Naval Air Station Joint Reserve Base New Orleans
The Naval Air Station Joint Reserve Base New Orleans (NAS JRB) is located in Belle Chasse unincorporated Plaquemines Parish Louisiana at 29°49′31″N 090°02′06″W. The facility is 3.72 miles south of downtown New Orleans central business district and approximately 35 miles south of Lake Pontchartrain. The Naval Air Station Joint Reserve Base New Orleans is bordered by water on 3 sides with the Mississippi River forming the eastern border and a tributary of the river forming the western boundary. The northern border is marked by the residential area of Belle Chasse and the southern border by Walker Road. The 3,239 acre (5.1 square miles) base sits at an elevation of a mere 3 feet above sea level in wooded area with intermittent swampy sections. This low elevation, in conjunction with costal proximity of NAS JRB puts the area at risk of flooding from the storm surges and seasonal tide changes of the Mississippi River.
The primary mission of Naval Air Station Joint Reserve Base New Orleans is the training of Navy and Marine Corps Reserve pilots and the fiscal, logistical and operational support for the massive number of units that call the station home. Units stationed at Naval Air Station Joint Reserve Base New Orleans include: Louisiana National Guard and 159th Fighter Wing.
Naval Air Station Joint Reserve Base New Orleans as it is known today is actually a combination of two former air bases. The original facility was located on the shore of Lake Pontchartrain on the northern side of New Orleans. This facility existed from 1941 until 1957 when the base was moved 15 miles south of New Orleans. The air base on Lake Pontchartrain was turned over to the State of Louisiana and became site of the University of New Orleans.
During the era of the Lake Pontchartrain facility the Department of The Navy was quickly expanding its in country system of Naval Reserve air bases with facilities being constructed in Atlanta, Dallas and New Orleans. Each facility was built to be identical with accommodations for 8,100 personnel. The bases included barracks for 100 cadets, a steel hangar, capacity for storage of 50,000 gallons of fuel, a repair shop and assembly hall. In January of 1942 the Naval Reserve Air Base New Orleans was further expanded to include a ground school and two additional barracks facilities. Within 5 months the Naval Reserve Air Base New Orleans had 21 flight instructors and a 27 strong squadron of N3N-3 (Yellow Peril) training aircraft.
Composed of more than 7,000 personnel in 33 tenant commands.