This article talks about Navy Base Guam (NBG) and its development starting from the beautiful history of Guam to the establishment of the naval base. Also, there is a brief mention of NBG’s vision and mission and their current commanding officers. This also provides worthwhile information about the several installations in the base together with their corresponding services and recreational facilities that are worthy of visit for you and your family. In reading through, you will find general information about access and some contact information on some facilities of the naval base. If you are planning to visit NBG as a tourist, this would be a good read.
The original inhabitants of Guam are called Chamorros. Having linguistic and cultural similarities to Malaysia, Indonesia and the Philippines, the ancient Chamorros are said to be of Indo-Malayan descent. They thrived through advanced fishing, horticulture, and hunting. According to documentation by early explorers, the Chamorros possess delicate pottery making and intricate weaving skills, expertise in seamanship with their canoes, and skilled craftsmanship in building unique houses. These ancient Chamorro houses are built atop solid stone pillars known as latte stones, which are unique only to the island. Also, the Chamorros have a strong matriarchal society. In fact, it is because of the power and prestige of women that much of the Chamorro culture, language, music, dance and traditions have endured and lived up to the present.
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The first Westerner to set foot on Guam was Ferdinand Magellan. On March 6, 1521, the Portuguese explorer who was sailing for the Spanish King in an attempt to circumnavigate the earth arrived on the island. Magellan stayed in Guam for a while to replenish water and food for his crew. In 1565, Guam was officially claimed by Spain through Miguel Lopez de Legaspi. Upon the arrival of a small group of Jesuit missionaries led by Padre Diego Luis de San Vitores in 1668, Catholicism was introduced to the island. Also, the Chamorros were taught about the cultivation of maize (corn), animal husbandry, and western-style clothing.
On June 21, 1898, Guam was officially surrendered to the United States after 333 years of Spanish regime through the Treaty of Paris. This signalled the end of the Spanish-American War and made the island a U.S. territory. One year later, the United States formally purchased Guam for $20 million. After the turnover, an executive order was issued by U.S. President William McKinley putting Guam under the administration of the U.S. Department of Navy. Under the government of the U.S. Navy, Guam drastically improved particularly in the areas of agriculture, public health, land management, education, taxes, and public works.
In 1941, Japan launched an attack on the island simultaneously with their attack on Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. On December 10, 1941, Guam finally fell under the hands of the Japanese government. As a result, Guam was renamed “Omiya Jima” or “Great Shine Island.” Under Japan’s rule, the Chamorros were forcibly subjected to the Japanese lifestyle and suffered intolerable hardships. Atrocities, grenade slaughters and rapes were not uncommon. During this time of adversity, the Chamorros’ loyalty to the Americans didn’t waver, and this intimidated the Japanese forces.
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On July 21, 1944, the United States and its Allied forces landed on Asan and Agat beaches to take back the island from the Japanese government. After three weeks of struggle, Guam was once again reclaimed by the U.S. government. Many Chamorros and American servicemen lost their lives. Eventually, the American flag was raised again amid the wreckage of the former U.S. Marine Corps barracks in Sumay, Apra Harbor. On that very same location stands today’s naval base. In October 1944, this area was officially named “Naval Operating Base,” and was even nicknamed “The Pacific Supermarket” because it supported the ongoing Pacific campaign
against Japan at that time.
Today, July 21st marks Guam’s Liberation Day, and is a major holiday on the island. In fact, all government offices and most businesses are closed on this date as they celebrate the day with long fiestas and a parade down Marine Corps Drive in Hatagna.
Manila condos for sale. On May 30, 1946, the U.S. Naval force in Guam was reestablished. After the war ended, the island was governed under the Navy with a Navy captain who serves as Commander until 1949. In the same year, the Organic Act was signed by U.S. President Harry S. Truman. The Organic Act declared Guam as an unincorporated territory with limited, self-governing authority. This gave the residents of the island American citizenship. At the same time, Guam’s Navy oversight was transferred to the Department of Interior. Eventually, the U.S. Naval Station in Guam was put under the control of Commander, Naval Logistics Command, U.S. Pacific Fleet.
Over the years, the naval base evolved and expanded. On October 1, 1994, the Naval Station and Naval Magazine Guam were consolidated. Then, it was named Naval Activities, Guam. Ten years later, in 2004, the name was officially changed to Naval Base Guam. Despite the change of name, NBG continues to be the symbol of strength and sea power for the Western Pacific by hosting several key tenant commands.
Today, Naval Base Guam houses numerous U.S. navy commands supporting the fleet in the Pacific. It is now the home to the Commander Naval Forces Marianas, Commander Submarine Squadron Fifteen, Coast Guard Sector Guam, Naval Special Warfare Unit One and supports 28 other tenant commands. The submarine tender USS Frank Cable is also stationed there. One of the unique features that distinguishes Naval Base Guam from other navy bases is that it is home of many significant historic sites that span numerous eras. As of today, there are approximately 6,300 navy members on active duty and 6,900 family members living in Guam. There is also a significant population of retired military personnel living on the island.
The mission of Navy Base Guam is to support all the forces of the U.S. Pacific Fleet, namely: 1. the warfighters who are based on NBG, 2. the warfighters whom they service and supply, 3. the commands that provide support to the warfighters, and 4. the families of those who are stationed at the base. Hence, in order to achieve that mission, Naval Base Guam aims to continuously meet or exceed the expectations of their customers with regard to their support and services. Also, they seek to create and maintain an environment which makes the naval base a highly desirable place for work, recreation, and family life. Lastly, they are determined to contribute to the fulfillment of the goal of the Chief of Naval Operations (CNO), which is to make the Navy one of the best employers in the United States.
Aside from the mission and vision of the naval base, they also have guiding principles. First, they adhere to the Navy’s core values such as honor, courage and commitment. Second, it is the customer who sets the requirements. Third, there should be positive engagement with the community. Lastly, they follow the tenet, “The sailor is not happy if the family is not happy.”
The Commanding Officer of Naval Base Guam is Captain Richard K. Wood II. He is from Annandale, Virginia. Captain Wood is a graduate from the University of Virginia with the degree of Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering.
Following Captain Wood is Commander Kevin Gillam who is the Executive Officer. He was born in Ponce, Puerto Rico. Moreover, he is an Explosive Ordnance Disposal officer.
Next in line is Command Master Chief John T. Lawry who is a native of East Moline, Illinois. He joined the U.S. Navy back in June 1988. On September 1, 2010, Master Chief Lawry became the Command Master Chief of Naval Base Guam.
Naval Base Guam has seven installations/commands namely: Barrigada, North Finegayan, Ordnance Annex, Orote Point/Apra Harbor (Main Base), Polaris Point, and Tenjo Valley and Sasa Valley Fuel Facilities.
Naval Base Guam Barrigada is situated in south of Route 16 near the Barrigada Village. The site has NCTS transmission antennas. It is also where the Admiral Nimitz Golf Course, which is the only golf course in Guam, is located. The ANGC Sports Bar and Grill is found there as well.
Naval Base Guam North Finegayan Telecommunications Site is the home of Naval Telecommunications Station Guam (NCTS). The site is located on the northwest side of Guam.
Naval Base Guam Ordnance Annex, which was formerly known as Naval Magazine Guam, is a major storage and supply point for several types of weapons, ammunition, combat vehicles, and maintenance tools and equipment. It is stationed approximately 1 mile southeast of the central base. Its gate is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The Ordnance Annex also has a gymnasium.
Naval Base Guam’s main base is also referred as “Big Navy.” Its main gate which is located at Marine Corps Drive opens 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The back gate in Agat opens only on weekdays excluding holidays from 6AM to 8AM and 3:30PM to 6PM. The recreational facilities found at the main base include Marina, a beach, a salt-water tank and pool, a bowling facility, a gymnasium, baseball/softball/football fields, a tennis court, and a skate park. The main base at Naval Base Guam also provides the following services: 1. NEX Main Exchange, 2. Autoport Gas Station, 3. Autoport Service/Auto parts, 4. Laundry/Dry Cleaning, 5. Home Gallery, 6. Home and Garden Center, 7. Commissary, 8. NEX Food Court, 9. McDonald’s, 10. Subway, 11. Typhoons/Nap’s/C’ Street Café, 12. Clipper Landing, 13. Gateway Inn, and 14. Laundromat.
Polaris Point is located on the eastern side of Apra Harbor. It is accessible from Marine Corps Drive, which is two miles north of the main base’s front gate. Similar with the other installations, Polaris Point also has recreational facilities such as a beach with cabanas and restrooms, a primitive camping area, and the Polaris Point Club. Most July 4th celebrations, outdoor concerts, and other large Navy Morale, Welfare and Recreation (MWR) events are held at Polaris Point. Some of the services include the NEX Mini-mart and the Polaris Point Club, which is open for special events that can be arranged by contacting MWR. The gate in Polaris Point is manned 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
The Defense Fuel Support Point Guam, also called the fuel farm, operates under Naval Base Guam. It has a storage, transfer, and pumping capacity for a variety of marine and aviation fuels. However, the command has limited access. It only allows official business transactions. In order for visitors to get access to the facility, they should call (671) 339-7106.
Naval Base of Guam offers a wide variety of activities that one can truly enjoy together with the family. They have facilities for entertainment, tickets, travel and tours, recreation, liberty programs, food and beverage, and fitness and sports.
Naval Base Guam offers a wide variety of entertainment for the entire year. They have The Big Screen Theatre where all the movies are free. For private parties and command functions, The Big Screen Theatre can also be reserved. A snack bar menu is available at the theater. The theater is open on Fridays at 7PM and 9:30PM and Saturdays and Sundays at 1PM, 3:30PM, and 7PM. It is located in Bldg. 1981, NBG. You can check the movie listings online or call their 24 hour movie hotline. Aside from movies, NBG also has special events through MWR Guam. They have The First Tee’s Nine Core Values Golf Program, Cheer Clinic with Broncos Cheerleaders, and Valentine’s Dinner, among others.
In terms of booking needs, the Navy MWR Information, Tickets and Travels office can assist you with your booking needs with their friendly staff. It is open Mondays to Fridays from 9AM- 12PM and 1PM-5PM. It is Located at MWR Admin Office Bldg. SB1, Aldrich Rd., Naval Base Guam.
They also have several tour packages such as the Adventure River Boat Cruise, Dolphin Watching Adventure, and City Sightseeing Tour. In addition, different adventures for the family are also available. To mention some, you and your family can experience the Tarza Waterpark, Onward Waterpark, Atlantis Submarine, Underwater World, and several others.
If you need a time off and the need to relax, MWR offers several activities and programs for recreation. For outdoor recreation needs, the Rec-N-Crew is the place to go. You can rent kayaks, bikes, and camping and snorkeling gears for your outdoor adventures. The Gab Gab, San Luis, and Dadi Beaches on Naval Base Guam must not also be missed. They also have the Silver Dolphin recreation center for you to relax and unwind. Silver Dolphin offers services including games, a pool table, computers, and much more.
Naval Base Guam’s Liberty program targets single sailors and bachelors on active duty from ages 18-25. The Single Sailor Sanctuary features free wireless internet, free computer access, X-box, PS2 and PS3, and many others.
For food and beverage needs, MWR offers a variety of delicious meals and drinks. Top o’the Mar serves their weekly Mongolian BBQ and Sunday Brunch. They also offer off-site catering services for special events. You can also reserve their banquet/conference rooms for private functions.
Naval Base Guam also has an array of restaurants that offer excellent customer service, a relaxing atmosphere, and delicious meals. These restaurants are Clipper Landing, C-Street Café, Game Time Sports Grill, Hot Stuff Pizza, Mean Gene’s Burgers, Molly Mcgees Irish Pub, and Naps Alabama BBQ.
There are several fitness and sports facilities to keep one’s body in shape in navy base Guam. It has fitness programs, aquatics and youth sports. NBG’s Charles King Gym provides aerobic fitness equipment, weight rooms, sauna rooms for men and women, basketball courts, indoor racquetball courts, a family fitness room, and a dance room. With the MWR Swimming Pools, you can take a cool dip and soak under the sun. MWR offers swimming lessons for children and adults, water aerobics, and etcetera. For youth sports, the Guam Youth Sports Association (GYSA) allows young athletes to measure their physical abilities. It also promotes an active lifestyle for the youth that enables them to learn teamwork, leadership, and discipline.
Here is the contact information for the U.S. Navy Base Guam:
Naval Base Guam
Naval Base Guam
Quarterdeck (671) 339-7133
Command Duty Officer Cell (671) 777-1809
Commanding Officer (671) 339-4274
Executive Officer (671) 339-4226
Command Master Chief (671) 339-6163
Morale Welfare and Recreation (Main Base)
Director (671) 339-4153
Employment (671) 564-2274
Sports Programs Director (671) 564-2281
Customer Service (671) 339-1022