TO THE POINT: Point Loma may assume more prominent role in Navy’s future
by Johnny McDonald
Nov 28, 2012 | 4787 views | 0 0 comments | 11 11 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Naval Base Point Loma is really six bases rolled up into one. Established in 1998, it has grown with the additions of the Submarine base, Naval Mine and Antisubmarine Warfare Center, Fleet Combat Training Center Pacific, Space and Naval Warfare Command (SPAWAR) Headquarters, SPAWAR Systems Center and Fleet Intelligence Training Center Pacific. 

That forms a diverse hub of key naval activity, which could increase by 2020, when 60 percent of the U.S. naval forces are expected to shift to the Pacific Ocean side. The San Diego Bay shipping lanes will be busy.

According to Robert Page, base public affairs officer, under the regional command concept, base operating support functions for these bases is provided by a matrix organization directed by the commander of the Navy Region Southwest. 

Regional program managers provide centralized budget management and regional policy for all base support functions. Commanding officers direct day-to-day operation of support functions to ensure their base best serves the Navy. Tenant commands serve on the regional board that develops regional policies.

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• HISTORY OF NBPL ANTISUBMARINE WARFARE

The Naval Mine and Antisubmarine Warfare Center began in the late 1930s to train personnel in the use of underwater sound and listening equipment. The first Fleet Sound School was established at the Destroyer Base San Diego (now Destroyer Station San Diego) in 1939.

Construction of the current location started in December 1942 and the location was called Sound School San Diego. Training for submarine sonar operations started the following year. A total of 4,020 officers and 10,854 enlisted men graduated during World War II. 

Since WWII, the facility has continued to expand. Old buildings were replaced with new parking lots and state-of-the-art training facilities.    

Today, about 9,000 officers and enlisted students are trained each year. Courses range from the simplest auxiliary equipment to the most sophisticated ASW (antisubmarine warfare) systems in existence.

In 1898, the Army built a coast artillery installation on the site, which remained active until 1945, and in 1959, Fort Rosecrans was turned over to the U.S. Navy.    

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• CABRILLO MONUMENT’S 100-YEAR CELEBRATION NEARS        

Tom Workman, superintendent of the Cabrillo National Monument, reports that next year Cabrillo National Monument will celebrate 100 years as San Diego’s only national monument. 

He said that in celebrating this historic milestone, Cabrillo officials hope to cultivate and expand connections within San Diego, recruit 100 new volunteers and develop relationships within the county.  

“In addition, we have developed new events, projects and programs for the centennial year to execute our mission and goals, such as the Dusty Socks Club, Monumental,” he said.        

The official kickoff will begin Dec. 8-9 (the 71st anniversary weekend of the attack on Pearl Harbor) with “Fort Rosecrans Goes to War,” a World War II-era military history re-enactment and a “Liberty Swing Dance.”

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• HARBOR POLICE OFFICERS HONORED

Assistant chief of Harbor Police Mark Stainbrook presented lifesaving certificates of commendation to Harbor Police officers Sam Davis, David Zacchili, Daniel Giese and Kevin Seelicke for their actions during a fire on Sept. 30 at a naval housing complex near North Harbor Drive.

Officer Andres Mendoza, Navy Chief Petty Officer Joshua Erickson and San Diego police Officer Chris Harrison received awards for helping to save a woman who was found unconscious in San Diego Bay on Sept. 16. 

Other awards went to corporals David Marshall and Joseph Sharp for saving a man who fell into San Diego Bay on Aug. 18. Additionally, certificates of commendation were presented to Harbor Police officers Raul Muñoz and David Zacchilli for public safety and Homeland Security efforts throughout the Port of San Diego tidelands and San Diego Bay.

— Johnny McDonald is a longtime columnist and writer for the San Diego Community Newspaper Group. 
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