Atlanta Naval Air Station, Georgia
NAS Atlanta is located 15 miles north of Atlanta is co-located with Dobbins Air Force Reserve Base. The base is home to over 1200 active duty Navy and Marine members, over 100 civilian employees.
Naval Air Station Atlanta Naval Air Station Atlanta's history covers two locations, the first one in Chamblee in DeKalb County, and the present one near Marietta in Cobb County, Georgia. The Navy Department selected Fort Gordon in late 1940 as the site for a Naval Reserve Aviation Base. Contractors quickly turned what used to be an infantry training center during World War I into an airfield. The new base was officially commissioned and opened for business March 22, 1941, with the primary responsibility of training Navy and Marine Corps aviators.
The base was officially designated U.S. Naval Air Station Atlanta in January 1943. As wartime training was phased out, the Naval Air Reserve Training Program was activated. NAS Atlanta was ideally situated for training personnel from throughout the southeastern part of tho U.S. With the evolution of jet fighters and large patrol bombers, it soon became apparent that the limited area at Chamblee could not be used safely for very long.
In April l955, Congress appropriated more than four million dollars to start building a new Naval Air Station at a more suitable location to allow longer runways. The site selected was a large military reservation jointly occupied by Dobbins Air Force Base and the Lockheed Company, between Marietta and Smyrna. The new air station was completed in April 1959.
The 1960s brought the first assigned tactical training jet to NAS, the Lockheed Seastar T2V. Further developments and changes were made to the air station as the years passed.
The mid-1980's were years of transition and farewells. The retirement of the U.S. Navy's last C-118 Liftmaster, after 33 years of service, brought forward its replacement, the McDonnell Douglas C-9 "Skytrain" operated by Fleet Logistics Support Squadron 46 (VR-46).
In the 1990's, we saw phenomenal change and growth! Attack Squadron 205 (VA-205) transitioned from the A-7E Corsair to the A-6E, Intruder. Although VA-205 was decommissioned, an A-7 marks the entrance to the air station, and an A-6 stands watch over hanger 5. Fighter Attack Squadron 203 quickly filled their spot, bringing the advanced F/A-18 Hornet to Atlanta. In June 1992, the Marine presence was redefined as Marine Air Group 42 relocated to Atlanta, now an Air component of the Marine Air Ground Task Force (MAGTF) with a full component of helicopter and fixed wing aviation. June of 1993 saw the standup of Marine Light Medium Attack Helicopter Squadron 773 (HMLA-773) and their UH-1 Hueys and AH-1W Super Cobras. November 18, 1995, Carrier Early Airborne Warning Squadron 77 (VAW-77) was commissioned, flying the E-2C Hawkeye. VAW-77, a Reserve Squadron serves with the U. S. Coast Guard and other Federal Agencies to fight the war on drugs, providing sophisticated air and surface surveillance on traffic off the southern coast of the United States.
In September 1997, Marine Fighter Attack Squadron 142 (VMFA-142) joined the Atlanta Team, adding another F/A-18 squadron to our Air Station. NAS Atlanta began the new century winning the FY 2000 CONWAY AWARD Trophy as the best managed aviation facility in the Naval Air Reserve Force.Since September 11, 2001, Naval Reservists from Naval Air Station Atlanta have answered the call by President Bush to defend the country.
By January 2002 over 100 NAS Atlanta Selected Reservists were on active duty in support of the nation's war on terrorism and homeland security, serving both home and abroad. Throughout 2003 and 2004 Naval Air Station Atlanta and the tenant commands have mobilized over 400 Sailors and Marines to support the global war on terrorism.
In June of 2004, VFA-203 stationed at NAS Atlanta since the mid-nineties was decommissioned as part of the Navy Reserve integration program with the fleet. The F/A-18 airplanes were transferred to various squadrons and some were put out of service.
NAS Atlanta received both the CNO and SECNAV FY 2003 and FY 2004 Safety Award for Non-Industrial Medium Shore Installations. As a result of the 2003 award, Secretary of the Navy, the Honorable Gordon England visited the base during one of his visits to Atlanta.
The active duty and Navy Reserve men and women will continue to support President Bush and the nation meet the objectives of prosecuting the global war on terrorism, homeland security and other challenges that need to be met to ensure the safety of all Americans.