Naval Amphibious Base Coronado

Naval Amphibious Base Coronado

Naval Amphibious Base Coronado (NAB Coronado) is a naval installation located across the bay from San Diego, CA. The base, situated on Silver Strand, between the San Diego Bay and the Pacific Ocean, is a major Navy shore command, supporting over 30 tenant commands, and is the West Coast focal point for special and expeditionary warfare training and operations. The on base population is 5,000 military personnel and 7,000 students, reservists, and transients.


Formally commissioned in January 1944, Naval Amphibious Base (NAB), Coronado provides a shore base for the operations, training, and support of naval amphibious units on the West Coast. It is one of only two Navy amphibious training bases in the United States. NAB is approximately 1,000 acres (4 km²) in size and is composed of the Main Base, training beaches, California least tern preserve, recreational marina, enlisted family housing, and state park. State Highway 75 separates NAB into surfside (ocean) and bayside portions. The majority of the bayside is composed of fill materials dredged from San Diego Bay in the early 1940s. Amphibious training is conducted on both surfside and bayside beaches. To the south of the Main Base, the majority of amphibious training activities take place on about of ocean beachfront property, leased from the State of California. A least tern nesting preserve is located on North and South Delta Beach between the NAB Marina and Main Base. NAB is located within the city of Coronado, California, a community of approximately 30,000. The city of Coronado covers nearly of land, and NAB lies south of the main residential and commercial portions of the city. Another naval facility, Naval Air Station (NAS) North Island, is located northwest of the city of Coronado. South of NAB is Silver Strand.

In June 1943, the Secretary of the Navy authorized the establishment of the Amphibious Training Base in the San Diego area to meet wartimes demands for trained landing craft crews. These crews were deployed to the South Pacific area of operations, where their successful and historical efforts were contributory to the conclusion of World War II. The streets of the base bear the names of those famous battles which led to the defeat of the Japanese Empire: Guadalcanal, Tarawa, Tulagi, and Bougainville, to name a few.

In 1946, the base was renamed Naval Amphibious Base (NAB) Coronado and its primary mission was changed to that of providing major administrative and logistical support to the amphibious units which are located on the base. The base also conducts research and tests of newly developed amphibious equipment.

Current Operations

NAB Coronado is the home to over 30 tenant commands with a population of approximately 5,000 personnel, including major commands such as Commander, Naval Surface Force Pacific (COMNAVSURFPAC), Commander Naval Special Warfare (SPECWAR) Command and the Commander Expeditionary Warfare Training Group (EWTG) Pacific.

Swastika-shaped building

Complex 320-325, which is located at the Naval Amphibious Base Coronado and is surrounded by Bougainville Road to the north, Tulagi Road to the south, Eniwetok Road to the east, and ROI Road to the west, looks like a swastika when seen from above. The final look of the 6-building complex as seen from the air, was the result of an oversight by Navy planners at the time. A draft study conducted by the National Register of Historic Places noted that the shape of the six-building complex was simply an oversight that went undetected during the Navy’s approval process.

The group of six buildings located were constructed between 1967-70, under a design by local architect John Mock. The original plans submitted to the Navy for the project included the two central buildings which were intended to contain a boiler plant and a recreation room; and a single "L"-shaped 3-story barracks. The plan called for the "L" shaped building to be repeated three times and placed at 90-degree angles to the central buildings. It wasn't until after the groundbreaking began that Navy officials realized how the buildings would appear when seen from above, and public knowledge rose considerably with the popularity of aerial photo programs such as Google Earth.

When the Google Earth view is zoomed out, to the south west there appear to be two more buildings shaped like airplanes flying towards the swastika shaped building.

Currently, the majority of rooms in the complex are being utilized by Sailors assigned to Amphibious Construction Battalion One (Seabees). There are some administrative offices on the bottom floor of one of the buildings, but the rest of the rooms are being utilized as barracks for Sailors.

The Navy has fully utilized this building complex for more than 35 years, and intends to continue the use of the buildings, as long as they remain adequate for the needs of the service. However, in early 2007 the San Diego chapter of the Anti-Defamation League and U.S. Representative Susan Davis began quiet talks with the Navy, and on September 26, 2007 the Navy announced that they would budget up to $600,000, starting in the fiscal year that begins October 1, to modify the buildings' walkways, "camouflage" landscaping and rooftop photovoltaic cells to hide the swastika look from the air.

Major commands


External links

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