The US Naval base on the island of Guam in the Pacific Ocean is home to the Commander Naval Forces Marianas, Commander Submarine Squadron Fifteen, Coast Guard Sector Guam and Naval Special Warfare Unit One and supports 28 other tenant commands. The submarine tender USS Frank Cable is also stationed at the base.
Location and layout
Approximately 30 miles long, the island of Guam extends from Merizo in the south to Ritidian Point in the north.
The main base, also known as Big Navy, is located at Apra Harbour on the island’s west coast. It is protected by the Orote Peninsula in the south and Cabras Island in the north.
The eastern side of the harbour houses submarine docking facilities at Polaris Point.
The base was captured by the US during the Spanish-American war in June 1898. In World War II the island was invaded and occupied by the Japanese until 1944. US forces then recaptured the island as part of the Pacific campaign. Guam was later converted into a forward operations base for the US Navy and Army Air Force.
The base was renamed Naval Base Guam in 2004. The base subsequently became a strategic location after Naval and Air Force bases in the Philippines were closed by the US in the early 1990s.
The base provides waterfront, berthing, munition and other logistical services to various fleet units and operational forces that support US Pacific Command, US Pacific Fleet, 7th Fleet and 5th Fleet. It is also a base for three Los Angeles-class submarines and several surface warships.
The Port Operations programme provides a range of services to warfare enterprises and ensures fleet readiness by offering facilities for visiting ships, home ported ships and submarines. Other services include ship movements, magnetic silencing, oil spill response and harbour security boat maintenance.
The naval base accommodates numerous installations including Orote Point/Apra Harbour (main base), Polaris Point (submarine operations facility), Naval Ordnance Annex (formerly Naval Magazine Guam), North Finegayan Site (formerly NCTS Guam), South Finegayan, Barrigada (formerly NCTS Barrigada), Tenjo Valley and Sasa Valley fuel facilities and Nimitz Hillfour.
Polaris Point includes two wharves to support submarines and the submarine tender. The Ordnance Annex is spread over 18,000 acres and provides facilities for the Pacific Fleet units operating in the Western Pacific. The Guam Apra Harbour repair facility provides dry dock facilities and repair and maintenance services.
A shipyard provides support, repair, maintenance, overhaul and dry docking services for visiting surface ships and submarines of the 7th Fleet, Commander Submarine Squadron 15, USS Frank Cable, Military Sealift Command and the coast guard.
Other base facilities and services
The base provides a range of facilities and services including commissary, photographic and printing shops, restaurants, laundry/dry cleaning, power plants and boilers, and chemical and medical laboratories. The Navy Gateway Inns and Suites offer transient quarters for marines. The base has wastewater treatment plants and facilities to process liquid and solid wastes.
In May 2010 the Naval Facilities Engineering Command (NAVFAC) Pacific in Pearl Harbour awarded a $4bn design-build contract to seven companies for construction projects in Guam and other areas in the NAVFAC Pacific area of responsibility.
The developments will include the construction of a torpedo exercise support facility, a consolidated submarine learning centre and Commander Submarine Squadron 15 headquarters at Polaris Point.