Naval Air Warfare Center Weapons Division and nearly 200 community members and alumni marked 70 years of history at Point Mugu, Calif., during a ceremony in Hangar 324 on Oct. 27.
On Oct. 1, 1946, the Naval Air Missile Test Center was established at Point Mugu; NAWCWD is NAMTC’s modern heir.
The ceremony was the culmination of a month-long commemoration marked by Lunch and Learn events and a static display of QF-4 aircraft as well as the inaugural “We are NAWCWD” event Oct. 3.
NAWCWD’s Executive Director Joan Johnson and Commander Rear Adm. Brian Corey were the featured speakers for the ceremony, focusing on the strong technical and personal history of Point Mugu.
Johnson, who noted that one of her imperatives as the executive director is to get NAWCWD back to its technical roots, spoke about how the history of Point Mugu is everywhere you look.
“As you came in today, you probably drove past streets named Loon, Lark, and Sparrow – not birds, but missile technology all developed or tested here at Point Mugu,” she said. “You only have to look around you to see the roots; they’re wrapped all around us.”
Corey noted that even the buildings at Point Mugu reflect its technological history and the men and women who made the technology possible.
“NAWCWD’s headquarters building is the Delmer S. Fahrney building,” he said. “Rear Adm. Delmer Fahrney was the father of guided missiles and former commander of NAMTC. Our electronic warfare laboratory is named after Cmdr. Clifton Evans, who helped establish electronic warfare capabilities here at Point Mugu 65 years ago.”
Also in attendance, Corey noted, was Norris Proctor, who helped Evans establish and develop those capabilities starting in 1951. Proctor, who is 100 years old, was one of many alumni in the audience recognized by Corey.
“Many NAWCWD alumni are local, or become local when they choose to stay here after retirement,” Corey said. “They become part of the community.”
That sense of community has helped the Navy thrive at Point Mugu, according to Naval Base Ventura County’s Commanding Officer Capt. Chris Janke, who opened the ceremony.
“We have such an excellent relationship with this community,” he said. Janke went on to note that even in times of challenge, the community has stood by Point Mugu for 70 years.
Ventura County Supervisor Kathy Long, who joined the official party on the stage to represent the community, seconded Janke’s sentiment.
“We see the Navy as good neighbors,” she said. “We have supported them here at Point Mugu for 70 years; we will continue to support them for 70 more.”