Military


Point Loma

Throughout the 1920s, Fort Rosecrans was reduced to the caretaker status of keeping guns and equipment in good condition. The garrison remained small, although activity increased somewhat during the later years of the decade. Despite the de-emphasis of armament during the 1920s, additional batteries of antiaircraft guns had been installed on Point Loma by 1930. The increased artillery consisted of two batteries installed to cover the southwest, west, and northwest approaches to San Diego Harbor. The installations were known as Battery Point Loma (located on the west side of the peninsula below the Cabrillo National Monument lighthouse) and Battery Gillespie (located on the northwest corner of the military reservation).

From 1930 to 1940, Point Loma's defenses were revitalized. On 22 July 1936, Battery White was practice-fired for the first time in 11 years. The following year construction of the new building and an additional battery started. The new battery was called Battery Strong and represented the latest in seacoast fortifications designed to defend against attack by battleships and long-range and carrier-borne aircraft. In 1939, with the outbreak of war in Europe, and France falling in 1940, the U.S. concern for defense increased. By 1940, this concern accelerated the schedule for construction of coastal defenses. San Diego's plan called for a network of artillery batteries and fire-control facilities along approximately 30 miles of coastline. The plan called for batteries in three locations: Point Loma, Silver Strand, and Fort Emory. Battery Strong, begun in 1937, was completed. Construction of the other batteries began in early 1941, before the attack on Pearl Harbor, and continued through 1945.

Naval Base Point Loma

The Naval Submarine Base in Point Loma provides pierside berthing and support services for submarines of the U.S. Pacific Fleet and is the site of the Navy Alcohol Rehabilitation Center. Eight attack submarines, one submarine tender and one floating dry-dock are homeported at the base. There are no ballistic missile submarines homeported in San Diego.

The Navy Submarine Support Facility was established in November 1963, on 280 acres of the land. On November 27, 1974 the base was re-designated a shore command, serving assigned submarines, Submarine Group Five, Submarine Squadrons Three and Eleven, Submarine Development Group One, and Submarine Training Facility. On October 1, 1981 the base was designated as Naval Submarine Base. Starting in April 1995, several commands were decommissioned or their homeports were changed, to meet the down-sizing requirements of the Navy. Commands throughout San Diego were regionalized in an effort to provide services while managing a reduced budget. Current tenant commands include COMSUBRON ELEVEN, COMSUBDEVRON FIVE, Submarine Training Center Pacific (SUBTRAFAC), 7 submarines, a submarine tender (USS MCKEE), one dry dock (ARCO), and the Navy's Substance Abuse Rehabilitation Department (SARD).

BRAC 2005

In its 2005 BRAC Recommendations, DoD recommended to 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. DoD als recommended to realign Naval Air Station Corpus Christi. As part of this recommendation, DoD recommended to relocate Commander Mine Warfare Command and Commander Mobile Mine Assembly Group from Corpus Christi to Fleet Anti-Submarine Warfare Center, Point Loma.

This recommendation would move mine warfare surface and aviation assets to major fleet concentration areas and reduce excess capacity and would remove the Mine Warfare community from a location remote from the fleet thereby better supporting the shift to organic mine warfare. 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. Environtmentally, Anti-Submarine Warfare Center Point Loma was in Maintenance for Ozone (1- Hour), but an Air Conformity Determination would not be required. There would be potential impacts tothe resource areas of land use constraints or sensitive resources.

In another recommendation, DoD recommended to realign Naval Base Ventura County, CA, Naval Surface Warfare Center Division, Dahlgren, VA, and Naval Station Newport, RI, by relocating Maritime Information Systems Research, Development & Acquisition, and Test & Evaluation to Naval Submarine Base Point Loma, San Diego, CA, and consolidating with the Space Warfare Center to create the new Space Warfare Systems Command Pacific, Naval Submarine Base Point Loma, San Diego, CA. DoD would also realign Naval Submarine Base Point Loma 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; disestablish Space Warfare Systems Center Norfolk, VA, detachment San Diego, CA, and assign functions to the new Space Warfare Systems Command Pacific, Naval Submarine Base Point Loma; disestablish Naval Center for Tactical Systems Interoperability, San Diego, CA, and assign functions to the new Space Warfare Systems Command Pacific, Naval Submarine Base Point Loma; and disestablish Space Warfare Systems Command San Diego, CA, detachment Norfolk, VA, and assign functions to the new Space Warfare Systems Command Atlantic, Naval Amphibious Base, Little Creek , VA.

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 88 jobs (44 direct jobs and 44 indirect jobs) over the 2006-2011 period in the San Diego-Carlsbad-San Marcos, CA, Metropolitan Statistical Area (less than 0.1 percent). Environmentally, San Diego was in attainment for all criteria pollutants. It also discharged to impaired waterways, and groundwater and surface water contamination were reported.

JPG PDF

Naval Weapons Station Point Loma

Located aboard the 315-acre submarine base at Naval Base Point Loma, Calif., Det. San Diego's 36 personnel are tasked to provide reliable Mk. 48 heavyweight torpedoes, Tomahawk cruise missiles, small arms, pyrotechnics, and countermeasures to units of the U. S. Pacific Fleet submarine force. Besides storing and issuing ordnance, Detachment personnel also operate a flushing facility, which removes propulsion byproducts from Mk. 48 exercise torpedoes after they have been fired and recovered.

The history of Det. San Diego begins in February 1852, when President Millard Fillmore set aside 1400 acres of the southern portion of Point Loma, at the entrance to San Diego Bay, for military purposes. Subsequently, it was assigned to the US Army and named Fort Rosecrans, after General William Rosecrans, a Union Civil War hero and 1842 graduate of the US Military Academy. In 1898 the Army built a coastal artillery installation on the site, which remained active until 1945.

In 1959 Fort Rosecrans was turned over to the US Navy, and a Navy Submarine Support Facility was established there in November 1963. In October 1981 the base was designated as Naval Submarine Base Point Loma.

Weapons-related functions had initially been a responsibility of submarine base personnel. However, in 1995 the staff and facilities assigned to this mission became a detachment of Naval Intermediate Maintenance Facility Pearl Harbor. In 1997 the detachment became Naval Magazine Lualualei, Det. San Diego. Finally, in October 2000 the detachment was transferred to Naval Weapons Station Seal Beach as a part of the Navy's regionalization efforts under Commander, Navy Region Southwest.

The Integrated Combat System Test Facility (ICSTF) was established as a field activity of the Naval Sea Systems Command on 1 October 1977. It is located on SPAWARS Support Center (SSC) military facility at Point Loma California. It was initially established to certify the operational programs that comprised the combat system of the DDG-2/15 ship classes. This role has expanded to include the CV/CVN, LHD, LHA, LSD, DD-963, FFG and the new LPD-17 ship class.

As a result of the Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC), on 2 January 1992, ICSTF was formally consolidated with the Naval Ship Weapon Systems Engineering Station (NSWSES), Fleet Combat Direction Systems Support Activity, Dam Neck (FCDSSA) and the Naval Mine Warfare Engineering Activity (NMWEA) to form Port Hueneme Division, Naval Surface Warfare Center (PHD NSWC). ICSTF became the PHD NSWC Detachment San Diego. In 1998, PHD NSWC Detachment San Diego became part of the NAVSEA-05 land based Distributed Engineering Plant (DEP) which was established to support design and early test of Battle Force (BF) systems.

Fuel Department

The Fleet and Industrial Supply Center (FISC) San Diego operates a Defense Fuel Support Point (DFSP), commonly referred to as DFSP Point Loma, or as Point Loma Fuel Department. The Fuel Department is physically located inside the SUBASE gates. The 200 acre facility includes 50 bulk storage tanks, 30 miles of piping, over 3000 valves, a 964 foot long pier, and a full service petroleum testing laboratory. Ships in port San Diego may bunker directly or indirectly from the bulk petroleum supplies at DFSP Point Loma. Bunkering request are included as line "FOXTROT" on the pro-forma Logistics Request message (LOGREQ) sent to Naval Station Port Services Office as per the Fleet Guide. Message address is PSO SAN DIEGO CA/N35//. Ships must include "FISC SAN DIEGO CA/F//" as an INFO addee for any LOGREQ requesting delivery of bulk petroleum products. Bunkering at DFSP's La Playa pier is normally conducted between 0700 to 1530 Monday through Friday. Confirm the availability of the La Playa berth at least five working days prior to the desired date of services by telephoning the DFSP. Once berth availability is confirmed, ships request tug services through the Naval Station Port Operations Office. La Playa pier is not a berthing pier; it does not have services such as steam, CHT, or trash, and must be kept open for fuel transfer operations. Therefore, visits are scheduled at La Playa Pier only for the anticipated time that the loading and/or fuel services will be required. Only barges, AO's and tankers are offloaded.

DFM and JP5 are delivered directly at the La Playa fuel pier, or indirectly by barge(YO/YON). NAVSTA Water Front OPS operates these barges. Onloads/offloads at the 32nd St. Piers will be handled on a case by case basis. DFSP Point Loma operates two lube oil trucks. The truck carries only one product per load. Maximum capacity is 2,000 gal./truck. Minimum delivery requirements are 500 gallons. Less than 500 gal., ship must order packaged lube oil in 55 gal. drums. MOGAS is not stored at FISC Point Loma and must be delivered by commercial tank truck. MOGAS deliveries can be conducted at La Playa fuel pier or Naval Station piers with proper safety precautions. Delivery at other military berths in San Diego requires a 500 foot safety arc and is stringently monitored by the Federal Fire Department, NAVSTA Safety, and FISC Fuel Department personnel. Only under extraordinary circumstances will the North Islands berth M, N, O, and P be considered to transfer MOGAS. Ships should consult their ISIC prior to loading or off-loading MOGAS. In particular, amphibious ships should consult with PHIBRON-9. Most encourage ships returning from deployment to off-load MOGAS prior to entering CONUS.

Space and Naval Warfare Systems Center

The Space and Naval Warfare Systems Center was formerly known as the Naval Command, Control and Ocean Surveillance Center (NCCOSC) RDT&E Division (or NRaD). The Space and Naval Warfare Systems Center is a full-spectrum RDT&E laboratory serving the Navy, Marine Corps, and other Department of Defense and national sponsors within its mission, leadership assignments, and prescribed functions.

The Space and Naval Warfare Systems Center has facilities for conducting RDT&E and life-cycle support functions in C4ISR. The Space and Naval Warfare Systems Center's laboratories offer worldwide networking capabilities plus the ability to participate in major joint exercises. In San Diego, NRaD occupies more than 580 acres. Facilities are concentrated in four major areas: Topside, Bayside, Seaside, and Old Town. NRaD Topside, located on the ridge of Point Loma, includes the principal administrative and support sections, as well as facilities for communications, environmental testing, electronic materials, advanced electronics, laser technology, and ocean surveillance. NRaD Bayside faces San Diego Bay, which provides waterfront access and berthing capabilities vital to NRaD activities in ocean surveillance, ocean engineering, navigation, and marine sciences. NRaD Seaside, located on the west slope of Point Loma, offers a protected, electromagnetically shielded site essential to RDT&E in C3I and ocean surveillance.

During the World II era, the Navy presence on the Point Loma peninsula of San Diego grew from a small radio station to an established research facility. Founded in 1940, the Navy Radio and Sound Laboratory (NRSL) worked to improve radar, radio transmission and reception, and sonar. NRSL's success with the design and arrangement of ship antennas eventually led NRSL to an ongoing mission for antenna development.

SSC San Diego has as its mission to be the principal Navy RDT&E Center for command and control, communications and ocean surveillance. The Center's vision statement, and also its challenge, is to be the Nation's pre-eminent provider of command, control, communications, computers, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (C4ISR) solutions for warrior information dominance. Space and Naval Warfare Systems Center San Diego (SSC San Diego) is responsible for development of the technology to collect, transmit, process, display and, most critically, manage information essential to naval operations. The Center develops the capabilities that allow decision-makers of the Navy, and increasingly of the joint services, to protect their own forces and carry out their operational missions.

June 1, 2000, marked the 60th anniversary of the organization currently named Space and Naval Warfare Systems Center San Diego (SSC San Diego). The Center's early history is actually that of two separate organizations-the U.S. Navy Radio and Sound Laboratory (NRSL) and the Naval Ordnance Test Station (NOTS). They were, respectively, the first and second West Coast Navy laboratories, established in 1940 and 1943. NRSL's initial charges were improvement of shipboard high-frequency (HF) communications, and investigation of possible Navy uses of two emerging technologies-sonar and radar. The lab's location on top of Pt. Loma was perfect for the required research in radio propagation. NRSL also had pier facilities at the current Bayside complex, where buildings housed the lab's partner in its work, the University of California Division of War Research.

In 1967, the Navy re-organized its laboratory structure, eliminating or merging labs to reduce the number from 15 to nine. NOTS Pasadena was consolidated with the undersea technology component of the Navy Electronics Laboratory to form the Naval Undersea Warfare Center. In the days of anti-Vietnam War sentiment, that name hindered recruitment of qualified engineers, and it was changed in 1969 to the Naval Undersea Research and Development Center, and in 1972 shortened to Naval Undersea Center.

In 1945, the Navy Radio and Sound Lab and its wartime partner, the University of California Division of War Research, were formally consolidated into the U.S. Navy Electronics Laboratory (NEL). NEL's charter was "to effectuate the solution of any problem in the field of electronics, in connection with the design, procurement, testing, installation and maintenance of electronic equipment for the U.S. Navy." Its radio communications and sonar work was augmented with basic research in the propagation of electromagnetic energy in the atmosphere and of sound in the ocean. To support those efforts, NEL began building its Shipboard Antenna Model Range. It also began conversion of a World War II mortar emplacement, Battery Whistler, into an Arctic Submarine Laboratory.

Scientific exploration of the Arctic Basin, and particularly providing the capability to operate attack submarines in the Arctic under the ice canopy, would become a key NEL mission. World headlines came early in this program from several events-the submerged voyage of USS Nautilus from the Pacific to the Atlantic, via the North Pole, in 1958, and the surfacing at the pole of USS Skate the following year, both with NEL's Dr. Waldo Lyon aboard as chief scientist and ice pilot. NEL also plunged into the undersea environment, acquiring the bathyscaph Trieste and directing its 1960 dive to the absolute bottom of the ocean, 35,800 feet down in the Challenger Deep of the Marianas Trench near Guam.

Interested in radio physics in general, the lab built a 60-foot-diameter radio telescope on Pt. Loma, and an astro-geophysical observatory with a similar antenna at La Posta in the Laguna Mountains for research in propagation and ionospheric forecasting. The latter was used during a number of Apollo space launches to predict solar activity that might hamper communications from the ground to the space capsules.

In the area of communications, NEL developed Verdin, a low-frequency/very-low-frequency (LF/VLF) system to provide information to deeply submerged Polaris missile submarines, and began development of satellite communication capabilities.

Requirements for handling the vast amount of shipboard communications during the intensifying Vietnam War led to tasking for an internal message handling system. In response, the lab developed the Message Processing and Distribution System (MPDS), installing it aboard the Seventh Fleet flagship USS Oklahoma City a month ahead of schedule. The lab improved substantially on that system later and installed it aboard USS Nimitz class aircraft carriers.

In 1967, as part of the general Navy laboratory re-organization, NEL became the Naval Command, Control and Communications Laboratory Center. The name was never fully accepted, and in about six months it was changed to Naval Electronics Laboratory Center (NELC). NELC's increasing efforts in the integration of command, control, communications and intelligence systems were boosted by the completion of the C3 Systems Integration Test and Evaluation (C3 SITE) facility, better known as Bldg. 600. It's spacious, secure and electro magnetically shielded laboratories allowed developmental testing of full-scale C3I systems.

In 1977, for a variety of financial and political reasons, NELC and NUC were consolidated to form the Naval Ocean Systems Center (NOSC), charged with responsibility for the combined missions of command and control, communications, ocean surveillance, surface- and air-launched undersea weapon systems, and Arctic submarine warfare.

NOSC continued its work with tactical data systems, fielding the Tactical Flag Command Center aboard the aircraft carriers and command ships. And the Center demonstrated that a blue-green laser system could provide viable two-way communications between an aircraft and a submerged submarine.

In 1992, NOSC was part of the major re-organization of the Navy's research, development and acquisition community. The weapons development and Arctic submarine warfare work was transferred to Navy centers on the East Coast, in return for acquisition of navigation and air C3 work. NOSC consolidated with several other organizations to form the Naval Command, Control and Ocean Surveillance Center (NCCOSC) Research, Development, Test and Evaluation Division (NRaD). Program work became more focused on command, control, communications and intelligence (C3I).

In a final base closure action in 1996, the NCCOSC In-Service Engineering West Coast Division (NISE West, composed of the former Naval Electronic Systems Engineering Centers in San Diego and Vallejo and the Naval Electronic Engineering Activity Pacific, which included facilities in Hawaii, Guam and Japan) was merged into NRaD, forming a full-spectrum organization that not only developed the Navy's electronic technology but installed and maintained it for its useful lifetime.

And finally, in 1997, with the disestablishment of NCCOSC and the establishment of direct oversight by Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command, the Center assumed its current name, Space and Naval Warfare Systems Center San Diego (SSC San Diego).



NEWSLETTER
Join the GlobalSecurity.org mailing list