Almost without exception, the U.S. Navy’s East Coast Master Jet Base, Naval Air Station (NAS) Oceana, is open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Home to the Navy’s most advanced aircraft, including 18 squadrons of the Navy’s most advaned attack/fighter aircraft. NAS Oceana serves as a shore-based readiness integrator, providing the facilities, equipment and personnel to support shore-based readiness, total force readiness and maintain operational access of Oceana-based forces.
Oceana was commissioned in August of 1943, at the height of World War II. Since that time, the NAS Oceana has seen numerous expansions and updates to its runways and personnel facilities. Beginning with just 328 acres, when the U.S. government first purchased the land that would become NAS Oceana, the complex now sits on nearly 6,000 acres with more than seven miles of runways and the latest equipment to support eighteen Hornet and Super Hornet squadrons. Sixteen squadrons deploy on carriers into combat and two are permanently based at NAS Oceana, including the adversary squadron. Routinely, two-thirds of this complement is “working up” on carriers off the coast or deployed at NAS Fallon for the live air-to-ground and air-to-air weapons training. Typically, an air wing overseas deployment lasts six to seven months. Additionally, Oceana’s Center for Naval Aviation Technical Training Units trains maintenance technicians for the squadrons.
NAS Oceana is also home of Fleet Logistics Support Squadron Five Six (VR-56).
Stem Lab Learning
AS Oceana has partnered with the Virginia Beach City Public Schools (VBCPS) to hold its third “STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics) laboratory” for local students during the Friday practice air show. This event is designed to teach students about modern technological advancements and their applications, especially within the military and NASA.
Capt. Chad P. Vincelette, commanding officer of NAS Oceana, said the STEM program durinig the air show has culminated a great relationship with VBCPS.
“This is the third year we’ve invited all the fifth grade students,” said Vincelette. “The logistics and the extensive planning fused our relationship with the school system.”
This year’s STEM laboratory is scheduled to be the biggest field trip of all time, with attendance of approximately 5,500 school students. Guinness World Records will be attending the event to verify our attendance for the world’s largest educational field trip.