Looking back: October 2000, 'We are one!'

The establishment of Naval Base Ventura County — a combining of Naval Air Station Point Mugu and Naval Construction Battalion Center Port Hueneme under a single commander — took effect on Oct. 1, 2000, but it wasn’t until Oct. 11 that the official establishment ceremony took place.

The Navy Channel, the predecessor to The Lighthouse, was on hand to cover the event. Here is the report that ran on Oct. 26, 2000, under the headline, ‘We are one: NBVC’s official’:

With a salute, a simple handshake and the words, “Boatswain, post the Naval Base Ventura County (NBVC) command flag,” the final consolidation of Naval Air Station Point Mugu and Naval Construction Battalion Center Port Hueneme became official. This merger officially unifies all fleet support functions under one command, NBVC.

“This merger is truly unique and will redefine the Navy in Ventura County,” said Rear Adm. Frederic R. Ruehe, Commander, Navy Region Southwest and ceremony guest speaker. “The two commands are evolving into a completely new full-service organization that will be one of the major naval installations on the West Coast. There is no consolidation like this in the region.”

In his remarks to the audience of over 900 guests assembled in an aircraft hangar at Point Mugu, Ruehe acknowledged the long road and extensive planning which went into the regionalization project. He pointed out the benefits of both bases: the deep-water port and mobilization aspects of Port Hueneme, and the airfield and test range at Point Mugu. He also stressed the economic impact the Navy has in Ventura County.

“This is a culmination of years of planning,” stated Ruehe. “The move makes sense to the Navy in Ventura County. It not only unifies the Navy in the area, but will also enable us to provide a uniform level of high quality service to all our fleet units in Ventura County.”

The ceremony marked the last step in the regionalization process, which began here in 1998. Both CBC and NAS have merged under a single command, with Capt. Jim Rainwater as commanding officer. NBVC reports to the Commander-In-Chief, U.S. Pacific Fleet, via regional management by Commander, Navy Region Southwest. NBVC provides the Pacific Fleet with a premier mobilization site, complete with a deep-water harbor, rail head and airfield.

NAS has disestablished and CBC becomes an NBVC tenant under the command of Capt. Jim McConnell. CBC will continue to support the Naval Construction Force.

Before turning over command of the Port Hueneme site to NBVC, CBC Commanding Officer Capt. Jim McConnell likened the turnover to a father giving away his daughter in marriage. He illustrated a father’s joy and excitement in the beauty of the day, but also the feeling of loss as she steps into the care of another.

McConnell praised the work done by everyone during the pre-establishment period. He encouraged the new commanding officer of NBVC to focus on continued projects such as a port consolidation project with the Oxnard Harbor District, and the continued well being of the people working on the bases who have been affected by the changes and restructuring this merger has brought.

“For many months their (the employees) future has been uncertain,” he said. “You have the power to change that. They are loyal workers and dedicated professionals, and they deserve that.”

Following the reading of the official establishment orders and the changing of the command flag from the NAS to NBVC, Capt. Jim Rainwater exchanged a salute with Ruehe, shook hands with McConnell and officially became the first commanding officer of NBVC.

“I stand here today about to embark on the greatest and most challenging job I have ever had since joining the Navy,” Rainwater said.

Rainwater looked back at the impact Point Mugu has had on his career, first as a young boy at an air show with a dream of flying Navy jets, to tours at squadrons based out of Point Mugu and command of the entire base. These impacts, he explained, gave him a deep sense of loyalty to the area and a commitment to its people.

Rainwater, like Ruehe, emphasized the assets of each site and the unity they now share as one of the strong points of the Navy in the Pacific, and how NBVC will impact the Navy around the world through its mobilization and weapons testing capabilities.

“What is really important is to show the world what a crown jewel the Navy has here in Ventura County,” said Rainwater. “With the drawdowns and base closures throughout the military, we are running out of assets like this one. Not many bases can boast all the resources we have here.

“There is no other base like it literally in the United States,” he emphasized.

© 2010 Ventura County Star. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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Lighthouse Info

Commanding Officer

CAPT. LARRY VASQUEZ

Chief Staff Officer

CAPT. SCOTT LOESCHKE

Lighthouse Editor

ANDREA HOWRY, 805-989-5281

Public Affairs Officer

KIMBERLY GEARHART
Ventura County Star - 805-437-0000

Publisher

MARGIE COCHRANE, Ventura County Star

Niche Publications

JOHN GARCIA, 805-437-0365

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The Lighthouse publishes every other Thursday. All stories and photos must be submitted no later than the Thursday prior to publication. To submit a story or photo request, call the Lighthouse editor, Andrea Howry, at 989-5281 or send an e-mail to lighthouse@navy.mil.
THE LIGHTHOUSE IS PUBLISHED AT NO COST TO THE GOVERNMENT EVERY FRIDAY BY VENTURA COUNTY STAR, OF CAMARILLO, CA. VENTURA COUNTY STAR IS A PRIVATE FIRM IN NO WAY CONNECTED WITH THE DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE OR THE UNITED STATES NAVY, UNDER WRITTEN CONTRACT WITH NAVAL BASE VENTURA COUNTY. THE LIGHTHOUSE IS THE ONLY AUTHORIZED CIVILIAN ENTERPRISE NEWSPAPER FOR MEMBERS OF THE U.S. NAVY, CIVILIAN EMPLOYEES, RETIREES AND THEIR FAMILY MEMBERS IN THE VENTURA COUNTY AREA. CONTENTS OF THE PAPER ARE NOT NECESSARILY THE OFFICIAL VIEWS OF, NOR ENDORSED BY, THE U.S. GOVERNMENT, AND THE DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE, OR THE DEPARTMENT OF THE NAVY AND DO NOT IMPLY ENDORSEMENT THEREOF. THE APPEARANCE OF ADVERTISING IN THIS PUBLICATION INCLUDING INSERTS AND SUPPLEMENTS, DOES NOT CONSTITUTE ENDORSEMENT OF THE DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE, THE U.S. NAVY OR VENTURA COUNTY STAR, OF THE PRODUCTS OR SERVICES ADVERTISED. EVERYTHING ADVERTISED IN THIS PUBLICATION SHALL BE MADE AVAILABLE FOR PURCHASE, USE OR PATRONAGE WITHOUT REGARD TO RACE, COLOR, RELIGION, SEX, NATIONAL ORIGIN, AGE, MARITAL STATUS, PHYSICAL HANDICAP, POLITICAL AFFILIATION, OR ANY OTHER NON-MERIT FACTOR OF THE PURCHASER, USE, OR PATRON. IF A VIOLATION OR REJECTION OF THIS EQUAL OPPORTUNITY POLICY BY AN ADVERTISER IS CONFIRMED, THE PUBLISHER SHALL REFUSE TO PRINT ADVERTISING FROM THAT SOURCE UNTIL THE VIOLATION IS CORRECTED. EDITORIAL CONTENT IS EDITED, PREPARED AND PROVIDED TO THE PUBLISHER BY THE LOCAL INSTALLATION PUBLIC AFFAIRS OFFICES UNDER THE AUSPICES OF THE NAVAL BASE VENTURA COUNTY PUBLIC AFFAIRS OFFICE.
An estimated crowd of over 200 private industry professionals gathered at Wednesday’s Industry Forum at the Embassy Suites in Oxnard to hear from high-ranking civilian and military personnel from Naval Surface Warfare Center (NSWC), Port Hueneme Division about doing business with the Navy.

Thursday, April 24, 2014
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