As our nation’s war machine moved into high gear in response to World War II, the Navy’s supply system was woefully insufficient. Overcrowded and vulnerable coastal facilities were in dire need of relief. As Navy leaders looked across the nation to expand, Mechanicsburg was one of five locations chosen for new depots. Close to major road and rail networks, the bucolic Pennsylvania countryside offered an ideal location.
The establishment of the Naval Supply Depot, Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania, was authorized with the passing of Public Law No. 353 by the 77th Congress on Dec. 17, 1941. The base was commissioned Oct. 1, 1942.
The Ships Parts Control Center was commissioned as a tenant activity of the Naval Supply Depot on July 16, 1945. SPCC spun off from the Naval Supply Depot in 1953 and became a full-fledged activity with its own commanding officer.
The next major change occurred July 1972 when the Naval Supply Depot merged with the Navy Ships Parts Control Center. With 2,800 military and civilian employees, including 600 who were transferred from NSD, SPCC was the largest activity at Mechanicsburg.
The 1990s witnessed some reorganization, as SPCC merged with the Aviation Support Office in Philadelphia to form the Naval Inventory Control Point.
In July 1996, the Naval Supply Systems Command headquarters moved to Mechanicsburg from its leased facilities in Crystal City, Virginia. This move brought the status of a Supply Corps rear admiral upper half and an influx of new faces to the base. The headquarters activity was now physically aligned with two of NAVSUP’s activities: Naval Inventory Control Point and the Fleet Material Support Office.
In 1998, the management of the
base turned over to Navy Region Mid-Atlantic in Norfolk, Virginia, and the host command, the Naval Support Activity Mechanicsburg, with detachments in northeast Philadelphia and at the Naval Ship Yard in Philadelphia, formally stood up. The base was renamed “Naval Support Activity,” with NAVSUP, NAVICP and the Navy Supply Information Systems Activity as primary tenants.
Today, NSA Mechanicsburg has some 4,600 civilian, military and industry partners assigned to more than 37 tenant activities. The largest of these are: NAVSUP Weapons Systems Support, with approximately 1,000 personnel; the NAVSUP Business Systems Center, with approximately 1,000 personnel; and NAVSUP headquarters, with a complement of approximately 500 personnel.