The Naval Amphibious Base, Little Creek is the major operating base for the Amphibious Forces in the United States Navy’s Atlantic Fleet. It is the largest of its kind in the world. The base’s combination of operational, support, and training facilities focus mainly on amphibious operations. It’s mission is to provide required support services to personnel of home ported ships and resident and/or supported activities. The Little Creek Naval Amphibious Base finished it’s two year merge with the Army’s Fort Story on October 1, 2009.
The base includes four locations in three states. It includs almost 12,000 acres of real estate. Its location in Virginia Beach, Virginia totals 2,120 acres of land. Outlying facilities include 350 acres located just north of Fleet Training Center Dam Neck in Virginia Beach, and 21 acres known as Radio Island at Morehead City, N.C., used as an amphibious embarkation/debarkation area for U.S. Marine Corps units at MCB Camp Lejeune, N.C.
Joint Expeditionary Base Little Creek-Fort Story
2600 Tarawa Court
Norfolk, VA 23521-3297
Joint Expeditionary Base Little Creek – Fort Story History
On October 1, 2009, the Joint Expeditionary Base Little Creek-Fort Story was established, the first Joint Base in Hampton Roads. Joint Expeditionary Base Little Creek – Fort Story is the country’s premier installation for housing and training the nation’s Expeditionary Forces. It is one command with two properties: Joint Expeditionary Base East (Fort Story) and West (Little Creek). The Joint Expeditionary Base is comprised of the former Naval Amphibious Base Little Creek and the Army Post, Fort Story. Fort Story witnessed the humble beginnings of our country at the 1607 first landing site. Little Creek began as a dynamic training ground for World War II amphibious forces. Together they comprise the crown jewel of America’s military bases.
Our mission is to provide exceptional installation customer service. In accomplishing our mission, the Joint Expeditionary Base ensures maximum combat readiness of our frontline deployed modern day warriors while ensuring the best possible quality of life for all military families and retirees.
Naval Amphibious Base Little Creek’s History
On July 16, 1942, a Navy truck drove off the scenic Ocean View-Virginia Beach highway and stopped in a waterlogged bean field of the Whitehurst farm. For days thereafter, trucks loaded with lumber and equipment rolled into the area in almost continuous succession.
The reason for this mass assault in a bean field 12 miles northeast of Norfolk was that early in World War II Navy planners saw a necessity for landing large numbers of American troops on foreign shores in the face of enemy gunfire. That such operations would be difficult was also evident. New methods and techniques in landing troops would have to be developed. Training would be needed before sufficient men were proficient in the complicated art of the amphibious assault, which would enable U.S. troops to drive to the heart of the enemy.
During the early phases of World War II the base was literally a combination of farmland and swamps. Four bases were constructed on this area-Camp Bradford, Camp Shelton, U.S. Naval Frontier Base, and Amphibious Training Base.
Camps Bradford and Shelton were named for the former owners of the land. At first Camp Bradford was a training base for Navy Seabees, but in 1943 it was changed into a training center for the crews of LSTs (landing ship tank).
Camp Shelton was an armed guard training center for Blue Jackets serving on board merchant ships as gun crews. At the end of World War II it served as a separation center.
The Frontier Base was the forwarding center for Amphibious Force personnel and equipment destined for the European Theater. The Amphibious Training Base (also known as “Little Creek”) was the center for all types of amphibious training and the training of ship’s crews for LSM (landing ship medium), LCI (landing craft infantry), and LCU (landing craft utility); LCM (landing craft mechanized), and LCVP (landing craft vehicle, personnel) boat crews were also trained at Little Creek.
The early days were hard ones. Techniques of training had to be developed from scratch. Facilities for the upkeep of equipment as well as living facilities for personnel were primitive. The newcomers found few buildings and practically no roads or utilities. Just bean vines. The men assigned found it difficult to get their white uniforms clean because there was so much foreign matter in the water; there was no such luxury as hot water so the men had to do their best with cold water and soap powder. After various improvisations along came temporary buildings that were later to give the site some resemblance to a naval base.
The men worked long hours in blistering heat in the summer and the penetrating wet cold of winter. They worked in mud and sand. After long hours of training many of them performed extra duties on their own initiative which slowly resulted in improved living conditions.
In a commendably few months the trained men who were to land fighting forces from Africa to Normandy were ready for sea. During World War II over 200,000 Naval personnel and 160,000 Army and Marine Corps personnel trained at Little Creek.
The four bases were partially inactivated at the end of hostilities of World War II. Shortly thereafter, however, the bases at Little Creek, because of their central location on the Atlantic coast, excellent and varied beach conditions, proximity to the naval facilities of Norfolk, berthing facilities for amphibious ships through the size of LSTs, and other advantages, were consolidated into the present installation and renamed the Naval Amphibious Base, Little Creek with a commissioning date of August 10, 1945. It was designated a permanent base in 1946
The base has grown over the years developing into a strategic expeditionary oriented command. It continues to evolve to meet the needs of the Global War on Terrorism and is the fastest growing base in Hampton Roads. Its mission is to provide outstanding customer service support to the more than 14,400 personnel of the 132 resident commands located on base.
Joint Expeditionary Base Little Creek-Fort Story Mission and Vision
The Joint Expeditionary Base Little Creek-Fort Story (JEBLCFS) Family Team contributes to maximum military readiness by providing sustained superior service. The Joint Expeditionary Base is the major east coast operating base supporting Overseas Contingency Operations. Resident commands provide front line support personnel and the training venues that hone the skills of those front line operators. JEB Little Creek-Fort Story provides support and services to 155 shore-based resident commands and 18 home ported ships. JEB consists of nearly 4,000 acres of land and more than seven-and-a-half miles of beachfront training area with 61 piers. It is the only bare-beach JLOTS (Joint Logistics Over-The-Shore) training site within the Department of Defense (DoD); is home to the only east coast Advanced Explosive Ordnance Disposal Training facility; and provides training venues for Special Warfare Teams.
Naval Legal Service Office, Mid-Atlantic (NLSO-MIDLANT) maintains a legal assistance office located at 1168 Gator Boulevard, Bldg 3370, Virginia Beach, VA 23521.
Public Affairs Office – 757-462-8425 (DSN 253)