Base Property and Historical Use
The Navy established the Naval Construction Battalion Center (NCBC) Davisville on February 27, 1942 on a 1285 acre site in the town of North Kingstown, about 18 miles south of Providence, RI. In 1968, NCBC Davisville became the homeport of the Atlantic Fleet Seabees, including 10 Seabee Construction Battalions and about 8,500 military personnel. During the 1970s and 1980s, the installation served as mobilization base for the active-duty training of Seabee Reserves. In February of 1942, the Navy acquired approximately 840 acres just north of Quonset and established the first Advance Base Depot at what would become the Davisville Naval Construction Battalion Center. As the need for new facilities continued to grow, the Battalion Center expanded to encompass 1,892 acres, and a number of different functional divisions were added. Total acreage included 85 acres on a separate plot in West Davisville. Later in 1942, Camp Endicott was established as the Naval Construction Training Center. Endicott was constructed on 475 acres of the Advance Base Depot and specialized in training the Navy's Construction Battalions, or "Seabees," to meet the challenges of building new bases, often in remote overseas areas. To the north of Camp Endicott along Davisville Road, Camp Thomas provided lodging for service people embarking for or returning from overseas duty. The Advance Base Depot and Warehouse Triangle, also located along the main artery of Davisville Road, provided storage and assembly space for vast quantities of materials shipped to the Navy's advance bases worldwide. After the close of World War II, Davisville's function shifted several times to meet the scaled-back and changing needs of the Navy. Many temporary buildings were demolished, and the base was mothballed for five years until its reactivation upon the outbreak of the Korean War. The base continued to serve as a Seabee training center and support facility for Naval construction operations worldwide, and in the early 1950's sixty-four new structures were built. In 1954, Davisville took on support responsibilities for Operation Deepfreeze in Antarctica, a continent whose strategic importance had increased with growing animosity between the United States and its Cold War enemies. During the Vietnam War, Davisville once again served as a major training facility for Seabees, and the base shipped over 450,000 tons of equipment over the course of the conflict. Though Davisville remained functional through the 1970's, activity gradually tapered off as the military's strategic focus shifted toward the Pacific Ocean. By the 1980s, Davisville's facilities had been stripped back to a skeleton crew and many of its buildings were sealed. Primary activities at this time included the training of reserve units. By 1993, there were fewer than 25 people working at Davisville Naval Construction Battalion Center. Davisville saw its final days as the Cold War drew to a close. It was finally decommissioned on April 1, 1994.
Closure date, planned reuses, parcels transferred
NCBC Davisville was selected for closure during the Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC 1991) program and operational closure occurred on April 1, 1994. Following Federal property screening, 374 acres were conveyed to the Army in January 1993 for use in training the Rhode Island National Guard. The Rhode Island Economic Development Corporation (RIEDC) conducted reuse planning for the remaining property and served as the LRA. Parcels transferred include 446 acres to RIEDC through a negotiated sale, 96 acres to RIEDC through a MARAD Public Benefit Conveyance and 205 acres to the Town of North Kingstown through a National Park Service Public Benefit Conveyance.
Remaining disposal work
One parcel remains to be disposed at NCBC Davisville. Comprising 163 acres, it is known as the Construction Equipment Department (CED) Area and was used to train Seabees in the operation and maintenance of construction equipment. The parcel is planned for conveyance to the Rhode Island Economic Development Corporation (RIEDC) via Public Benefit Conveyance by the Department of Transportation, Maritime Administration to support Port Facility uses.