The Navy in San Diego
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San Diego has never been afraid to call itself a "Navy Town," and the positive and inspiring link between the navy and the city knows no equal across the country. For over 150 years, beginning with the U.S. Navy's capture of the city for the United States in the opening days of the Mexican War, the navy has been an indelible part of San Diego's lifestyle, culture, and vitality. Not only has the navy formed the bedrock of the region's economy, but it has helped shape the population while endowing the city with a sense of international and cosmopolitan awareness that separates San Diego from many other cities of its size. San Diego and its navy enjoy a special relationship, one deeply rooted in historic perspective that renews itself with each
strategy moved naval task forces to the forward flanks of the Soviet Union. The fleet reshaped itself for a protracted, drawn-out overseas presence. This change in strategy benefited the San Diego–U.S. Navy relationship in ways not immediately obvious. To maintain a consistent naval force level overseas, the fleet invented a cyclical deployment pattern, nominally six months in duration, and quickly aligned all manpower policies, training schedules, and support services to meet this imperative.
One after another, deploying task forces would be taken through repetitive deployment preparation cycles using and reusing support services centralized ashore. To do this in the most efficient manner, the navy concentrated its training, supply, maintenance, and communications in as few hubs as possible—favoring bases already heavily concentrated—and San Diego’s navy focus continued to grow. For years after the end of World War II, ships were stowed in reserve at the 32nd Street Naval Station
imperatives of economic and industrial growth, and others defending the region’s natural attributes. Most community leaders, dazzled by dreams of prosperity and growth, supported agendas of industrialization and expansion. A smaller, but vocal faction called for a different picture of San Diego, one of pristine orange and avocado groves, warm beaches, and healthy sunshine that would spur tourism and “soft” growth. Guided by San Diego congressman William Kettner and others, the navy soon was seen
Command; and Clint Steed of the San Diego Navy Historical Association. INTRODUCTION Today San Diego is synonymous with American naval might: nuclear-powered carriers sit at its piers, jets flash across its skies, SEALs train on its beaches, and warships appear in nearly every picture taken of San Diego Bay. The navy is more alive in San Diego than in any other city in the nation. Over the years, the navy’s impact on San Diego has been immense and, likewise, San Diego’s positive impact on the
ready to receive a sudden flood of new recruits needed to fill the rapidly expanding fleet. By the end of the decade, the training station could accommodate 5,000 recruits and 1,000 additional ratings in training. (Naval Historical Center.) Not only did the San Diego Naval Training Station train new navy recruits in the well-known boot camp environment, it also hosted a series of specialty schools that taught apprentice and journeymen courses in specialized ratings. Here, c. 1934, navy yeoman