Colonized by Spain in 1542, Naval Base Point Loma was known as the port of San Miguel Bay. Later, the area was renamed San Diego by Sebastian Vizcaino, a merchant from Spain. The site where Naval Base Point Loma is now located is known as the place where the first catholic mass was celebrated in the State of California, by the Spanish conquistadors. The peninsula that houses Naval Base Point Loma has a local strategic importance, since it guards the entry to the bay. Since the 18th century, there has been a fort in this area, Fort Guijarros. This word comes from the Spanish word for stones, because this area is covered with a large number of smooth rocks. These stones were commonly used as ballast, leading to another nickname for the area “Ballast Point”. Today, tourists can still visit Fort Guijarros and Ballast Point and marvel in their historical significance.
The first United States military base in this area was Fort Rosecrans, built in the 19th century. In 1959, this Fort was taken over by the United States Navy as a support facility for submarines. Since 1981, Naval Base Point Loma has been designated as a Submarine Base for the United States Navy. Until 1998, there were five separate naval installations in the area. In that year, these installations were consolidated into a single Navy base, Naval Base Point Loma.
Naval Base Point Loma is houses Commander Third Fleet, Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command (SPAWAR), Naval Mine and Anti-Submarine Warfare Command, Tactical Training Group Pacific, SPAWAR Systems Center, Fleet Intelligence Training Center Pacific, Submarine Squadron ELEVEN, Submarine Training Center Pacific Detachment, and Commander Sealift Logistics Command Pacific. Naval Base Point Loma also contains at least seven submarines and a dry dock. Naval Base Point Loma also houses the United State Navy’s rehabilitation center for substance abuse.
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