Captain Joe Littleton, U.S. Navy (Retired)
While small and less well known, Naval Air Station Brunswick, Maine, was a strategic airfield because of its proximity to the North Atlantic and the Greenland-Iceland-UK gap. As the Russian Navy becomes a greater peer rival and resurrects its submarine fleet, quick and unfettered access to North Atlantic waters will become of greater importance.
Captain Don Donegan, U.S. Navy (Retired)
Although it would be wonderful to build ships in the naval shipyards of the past, all the services miss the utility of Naval Station Roosevelt Roads, Puerto Rico, even without being able to do naval surface fire support events at Vieques. This era of great power competition requires focus on this hemisphere as well as the western Pacific.
Chief Petty Officer Allen Worth, U.S. Navy (Retired)
The Mare Island Naval Shipyard and Naval Station, but for surface ships and submarines, not just submarines as it was before. We need to revive the Navy in the Bay Area. Vallejo is a financially depressed area, and this could completely revive the area economy with a younger military presence.
Lieutenant Commander Sankey Blanton, U.S. Navy Reserve (Retired)
Naval Air Facility Adak, Alaska. The Navy owns the island, and tourists do not drop in. Adak was closed when the Soviet Union collapsed. Now we talk about “showing the flag” in the Arctic. With the climate, Russia, and China changing, Adak could be a first step toward returning the Navy to the Arctic.
Lieutenant Commander Keith Blevins, U.S. Coast Guard
The Coast Guard Base at Governors Island, New York. Though it was closed for economic reasons, the base had many strategic benefits, from physical and regional security to public affairs, political prominence, and recruiting efforts.
Richard P. Kaye
Subic Bay Naval Station, Philippines. With the pivot toward the western Pacific, the location and facilities of this former forward base would provide much needed support, shorten transit times, ease logistics, and increase on-station time for operational units.
Betsy Rohaly Smoot, Cryptologic Historian
The Naval Radio Station at Otter Cliffs, Maine. Beautiful scenery, outstanding radio reception, and a history of technological innovation documented by proud alumni. As it is now part of Acadia National Park (with restrooms replacing the intercept house), I would accept reopening its successor facility, nearby NSGA Winter Harbor.
Rear Admiral Kenneth Norton, U.S. Navy (Retired)
U.S. Naval Base, Cam Rahn Bay, Vietnam. Enhance a permanent strategic naval force presence in the South China Sea.
Marc DeLamater, USNI member since 1974
Naval Air Facility Adak in the Aleutians to serve as an ocean surveillance hub for the Pacific approaches to the Arctic. The former NAF Adak is a very underutilized airport that could be shared, and there are three deep-draft docks and refueling facilities that could support Coast Guard and Navy ships.
Chief John M. Duffy, U.S. Navy (Retired)
Subic Bay Naval Station in the Philippines because of its geographic proximity to waters China disputes. Repair facilities already exist for deployed Seventh Fleet warships. Naval Air Station Cubi Point provides for effective maritime patrol by our P-8 squadrons. Subic could augment our bases in both Guam and Singapore.
Commander Dan Upp, U.S. Navy
Naval Station Roosevelt Roads, Puerto Rico. An excellent strategic location in the Caribbean, perfect for protecting the southern approaches to our shores. Beneficial for the economy of a U.S. overseas territory, while not being too far away, and a beautiful island with pretty great liberty, too.
Subic Bay Naval Station. Had the United States retained Subic Bay we would not have this Nine-Dash Line fortified island issue!
Lieutenant Commander Scott A. Wallace, U.S. Navy
Subic Bay Naval Station, Republic of the Philippines. It would signal a renewed partnership between the Philippines and the United States, while diversifying our options in the first island chain. In the coming great power competition with China, we need strong alliances and a distributed force posture.
Master Chief Tim Johnsrude, U.S. Navy (Retired)
Recruit Training Command, San Diego. A Lake Michigan winter did not appeal to me. Boot camp at RTC San Diego was more California country club than Illinois icebox. In Drill Division, we performed for each graduating class before those California girls the Beach Boys crooned about. What a way to start a Navy career.
Commander James P. Kelly, U.S. Navy (Retired)
Reopening Long Beach Naval Shipyard would benefit the Navy and the Pacific Fleet. It was the most cost effective of all the Navy’s shipyards prior to closing. Its drydocks could handle any ship in the fleet. Now, large San Diego–based ships must go to Bremerton, Washington for emergency docking.
Commander James L.S. Bowen, U.S. Navy Reserve
Mare Island Naval Shipyard. The Pacific Ocean is where the action is when it comes to naval affairs, and we need more shipyards in the Pacific. San Francisco Bay is a crucially important port and major industrial area/railroad terminus, so Mare Island is a good one.
Commander Lewis Preddy, U.S. Navy Reserve (Retired)
The Cecil Field Master Jet Base in Jacksonville, Florida. Much of the base infrastructure is still operational and it is much closer to the bombing ranges in the Ocala National Forest. Jacksonville is a Navy town.
Petty Officer Jonathan Yuengling, U.S. Navy (Retired)
The Philadelphia Naval Shipyard. It was great for the community, had marvelous old buildings, and was great for showing a Navy presence in the region.
William Higgins Jr.
Brunswick Naval Air Station in Maine. It was insane to shift aircraft farther south, requiring longer flights for each sortie to the North Atlantic waters.
Treasure Island Naval Station, a natural guardian to the Bay Area and Sacramento River. At this time the area master laments that the Bay is open from 50 miles out to the Golden Gate Bridge.
Steve Whitaker, U.S. Navy Veteran
Naval Station Roosevelt Roads in Puerto Rico. Strategic, operational, tactical—location, location, location.
Ron West, U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary, Golden Life Member
Parramore Beach Coast Guard Station. Closed in 1937, this station was located at the entrance to Wachapreague Inlet on Virginia’s eastern shore. It offered immediate access to the Atlantic rather than having to dispatch a small boat from five miles away that has to navigate shoal waters.
Major Bob Cypher, U.S. Marine Corps Reserve (Retired)
The Coast Guard base at Governors Island, which closed in 1996. Critically important to manage port traffic in New York Harbor, it was sorely missed after 9/11, when the military had to operate out of tents in Battery Park.
Captain John Ingram, U.S. Navy (Retired)
Naval Station Roosevelt Roads, Puerto Rico. With the increase activity of the Russian Navy in the Atlantic and Cuban waters, it would be of strategic importance to have a large naval presence in the Caribbean. We had an airstrip, good harbor, and a large piece of real estate for training Marines and special warfare operators.
Commander W. J. “Bugs” Blacklidge, U.S. Navy (Retired)
Naval Air Station, Cecil Field, Florida, which was shut down in favor of NAS Oceana. the Navy lost an optimum tactical jet facility with four large runways, open airspace, and plenty of room for growth. Operating in the encroachment challenges of the Tidewater, Virginia, area did not make sense in the 1990s and looks less practical today given the increased environmental impact of today’s (and future) tactical aviation assets.
Chief Warrant Officer John Harris, U.S. Army (Retired), Life Member
Reopen Marine Corps Air Station El Toro as a joint-use airport, in the same manner that Kirtland Air Force Base and Albuquerque International Airport currently operate together. This would allow Orange County’s John Wayne Airport, which has notably small and restricted runways, to close. The excellent longer runways at El Toro would easily be able to handle (as they once did) F-18 support for Camp Pendleton, as well as heavy civil airliners. In addition, on the civil side, there could be direct train service to the terminals using existing, adjacent commercial rail lines, something that will never happen at LAX.
Bill Berry, Northrop Grumman
Reopen all Coast Guard Long Range Aid to Navigation (LORAN) stations and equip them with unmanned, solar-powered enhanced LORAN (e-LORAN) devices. GPS is too vulnerable.
My choice would be Naval Training Center, San Diego. I went through there in 1964–65. The locale is ideal to give new recruits the opportunity see and experience the Navy in many aspects. A great place to get a feel of what to expect upon completion of boot camp and A schools. Thank you, U.S. Navy.
James R. Barker, U.S. Navy Veteran
The Subic Bay Navy Base, if it could be reopened, would be the most important advanced military base in the western Pacific. It was a critical port during the Vietnam War. Someday, perhaps.
Stephen Sanfillipo, U.S. Navy Veteran
The Brooklyn Navy Yard. I was born in Brooklyn in 1948 and well remember seeing the yard. I am a Navy veteran. Need I say more?
Commander Jim Moses, U.S. Navy (Retired)
Active ships at Newport Naval Station. Easy sea detail (the occasional fog notwithstanding) and collocated with many professional schools and the Naval War College. You could walk to work, homestead there if desired. History, culture, proximity to a lot of things to do in New England. Cup summers were great, but you did have to like winter.
Naval Air Station, Glenville, Illinois.
Rick Miller, U.S. Navy Veteran
Naval Station Roosevelt Roads and all the Puerto Rican operating areas and ranges that went with it—the training opportunities were unsurpassed!