Naval Station Norfolk, in Norfolk, Virginia, is a base of the United States Navy, supporting naval forces in the United States Fleet Forces Command, those operating in the Atlantic Ocean, Mediterranean Sea, and Indian Ocean. NS Norfolk, also known as the Norfolk Naval Base, occupies about four miles (6 km) of waterfront space and seven miles (11 km) of pier and wharf space of the Hampton Roads peninsula known as Sewell’s Point. It is the world’s largest naval station, supporting 75 ships and 134 aircraft alongside 14 piers and 11 aircraft hangars, and houses the largest concentration of U.S. Navy forces. Port Services controls more than 3,100 ships’ movements annually as they arrive and depart their berths.
Air Operations conducts over 100,000 flight operations each year, an average of 275 flights per day or one every six minutes. Over 150,000 passengers and 264,000 tons of mail and cargo depart annually on Air Mobility Command (AMC) aircraft and other AMC-chartered flights from the airfield’s AMC Terminal.
NORFOLK NS (CHAMBERS FLD) AIRPORT HISTORY
Important historical events were taking place on the air side of the station as well. November 14, 1910 marked the birth of naval aviation when Eugene Ely, a pilot employed by the Curtiss Exhibition Company, slowly accelerated toward the end of a 57-foot (17 m) wooden ramp constructed on the bow of the cruiser USS Birmingham. The heavy cruiser was anchored in the James River, not too far from the site of the Civil War’s famous ironclad Battle of Hampton Roads between the Monitor and Merrimac.
NAS Norfolk started its roots training aviators at Naval Air Detachment, Curtiss Field, Newport News, on May 19, 1917. Approximately five months later, with a staff increasing to five officers, three aviators, ten enlisted sailors and seven aircraft, the detachment was renamed Naval Air Detachment, Naval Operating Base, Hampton Roads. The aircraft, all seaplanes, were flown across the James River and moored to stakes in the water until canvas hangars were constructed. The new location offered sheltered water in an ice-free harbor, perfect for seaplane landings, good anchorage on the beach front, accessibility to supplies from Naval Station Norfolk and room for expansion. Its mission was to conduct anti-submarine patrols, train aviators and mechanics and run an experimental facility.
NORFOLK NS (CHAMBERS FLD) AIRPORT LOCATION
NORFOLK NS (CHAMBERS FLD) AIRPORT FACTS
Runway length available: 10/28 8369×200 ft.