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McClellan Air Force Base
(McClellan Field, Pacific Air Depot, Sacramento Air Depot, Coast Guard Air Station Sacramento)
 

McClellan Field was 10 miles ortheast of Sacramento. In 1935, at the time is was established, it was known as Pacific Air Depot and was one of only four such air depots in the country. In 1938 the base was renamed Sacramento Air Depot and underwent a major expansion as a repair and overhaul facility for P-38 and P-39 fighter planes. The planes were serviced on an assembly line basis. In 1940 an assembly line was added to overhaul P-40 fighters.

In December 1941, soon after the attack on Pearl Harbor, P40s, B-26s and B-17s began arriving at the field to be armed and prepared for immediate shipment overseas. Some B-17s came direct to McClellan from the factories. During this time most of the Army Air Forces planes that went to the Pacific Theater were prepared at McClellan. In March
1942 Lieutenant Colonel Jimmy Doolittle's B-25s arrived at McClellan for arming in preparation for their famous Tokyo raid. From here the planes went to NAS, Alameda to be loaded aboard the aircraft carrier "Hornet".

During the war numerous planes arrived here from all over the U.S. to be armed and otherwise prepared for shipment overseas to combat areas. After the war McClellan became a storage center of several types of aircraft including B-29 bombers. The base was renamed McClellan Air Force Base in 1948 and it's repair and overhaul mission continued throughout the Cold War.

McClellan was closed in the 1990s after the end of the Cold War.

McClellan AFB
by globabalsecurity.org

Sacramento Air Logistics Center at McClellan AFB, California closed 13 July 2001. After the base closed, McClellan retained 1,200 federal jobs in various Department of Defense functions such as the Defense Commissary Agency's regional headquarters, Defense Department microelectronics center, and in the Veterans Administration's medical and dental clinics.

Construction of the War Department's Sacramento Air Depot began on 29 June 1936, when the Army Quartermaster Corps appointed a constructing quartermaster for the installation. On 1 December 1939 the War Department changed the new installation's name to McClellan Field. The US Air Force became an independent service in 1947, and on 3 February 1948 McClellan Field became McClellan AFB. Eventually the base became the headquarters for Sacramento Air Materiel Area and then evolved into the home of the Sacramento Air Logistics Center. What started with an investment of $7M grew in value to over two billion dollars in facilities and equipment.

SM­ALC's industrial complex comprised the largest group of workers with over 5,000 personnel. SM­ALC was responsible for accomplishing depot level repair for EF/F/FB­111, A­10, F­15, and KC­135 aircraft, ground communication/electronic systems, electronic warfare, software, navigation and radar systems. Also included as part of the mission was the manufacture or repair of a vast array of aerospace related items. In addition, the industrial complex has technology repair center responsibility to overhaul and repair more than 6,500 different line items, such as hydraulic and electrical components, flight control components, flight instruments, and various ground and airborne generators in support of inventory management programs Air Force­wide.

Since McClellan AFB opened, the task of keeping US military aircraft flying had become remarkably complex based upon high technology aircraft and systems. McClellan remained one of five centers of AFMC, managing those weapons and systems assigned through the depot modernization effort of the late 1960s and early 1970s. With development of technology repair centers in the command, McClellan assumed worldwide responsibility for the maintenance and management of USAF electrical components, communications­electronics systems, fluid drive accessories, and tactical shelters.

The base is approximately five miles north of Sacramento, California, the state capital. McClellan Air Force Base consists of 2,917 acres with 107 maintenance buildings and 200 shops occupying 3.3 million SF of space. Facility value is $643M. Plant equipment value is $569M.

The total work force population at McClellan AFB including military was 13,500 and is drawn from nine surrounding counties: Yuba, Sutter, Yolo, Solano, San Joaquin, Nevada, Placer, El Dorado, and Sacramento. One out of 50 employed people in the Sacramento and Placer Counties worked at McClellan AFB. The annual payroll is in excess of $500M. The major portion of the work force came from the local area; recruited from academia, local industries, military services and the general public. McClellan had a stable work force consisting of skilled/semiskilled technical and professional people. The skill mix of its staff primarily consisted of technical, management, and engineering and scientific personnel. SM­ALC was the hub of a highly developed area with industry leaders in technologies such as electronics, space­age propulsion systems, exotic aerospace fuels, advanced computer sciences and plastics.

As a result of recent Base Realignment and Closure Commission Actions, McClellan AFB was voted to be closed. The FY95 BRAC included a decision to privatize USAF mission workload located at SM-ALC.

On 16 August 1996 the Air Force announced a plan to set up a competition for a wide variety of work valued at $220 million annually and currently being done at McClellan by about 2,300 civilian government employees. On 21 September 1998, the Air Force announced that Hill Air Force Base in Ogden, Utah and Boeing Aircraft had won the privatization competition for the $220 million-a-year aircraft overhaul workload now performed at McClellan Air Force Base (BRAC 1995). The Boeing-Hill team submitted a bid of $1.1 billion over nine years, beating the $1.25 billion bid submitted by Lockheed and its partners, AAI Corporation and GEC-Marconi Avionics Inc. The Lockheed/AAI/Marconi bid had anticipated the reuse of McClellan's industrial core and the retention of 3,000 McClellan employees out of a total of 9,000.

As directed by the Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) Law of 1995, the Army and the Air Force undertook an extensive planning and implementation effort to move common use ground communications equipment (GCE) and any required personnel from its location at the Sacramento Air Logistics Center (SALC), California to Tobyhanna Army Depot. This effort encompassed the relocation of five different GCE commodity groups consisting of 161 systems and subcomponents, and 10,000 pieces of equipment and shop aids. More than 938,000 direct labor hours of work were projected to be transferred to Tobyhanna Army Depot, along with a projected 825 Air Force billets as originally required under the BRAC 95 requirement.

There are five other parcels other than the main base that will be disposed of:

Following the decision to close McClellan, President Clinton pledged that his administration would assist in implementing a privatization plan. The plan would preserve 8,700 jobs at the base until the year 2001, and convert as many as 4,300 of those government jobs to private employment after the base closes. The privatization plan would be a key component of the overall base reuse plan. President Clinton visited Sacramento's McClellan Air Force Base on July 23, 1996. On the eve of his visit, the Administration announced a number of new programs aimed at assisting McClellan workers and furthering privatization of the facility's workload

McClellan is composed of 3,778 acres. It has 155 industrial buildings totaling over 4 million square feet; 35 warehouses totaling 4,035,752 square feet and a single 10,600 foot runway. There are 13 dormitory buildings with a capacity of 1,113, and 109 single family housing units. There are about 200 housing units off-base and a 9-hole golf course. Unique facilities include a nuclear radiation center, a plastic media blast facility, a digital network-switching center, aircraft instrument and computer facility, technical operations division laboratory, F-111 cold proof facility, hydraulic repair facility, global high frequency radio facility, and an anechoic chamber for antenna testing.

McClellan AFB is located in North Highlands which is part of the Sacramento community. Sacramento is a historically rich area offering plentiful opportunities to explore and enjoy California's capital city. Sacramento is a growing metropolis with beautiful valley scenery, recreational activities and cultural events. Not far from Sacramento is San Francisco (90 miles), Yosemite National Park (192 miles), Lake Tahoe (105 miles), the Napa/Sonoma Wine Country (53 miles) and the Gold Discovery Site at Coloma (45 miles). There are 385,000 people within the Sacramento city limits, and more than 1.5 million in the metropolitan area consisting of Sacramento and parts of Yolo, Placer, and El Dorado counties.

Coast Guard Air Station Sacramento

Coast Guard Air Station Sacramento was commissioned on the fifth of September 1978, becoming the Coast Guard’s newest operational aviation facility. It is located at the north end of McClellan Air Force Base. Air Station Sacramento was established as an outgrowth of Air Station San Francisco, where ramp space and an increase in the number of aircraft required that the fixed-wing contingent be relocated. With a complement of 191 officers and enlisted personnel operating five HC-130 "Hercules" aircraft, Air Station Sacramento is an asset of the Department of Transportation under the operational and administrative control of the Commander, Twelfth Coast Guard District.

Air Station Sacramento participates in a wide range of Coast Guard missions. Primary among them and perhaps most widely known is Search and Rescue. The Air Station maintains a 24-hour immediate response capability, with a "ready" Search and Rescue crew on duty at all times. Search and rescue coverage is provided for the Eastern Pacific Area, the entire west coast of the United States, areas west of Canada, and south along the Baja California coast.

The HC-130 "Hercules" operated by Air Station Sacramento is one of the most versatile aircraft in the world today. Four powerful turboprop engines enable short field take-offs and landings, as well as a respectable cruise speed of 290 knots. The HC-130’s fuel capacity allows for covering long distances as well as extended on-scene endurance in the event of long searches or emergencies at sea. Visibility, an extremely important factor in any search, is excellent. The aircraft’s high maximum weight allowance and large cargo compartment permit handling of a wide variety of cargos. An aft ramp and door may be opened in flight, allowing aerial delivery of cargo or emergency equipment. All in all, the HC-130 is an extremely versatile and reliable aircraft, well-suited to the multiple mission needs of Coast Guard aviation.

Patrols are flown year-round and are coordinated with Coast Guard cutters also on patrol, allowing a greater geographic area to be more thoroughly covered. As many as 6 or 8 Coast Guard cutters may be coordinated into a patrol. The aircraft extends the ‘eyes’ of the ship while patrolling not only coastal waters, but shipping lanes and fishing grounds miles at sea. The ship provides a boarding capability should a violation be detected.

Other missions of Air Station Sacramento are Marine Environmental Protection and Federal Law Enforcement. These efforts include fisheries patrols in support of the Fisheries Conservation and Management Act of 1976 and law enforcement patrols aimed at enforcing the 200-mile limit and combating the ever-increasing problem of drug smuggling.

Another major area of responsibility of Air Station Sacramento is that of providing transportation for the Pacific Strike Team, the Coast Guard’s oil spill prevention and containment team on the west coast. Located at Hamilton Field, the Strike Team is immediately alerted in the event of an oil spill, responding to provide expert assistance in containment and cleanup of environmentally damaged areas.

Air Station Sacramento further supports the many missions of the Coast Guard by performing logistics flights between the stations, carrying essential cargo and passengers on an ‘as- required’ basis. Also, the Coast Guard’s Long Range Aids to Navigation System is frequently checked for accuracy by LORAN monitor flights over both the Atlantic and Pacific oceans. Aircrews are constantly conducting training flights to maintain proficiency in the basic airmanship and Search and Rescue techniques that so often result in the saving of lives and property at sea.

 

Known Units at McClellan Field
World War II
Present 7 December 1941
 
Sacramento Air Depot
Hq and Hq Sq, 2nd Air Depot Group:
2nd Repair Squadron
2nd Supply Squadron
Hq and Hq Sq, 62nd Transport Group:
4th Transport Squadron
7th Transport Squadron
1st Communications Squadron (Less Dets)
1st Weather Squadron (Less Dets)
Det, 854th Ordnance Service Company (Aviation)
Det, 859th Signal Service Company (Aviation)
 
California State Militia (1942-1943)
McClellan Field Rifle Company No. 1
McClellan Field Rifle Company No. 2
McClellan Field Rifle Company No. 3
McClellan Field Rifle Company No. 4


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