SAN CLEMENTE ISLAND(SCI) IS NOT ORANGE COUNTY ISLAND LIKE THE CITY…

Posted By on September 12, 2013

An unidentified woman during the United States...

An unidentified woman during the United States Navy visit, 1925 (Photo credit: Australian National Maritime Museum on The Commons)

San Clemente Island (SCI) is the southernmost of the Channel Islands of California. It is owned and operated by the United States Navy,  and is a part of Los Angeles County.

The US Navy acquired the island in 1934. It is the Navy’s only remaining ship-to-shore live firing range, and is the center of the integrated air/land/sea San Clemente Island Range Complex covering 2,620 nm² (8,990 km2).

During World War II, the island was used as a training ground for amphibious landing craft. These small to mid-sized ships were crucial to the island hopping that would be required to attack the islands occupied by the Japanese.

It is an active sonar base and has a $21 million simulated embassy for commandotraining.

There is a US Navy rocket-test facility on San Clemente. Some Polaris-program test rockets were launched from San Clemente between 1957 and 1960. The SEALAB IIIproject took place off San Clemente in February 1969.

The US Navy uses the island as an auxiliary naval airfield, Naval Auxiliary Landing Field San Clemente Island. The main runway 23/05 is used for carrier training by the Navy. Other branches also use this airfield, including the United States Coast Guard. Pilots that use this airfield find it to be one of the most demanding airbases in the US, known for its high winds and dangerous terrain surrounding the runway.

The airfield is home to the United States Navy SEALs training facilities located north of the runways.

Satellite image of San Clemente Island

Satellite image of San Clemente Island (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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