Naval Base San Diego | Military Base Guide (2023)

Naval Base San Diego | Military Base Guide (1)

Naval Base San Diego, California is home to the Pacific Fleet and more than 200 commands and activities. It is the second largest surface ship base in the United States, and employs approximately 24,000 military and 10,000 civilian workers.

Find information about Naval Base San Diego including the main commercial and DSN numbers for the base, information on basic services, base transportation, lodging for TDY and PCSing personnel, and inprocessing.

Naval Base San Diego Mission & Units

Naval Base San Diego serves as home port to 46 U.S. Navy ships, two Littoral Combat Ships, and eight ships operated by Military Sealift Command. The base conducts waterfront operations, fleet support, and more. Major units include, but are not limited to:

  • Afloat Training Group Pacific
  • Amphibious Squadron 5
  • Amphibious Squadron 1
  • Amphibious Squadron 3
  • Center For Surface Combat System Detachment San Diego
  • Construction Battalion Mobile Unit 303
  • Expeditionary Strike Group 3
  • Fleet Logistics Center San Diego
  • Naval Medical Center San Diego
  • Navfac Southwest
  • Navy Operational Support Center San Diego
  • Region Legal Service Office Southwest
  • Southwest Regional Maintenance Center
  • Training Support Center San Diego
  • Transient Personnel Unit

Naval Base San Diego History

Nearly 100 acres of the original tract of land that became Naval Base San Diego was originally owned by a group of ship building companies in 1918 that began to lose money in the wake of World War One.

The U.S. Navy was looking for property at the time to build a California-based ship repair facility, and after some negotiation the land became the property of the Navy and in 1921 the earliest ship repair work began on the USS Prairie.

At that time, the base was known as U.S. Destroyer Base, San Diego, and it started expanding almost immediately. In 1924 alone, the base commissioned seven ships and decommissioned 77 destroyers.

World War Two saw the base expand so much that it had to be redesignated as U.S. Repair Base San Diego, doing maintenance and battle damage repair to more than 5,000 ships.

Repair Base San Diego became home to fleet training centers, and amphibious warfare training. After the war ended, the base was reorganized yet again, adding logistics support and other services. The base was then renamed Naval Station San Diego (NSSD).

Fast forward to the 1990s when NSSD became the home port of the U.S. Pacific Fleet following the closure of Long Beach Naval Shipyard. This brought about yet another redesignation, becoming what we know today as Naval Base San Diego. Today the base is the hub for Navy port operations in the area and took responsibility to provide logistical support for Naval Medical Center San Diego as well as regional headquarters.

Today Naval Base San Diego has 1600 acres, serves 46 Navy ships, seven Military Sealift Command logistical support platforms, research vessels, and more. There are over 200 commands operating at the base.

Naval Base San Diego Contact Information

Naval Base San Diego Main Address And Phone Numbers

3455 Senn Road
San Diego, CA 92136

  • Phone 619-556-1011
  • Phone (DSN) 312-526-1011
  • Fax 619-556-1837
  • Fax (DSN) 312-526-1837

Naval Base San Diego Important Phone Numbers

  • Emergency 911
  • Chaplains Office Naval Base San Diego (619) 556-2658
  • Child Development Center (619) 556-8491
  • Child Development Homes/In Home (619) 556-7394
  • CNRSW Family Housing Welcome Center (619) 556-8443
  • CNRSW FFSC Lending Locker (619) 556-7404
  • Murphy Canyon Chapel (858) 268-2213
  • Barracks Single Service Member Housing (619) 231-3400
  • Branch Medical Clinic NBSD (619) 556-6302
  • Naval Medical Center San Diego (619) 532-6400
  • Gateway Inn & Suites (BEQ & BOQ) (619) 556-8672
  • ID CAC Card Processing (619) 556-9248
  • Information and Referral Services (619) 556-7404
  • Law Enforcement (619) 556-6460
  • Legal Services JAG (619) 556-2211
  • NAV Passenger Transportation Office (619) 556-5068
  • Personnel Support Office (619) 556-2005
  • Personal Property Office/Household Goods (619) 556-6683
  • Relocation Assistance Program (619) 556-7404
  • Transition Assistance Program (TAP) (619) 556-9866
  • Suicide Prevention Hotline (800) 273-8255
  • VA Facilities (800) 827-1000
  • Welcome Visitors Center (619) 556-8443

Naval Base San Diego Surrounding Area

San Diego has much to offer, including major league sports, seaside and beach-related sights including beachfront dog parks and surfing. San Diego features Seaworld, the San Diego Zoo, and day cruises around San Diego Harbour and elsewhere.

The Olde Globe Theatre and La Jolla Playhouse are both performance venues ranked in the top 20 things to do in San Diego, and those who would rather see pro baseball should see the San Diego Padres play at PetCo Park. In 2019 the city was the home of the professional soccer team San Diego 1904 FC.

For those interested in military history, the USS Midway Museum offers self-guided tours through some 60 exhibits and an impressive number of restored aircraft. The tour options include an audio component, narrated by sailors assigned to the Midway who share their real-life experiences living on board and working at sea.

You can also travel to Balboa Park to visit the San Diego Air & Space Museum which also has an impressive array of restored military planes from World War One all the way to the Vietnam War. There are also flight simulators available to test drive, and guided tours.

Naval Base San Diego Inprocessing and Check-In

Check-in procedures vary greatly depending on what command the PCS or TDY personnel may be reporting to. The first stop for all new arrivals should be the Naval Base San Diego Main Gate (Gate 6) which is located at Harbor Drive and 32nd Street. From there new arrivals will get directions to the military member’s unit or command, and be given directions to the Administrative Department in Building 72 for certain check-in requirements.

Those who arrive after duty hours should call Naval Base San Diego’s Emergency Operations Center at 619-556-7615 or DSN 312-526-7615.

When checking in or attending in-processing, the PCSing or TDY service members should hand-carry copies of the military service record, military ID cards, Powers of Attorney, PCS Orders, travel documentation, travel receipts, marriage certificates, immunization records of children or pets, household goods inventory lists, and other paperwork that may be required by the gaining command or unit.

Naval Base San Diego Services

Health Care

Naval Medical Center San Diego is one of the biggest and most advanced facilities in the Department of Defense and is available to serve approximately 500,000 potential patients and clients in the San Diego area. In 2014, the medical center was responsible for more than one million outpatient visits. The center employs approximately 6,000. Patient services include:

  • Cancer Registry
  • Cancer Resources
  • Cardiovascular Services
  • Cardiology Division
  • Cardiothoracic Surgery
  • Comprehensive Combat and Complex Casualty Care
  • Critical Care
  • Dental
  • Dermatology
  • Endocrinology
  • Gastroenterology
  • General Surgery
  • Health and Wellness
  • Hematology
  • Oncology​
  • Infectious Diseases
  • Nuclear Medicine

And many, many others.

Child Care

The San Diego area offers a great deal of military-based child care. Child Development Centers (CDC) are open at Naval Base San Diego, Naval Base Point Loma, Naval Base Coronado (Naval Air Station North Island and Naval Amphibious Base), Marine Corps Recruiting Depot, Marine Corps Air Station Miramar, Naval Medical Center, Murphy Canyon, Chollas Heights, and Liberty Station housing areas.

The San Diego Metro Child Development Centers has contact information for these facilities and more.

Services available include full and part-time care, pre-K, respite care, before and after school programs, holiday hours, and more. All CDC operations are DoD certified and accredited by the National Association for the Education of Young Children. Hours, availability, waiting lists, and other child care factors will vary depending on the facility and the base it is located on.

Child care fees in these locations are based on income.

There is also a home-based program called Child Development Home; this is a Department of Navy program that features child care in private homes with care offered full and part-time for more than 10 hours per week. Each in-home care operation is limited to six, including the caregiver’s own children under the age of eight. These homes are operated under the supervision of the Regional Morale, Welfare & Recreation (MWR) Department.

Retiree And Dependent ID Card, Military Common Access Card Replacement And Renewal

The Naval Station San Diego ID Card Section issues Common Access Cards, dependent and retiree ID cards, and offers DEERS update services. Two current forms of ID are required for all dependents 21 and older. Acceptable ID includes military ID, passports, driver’s license, Social Security Card, birth certificate, student ID cards, etc. ID cards may be renewed up to 90 days before expiration.

All military personnel replacing a stolen CAC card are required to provide a theft report from a police station. When replacing lost CACs a letter is required from the military member’s duty location reporting the card as lost. Walk-in service may be limited. Schedule an appointment at 619-556-9248 or use the RAPIDS system.

Household Goods

Those PCSing to Naval Base San Diego are directed to manage and track household good shipments using the Defense Personal Property System at Those who need storage space to accommodate excess personal items shipped to the area can take advantage of MWR-run storage facilities for both personal items and vehicles. Navy Morale, Welfare, and Recreation storage facilities are available at many bases in the San Diego area.

Naval Base San Diego Schools

There are no DoD schools available in the San Diego area. Families with school-age children will be served by one of San Diego’s 47 independent school districts, depending on where the family resides. The San Diego Unified School District school finder can help parents determine which schools may be available.

Many San Diego schools have before and after-school programs available, but services and hours will vary depending on the facility. There are also a variety of special needs education programs offered depending on the school and the availability of funding.

Naval Base San Diego Housing

The Family Housing Welcome Center at Naval Base San Diego assigns housing or provides housing help to all military families in the San Diego area, including Marine Corps Air Station Miramar and Marine Corps Recruit Depot.

All relocating personnel should check in with Family Housing Welcome Center upon arrival. Call them at 619-556-8443 to learn more about how they can help with the relocation to the Naval Base.

All accompanied personnel assigned to NBSD are eligible to apply for Military Family Housing, but availability is limited and those PCSing to the area should expect to consider off-base housing options.

Single or unaccompanied military members have the option of living in the barracks or privatized housing; new arrivals must check into the Billeting Office for room assignments or help finding housing in the local area.

Naval Base San Diego PCS and TDY Lodging

Long-term temporary housing is not available at the Naval Station, and families PCSing to the area should expect to use off-base hotels or other temporary housing options.

There are three Navy and Marine Corps Lodges in the San Diego area, not all of them are located on NBSD. There is one lodge at Naval Base San Diego, another at Naval Air Station North Island, and a third at Marine Corps Air Station Miramar.

Those traveling to the area area advised to make temporary lodging arrangements as far in advance as possible. PCSing service members may have priority in the reservations process.

When traveling to the area on PCS or TDY orders, it is required to check with the Navy Lodges in the area to see if housing is available. If not, the service member needs a Certificate of Non-Availability in order to be compensated for off-base accommodations. Call 1-800-NAVY-INN for more information on availability or obtaining a Certificate.

Naval Base San Diego Transportation

Naval Base San Diego offers base shuttle service on the west side of the base, which operates during normal duty hours Monday through Friday.

NBSD also offers something called the Transportation Incentive Program offering vouchers that makes work travel to and from the duty station free or at a very reduced cost. Applicants receive a debit card that have monthly mass transit benefits applied electronically. Sign up at the website or call (619) 215-3248. Those eligible for this program include:

  • All active duty Navy
  • All active duty Marine Corps
  • Navy civilians
  • Non-Appropriated Fund (NAF) employees
  • Reserve Components serving on active duty for more than 30 days

This incentive is not offered to contractors doing business at NBSD

Naval Base San Diego Vehicle Registration And Driver’s License

Military members and their dependent family members are expected to comply with all State of California motor vehicle requirements including emissions testing, minimum insurance coverage, and vehicle registration.

Entry to the base may require a 100% ID check depending on base security levels, current mission requirements, and other variables. The Navy Pass And Decal office issues temporary access badges for vehicles entering the base in visitor status.

Base decals for permanent party military members may not be required depending on current security levels, but all personnel entering and leaving the base should be prepared to show current valid military ID.

In general, military members stationed in California are exempt from the California vehicle license fee for any motor vehicle registered in California as long as a nonresident military owner is shown as a lessee or registered owner of the vehicle and is not operated as a commercial vehicle.

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