Historic Posts, Camps, Stations and Airfields
Santa Cruz Island
GlobalSecurity.com History (2011)
Santa Cruz Island (SCI) is located within the Sea Range approximately 25 NM west of Point Mugu. The Navy leases a mountain top near the eastern end of the island for an instrumentation complex. The complex is housed on a ten-acre parcel and includes barracks, a power plant, fire station and a heliport. Instrumentation consists of meteorological data collection, secure VHF/UHF radio communications and data transmission, microwave relay to/from VAFB, Laguna Peak and SNI, and surface surveillance radar coverage of the Sea Range.
Santa Cruz Island, the largest of California’s Channel Islands, is about 20 miles west Ventura. Most of the island is owned by the Nature Conservancy, a private organization that has purchased land in California for preservation in its natural state. The remainder is owned by the National Park Service. This is a beautiful, rugged island with an interesting history. Native Americans from the Chumash tribe are the first known inhabitants. Since Europeans reached California, Santa Cruz has seen Spanish explorers, a shipload of convicts, Californian ranchers and most recently, inclusion in Channel Islands National Park. A tour of the island offers glimpses of old wineries, olive orchards, and plenty of wide-open spaces.
One aspect of ship quieting efforts was full-scale trial measurements to pinpoint noise problems. Starting on the West Coast, new ship equipment was tested prior to installation on new construction ships at a test range called Carr Inlet, near Seattle. Around 1970 problems arose at Carr Inlet with ships running aground. Some high speed tests were moved to Santa Cruz Island, California. By 1985, Santa Cruz became too noisy, and the Navy sought a new location for conducting noise measurements on the West Coast. A location was found in Alaska where the water was very quiet. At that location, a new facility called SEAFAC was built and commissioned in 1991.
The Navy’s China Lake Energy Office, California, has installed three unique photovoltaic projects on Santa Cruz Island, 8.5 miles from the mountaintop facility. These projects include a photovoltaic array that provides 139 kilowatts to a battery bank capable of holding 2.4 million watt hours. Another project is a water pump, powered by energy from the photovoltaic application, which provides water from 1,500 feet below the surface to the installation. In the initial year of the projects, the Navy saved $400,000 and expects to continue saving.
Reprinted with permission from globalsecurity.com
San Clemente Island Naval Ocean System Center Facility (2005) by JUstin Rughe
The San Clemente Island Range Complex (SCIRC) consists of San Clemente Island (SCI) land, air and sea training ranges and designated operational areas to the south and west of SCI, which are controlled by a single command and control system on SCI. The range and operations area on San Clemente Island is owned entirely by the Navy and accommodates naval surface fire-support, air-to-ground ordnance delivery operations, and special operations.
The San Clemente Island is the only surface fire-support range on the west coast. With the planned closing in 2003 of the bombing range at Vieques, Puerto Rico, San Clemente Island will become the Navy's last ship-to-shore live-fire range. Training on the Island has increased 25% since the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. The Department of Defense began construction in July 2002 of a $21-million simulated U.S. embassy compound to train troops in rescuing Americans.
San Clemente Island (SCI) is the southernmost of the eight California Channel Islands. It lies 55 nautical miles (nm) south of Long Beach and 68 nm west of San Diego. The Island is approximately 21 nm long and is 4½ nm across at its widest point. Since 1934, the Island has been owned and operated by various Naval commands. More than a dozen range and operational areas are clustered within a 60-mile radius of the Island. The Commander-in-Chief, Naval Forces, Pacific (CINCPACFLT) is the major claimant for the Island, and Naval Air Station, North Island (NASNI) is responsible for its administration.
The San Clemente Island Range Complex (SCIRC) is the cornerstone of the tactical training ranges supporting the Southern California Operations Area (SOCAL OPAREA). SOCAL supports the largest concentration of Naval forces in the world. The SCI land, air, and sea ranges provide the U.S. Navy, U.S. Marine Corps, and other military services space and facilities, which they use to conduct readiness training and test and evaluation activities. SCI's distance from the mainland and its complete Navy ownership make the Island and its surrounding area ideal for fleet training, weapon and electronics system testing, and research and development activities.
This integrated set of ranges and operational areas covers approximately 2,620 square nautical miles. The command and control system and supporting infrastructure emanate from SCI. The SCIRC consists of more than six dozen ranges and operational areas. The extent of these areas ranges from the ocean floor to an altitude of 80,000 feet.
San Clemente Island has been operated by the Navy as a tactical training range and testing area for over 70 years. Tactical training ranges and operational areas provide space and facilities where U.S. military forces can conduct exercises in a safe, controlled environment. The SCIRC is the cornerstone of tactical training in the Southern California region. The primary purpose of the complex is to provide readiness training for units and personnel who deploy overseas to meet the national strategy of forward presence and global engagement. Among the evolving needs that precipitated the proposed action are the need for more training in: littoral warfare, including mine counter-measures; electronic warfare; missile firing; operations in the shore bombardment area (SHOBA), amphibious operations; and Naval Special Warfare. Increased need for test and evaluation activities is also anticipated.
The Navy had for a number of years recognized the Island's military value. In 1949 Naval Ordnance Test Station (NOTS), China Lake began using the island as a test and evaluation range on an occasional basis.
Air Resorts has two contracts with the U.S. Navy. Under one contract, Air Resorts has operated the CV-440 aircraft from Pt. Mugu Naval Air Weapons Station (NAWS), California to San Nicholas Island Navy Outlying Field (NOLF), California. On the other contract, the aircraft have operated from North Island Naval Air Station (NAS), California to San Clemente Island Naval Auxiliary Landing Field (NALF), California. The usual alternate for the San Nicholas route is Pt. Mugu, and for San Clemente, it is Navy North Island.


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Updated 8 February 2016