Navy Bases

Seal Beach Naval Weapons Station, California

Naval Weapons Station Seal Beach consists of a headquarters command located in Seal Beach, Calif. and detachments located in Corona, and Fallbrook, Calif. The command exists to provide base operating support to the Navy's ordnance mission. Command and tenant personnel provide munitions receipt, segregation, inspection, maintenance, storage, issue, and assessment services to Navy operating forces and other Department of Defense and homeland security entities. Overall, the command supports the provisioning of missiles, torpedoes, and other ordnance to approximately one-half of the U.S. Pacific Fleet.

Naval Weapons Station Seal Beach was commissioned in 1944, at the height of World War Two, as a Naval Ammunition and Net Depot. The base at that time had two primary missions: Storage and loading of ammunition onto Pacific Fleet ships bound for the war, and servicing the anti-submarine nets used to protect fleet bases and anchorages around the world. The Depot was built next to the seaside community of Seal Beach, located on the northwest corner of Orange County, California. Seal Beach was considered an ideal site due to both a large amount of available open space for weapons storage, and the area’s proximity to the Navy fleet concentrations in Long Beach and San Diego.

Since World War Two the base has evolved into the Navy’s primary West Coast ordnance storage, loading and maintenance installation. Weapons storage bunkers aboard Naval Weapons Station Seal Beach.Under the station's primary tenant, the Navy Munitions Command, cruisers, destroyers, frigates, and medium-sized amphibious assault ships are loaded with missiles, torpedoes, countermeasures devices and conventional ammunition at the facility’s 1,000 foot-long wharf (for more information on these vessels and weapons, check out the Navy Fact File). In addition, larger ships can be accommodated at a protected explosives anchorage located in nearby Long Beach Harbor. Personnel also perform maintenance on some weapons systems. An average of 50 vessels are loaded or unloaded each year. The weapons station services a majority of the U. S. Pacific Fleet.

The station has an active environmental cleanup program. One-fifth of the facility's land area has been designated as a National Wildlife Refuge (the only such refuge within a five-county area), and is home to many endangered and threatened species. The station is also home to the nation's West Coast WWII Submarine Memorial.