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About Orange County's Military Bases

May 12, 1988|Clipboard researched by Rick VanderKnyff, Susan Greene / Los Angeles Times

MARINE CORPS AIR STATION EL TORO

Area: 4,739 acres.

Personnel: 8,400.

Annual payroll (active duty): $229 million (includes salaries for 4,200 personnel at Marine Corps Air Station Tustin).

Description: The air station, commissioned in 1943, became home to the Third Marine Aircraft Wing Headquarters in 1955. Since 1971, the Marine Air Reserve under the command of the Fourth Marine Air Wing has conducted reserve training operations at El Toro.

The station is generally home to about 175 aircraft, but that figure changes substantially during peak training periods or mobilization. The fleet is primarily composed of the carrier-based fighter and attack jets and turboprop transport aircraft.

MARINE CORPS AIR STATION TUSTIN

Area: 1,536 acres.

Personnel: 4,200.

Annual payroll: See El Toro (above).

Description: Home to 12 helicopter squadrons, the station is distinguished by two huge hangars built in 1942 for lighter-than-air craft. Visible for miles, the historical landmarks are the largest free-standing wooden structures in the United States--each is 178 feet tall, 1,050 feet long and 300 feet wide.

NAVAL WEAPONS STATION, SEAL BEACH

Area: More than 14,000 acres at four sites (5,000 acres in Seal Beach).

Personnel: 2,600 total at four sites, comprising 2,300 civilians and 300 military personnel (between 1,100 and 1,200 at Seal Beach).

Annual Payroll: $71 million for four sites.

Description: Naval Weapons Station, Seal Beach, actually encompasses four sites, located in Seal Beach, Fallbrook, Pomona and Corona.

* Seal Beach: The Navy's primary West Coast facility for storing ammunition and loading it onto ships, the site services ships from naval stations in San Diego and Long Beach. A National Wildlife Refuge covers 1,000 acres within the station's boundaries.

* Fallbrook: The primary function of the Fallbrook site, covering almost 9,000 acres on Camp Pendleton's border in San Diego County, is the issuance and intermediate repair of air launch weapons. It is also a provisioner of conventional ordnance.

* Corona: The function of the 250-acre computer center in Corona is to evaluate the performance of weapons in the fleet inventory and to analyze missile flight information.

* Pomona: This site, located at the General Dynamics facility in Pomona, is a Navy Gage and Standards Center. Personnel at the center develop instruments to measure performance and accuracy of weapons and weapons delivery systems.

Source: Individual base public affairs officers

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