Reunion Information
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Unit Details

Strength
Center
 
Type
Garrison - Base Station
 
Year
1942 - 1993
 

Description

History of the Naval Training Center


In the mid-1920s, the City of San Diego hoped to strengthen its economic ties with the military, and offered more than 200 acres of land to the Navy at the north end of San Diego Bay to entice it to move the Recruit Training Station from San Francisco.

Building NTC



Throughout its 70-year history as a military base, the mission of Naval Training Center (NTC), San Diego, had been to provide primary, advanced and specialized training for members of the U.S. Navy and U.S. Naval Reserve. In support of that mission, NTC expanded to include 300 buildings with nearly three million square feet of space. In designing the first buildings at the training station, Navy architects adopted the Mission Revival style. Within a few years, harbor improvements deepened the channel and anchorages in San Diego Bay and added 130 acres of filled land to the Naval Training Station, which was later renamed the Naval Training Center. Development of the base occurred in phases, often in direct response to national defense priorities. As a result, there was no comprehensive plan for NTC, and buildings were scattered throughout the base or existed in small clusters. The base eventually expanded to almost 550 acres.


By the early 1990s, San Diego had become home to more than one-sixth of the Navy's entire fleet. San Diego had more than a dozen major military installations, accounting for nearly 20 percent of the local economy with more than 133,000 uniformed personnel and another 30,000 civilians relying on the military for their livelihood.



Contributing to the Economy


In annual payroll alone for both military and civilian personnel, NTC contributed almost $80 million to the San Diego economy, according to the Navy's 1994 budget. Each year, more than 28,000 visitors came to graduations at NTC, and 80 percent of those visitors were from out of town, contributing almost $7 million annually to the local economy. Beyond these payroll and visitor expenditures, the Navy spent an additional $10 million for base operation support contracts.



NTC Closes


The end of the Cold War led to military downsizing and the need to close surplus bases. In 1993, the federal Base Realignment and Closure Commission slated NTC for eventual closure.


The Navy closed NTC facilities incrementally. As the military functions on the base dwindled, so did the Navy's budget. Fearing that the lack of activity on the base would lead to security problems, the City and Navy entered into a master lease agreement in 1995 allowing the City interim use of 67 acres of the base site. The agreement was later amended to include more than half of the NTC property, with approximately 75 buildings occupied by interim users. These buildings were subleased from the City to various parties including film companies, nonprofit organizations, City departments, and small businesses. In addition, interim leasing allowed the City to maintain the buildings and landscape areas at a higher standard of maintenance than an otherwise decreasing Navy caretaker budget could provide. The Navy officially closed NTC on April 30, 1997, and all military operations ceased.




Notable Persons
None
 
Filed Under
Recruit Training Center (RTC) (Faculty Staff)
 
Active Reporting Unit
None
 
Inactive Reporting Units
 
Unit Videos 
 
 

Unit Web Links
Recruit Training Command and Naval Training Center, San Diego California

Cradle of the Navy

Winds of Change
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  Unit History Detail
Date
Jun 01, 1923

Title
The Naval Training Center, San Diego had its inception in 1916

Content
The Naval Training Center, San Diego had its inception in 1916 when Mr. William Kettner, Congressman from the Eleventh Congressional District of California and spokesman for the San Diego Chamber of Commerce, interested the Honorable Franklin D. Roosevelt, then Assistant Secretary of the Navy, in establishing a naval training activity on the shores of San Diego Bay. Due to the Nation's entry into World War I, further development of permanent site plan was postponed until 1919, when Congress authorized acceptance by the Navy of the present site of the Training Center. However in 1917 the City of San Diego made way for a temporary Naval Training Station. The station at Balboa Park ensured the a permanent naval training installation in San Diego. The original grant for the permanent site consisted of 135 acres of highland donated by the San Diego Chamber of Commerce and 142 acres of tideland given by the City of San Diego. Construction work began in 1921, and on 1 June 1923 the U. S. Naval Training Station, San Diego, was placed in commission under the command of Captain (later Rear Admiral) David F. Sellers, U. S. Navy.

At the time of its commissioning in 1923 the station bore little resemblance to its present size or arrangement. At that time Camp Paul Jones housed the entire population of the station and the maximum recruit strength was 1,500. The period of recruit training was then sixteen weeks. The shore line of San Diego Bay extended considerably further inland than at present, and the land now occupied by Preble Field, the North Athletic Area and Camp Farragut was entirely under water. The recruit parade ground was located on the present site of the Public Works garage. During the 1920's the Recruit Receiving and Outgoing Units were housed in the Detention Unit, known as Camp Ingram, which consisted of a group of walled tents adjacent to the south boundary of Camp Paul Jones. Until Camp Lawrence was completed in 1936, recruits spent their first three weeks of training under canvas in this Detention Unit.
   

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