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 Californias
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 Navys 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
Reprinted with permission
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
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
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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