Naval Air Station Pensacola or NAS Pensacola (formerly NAS/KNAS until changed circa 1970 to allow Nassau International Airport, now Lynden Pindling International Airport to have IATA code NAS), “The Cradle of Naval Aviation”, is a United States Navy base located next to Warrington, Florida, a community southwest of the Pensacola city limits. It is best known as the initial primary training base for all Navy, Marine and Coast Guard aviators and Naval Flight Officers, the advanced training base for most Naval Flight Officers, and as the home base for the United States Navy Flight Demonstration Squadron, the precision-flying team known as the Blue Angels. It is currently a Superfund site.
The air station also hosts the Naval Education and Training Command (NETC) and the Naval Aerospace Medical Institute (NAMI), which provides training for all naval flight surgeons, aviation physiologists, aviation experimental psychologists. With the closure of Naval Air Station Memphis in Millington, Tennessee and the transition of that facility to Naval Support Activity Mid-South, NAS Pensacola also became home to the Naval Air Technical Training Center (NATTC), providing technical training schools for nearly all enlisted aircraft maintenance and enlisted aircrew specialties in the U.S. Navy, U.S. Marine Corps and U.S. Coast Guard.
PENSACOLA NAVAL AIR STATION/FORREST SHERMAN FIELD HISTORY
The site now occupied by NAS Pensacola has a colorful background dating back to the 16th century when Spanish explorer Don Tristan de Luna founded a colony on the bluff where Fort Barrancas is now situated.
Realizing the advantages of the Pensacola harbor and the large timber reserves nearby for shipbuilding, in 1825 President John Quincy Adams and Secretary of the Navy Samuel Southard made arrangements to build a Navy yard on the southern tip of Escambia County, where the air station is today. Navy Captains William Bainbridge, Lewis Warrington, and James Biddle selected the site on Pensacola Bay.
Construction began in April 1826, and the Pensacola Navy Yard, also known as the Warrington Navy Yard became one of the best equipped naval stations in the country. In its early years the base dealt mainly with the suppression of slave trade and piracy in the Gulf and Caribbean as the garrison of the West Indies Squadron.
On January 12, 1861, just prior to the commencement of the Civil War, the Warrington Navy Yard surrendered to secessionists. When Union forces captured New Orleans in 1862, Confederate troops, fearing attack from the west, retreated from the Navy Yard and reduced most of the facilities to rubble.
After the war, the ruins at the yard were cleared away and work was begun to rebuild the base. Many of the present structures on the air station were built during this period, including the stately two- and three-story houses on North Avenue. In 1906, many of these newly rebuilt structures were destroyed by a great hurricane and tidal wave.
In 1971, NAS Pensacola was picked as the headquarters site for CNET (Chief of Naval Education and Training), a new command which combined direction and control of all Navy education and training activities and organizations. The Naval Air Basic Training Command was absorbed by the Naval Air Training Command, which moved to NAS Corpus Christi, Texas. In 2003, CNET was replaced by the Naval Education and Training Command(NETC).
PENSACOLA NAVAL AIR STATION/FORREST SHERMAN FIELD LOCATION
PENSACOLA NAVAL AIR STATION/FORREST SHERMAN FIELD FACTS
Elevation: 28 ft.
Runway length available: 01/19 7137×200 ft. :: 07R/25L 8001×200 ft. :: 07L/25R 8002×200 ft.