Installation Info: Zip Code: 32508, Area Code: 850, DSN: 922
Pensacola Naval Air Station began its existence in Florida in 1826, with the establishment of the Pensacola Navy Yard. As one of the nation's best-equipped Navy yards, its mission was to suppress piracy and the slave trade in the Caribbean and Gulf of Mexico. Fearing attack by Union soldiers in 1862, Confederate sailors burned most of the buildings on the yard. The yard was rebuilt after the Civil War, but a 1906 hurricane destroyed most of the new buildings. In 1913, Navy Secretary Josephus Daniels appointed a board to establish an aviation training station in Pensacola. During WWI, the station doubled in size to 438 officers, 5,538 enlisted and 1,000 aviators, but the aviation program dramatically decreased to 100 aviation graduates a year after that war ended. Most of the aviators were Annapolis graduates and the naval station became known as "Annapolis of the Air." With the inauguration of the cadet-training program in 1935, Pensacola again was a bustling aviation-training base. As WWII approached, Pensacola was considered the hub of air training activities. During the Vietnam War, pilot production was at an all-time high. In 1971, Pensacola NAS was picked as headquarters site for CNET, a new command that combined direction and control of all Navy education and training. The best known of them, though, are the fliers and support team that make up the pride of the Navy, the Blue Angels precision-flying squadron.
Local public schools are provided for children residing on the base. Medical facilities include the Branch Medical Clinics, with Pensacola Naval Hospital available for specialist referral.
Being in Florida's Panhandle near the Alabama border offers those assigned to Pensacola Naval Air Station mild temperatures and climates, ideal for almost all outdoor recreation. Various recreation facilities and state parks are within proximity of the base. Blue Angels Navy Recreation Park, established in the 1940s as a training ground, is now a beautiful park, which offers camping, boating, swimming and picnicking. Big Lagoon State Recreation Center has almost 600 acres great for fishing, boating or just observing nature's beauty. The 690-acre Blackwater River State Park is great for canoeing or hiking.