At Naval Air Facility El Centro their mission is to provide the highest quality facilities, services and products to the Naval Aviation community and all organizations utilizing Naval Air Facility El Centro. They provide base support to Naval Aviation Squadrons and maintain target ranges for their weapons and combat air training. We also support Marine Aviation units, air elements from the U.S. Army, Air Force units, and allied forces.
NAF El Centro is a small facility, but it has a full array of support facilities Read more below:
El Centro, CA 92243-5001
Naval Air Facility El Centro is located in the heart of Southern California’s Imperial Valley. It is a two hour drive from San Diego and Palm Springs, one hour from Yuma, AZ, and fifteen minutes from the Mexican border. NAF is the “winter home” of the world-famous Blue Angels, the Navy’s Flight Demonstration Squadron.
Originally the planned site of the Imperial County airport, the Navy leased the facility for use as a Marine Corps Air Station in 1942. The formal establishment of the installation took place on July 24, 1943. The installation operated as a Marine Corp Air Station until disestablishment and subsequent re-establishment to the Navy in May 1946. In 1979 the facility was designated Naval Air Facility El Centro.
Naval Air Facility El Centro was commissioned on May 1, 1946, as a Naval Air Station. Prior to that, the base was a Marine Corps Air Station. Through the years, Navy El Centro has had several names: Naval Air Facility, Naval Auxiliary Landing Field, Naval Air Station, and the National Parachute Test Range. Read a more detailed history below:
For the first 35 years, the mission of NAF El Centro was devoted to aeronautical escape system testing, evaluation, and design. In November 1947, the Parachute Experimental Division from Lakehurst, New Jersey moved to El Centro. In 1951, the Joint Parachute Facility was established and consisted of the Naval Parachute Unit and the Air Force 6511th Test Group (Parachute). The Air Force remained part of El Centro’s test organization for the next 27 years. In 1959, an ejection seat designed for pilot escape from a high-speed jet at altitudes less than 1,000 feet was successfully tested here. The Mercury Space Program parachute system, used for the first U.S. manned satellites and the Apollo re-entry system, was also tested here.
In 1964, the U.S. Naval Aerospace Recovery Facility was designated and on July 1, 1973, it was combined with the Naval Air Facility El Centro to form the National Parachute Test Range. Exactly six years later, the parachute test mission was transferred to Naval Weapons Center China Lake; and El Centro again became a Naval Air Facility.
Today, NAF El Centro provides realistic training to active and reserve aviation units and activities of the Navy’s operating and training forces. Squadrons visit NAF El Centro to practice gunnery, bombing, carrier landings and air combat.
Command Mission Statement
The mission of Naval Air Facility El Centro is to support the combat training and readiness of the Warfighter.
The vision for Naval Air Facility El Centro is to be the Navy’s premiere tactical training air installation – providing world class operations, world class facilities and the highest quality of life for our personnel and their families.
We are the finest air installation in the world. We are unique. No air installation provides the combat training that we provide. We set our standards higher and we achieve our goals. We are committed to excellence in everything we do. We are the best because we want to be the best.
We execute the mission of our installation – supporting combat readiness – every single day with 100% dedication and focus.
We are a team; every member of this organization is critical to mission success.
We respect each other and we place team and mission ahead of self.
We respect our similarities and our differences and we create and sustain a positive working environment.
We are excellent stewards of the resources with which we have been entrusted.
Our safety standards are rigid; we execute our mission with by-the-book procedures and we keep a close watch on each other.
We achieve and maintain the highest quality of condition and appearance of everything on our installation.
We are committed to the personal and professional development and advancement of our people.
Everything we do and every resource we commit is directly linked to Fleet, Fighter, and Family.
We are committed to the highest quality of life for our personnel and their families.
We communicate as a team, both up and down the chain of command.
We do everything with professionalism, pride and class.
We are committed to excellence in all that we do.
PUBLIC AFFAIRS DEPARTMENT
Public Affairs Officer (760)339-2519
Deputy PAO (760)339-2673
Administration Officer (760)339-2556