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Hundreds Attend Historic Base Closure Ceremony

Navy NewsStand

Story Number: NNS100426-21

By Fifi Kieschnick, Naval Station Ingleside Public Affairs

INGLESIDE, Texas (NNS) -- A ceremony marked the closing of Naval Station Ingleside, and the reversion of the property to the Port of Corpus Christi April 23.

Nearly 400 people were on hand to mark the historic occasion, from local politicians, to past employees, and community leaders who played a part in bringing surface Navy to South Texas more than 20 years ago.

"It's an honor to be here and a pleasure to see so many of you here today on this special and memorable occasion," said Rear Adm. Townsend Alexander, commander, Navy Region Southeast.

"Special because we come together as a Navy and a community to celebrate a job well done, and memorable because we are closing the book on a significant chapter in our Navy's history."

Naval Station Ingleside began with a groundbreaking ceremony on Feb. 20, 1988. The South Texas Coastal Bend area was chosen as the location for a homeport because of its quick access to the deep waters of the Gulf of Mexico, the well-protected waters inside the barrier island, the existence of sufficient land, and the area's potential for growth. Original plans designated Naval Station Ingleside as homeport for the battleship USS Wisconsin (BB 64) and the carrier USS Lexington (AVT 16). In April, the direction changed when Navy officials designated Ingleside as the U.S. Navy's Mine Warfare Center of Excellence. Support of the U.S. Navy's mine countermeasures fleet became the primary mission of the station.

Naval Station Ingleside was dedicated on July 6, 1992. The first mine countermeasures ship – USS Scout (MCM 8) – arrived in June 1992, and has the distinction of being the first U.S. Navy ship to be homeported in Texas since World War II.

As the Navy's Mine Warfare Center of Excellence, Naval Station Ingleside served as the focal point for mine warfare training, repair and support facilities not duplicated elsewhere in the world. Conveniently located with easy access to the Gulf of Mexico, Naval Station Ingleside provided an ideal training, logistics and repair base for the mine warfare fleet.

"When I took command of Naval Station Ingleisde 24 months ago, I knew the base was on the BRAC [Base Realignment and Closure] list," Capt. Leland Taylor, commanding officer. "I really didn't know what to expect.

"During my initial week here on board, before the change of command … I realized the reversion of the base to the Port was going to be very successful. The personal integrity and professionalism I saw in everyone I talked to was beyond words."

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