United States Navy

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Naval Air Warfare Center, Point Mugu, California

United States Navy had its beginnings on October 13, 1775 when the Continental Congress established its Continental Navy. After the American War for Independence, Congress established the Department of the Navy on April 30, 1798.

A naval military facility developed at Point Mugu, California, started as a United States Navy anti-aircraft training center during World War II. In 1946 the Naval Air Warfare Center was established as the Navy's major missile development and test facility to provide logistics and in-service support for guided missiles, free-fall weapons, targets, support equipment, crew systems and electronic warfare. This facility was the site where most of the Navy's missiles were developed and tested during the 1950/1960 era, including the AIM-7 Sparrow family and the AIM-54 Phoenix air-to-air, Bullpup air-to-surface, and Regulus surface-to-surface missiles.

The Naval Air Warfare Center served as the Navy's first instrumented missile test sea range, with vast ocean, deep water ports, and protected islands within restricted air space. The 36,000 square-mile sea range, which includes San Nicolas Island, supports both developmental and operational test and evaluation of missiles, free-fall weapons and electronic warfare systems.

It became the Pacific Missile Test Center (PMTC), now known as the Naval Air Warfare Center )NavAir), located at Point Mugu in Ventura County, California.

Naval Air Warfare Center

In the News~

July 1, 1909 [SBWP]: “That the Navy Department is at last evincing an interest in our channel and shortly will install a series of safeguards for shipping in the shape of light, fog-signals sirens, etc., is evidenced in a communication received by a prominent resident of Santa Barbara yesterday, setting forth the report of the location committee… Listed in the proposed safety installations are a light and fog signal station and siren costing $100,000 for Anacapa; a light and fog signal station and siren costing $20,000 for Santa Rosa Island, and a fog signal station (siren) costing $24,000 for Santa Barbara Island...”

October 20, 1915 [SBMP]: “Josephus Daniels, Secretary of the Navy, has assured the Santa Barbara Chamber of Commerce that no branch of the Annapolis Naval Academy is to be established in the west. This silences one hope for Santa Barbara. It does not, however, change the strategic location of the Santa Barbara Channel and islands. There is increasing evidence that the government has an intelligent appreciation of this value of this waterway for the purposes of defense...”

February 15, 1934 [SBMP]: “Navy will fight here. Channel Islands to be objective of mimic air, water attack. Santa Barbara Channel Islands will be the object of an attack by an ‘enemy’ fleet during a war game staged Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday by 90 U.S. navy battleships, cruisers, destroyers and submarines, the dirigible Macon and 290 airplanes, it was revealed yesterday…”

United States Navy: San Clemente Island

October 19, 1912 [LAT/SCat]: “With their ships anchored in Smugglers’ Harbor, San Clemente Island, the officers and men of the torpedo destroyers Whipple, Stewart and Hull scoured the hills thoroughly last evening in search of a band of men reported to be smugglers… Almost as soon as the tenders struck the beach at Mosquito Harbor, on the east side of the island, Lieut. Metcalf of the U.S. destroyer Whipple, sprang from the boat and was soon lost in the hills. A number of men have been left on the island to look for any strange craft… It is claimed by the custom officers that a large amount of opium found in Southern California has been brought in first to San Clemente, then carried into mainland ports by small launches. It is also believed that many Chinamen have been brought through after they have been changed from Mexican boats to boats plying in northern waters.”

October 17, 1912 [LAT]: “Avalon. The torpedo boats Hull, Whipple and Stewart called here today on their way to San Clemente Island, where it was stated the by one of the officers aboard the Whipple that a cruise around that island would be made. Whether there is any significance to the trip there beyond a maneuver is not known definitely. However it is thought by some that these fast destroyers from the torpedo fleet have been called into commission for the purpose of assisting the revenue officers in running down some of the strange craft which have been seen in the vicinity of San Clemente Island recently. From the fact that officers from the customs office at San Pedro are now encamped at Mosquito Harbor at San Clemente would strengthen the idea of an expected apprehension of smugglers.”

United States Navy: Santa Cruz Island

U.S. Navy tracking and antenna stations, Santa Cruz Island, 1994

May 1, 1942 Lease between Edwin L. Stanton and Evelyn C. Stanton and the United States Government [United States Army War Department]… A portion of Santa Cruz Island, located in the Pacific Ocean… said portion consisting of vacant land totaling 10 acres, more or less, as shown on survey maps file 145-0-5, file 145-0-4, file 145-4-1, in the United States Engineers Office at Los Angeles, California. To be used exclusively for camp site and tactical.”

May 5, 1949-June 30, 1950: Renewable extensions to June 30, 1969. NOY(R)-44594. Lease of Real Property between Edwin L. and Evelyn Stanton and the United States of America: Government receives Observation Site, right to use the dock site, road areas, pump station site, and pipeline locations. Annual rent: $7500 to June 30, 1953; Annual rent $10,000 after June 30, 1953.

July 1, 1965: First Ammendment to NOY(R)-44594. Lease of Real Property between the Santa Cruz Island Company and the United States of America: Whereas Edwin L. Stanton has since died and the executors of his estate, and Evelyn C. Stanton, have since organized the said Santa Cruz Island Company… It is the desire of the Government to furnish Lessor telephone service…”

July 1, 1969-June 30, 1979: NOY(R)-44594. Lease of Real Property between the Santa Cruz Island Company and the United States of America… Annual rent: $20,600 paid at the rate of $5,150 quarterly.

July 1, 1979-June 30, 1984: Instrument #N6247479 Lease of Real Property between the Santa Cruz Island Company and the United States of America: Government receives: exclusive use of a 10.3 acre parcel designated as the Observation Site; non exclusive use of a well site (.58 acres); pier at Prisoners’ Harbor; boat landing site (.46 acres); aircraft runway and landing strip; road rights of way; and communication cable right of way. SCICo receives: Surface transportation on a space available basis; delivery and selling of fuel with costs determined by applicable Navy rules; telephone service through existing equipment; in the vicinity of the Observation Site, use of 3kw of electric power. Annual rent: $42,000 paid at the rate of $3500 monthly.