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Naval Base San Diego Guide

Image courtesy Navy.mil

Naval Base San Diego is the home port of the U.S. Navy Pacific Fleet. The base is home to more than 50 Navy ships and hosts visiting ships and more than 200 “tenant” commands. Naval Base San Diego has more than 1,600 acres of land and more than 300 acres of water along San Diego Bay.

Naval Base San Diego Contacts and Important Base Info

Naval Base San Diego History

In the aftermath of World War One, the U.S. Navy needed a California ship repair facility, and acquired some land in San Diego, and opened U.S. Destroyer Base, San Diego. From the time the facility began operating, expansion was happening. In 1924, Naval Base San Diego commissioned seven ships and decommissioned some 300+ more, and by the time World War Two occurred the base had expanded to the extent that it had to be redesignated.

Enter U.S. Repair Base San Diego, with the expanded operations there including maintenance and battle damage repair, More than five thousand ships would benefit from these operations. After World War Two, the base was redesignated yet again, this time as Naval Station San Diego.

The redesignation of Naval Base San Diego (NBSD) occurred in the 1990s after the closure of the Long Beach Naval Shipyard. In modern times NBSD is the center for Navy port operations in the area. It also provides support for Naval Medical Center San Diego.

Local Area

Parts of California are rich with military history. In San Diego, you’ll find the USS Midway Museum, which features approximately 60 exhibits, aircraft restorations, and oral history tours of the Midway narrated by actual sailors talking about their experiences working for the Navy. You’ll find more history at the San Diego Air & Space Museum, which features restored vintage aircraft from World War One, plus flight simulations, and the usual guided tours.

San Diego is well-known for major league sports, concerts, art, and beach culture. Those who PCS and TDY here enjoy Seaworld, the San Diego Zoo, and day cruises to destinations including Baja or San Diego Bay.

Naval Base San Diego Units

Naval Base San Diego is responsible for more than 40 U.S. Navy ships, plus Littoral Combat Ships, and Military Sealift Command ships. Important units and missions here include, but are not limited to the following:

  • 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
  • Navy Operational Support Center San Diego
  • Region Legal Service Office Southwest
  • Southwest Regional Maintenance Center
  • Training Support Center San Diego

Naval Base San Diego In-processing and Check-In

All new arrivals will access the installation via the Naval Base San Diego Main Gate (Gate 6) to show ID and get directions to the military member’s unit or command. New arrivals reporting during normal duty hours should ask for directions to the Administrative Department in Building 72.  Those reporting after duty hours or on weekends are directed to call Naval Base San Diego’s Emergency Operations Center at 619-556-7615 or DSN 312-526-6715.

When checking in, be sure to hand-carry copies of your military service records, ID cards, travel or PCS orders, and any other paperwork needed to in-process according to your gaining unit.

Child Care

Child care is in extremely high demand in this military community. However, you do not necessarily have to get your child care from Naval Base San Diego as there are other military bases with options nearby. They include Child Development Centers in:

  • Naval Base Point Loma
  • Naval Base Coronado
  • Marine Corps Recruiting Depot
  • Marine Corps Air Station Miramar
  • Naval Medical Center, Murphy Canyon, Chollas Heights, and Liberty Station housing areas.

Visit Military Child Care to find information on San Diego-based military child care programs as well as other options offered worldwide.

Naval Base San Diego Housing

Navy Region Southwest Family Housing Welcome Center at Naval Base San Diego is the entity that governs military housing assignments in the San Diego area, not just Naval Base San Diego.

When you arrive in the local area, check into the Family Housing Welcome Center and visit CNRSW Family Housing for information on the approximately nine thousand military housing options in the area. Military housing features a waiting list that can be as long as 24 months, so it is smart to begin looking at your housing options as early as possible.

Military housing is limited and you should expect to live off-base for some or most of your assignments here. The single or unaccompanied military can choose to live on base in the barracks or privatized housing but single or unaccompanied housing is NOT automatically assigned. You will need to check in with the Navy Unaccompanied Housing Office and/or Housing Service Center to learn the eligibility requirements.

PCS and TDY Lodging

Extended temporary housing is not available at the Naval Station due to extremely high demand. If you are PCSing to the area, expect to use commercial hotels or other temporary housing options. When you get PCS orders to the area, it’s best to make your reservations as early as possible There are three Navy/Marine Corps Lodges in the San Diego area, located at:

  • Naval Base San Diego
  • Naval Air Station North Island
  • Marine Corps Air Station Miramar

There are also four Navy Gateway Inns & Suites:

  • Naval Base San Diego
  • Naval Base Coronado (North Island)
  • Naval Base Coronado (Amphibious Base)
  • Naval Base Point Loma (Sub Base)

When booking at these facilities, those traveling on PCS orders have priority. Be sure to mention your PCS orders at booking time. For more details, call the Navy or Marine Corps Lodge at 800-NAVY-INN or visit the Navy Lodge website.

Naval Base San Diego Vehicle Registration

If you operate a motor vehicle in the State of California, even as a military member, you are required to meet state vehicle requirements which may include carrying minimum insurance, submitting your vehicle for emissions tests, and registration. When registering a vehicle here, the California DMV provides a form on request that offers you a military rate for registering your privately owned vehicle.

If your vehicle is registered in another state, it remains valid until the original expiration date. When operating a vehicle on Naval Base San Diego, you will be subject to ID checks entering or leaving the installation. You must carry all required insurance coverage, and safety equipment, and obey all emissions requirements in order to drive your vehicle at NBSD.

Naval Base San Diego Schools

There are no DoD schools available in the San Diego area. You can contact the Naval Base San Diego School Liaison Office for help locating an area school near you in San Diego county. You can call any of the following bases to speak to a School Liaison Officer about your options:

  • Navy Region Southwest School Liaison Officer 619-705-5909
  • Murphy Canyon 858-349-7678
  • Coronado, South Bay, San Ysidro 619-991-2509
  • Point Loma, Mission Bay, West of 5 619-553-8290
  • Eastern San Diego County area School Liaison Officer 619-556-9499

You can also get help locating a nearby school via the San Diego Unified School District school finder.

The San Diego Unified School District is said to be the biggest in San Diego County and serves most of the metro San Diego area within city limits. These schools base their attendance on address but San Diego school districts may allow families to transfer from one school to another within the same district. Transfers to other districts may also be possible but timing is important–discuss your specific needs with a School Liaison Officer.

Colleges and Universities in San Diego

San Diego is home to a variety of colleges and universities. They include, but are not limited to:

  • University of California-San Diego
  • San Diego State University
  • University of San Diego
  • Point Loma Nazarene University
  • California State University-San Marcos
  • John Paul the Great Catholic University
  • San Diego Christian College
  • National University
  • Thomas Jefferson School of Law
  • California Western School of Law
  • San Diego Community College District
  • Grossmont College
  • San Diego Regional Occupational Program

When exploring your options at any of these colleges or universities, it is smart to ask for in-state tuition waiver guidelines for military members and their families. You may be permitted to attend class at the in-state rate rather than paying out-of-state tuition fees. You can also get more information from the local Navy Navy Voluntary Education Region Advisor at 619-556-8256.

Naval Base San Diego Contacts

Naval Base San Diego
3455 Senn Rd.
San Diego, CA 92136

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

Important Contact Numbers


  • 911

Barracks Single Service Member Housing

  • (619) 556-8672

Child Development Center

  • (619) 556-8491

Child Development Homes/In Home

  • (619) 556-7394

Child Development Homes/In Home

  • (619) 556-8443

CNRSW FFSC Lending Locker

  • (619) 556-7404

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



About the author

Editor-in-Chief | + posts

Editor-in-Chief 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.