Joint Base Charleston - Weapons Station, South Carolina

1
Overview

Commanding Officer, Weapons Station, Headquarters. Photo courtesy U.S. Navy

Charleston Air Force Base and Navy Weapons Station, Charleston, combined to become Joint Base Charleston established in accordance with congressional legislation implementing the recommendations of the 2005 Base Realignment and Closure Commission. The legislation ordered the consolidation of facilities which were adjoining, but separate military installations, into a single Joint Base, one of 12 formed in the United States as a result of the law.  In October 2010, Joint Base Charleston was considered to have Full Operational Capability under the jurisdiction of the United States Air Force 628th Air Base Wing, Air Mobility Command (AMC).

The information further provided relates to Joint Base Charleston - Weapons Station

The Joint Base Charleston – Weapons Station is located on the bank of the Cooper River, approximately 25 miles north of Charleston, South Carolina.

From the first cannon shots fired at Fort Sumter starting the Civil War to the great Naval fleets of World War II, to the massive movements of military equipment and supplies into Iraq, Navy units in the Charleston area have played a major role in United State’s history. Joint Base Charleston – Weapons Station carries on that tradition today, training Sailors for duty aboard the world’s most sophisticated nuclear aircraft carriers and submarines; shipping military cargo and supplies worldwide; storing and maintaining ordnance for Fleet operations; and engineering revolutionary advances in information and communications technologies into warfighting capabilities for all Department of Defense agencies.

The mission of Joint Base Charleston – Weapons Station is to enable warfighter readiness by providing superior host and technical services through ordnance operations, facilities management, and waterfront operations.

2
Location/Driving Directions

Joint Base Charleston – Weapons Station is located approximately 12 miles north of Charleston International Airport, along the western shore of the Cooper River. Goose Creek, South Carolina, is its official mailing address. Since the base covers more than 17,000 acres and includes 292 miles of road, it is important for newcomers and visitors to locate the main base entry (Gate 1) on Redbank Road, a public access highway that bisects the northern and southern portions of the installation.

The four-mile portion of Redbank Road, located on-base, begins approximately seven miles from exit 205 off of Interstate 26. This portion of Redbank Road includes most public areas of the base where newcomers and visitors register their vehicles, in-process, obtain housing, and receive host-base support. Also located along the base section of Redbank Road are housing areas, commissary, Navy Exchange, restaurants, chapels, and most Morale, Welfare, and Recreation activities.

There are no military gates entering Joint Base Charleston – Weapons Station on this portion of Redbank Road. The only indications you have entered the base are brick signs on each side of the road that read Naval Weapons Station Charleston.” However, access to all work areas outside of this area is tightly controlled through security gates both on weekdays and weekends, with no public access allowed.

By car - From points north or south, exit Interstate 95 to Interstate 26 east. Exit I-26 at Highway 78 (exit 205). Travel east for two miles, staying left at the fork where you travel two additional miles through a traffic light. Turn right onto Redbank Road at the next light and travel three miles to the base (just past North Rhett Road).

By plane - Arrive Charleston International Airport. Exit airport and head for I-526 east, which is a loop around Charleston. Exit I-526 at North Rhett Road. Turn left on North Rhett Road and drive approximately 4.5 miles to Redbank Road at the third light. Turn right onto the base (as soon as you cross the railroad tracks).

Since the base does not operate a shuttle bus, and distances between facilities can be considerable, personal transportation is recommended. The one exception is for single students beginning training at the Naval Nuclear Power Training Command who are not permitted personal vehicles for the first four weeks of their assignment at the Naval Weapons Station. They will reside in a self-contained training complex, with dormitories, recreational center, gym, and school house. Van transportation will be provided for their off-station activities.

Since each command has unique procedures for signing in, newcomers should check with their sponsors on procedures to sign in and get their orders endorsed before in-processing.

3
Main Phone Numbers

An F/A-18 Hornet assigned to the U.S. Navy flight demonstration squadron, the Blue Angels, flies past the USS Yorktown (CV 10) museum during an air performance at Charleston Navy Week. Photo courtesy U.S. Navy; photo by: Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Jennifer R. Hudson

Joint Base Charleston - Weapons Station Phone Numbers

Main Phone Numbers (Area Code 843)

Base Operator - 963-1110 / DSN 673-1110

Fleet and Family Support Center - 764-7480 / FAX 764-7492

Dental Clinic 764-7944

TRICARE Information-- 794-6030

Pharmacy - 794-6100  Refills - 794-6120

Naval Health Clinic Information - 794-6000 / 6001

Naval Health Clinic Appointments - 794-6221

Unaccompanied Personnel Housing - 764-7646

Housing Management Office - 794-7265 / (800) 362-2399 / FAX  794-7285

Privatized Housing - Balfour Beatty Communities Office 797-5631

Moral Welfare and Recreation 764-7601

Child Development Center - 764-7408 / FAX 794-4018

Youth Programs - 764-7809 / FAX 794-1003

4
Population/Major Units Assigned

Hospital Corpsman 1st Class Terry Boroff, assigned to Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) Operational Support Unit (OSU) 10, feeds fish during a Navy Week event at the South Carolina Aquarium on Charleston Harbor. Photo courtesy U.S. Navy; photo by: Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Jennifer R. Hudson

The Joint Base Charleston area encompasses more than 20,000 active-duty, Reserve and civilian personnel, spanning across its Air Base and Weapons Station. 

Joint Base Charleston – Weapons Station is home to 11,500 military and contract employees and their 3,600 family members and dependents. Personnel supports the Naval Nuclear Power Training Command, Nuclear Power Training Unit, and Border Patrol Satellite Academy; an engineering center, with Space and Naval Warfare Systems Center and nearby Southern Division, Naval Facilities Engineering Command; and as the Army logistics hub, the busiest CONUS surface port in the defense transportation system

Since the consolidation into Joint Base Charleston, the Weapons Station has expanded its mission and Department of Defense support role with over 40 tenant commands, and today is a training center, with the Naval Nuclear Power Training Command (NNPTC), Nuclear Power Training Unit, Propulsion Facility, and Border Patrol satellite academy; Naval Consolidated Brig, Charleston; Navy Munitions Command Unit Charleston; Explosive Ordnance Detachments; Marine Corps Reserve Center; an engineering complex, with the Space and Naval Warfare Systems Center (SPAWAR, this is the largest employer in the Charleston area) and is close to the Naval Facilities Engineering Command Southeast; 269 above-ground ammunition magazines, maintenance and storage of military ordnance including mines, and serves as an Army logistics hub, the busiest continental United States surface port in the defense transportation system.

5
Temporary Lodging

Photo courtesy U.S. Navy

Joint Base Charleston – Weapons Station has a limited Visitor Quarters operation consisting of one Visitor's Quarters Suite for personnel in pay grades E-1 and above; and one Distinguished Visitor's Quarters Suite for personnel in pay grades E-9, O-5 and above, and civilian equivalent personnel, on official government travel orders. Pay grades W1-04, E9, and retired personnel are housed on a space available basis. Service members should contact the JB Charleston Welcome and Visitors Center (main phone number is 843-963-5729 / DSN 312-673-5729) to make reservations. If these quarters are not available, the Housing Welcome Center can issue a certificate of nonavailability, if needed.

Single enlisted students beginning classes at the Naval Nuclear Power Training Command will be met at the Charleston International Airport and be taken directly to the Training Center where they will be assigned a room. All others have three additional options: on-base vacation rentals, temporary lodging at Charleston AFB, or staying in a local hotel or motel.

Foster Creek Villas, operated by the Morale, Welfare and Recreation department, offer two, three and four bedroom on-base vacation rental units. Each unit features a furnished living room with phone and television, dining room, fully equipped kitchen, and a front and back yard with covered parking. Prices begin at $70 per night for 2-bedroom units.   Call (843) 764-2120 for reservations.

Foster Creek also offers an RV Park, featuring concrete pads, shower and laundry facilities, a picnic table and grill at each site, WIFI Internet access, playground, riverside picnic area and river access for canoes and kayaks.  The current (2014) rate for Active Duty, Retired Military, DOD, Dependents and 100 % Disabled Veterans is $20 per night / $420 per month.

Joint Base Charleston – Air Base, located 12 miles from the Weapons Station, has approximately 200 transient spaces at the Inns of Charleston, for eligible active duty and reserve military personnel, retirees, and civilian employees with TDY/TAD orders. Rooms for Navy personnel on PCS/TDY orders to Charleston are considered priority one and may be reserved as soon as the requirement is known. Official orders and a valid credit card must be provided to make a reservation. Navy personnel in space available status can make reservations from 24 hours to seven days in advance, based on priority one guest requirements. They have four pet-friendly TLFs available for an additional $10.00 daily fee reserved on a first-come, first served basis.

There are limited special needs units are available.

The lodging office does maintain a list of approximately 20 local hotels in the area that offer reduced contract lodging rates. Call (843) 963-8000 or DSN 673-8000 for additional information.

It is recommended that advance reservations be made to ensure you have a place to stay while seeking permanent housing.

6
Housing

Men Riv Housing designated for E1-E6 residents; two, three, and, four bedroom single family and townhouse-style homes. Photo courtesy U.S. Navy

All single students attending the year-long Naval Nuclear Power Training Command classes live in dormitories on the school complex. While completing the first phase of their training, enlisted students are assigned to a 2+2 style suite (two students sharing a bedroom, with four students sharing a common bathroom). Upon graduation from the first phase of training, they are relocated to a 1+1 suite (a private bedroom, with two people sharing a bathroom).

Permanent party bachelors can live on base in garden apartment style housing units that were completely renovated and modernized in 2004. Enlisted members, E-3 and below, must live on base, but enlisted members E-4 and above and officers may live either in the community or on-base, space permitting.

Military bachelors wanting to stay on base should contact the JB CHS-Weapons Station Unaccompanied Personnel Housing office as soon as PCS orders are received in order to secure a position on the waiting list or arrange for quarter assignment before you arrive on station. If advance notice is provided, and bachelor quarters are available, your keys will be waiting for you upon arrival. The Unaccompanied Personnel Housing office hours of Operation are M-F - 7:00am - 4:30pm (EST).

Bachelor housing for E-6 and below consist of two-person garden apartments. Each fully furnished unit includes two private bedrooms, and a shared living room, dining room, bathroom, kitchen, balcony, and carport. Units include fully equipped kitchens, washers and dryers, televisions, and DVDs. The bachelor housing complex also includes a lounge with
refreshment area, a basketball and volleyball court and picnic area with gazebo.

There are also 12 fully furnished double occupancy officer and senior enlisted homes on base. Each is a renovated 3-4 bedroom 1,500 square foot townhouse unit which comes with a fully equipped kitchen, washer, and dryer.

The Navy has signed a Public Private Venture Housing agreement with Balfour Beatty Communities who is responsible for managing all of the homes, maintaining the landscape, and providing maintenance for the homes on-base. You must apply for housing and check in with the Housing Welcome Center within 30 days of reporting aboard.

When applying for housing bring a copy of your orders, a current Page 2 (Emergency Data Sheet), and your L20 (detaching paperwork) to the Navy Housing Welcome Center. At that time, you will fill out a DD1746 “Application for Housing” if you did not send an advance application via fax or e-mail. A referral counselor will meet with you and, depending on where you fall on the wait list, will either refer you to Balfour Beatty Communities or out into the community.

Call the JB CHS-Weapons Station Housing Management Office if you have any questions. The phone number is (843) 764-7264, or call toll free at (800) 362-2399.

7
Schools

There are no DODD schools; however, Marrington Elementary (101 Gearing St. at 843-572-3373 and Marrington Middle (109 Gearing St. at 843-572-0313) schools are located in the Joint Base Charleston – Weapons Station enlisted housing area.

There are four school districts serving Greater Charleston. Each district offers an informative packet of brochures, booklets, and details about curriculum and educational opportunities. Contact your specific school for information.

School registration requires immunizations and the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control provided the following information to the State Department of Education. According to the director of DHEC's Division of Immunization, new immunization requirements include the Varicella vaccine (chickenpox) for all children admitted to five-year-old kindergarten and first grade. However, if a child's medical record indicates a positive history of chickenpox, the immunization is not required, but that history also must be recorded on the S.C. Certificate of Immunization. (The S.C. Certificate of Immunization form must be used.) These certificates are available from local physicians, military treatment facilities, as well as local DHEC public health departments. Children entering the fourth and tenth grades must have begun the three-shot series of hepatitis B vaccine. Combined with previous requirements, this means that all children entering kindergarten through fourth, and seventh through tenth grades must have the hepatitis B vaccine. A state law requiring the immunizations means "no shots, no school." For more information, call DHEC's toll-free immunization line at 1-800-27-SHOTS.

Children who will be five years of age on or before September 1 must enroll in a public or private kindergarten program unless the parent or legal guardian signs a waiver or chooses to home school their child under the guidelines of South Carolina law. Waiver forms are available at your local school. By state law, students must be in school from age five to 17. When registering your child, you will need to bring: Child's birth certificate (kindergarten and first grade only), the child's properly completed immunization certificate and the child's Social Security card.

8
Child Care

Karen Scott Heath Child Development Center. Photo courtesy U.S. Navy

Child care based programs are available to children of military personnel, DoD civilians, reservists on active duty or inactive duty for training, and DoD contractors. All eligible children will be placed on the Central Enrollment Waiting List; however, active duty military dependents with full-time working/student spouses will have precedence. Call (843) 764-7984 for details about the programs or to be placed on the waiting list.

The Karen Scott Heath Child Development Center, located at Von Steuben Street, Building 1693 serves children 6 weeks through 5 years. Their contact number is (843) 764-7408. Although long-term enrollment is encouraged, hourly care is authorized when space is available.

Child Development Homes Office is located at 66 Von Steuben Street, phone (843) 764-7347. It serves children 6 weeks through 12 years.

School Age Care (SAC) applications are being accepted for the Youth Center’s Before and After School Care and Kindergarten Express programs. Participating schools include Marrington
Middle and Elementary Schools, Sedgefield Middle and Intermediate Schools, and Howe Hall. This program is open Monday through Friday from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. The Youth Center program also provides day camps for ages 5-12 during the winter, spring and summer breaks from school. Call 764-7984 for more information or register on the waiting list, or stop by the CDC to submit an application.

Youth Center Services is located at 2316 Redbank Road Bldg 788, Goose Creek SC 29445. The S Youth Center offers a variety of services and activities including School Age Care; Kindergarten Express; Tiny Tots Day Camp Grinning Gator; Friday night youth dances; birthday parties; dance, gymnastics, and karate classes; picnics; the Good Times Fun Factory special event and party rental service; and more.  Their main phone number is 843-794-7809

The Teen Center offers Boys & Girls Clubs of America and 4-H Club affiliated programs for youth between the ages of 13-19.

9
Medical Care

Photo courtesy U.S. Navy

Much of the health care for Joint Base Charleston – Weapons Station for active duty, military retirees, and their dependents is provided by Naval Health Clinic Charleston (NHCC), located in the 188,000-square-foot Captain John G. Feder Clinic, a state-of-the-art VA/DoD Joint Ambulatory Care Clinic located on the Joint Base Charleston-Weapons Station.  The clinic is shared by the Department of Defense and the Department of Veterans Affairs, with the DoD component of the clinic being managed by Navy Medicine personnel.

The Naval Health Clinic Central Appointment Line is 843-794-6221.  The Naval Health Clinic Front Desk Information Line is 843-794-6000 or 6001.

Hours of Operation: 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday-Friday.

NHCC provides a wide range of services including a National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA) certified Medical Home Port program for family practice, pediatrics, and internal medicine patients; dermatology; ophthalmology; ambulatory non-interventional cardiology; physical therapy; optometry; and a wide variety of wellness programs.  It also offers state-of-the-art layout. It offers a drive-through pharmacy and a variety of other health care upgrades for active duty service members, their family members, retirees and veterans

The NHCC Branch Medical Clinic and Naval Health Clinic Charleston Dental Clinic were combined with the NHCC operational consolidation.  The Dental appointment line is (843) 764-7944.  Dental services are provided to military members at the Joint Station Charleston – Weapons Station and its tenant commands. Family members are encouraged to enroll in the TRICARE Family Member Dental Plan and use the benefits with this insurance coverage.