies and operational synergies. Relocating Reserve Intelligence Area 14 to Fort Gillem creates synergies with joint intelligence assets while maintaining the demographic base offered by the Atlanta area for this function. The Fleet Readiness Center portion of this recommendation realigns and merges depot and intermediate maintenance activities. It supports both DoD and Navy transformation goals by reducing the number of maintenance levels and streamlining the way maintenance is accomplished with associated significant cost reductions.
Both Whiteman (28) and Barksdale (33) bases have a higher military value for the A-10 operational mission than New Orleans (49). These realignments bring the units at Whiteman and Barksdale to optimal size. Additionally, the Barksdale 10 unit provides close air support to the US Army's Joint Readiness Training Center, one of the nation's premier joint training opportunities. Finally, realigning these A-10s to reserve units helped keep the active/Air National Guard/Air Force Reserve force structure mix constant.
Community Concerns: The community expressed concern that relocating Navy/Marine Corps Reserve squadrons to areas where the presence of qualified and trained personnel resources are uncertain would significantly degrade the military readiness of the combat ready and tested Atlanta area Reserve forces. These forces are presently engaged in the Global War on Terror and actively monitoring and deterring drug trafficking along the southern US coast. They further argued that DoD's stated savings would not be realized by closing NAS Atlanta, because the remaining infrastructure of hangars, ramps, and administration and support buildings would be absorbed by Dobbins Air Reserve Base, and other Department of Defense and governmental agencies.
There were no formal expressions from the community concerning the realignment of the Air Force Reserve Station.
Commission Findings: The Commission found no reason to disagree with the recommendation of the Secretary of Defense. However, the original cost savings were overstated because of incorrect data submitted by Naval Air Station Atlanta. Consequently, the cost data was revised by the Department of Defense and recertified.
The Commission found DoD's recommendation concerning the Air Force Reserve Station supportable, but revised the language to correct an oversight directing manpower movements from Whiteman AFB, rather than New Orleans ARS.
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.
Regarding the Air Force Reserve Station, the Commission found that the Secretary of Defense deviated substantially from final selection criteria 1 and 3, as well as from the Force Structure Plan. Therefore, the Commission recommends the following: Realign NAS New Orleans ARS, LA. Distribute the 15 A-10 aircraft assigned to the 926th Fighter Wing (AFR) to meet the Primary Aircraft Authorizations (PAA) requirements established by the Base Closure and Realignment recommendations of the Secretary of Defense, as amended by the Defense Base Closure and Realignment Commission. Establish 24 PAA A-10 at the 442d Fighter Wing (AFR), Whiteman Air Force Base, Missouri Establish 24 PAA A-10 at the 917th Wing (AFR) at Barksdale Air Force Base, Louisiana. The 926th Wing HQ element realigns to Nellis Air Force Base, NV and the wing Expeditionary Combat Support realigns to Buckley Air Force Base, CO.
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