2017-03-17 / Community

Coast Guard plans for $31M hangar

By Stephanie Sumell


RESCUE WORK—A U.S. Coast Guard MH-65 Dolphin helicopter stands ready inside Forward Operating Base Point Mugu. The Coast Guard is in the planning stages of building a new $31-million hangar at Naval Base Ventura County. 
Photo by PO3 Andrea Anderson/Courtesy of the U.S. Coast Guard RESCUE WORK—A U.S. Coast Guard MH-65 Dolphin helicopter stands ready inside Forward Operating Base Point Mugu. The Coast Guard is in the planning stages of building a new $31-million hangar at Naval Base Ventura County. Photo by PO3 Andrea Anderson/Courtesy of the U.S. Coast Guard U.S. Coast Guard Capt. Kent Everingham of Air Station San Francisco said the Coast Guard is working toward building a $31-million airplane hangar at Naval Base Ventura County.

The U.S. Navy recently finished an environmental report, he said, and will soon start designing a facility that meets the Coast Guard’s needs.

“We haven’t started building yet,” Everingham said, “but we’re pretty far along.”

The project comes after the Coast Guard closed its Air Station Los Angeles base at Los Angeles International Airport last year and moved those operations to Naval Base Ventura County.

The transplanted base, called Coast Guard Forward Operating Base Point Mugu, is renting a hangar from the U.S. Navy until the larger hangar can be built.

The Point Mugu operations are overseen by Air Station San Francisco, which will remain at San Francisco International Airport.

Everingham said the Coast Guard set aside $31 million in its 2016 budget to build the new Point Mugu hangar. As the project is finalized, officials will have a better idea of how much it will cost.

The rented hangar in Ventura County holds two mission-ready MH-65 Dolphin helicopters. The new hangar will hold four. The orange-and-white helicopters, which are widely used by the Coast Guard and accommodate two pilots, a flight mechanic and a rescue swimmer, are commonly seen cruising over the local coastline by beachgoers and boaters.

Everingham said the new hangar could be up and running by 2021 and bring between 65 and 75 new Coast Guard members to the region.

In the meantime, he said, Coast Guard Forward Operating Base Point Mugu has 22 personnel at any given time, 10 of whom work there full time.

Everingham said the two helicopters routinely fly north to Air Station San Francisco for maintenance and repairs—something they won’t need to do once the larger facility is built.

He said the move to Ventura County came with many perks, one being that the base here is more central to its service area between Monterey and San Luis Obispo county lines.

“It’s positive,” Everingham said. “We have opportunities to give better coverage to the Channel Islands and work more closely with the National Park Service and the Ventura County Fire Department.”

He said moving the air operations from LAX to Ventura County ensured there was “uninterrupted Coast Guard support in the Los Angeles region” before another permanent facility is built.

Everingham said the Coast Guard has been able to continue its search-and-rescue and law enforcement duties along the coast.

Coast Guard Station Channel Islands Harbor in Oxnard will continue to provide water search-and-rescue, as well as drug and illegal immigration patrols along the coastline between Malibu and Point Conception near Lompoc. The harbor facility has about 30 Coast Guardsmen who use two boats to cover about 50 nautical miles.

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