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Base Property and Historical Use
To alleviate the training burden on NAS Jacksonville, the Navy purchased 2,600 acres in southwestern Duval County and officially commissioned the base as U.S. Naval Auxiliary Air Station (NAAS) Cecil Field in December 1941. To achieve the status of master jet base, the Navy purchased an additional 2,000 acres, constructed four 8,000-foot runways in 1951, and NAAS Cecil Field was designated as Naval Air Station (NAS) Cecil Field on June 30, 1952 and became the largest military installation in the Jacksonville area. From this time through the late 1990's, the base consisted of over 17,000 acres of contiguous property, and an additional 15,000 acres of noncontiguous property used for bombing ranges and an outlying landing field. The official mission of NAS Cecil Field was to provide facilities, services, and material support for the operation and maintenance of naval weapons, aircraft, and other units of the operating forces as designated by the Chief of Naval Operations.
Closure Date, Planned Reuses, Parcels Transferred
In July 1993, the Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) Commission recommended the closure of NAS Cecil Field and on September 30, 1999 the Base was officially closed. BRAC 1995 redirected the 15,000 acres of the noncontiguous property to NAS Jacksonville, leaving 17,864 acres to be transferred to the City of Jacksonville. The Cecil Field Development Commission, formed to facilitate the property being transferred by the Navy, submitted a Base Reuse Plan in March 1996. The reuse plan identified future uses including recreational, industrial, aviation related uses and natural resources. All property has transferred to Jacksonville Airport Authority for the operation of the airfield for general aviation and aviation related businesses; to the Jacksonville Economic Development Commission for industrial development; and to Clay County and Jacksonville Parks and Recreation Department for parks, greenways and recreational facilities.
Remaining Disposal Work
NAS Cecil Field consists of 17 parcels: 11 public benefit conveyances, 1 negotiated sale, and 5 economic development conveyances. The property will be redeveloped by the Jacksonville Airport Authority and the City of Jacksonville. The property will include an airport, parks and recreation. The remaining 161 acres of land has been assigned to the Department of Interior/National Park Service for conveyance to the City of Jacksonville for parks/recreation purposes. The final recording of this deed will complete the transfer of all Navy property at former NAS Cecil Field.
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