Naval Support Activity Mid-South, as it is known today, was first commissioned as a Naval Reserve Air Base Sept. 15, 1942.
Originally conceived in 1942, NSA emerged from beginnings as Park Field, an Army Signal Corps Aviation School used to train pilots and ground crews for service with the Allied Forces during World War I.
When commissioned as an NRAB, the primary mission of the base was to train aviation pilots to pilot proficiency for action in World War II.
NRAB was first officially designated a Naval Air Station Jan. 1, 1943, and encompassed what is now referred to as northside (area north of Millington-Arlington (Navy) Road), with its administrative buildings and runways.
At the conclusion of World War II, the northside property was assigned to the Reserve Training Command and was utilized almost exclusively for reserve training until 1948.
The concept of the former NAS Memphis was completely changed April 1, 1949. On this date, all support and logistics requirements of the activities aboard the installation, including the area south of Navy Road except the Naval Hospital, were assigned as responsibilities of the former Naval Air Station. The original 2,200-acre base had grown to a 3,500-acre complex; from a $203,000 parcel of land to a community of land, buildings and equipment with a replacement value of more than $1 billion; from a two-room operation in the Shelby County Court House to one of the largest inland installations in the world.
NSA Memphis, previously NAS Memphis, was officially established on Oct. 1, 1995, as a result of the 1993 Base Realignment and Closure Commission. The name was changed to Naval Support Activity Mid-South on Oct. 1, 1998, to more closely identify the base’s mission requirements and to reflect the Navy’s approach to regionalization.
Also as directed by BRAC, on March 9, 1999, the Naval Brig and a four-acre section on which it stood on the northside of the base were transferred to the City of Millington. On Jan. 11, 2000, two other plots of land on the northside (the airfield section, consisting of 538 acres and the non-airfield section, some 1,329 acres adjoining the airfield) were also transferred to Millington.
The size of the Navy Mid-South complex has decreased to approximately 1,600 acres, mostly on the southside of Navy Road; a new, smaller community of land, buildings and equipment with a replacement value now of some $500 million.
Today, NSA Mid-South operates and functions with an allowance of approximately 600 enlisted and officer personnel, civilians and full-time contract personnel, who provide all essential logistic and operational support services to the commands and activities on board.
As the landlord of Navy Mid-South, NSA performs the many tasks necessary for the proper functioning of a self-contained city, including housing, food service, utilities and facilities for purchase of essential food stuffs and personal items.
Located in Millington, Tenn., some 10 miles north of the city of Memphis, NSA Mid-South is seven miles east of the Mississippi River. As the base has evolved and changed, so has its impact on the area. It plays an important part in the Memphis community and is one of the largest single businesses in the state of Tennessee.