Naval Base Ventura County (NBVC) year in review highlights some of the significant insights of 2022.
The Navy continued to partner with the Oxnard Harbor District through existing legal agreements to provide support of reducing port congestion and the national supply-chain shortage.
This was regarded as ‘outside the box thinking’ as commercial dry cargo had never landed on a Navy Wharf. Soon, FedEx joined the fight to land their first-ever seafaring cargo vehicle from Asia to Port Hueneme.
“This is the first U.S. Navy base I’ve ever been on,” said Udo Lange, President & CEO, FedEx Logistics. “Thanks to the innovative thinking and dedication from the FedEx Logistics, Navy, and Port of Hueneme teams, we are able to turn a challenge into an opportunity.”
NBVC celebrated the grand opening of the “Fox Den” multiuse Morale, Welfare and Recreation (MWR) food and beverage facility onboard San Nicolas Island (SNI).
A ribbon cutting ceremony welcomed all Sailors and civilians working on SNI, the most remote of the Channel Islands, off the Southern California coast.
“This has been years in the making,” said Cdr. Keith “Fudge” Buckingham, officer in charge, SNI. “The Fox Den is a big improvement to food service, morale and the quality of life on the island.”
The building was originally opened as a military galley in 1952. The Navy decided to repurpose it as a multiuse MWR facility in 2018, and broke ground on the project one year later. The construction was a gut-renovation that included major layout changes.
Port Hueneme is home of the Pacific Seabees who celebrated their 80th anniversary.
“From around the world, our Civil Engineer Corps, and Seabee communities join together to celebrate our great history and re-commit ourselves to build upon the strong legacy and foundation laid by all those who have come before us,” said Rear Adm. John W. Korka, commander, Naval Facilities Engineering Systems Command and chief of Civil Engineers. “We will stay true to our hard-earned motto: ‘With compassion for others, we build, we fight for peace with freedom.’”
NBVC continues to demonstrate a diverse range of capabilities, to include support of the U.S. Navy’s Military Sealift Command container ship MV Ocean Giant’s mission to Antarctica during Operation Deep Freeze (ODF).
“Naval Base Ventura County has the potential to become a center for power projection into ungoverned spaces,” said Craig Hooper, senior contributor, Forbes Magazine. “The base has a long history of working on Polar projects.”
Top Gun: Maverick, the long-awaited sequel to the 1986 original starring Tom Cruise, soared into theaters showing first-of-its-kind special camera footage inside and outside the cockpit of F/A-18 E/F Super Hornet aircraft and featuring U.S. Navy and U.S. Marine Corps pilots performing on multiple ships and shore facilities.
Sailors from NBVC attended star-studded screenings in Hollywood, while an advanced premiere was hosted at Port Hueneme, Needham Theater.
“Through our Navy Office of Information in Los Angeles, we will continue to support film and television projects, and to help Hollywood realistically and accurately characterize life in the world’s finest Navy,” said Cmdr. David Benham, director of public affairs, Navy Recruiting Command.
Naval Satellite Operations Center (NAVSOC) transferred to the U.S. Space Force (USSF), under Space Delta 8 and designated as the 10th Space Operations Squadron, during a historic Disestablishment and Assumption of Command Ceremony, onboard Point Mugu.
“For 60-years NAVSOC has advocated and advanced American maritime superiority,” said Vice Adm. Ross Myers, commander, U.S. Fleet Cyber Command / U.S. 10th Fleet. “NAVSOC enabled satellite communications to afford the United States and her allies the crucial ability to provide defensive measures, conduct over the horizon monitoring and targeting, and project combat power in areas of conflict and instability around the globe.”
NAVSOC, was the first military space operations command in history, commissioned in Apr. 1962 as the Navy Astronautics Group. Tasked with operating the Navy’s satellites, the unit commanded TRANSIT, the world’s first satellite navigation system. Navy Astronautics Group was redesignated as NAVSOC in Jun. 1990.
Point Mugu hosted approximately 50 aircraft supporting multiple test events intended to provide unit-level training for pilots and aircrews on the Point Mugu Sea Range.
The annual joint-force exercise garnered public attention for hosting several test vehicles, including what was reported as F-35C Strike Fighters configured with mosaic mirror panels and AGM-88G Advanced Anti-Radiation Guided Missile-Extended Range missiles.
“A wide variety of specialized assets are participating that are capable of presenting, or least mimicking, an equally diverse array of threat profiles,” said Tyler Rogoway, editor-in-chief, The War Zone. “Of the other notable aircraft beyond the mirrored F-35C is the Air Force’s F-117 Nighthawk, and the EA-18G with the NGJ-MB pods.”
NBVC held a ceremony to commemorate the 21st anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks. The event included a wreath-laying ceremony, speeches, WWII flyover, honor guard, and 500 motorcycle riders participating in “Ride to the Flags.”
“We put the names of 9/11 victims on an F/18 along with the words, ‘Never Forget,’” said Capt. Brad “Brick” Conners (ret), former commanding officer, NBVC. “But today, in addition to ‘Never Forget,’ we need to say, ‘Never Again.’”
For the first time in 43 years, Port Hueneme Navy Exchange (NEX) won the 2021 Bingham Award, by the Navy Exchange Service Command (NEXCOM), the highest honor a store can receive.
“At NEXCOM our purpose is to sustain and supply Naval forces with quality-of-life benefits,” said Rear Adm. Robert Bianchi (ret.), chief executive officer, NEXCOM. “The Port Hueneme NEX epitomize who we are as an organization and what we stand for each and every day.”
Capt. Robert “Barr” Kimnach III, commanding officer, NBVC, and additional staff officers participated in Veterans Day ceremonies in and around Ventura County.
“California has more military bases and personnel than any other state,” said Kimnach, delivering the keynote remarks at Port Hueneme’s City Hall. “California has produced over 2-million veterans and pausing to reflect on their service brings into sharper focus the deeds and needs of those living alongside us.”
The U.S. Navy Seabee Museum (USNSM) has achieved accreditation by the American Alliance of Museums (AAM), the highest national recognition afforded the nation’s museums. Accreditation signifies excellence to the museum community, to governments, funders, outside agencies, and to the museum-going public.
“Earning Alliance Accreditation has shaped the USNSM’s strategic vision for the past 15 years. In preparation for the accreditation review the USNSM staff has worked mindfully to bring all aspects of museum operations up to the highest professional industry standards and best practices,” said Dr. Lara Godbille, Director of the USNSM. “The museum staff is so proud of accomplishing this for the Seabee community and knowing their history and heritage is being preserved and shared expertly.”
NBVC is a strategically located Navy installation composed of three operating facilities: Point Mugu, Port Hueneme and San Nicolas Island. NBVC is the home of the Pacific Seabees, West Coast E-2C Hawkeyes, 3 warfare centers and 80 tenants.