The US Navy - San Diego
The US Navy has a long and illustrious history in the San Diego area. The city’s location on the Pacific and its closeness to Latin American and Pacific Rim nations has placed San Diego as one of the most important naval installations in the US. Recruits, trainees, pilots, submariners, it seems as if almost everyone in the Navy at some point passes through San Diego.
The US Navy operates several facilities in and around San Diego. There is a naval base on Coronado Island that includes amphibious operations, the Silver Strand training complex, and a naval air base. Naval Air Station North Island is the site of the birthplace of Naval aviation. The submarine base at Point Loma—the spot where Spanish explorer Juan Cabrillo landed in 1542—is home to the most technologically advanced warfare submarines in the world. And since 1922, the Thirty-Second Street Naval Station has operated as a Destroyer base for the Pacific Fleet, and was under Admiral Chester W. Nimitz’s command in the 1930s. Today, more than two-thirds of the Pacific Fleet makes its home port at Naval Station San Diego.
One of the most advanced weapons systems centers in the country is located in San Diego: the Space and Naval Warfare Systems Center San Diego (SSC San Diego) where they research, develop, test and evaluate for control and communication systems and ocean surveillance. Established in 1940 as the first west coast naval laboratory, SSC San Diego employs over 3,400 civilian and military personnel working to meet the Navy's information technology needs.
Another source of pride for the Navy here in San Diego is the Naval Medical Center San Diego (NMCSD), located next to Balboa Park. It is a technologically advanced Navy medical treatment facility and has played a vital role in San Diego for more than 80 years. Begun as a tent dispensary in 1917, it has become a high-tech, ultra modern facility dedicated to providing the finest medical care to the operational forces, their families, and to veterans. The NMCSD has partnered with other care facilities in San Diego such as Children’s Hospital and now has a staff of over 6,000.
For many years until 1997, the Naval Training Center (NTC) operated in San Diego. That area will now be developed into a new urban village called Liberty Station. The former NTC will become a place for new homes, parks, businesses, as well as cultural and educational facilities, and will be transformed into a vital waterfront community.
The long tradition of the US Navy in San Diego began early in the twentieth century, and continues to this day. For visitors, it is possible to tour several naval facilities and school groups make frequent trips to the battleships docked in San Diego Bay.
The San Diego takes great pride in the men and women who have served in the US Navy and is a supportive place to live for recruits, naval families and career officers. It is always a moving event to see the military march at Padres games. You can be sure that when the Navy football team comes to Qualcomm stadium to play in a bowl game, they are well-represented in the stands!