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NAVSTA Norfolk Public Website

Welcome to the Naval Station Norfolk

Installation Restoration Program


Naval Station Norfolk (NSN) is the largest naval base in the United States and is situated on 4,631 acres of land (A.T. Kearny, 1991) in the northwest portion of the City of Norfolk, Virginia. NSN is bounded on the north by Willoughby Bay, on the west by the confluence of the Elizabeth and James Rivers, and on the south and east by the City of Norfolk. A portion of the NSN eastern boundary is also formed by Mason Creek.

NSN includes approximately 4,000 buildings, 20 piers, and an airfield. The western portion of NSN is a developed waterfront area containing the piers and facilities for loading, unloading, and servicing naval vessels. Land use in the surrounding area is commercial, industrial, and residential. The waterfront area south of the NSN provides shipping facilities and a network of rail lines for several large industries Residential and recreational areas border NSN at the southern, eastern, and northeastern sections of the base.  A number of other military installations are located within a 25-mile radius of the NSN. These include Fort Monroe and Langley Air Force Base to the north, Naval Amphibious Base Little Creek and Fort Story to the east, Naval Air Station Oceana to the southeast, Norfolk Naval Shipyard and St. Julien's Creek Annex to the south, and Naval Supply Center-Craney Island Fuel Terminal to the southwest.


NSN began operations in 1917, when the U.S. Navy acquired 474 acres of land to develop a naval base to support World War I activities. Bulkheads were built along the coast to extend available land and after extensive dredge and fill operations, the total land under Navy control was 792 acres. An additional 143 acres of land were acquired in 1918 and officially commissioned for the Naval Air Station (NAS). During the period from 1936 through 1940, improvements to the piers and expansion of supply/ material handling facilities were also completed.

During World War II (between 1940 and 1945), major construction projects were completed, including a power plant, numerous runways and hangars, a tank farm, and several barracks/ housing complexes. During this time, the area of NSN expanded to over 2,100 acres. After World War II, NSN continued to acquire land through various types of land transfers and dredge and fill operations conducted in areas of Mason Creek, the Bousch Creek Basins, and Willoughby Bay. During its history, NSN has expanded to become the world's largest naval installation, with 105 ships home-ported in Norfolk. The Base currently has 20 piers handling approximately 3,100 ship movements annually.

The mission of NSN is to provide fleet support and readiness for the U.S. Atlantic Fleet. NSN operates in various capacities to provide support to vessels, aircraft, and other activities. NSN houses many tenants, each performing different operations involving the servicing and maintenance of vessels and aircraft. The service and maintenance of ships includes utilities hook-up, on-board maintenance, and coordination of ship movements in the harbor. Additional functions include loading, unloading, and handling of fuels and oils used aboard the vessels. Ship and aircraft repair operations consist of paint stripping, patching, parts cleaning, repainting, engine overhauls, sandblasting, and metal-plating processes.


Site Navigation

The IR Program page provides a summary of the Navy's Installation Restoration process for environmental restoration activities at Naval Station Norfolk. The Tour of the IR Sites presents a brief history of the sites investigated and provides site photos. Links provide direct links to other websites that have related information to the activities at Naval Station Norfolk. The Partnering Team pages outlines procedures for Partnering. The Acronyms and Glossary pages have been provided in order to assist you to fully understand the content on this site. If you have questions or comments please feel free to contact the Web Site Administrators.