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