NWS Charleston FAQ

Installation Info: Zip Code: 29445, Area Code: 843, DSN: 794

Charleston Naval Weapons Station covers nearly 27 square miles about 20 miles north of Charleston, S.C., and is surrounded by magnificent gardens, rich heritage and beautiful architecture. The city of Charleston was founded in 1670 when 148 settlers landed on the banks of the Ashley River. The region's rich farmland was a major source of indigo and rice. This region was also known for its production of brick and tile, many of which were used in some of Charleston's historic buildings and homes. A walk through the wooded areas of the installation today will yield artifacts of this important era. Infamous for its role in the Civil War, Charleston later saw a significant decline in its economy after a major fire and earthquake nearly brought the city to its knees. The 20th century, however, saw a rejuvenation of Charleston, thanks in part to an increasing military presence. The Department of the Navy purchased about 6,700 acres and the Naval Ammunition Depot was established in November 1941 only weeks before the Japanese surprise attack on Pearl Harbor that thrust the U.S. into WWII. In 1954, additional land was purchased to support the increasing mission of the base and the depot was later renamed to the Naval Weapons Station. The mission of Charleston NWS is to "provide quality logistical, technical and material support to the fleet in the areas of combat subsystems, equipment, components and retail ammunition management."

Recreational services at Charleston NWS include a library, auto hobby center, theater, pools, gym, camping, fishing and stables. Having been recognized for its preservation efforts, the city of Charleston is now known as "one of the nation's most beautiful and historically significant cities." Besides the historical and architectural sightseeing opportunities, the region's semi-tropical climate is an outdoor enthusiast's dream come true. Known for its hot, humid summers and moderate winters, Charleston offers a variety of water sports. Golfers will also enjoy the numerous facilities in the region.