Coast Guard to break ground on new air station in Ventura

MH-65 Dolphin Helicopter from FOB Point Mugu file photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Sondra-Kay Kneen.

MH-65 Dolphin helicopter from FOB Point Mugu file photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Sondra-Kay Kneen.

SAN PEDRO, Calif. — The Coast Guard is scheduled to break ground for a new facility Tuesday, at naval base Point Mugu for helicopter crews that have been flying out of rented space.

The $53 million Coast Guard Air Station Ventura is scheduled to include a 48,000-square-foot hangar and a 12,200-square-foot administration and berthing facility at Naval Base Ventura County in Point Mugu.

Four MH-65 Dolphin helicopters and 82 personnel are slated to be stationed at the air station when it opens for operations in August 2023. The hangar can also accommodate four MH-60 Jayhawk helicopters should additional capacity be needed in the future.

Previously, the Coast Guard operated Air Station Los Angeles out of the Los Angeles International Airport for more than five decades until it lost its lease in May 2016. The Coast Guard officially closed the air station and shifted aviation operations to a Forward Operating Base (FOB) located at Naval Base Ventura County supported by Coast Guard Air Station San Francisco. The Point Mugu FOB operates out of a leased hangar facility and leased berthing space from the Navy. Currently, 13 permanent service members and approximately 11 rotating crewmembers from San Francisco fly two MH-65 Dolphin helicopters out of Point Mugu.

Coast Guard operations are scheduled to shift from the FOB to the new facilities of Air Station Ventura upon the facility’s completion.

The air station’s area of responsibility covers 350 nautical miles and stretches from Dana Point to Morro Bay, including the Channel Islands. Missions include 24/7 emergency response, search and rescue, drug and migrant interdiction, law enforcement and marine and waterways conservation and protection.

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