SEALs, Related Units Appear to Be Moving to New Headquarters

Polar Bear

They call me Mr Sunshine
Verified Military
Aug 14, 2006

SEALs, Related Units Appear to Be Moving to New Headquarters
By BRAD GRAVES - 2/26/2007</SPAN>
San Diego Business Journal Staff

A line in the draft federal budget for 2008 heralds the end of the Coronado headquarters for the Naval Special Warfare Command and a few hundred jobs there.
Now a Virginia congresswoman says she’s willing to go to the mat to protect some $51 million in military construction funding to build a new headquarters in her state.
The potential loss of the headquarters, which would not come immediately, would be small in the scheme of things. It would take several hundred people out of Coronado, a community that employs tens of thousands of people — both civilian and military personnel — at Navy bases.
The command that might move is the special warfare command. It oversees the Navy’s Sea-Air-Land commandos, more commonly known as SEALs, and related units. The command currently employs some 2,500 people in Coronado, with 300 of those at the headquarters.
While SEAL training would continue in Coronado, and SEAL teams would continue to be based there, Pentagon planners are contemplating moving the command’s leadership away from Naval Amphibious Base Coronado.
“It’s a proposal,” said Cmdr. Greg Geisen, spokesman for the command, saying if a move happened, it would be around 2011.
Reasons for the proposed move include the difference in time zones between members of the special operations community.
The U.S. Special Operations Command, which oversees the work of all four military services, has its headquarters in Tampa, Fla. A move to Virginia would allow closer interoperation, said Geisen.
The Army, Air Force and Marine Corps have their special operations headquarters on the East Coast.
Rear Adm. Joseph Maguire, commander of the Naval Special Warfare Command, told a congressional panel late last month that he spends more than half of his time on travel, and that a move to Virginia would put him closer to his boss.
“I think that the move to the East Coast is looking like something that needs to be done,” Maguire testified before the terrorism, unconventional threats and capabilities subcommittee of the House Armed Services Committee.
Questioning Maguire was Rep. Thelma Drake, a Republican who represents Norfolk, Va.
Drake issued a press release Feb. 17 saying that protecting the $51 million in construction money in the 2008 Pentagon budget would be one of her highest priorities. The budget goes to Congress in October.
Maguire testified that the Navy is “conducting site surveys in the Virginia Beach area for the possible headquarters location if that’s approved. And I believe that we have also even started on the environmental impact (statement) on that.”
In published reports, officials with the command also cited a lack of space at Coronado’s Naval Amphibious Base.
Geisen said the command expects growth, and that 300 people at the headquarters operation will likely grow to 400 in the next four years.
The base houses a number of other commands, including that of the three-star admiral who oversees surface ships in the Pacific.
The amphibious base and its cross-town neighbor, Naval Air Station North Island, support 35,000 military and civilian personnel when all ships are in port, according to a base spokesman. The Imperial Beach landing field supports another 1,000.
The San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce estimates that in 2004, the military provided 149,000 jobs in the San Diego region and $11.7 billion in direct defense spending to San Diego’s economy. Drake, the Virginia Republican, said the Navy special operations headquarters would be a prestigious addition to her district.
This will not happen.....every West Coast SEAL will be PISSED. I drove into Coronado this morning and it was clear, sunny, and 75 degrees...and this is January for god sakes. I love this place :cool:
Makes sense for the staff guys to be in the same time zone as USSOCOM. Kinda sucks for those affected, but war is hell.
As I heard it from a decent source, this is one of the big reasons for the change (along with being close D.C.). Coronado will remain for BUD's and as an ongoing support facility.
It makes much more sense to have the HQ on Little Creek, not just because of the time zone, but because there's plenty of space. NAB Coronado is tiny!