In 1954, the Navy searched Central California for land to build a master jet air station — one with congestion-free air space. Lemoore was chosen because of its central location, good weather for flying and nearby accommodations.
The air station was commissioned July 8, 1961, with Capt. Howard M. Avery, newly appointed commanding officer, presiding over the opening ceremonies. More than $100 million was invested to bring the station to operational status.
In July 1998, NAS Lemoore was selected as the West Coast site for the Navy’s newest strike fighter aircraft, the F/A-18E/F Super Hornet. This action brought about 92 additional aircraft, 1,850 additional active-duty personnel and 3,000 family members to NAS Lemoore, and several associated facility additions or improvements.
The Navy also brought four new fleet squadrons to NAS Lemoore from 2001 to 2004. Additional military staffing was required at Aircraft Intermediate Maintenance Department, Strike Fighter Weapons School Pacific and the Center for Naval Aviation Technical Training Unit Lemoore to support this effort. Originally, the officer in charge of construction for building the base was Cmdr. Dennis K. Culp, who was the first naval officer in Lemoore.
Today, as the West Coast master jet base for the U.S. Navy, NAS Lemoore provides the infrastructure, support and services that enable Strike Fighter Wing Pacific squadrons to conduct operations in support of national tasking.