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NAS Meridian Navy Base in Meridian, MS Mississippi Military Bases
Naval Air Station (NAS) Meridian is a military station operated by the United States Navy and located in Mississippi. The base is actually a military airport. It spreads over two different counties – Kemper and Lauderdale. It is one of the primary training spots for the US Navy, mostly because it deals with jet strike training operations. There are only two such bases in the United States of America and the other one is located in Texas – Naval Air Station NAS Kingsville. With such limited possibilities, the importance of these spots is vital. Besides, one major disadvantage NAS Kingsville comes with is the impossibility to support operations over water due to the inland location. The base is run by Captain Charles Gibson.
NAS Meridian is not one of those military bases established right before the United States of America joined World War II. The country was significantly improved during those early years while preparing for the war. Plenty of similar bases were built in the most strategical spots on the map, while the older ones were renovated and reinforced. In fact, the base became official in 1961 only. The work began in 1957, while the final shovel of earth was marked on July, 14-th, 1961. It took the Americans four years to build this advanced base, not to mention about the $60 millions they invested. John C. Stennis – a US senator – was invited to talk about the upcoming missions at the groundbreaking ceremony. The base had a different name when it was opened – McCain Field. The name was given in the memory of John S. McCain, Senior. The first unit that inhabited the base was the Training Squadron 7. The base kept growing in an amazing ascension. It took it seven years only to become a complete naval air station with all the required services, facilities and missions.
NAS Meridian was taken through a few major upgrades in the early ’80s. By 1984, it became one of the top military installations and was chosen among the model bases by the Department of Defense.
Today, in the 21-st century, the objectives of this military base have not changed too much. It is responsible for comprehensive and professional training sessions, not to mention about providing an excellent service and great facilities to all the inhabitants in a safe and pleasant environment.
Although there are only two jet strike training bases in the United States of America and NAS Kingsville has some particular limitations, there are less units hosted at NAS Meridian. The base can brag with five permanent units only. The most important one is the Training Air Wing 1. The other units include the Squadron 1 of the Marine Aviation Training Support, the Training Squadron 9, the Training Squadron 7 and the Naval Technical Training Center. The aviation school is among the most advanced ones in the country, with an impressive number of students graduating every year.
There are multiple smaller units on site too, but they are mostly temporary.
Naval Air Station Meridian is found in the northeastern side of Lauderdale and Kemper County in Meridian, Mississippi. It lies in 12,000 acres of land wherein the 4,000 acres is in SEARAY, a target field and the Joe Williams Field. Its major function is to train the US Navy jet strike pilots in lined with the Naval Air Station Kingsville which is found in Texas and also provides the technical training and support for all the units stationed in the base. The Naval Air Station houses the 4,000 military employees and their dependents and civilian personnel employees.
Naval Air Station Meridian Facts
Location: Lauderdale and Kemper Counties, near Meridian, Mississippi
Website: Visit NAS Meridian Website
Phone: (601) 679-2211
The ground breaking of the $60 million Naval Auxiliary Air Station on July 16, 1957, it was named McCain Field at that time in honor of Admiral McCaine, Sr. The station served as the base for the hundreds of airplanes which were based in Florida in trying to escape the destructive hurricane Betsy. The exodus of 300 planes from Florida was repeated on 1968 and 1969 when Hurricane Camille and Hurricane Gladys struck Florida. Over the years, the base continues to show improvements and became a Naval Air Station with increase constructions of buildings and housing units for the family of the servicemen.
The NAS Meridian is also the base for Training Squadron NINETEEN, Training Air Wing, and the Marine Aviation training Support Squadron, the Naval Training Center and the training Squadron Seven. The NAS Commanding officer is the backbone of the station while the Administrative Services Department offers services like the processing of the personnel matters, processing of the command and evaluation communications, offers messaging systems and other administrative services in the entire station. The Air Traffic Control Department functions in the radar final control systems and the control tower, issue instructions to the pilots of the military flight operations in the entire base.