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Expansion of Seal Beach Base to Go Forward : Navy: The proposed shutdown of Long Beach Naval Station will not have any impact on the plans for weapons depot.

April 14, 1991|NANCY WRIDE | TIMES STAFF WRITER

SEAL BEACH — A planned $200-million expansion of Southern California's only Navy weapons depot will not be affected by the proposed shutdown of the neighboring Long Beach Naval Station, military officials said.

Even though the Seal Beach Naval Weapons Station is a primary installation for ordnance loading and unloading of Long Beach-bound ships, "the impact here will be none," a base spokesman said.

For the Record
Los Angeles Times Thursday April 18, 1991 Orange County Edition Part A Page 3 Column 1 National Desk 1 inches; 20 words Type of Material: Correction
Weapons station--A spokesman for the Seal Beach Naval Weapons Station was misidentified in a story Sunday. He is Lt. Cmdr. Mark H. Davidson.

Lt. Cmdr. Mark Anderson, spokesman for the Seal Beach base, said the facility will continue to be of service to the ships in the Navy's Pacific Fleet.

"We are geographically convenient to the largest concentration of home-ported ships (in the Pacific Fleet), which is San Diego, Calif.," Anderson said. "It's the second largest concentration of Navy ships in the world, the first being Norfolk, Va."

A spokesman for Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-Long Beach), whose district includes both the Long Beach and Seal Beach Navy facilities, also said, "There is no reason to expect there will be an impact" on the controversial port expansion. Spokesman Larry Hart added that Rohrabacher opposes the Navy's expansion plans in Seal Beach.

Anderson said work continues on environmental impact studies for the Navy's planned expansion of the bucolic coastal depot, where tons of ammunition are stored, tested and loaded on and off the ships from the Navy's Pacific Fleet.

Despite widespread community opposition, the Navy is forging ahead in its quest to enlarge the 47-year-old Seal Beach depot, one of only three that it operates on the West Coast. The others are in Concord, Calif., and Bremerton, Wash.

One of only five naval weapons depots in America, Seal Beach was built after World War II to avoid another disaster such as the destruction of Pearl Harbor. But its wharf was built for World War II-era vessels, and the Navy's ships have become much larger, prompting expansion of the Seal Beach depot.

The Navy would also like to expand Seal Beach's port to accommodate new rapid-load supply ships called the AEO6s.

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