Naval Air Station Kingsville, Texas
Naval Air Station Kingsville, Texas, is a Navy training base for “tactical jet pilots,” one of three such centers for Navy jet training. The installation, which falls under the control of Navy Region Southwest, is approximately 3 miles east of Kingsville, Texas, in Kleberg County.
The City of Kingsville, Texas, is about 45 miles from Corpus Christi; the city covers about 14 miles and is about 500 miles from the Gulf of Mexico.
According to the Department of Defense, NAS Kingsville is “the nearest” military base to the Texas Rio Grande Valley, and there are nearly 100 thousand military retirees and dependents in that community.
The NAS Kingsville story began in 1942; the U.S. The Navy needed training and training support for its pilots. At that time, this installation was designated as Naval Auxiliary Air Station Kingsville and was mainly known as an auxiliary field for NAS Corpus Christi. This arrangement lasted until 1946 when operations halted, and the base was mothballed until 1951.
Ultimately the base would reopen as NAS Kingsville and start the types of flight training for Navy jet pilots that we have today, albeit with far different technologies and capabilities.
Today, DoD sources say Naval Air Station Kingsville employs some 500 military members and hundreds of civilians and civilian contractors.
Some 25,000 people call Kingsville home. The town has a history back to the early 1900s, an area dependent on agriculture, cattle, and related operations.
The city of Kingsville occupies 14 square miles and is located just 4 miles from the Naval Air Station Kingsville. The town offers a moderate-sized thriving community for those looking to relocate to the area.
In the immediate area, King Ranch Museum is an actual working ranch–said to be one of the largest citrus growing operations “in the world” and with more than 14 locations for groves and approximately 40,000 trees, it’s not surprising.
There is also a Train Depot Museum and a local farmer’s market. You can also visit nearby Driscoll, Bishop, Robstown, and Premont, Texas for a taste of local life there, or see Corpus Christi, which is a reasonable drive from the base.
Some may choose to live in Corpus Christi, which is about 55 miles away. That short distance does not necessarily indicate a speedy drive; before committing to living this far from the base, it’s essential to know your commute may last 45 minutes to well over an hour depending on the time of day, time of year, and other variables.
Mission and Units
Jet training is the primary mission here; missions and units support training Navy and Marine Corps pilots. Important activities at NAS Kingsville include:
- Fleet and Industrial Supply Center (FLC JAX DET)
- Navy Branch Health Clinic Kingsville
- Public Works / NAVFAC Southeast
- Ground Training
- Training Air Wing Two
- Air Operations
- Emergency Management
In-Processing and Check-In
This is a smaller base operation than you might expect; NAS Kingsville offers no personnel support. All new arrivals on PCS orders must check in with their gaining unit Command Support Staff on the first duty day after arrival.
If you need to report to the NAS Kingsville command, check in at the Administrative Office during duty hours; after hours, new arrivals must call the Command Duty Officer at 361-218-7182.
If you are a student on TDY orders for training at NAS Kingsville, check in with your command.
You may be required to report to Student Control in TW-2 Headquarters Bldg.
Advise your sponsor of your reporting date so arrangements can be made to get you checked in and in-processed. Those without a sponsor are directed to call the Naval Air Station Kingsville command master chief at 361-516-6495 or DSN 876-6495.
Related: Prepare for your First PCS Move
Childcare on board NAS Kingsville is provided by one Child Development Center, Monday through Friday, and closed for all federal holidays.
CDC care is in high demand, waiting lists may apply, and this care is offered for those between six weeks and five years old. Call (361) 516-6176 for more information on signing up for waiting lists.
In the past, NAS Kingsville has offered Child Development Home care for children between 6 weeks and 12 years old. But these Child Development Home options depend greatly on participation in the local on-base community and may not always be an option for new arrivals.
It’s best to contact the Child Development Center for information on your options as soon as you have orders to the base.
NAS Kingsville does not offer military housing in the same way other bases might; DoD sources say this base has a public/private venture agreement with a company offering quarters to both military and civilians.
These properties are a short commute from NAS Kingsville; they are said to be “close” to shopping, schools, and other local services.
At the time of this writing, such housing was available for “all enlisted” and officers, but there is a waiting list for all ranks.
To start the application process, you will need a completed DD Form 1746, Application for Assignment to Housing. Send it to the Kingsville Housing Office along with a copy of your orders and related documentation, such as a RED page and any amendments. Pets may be allowed, but you must pay a deposit.
Related: Military BAH Calculator
PCS and TDY Lodging
DoD sources say Navy Gateway Inns and Suites provides temporary lodging (TLF) while on orders here, but these may be limited and in high demand.
Call the Billeting office at 361-516-6321 to learn about current availability and rates. If you cannot obtain TLF you must obtain a statement of non-availability from the Billeting office to be reimbursed for local lodging expenses on your travel voucher.
Corpus Christi Airport is the closest airport to the base, under 25 miles away. There is no base transportation available, and according to DoD sources which were current at press time, there is no base transportation offered at NAS Kingsville.
A Duty Driver may be available on a limited basis, and you can call the Chief Duty Officer at 361-218-7182 if there is an emergency.
Vehicle Registration And Driver’s License
No on-base registration is required. You may not be required to display an inspection sticker but the State of Texas does require an inspection; you must carry current permits, title, insurance, and ID when operating a motor vehicle at NAS Kingsville.
There are no DoD schools at NAS Kingsville. Children typically attend school based on their address. You have a variety of independent public school districts to choose from, including:
- Kingsville ISD (pre-K through 12th grade)
- Santa Gertrudis ISD (pre-K through 12th grade)
- Ricardo ISD (K through 8th grade)
- Riviera ISD (pre-K through 12th grade)
Some districts allow open enrollment; if you live in one school district but want to send your children to another district, you may be approved to do so on a case-by-case basis.
Commuting time may be a factor; some districts may not allow students to commute from too great a distance. It is best to get the assistance of the NAS Kingsville’s School Liaison Officer (call them at 361-537-7595) for assistance and information about registering a new student in area schools.
Colleges and Universities
At press time, NAS Kingsville has no colleges on base, but local college options exist, including Coastal Bend College and Texas A&M University Kingsville. Navy College in Corpus Christi may help; you can contact a Navy College Education Services Specialist to learn your current options while stationed here.
Related: Military Tuition Assistance Guide
Naval Air Station Kingsville
- DSN 312-876-6982
Important NAS Kingsville Contact Numbers
- Branch Health Clinic (361) 516-6313
- Child Development Center (361) 516-6176
- DEERS Office (361) 516-4728
- Emergency 911
- Gateway Inns and Suites (361) 516-6321
- Housing Service Center (361) 516-6498
- Fleet and Family Support Center (361) 516-6333
- Morale, Welfare, and Recreation (361) 516-6232
- Navy Wounded Warrior (855) 628-9997
- Pass and Tag Office (361) 516-6555
- Public Affairs Office (361) 516-6500
- Suicide Prevention Hotline (800) 273-8255
- School Liaison Officer (361)-537-7595
Read more: Comprehensive Military Benefits Guide
About the author
Joe Wallace is a 13-year veteran of the United States Air Force and a former reporter/editor for Air Force Television News and the Pentagon Channel. His freelance work includes contract work for Motorola, VALoans.com, and Credit Karma. He is co-founder of Dim Art House in Springfield, Illinois, and spends his non-writing time as an abstract painter, independent publisher, and occasional filmmaker.