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Natsios Young Architects


16 February 2003
Source: Mapquest.com

Hardcopy of the Washington Post, 16 February 2003 (based on a Los Angeles Times report of 20 January 2003):

[Excerpts]

Missiles and Foxes Share Remote Island

By David Kelly, Los Angeles Times

San Nicolas Island, Calif. -- Shrouded in secrecy, San Nicolas Island is a remote spit of land in a vast, shimmering sea. Some of the world's most sophisticated weapons are tested here, sometimes just a few hundred yards from where elephant seals trumpent in lagoons and island foxes trot through chapparal. Tomahawk, Harpoon, Sidewinders, and Sparrow Missiles routinely whiz overhead. Some skim in over the waves at 500 mph to clobber fake Scud launchers or dummy radar sites on shore. Because explosives are not used, workers dig the missiles out of sand dunes and use them again. Most of what happens on the island, about 75 miles southwest of Santa Monica, is top secret. The island, owned by the government since 1933, is a laboratory for the latest generation of weapons.

The testing area around San Nicolas is 36,000 square miles, enough air and ocean to accommodate the most powerful weapons. British, Norwegian, Japanese and Italian armed forces aften conduct secret tests in and around the island. San Nicolas is 10 miles long and three miles wide and has a 10,000-foot runway that can handle the largest aircraft. Sophisticated telemetry centers, shaped like enormous golf balls, dot the island, monitoring everything that flies overhead.

A small but heavily armed security force patrols San Nicolas, turning back curious boaters who try to land. The island's weekday population of about 150 military personnel and civilians drops to 30 on weekends. Home for most is Nicktown, a small cluster of low-slung buildings, including dormitories and a mess hall, a small store, a bowling alley and a saloon.

San Nicolas Island

http://www.nawcwpns.navy.mil/~pacrange/r1/Sea.htm
  • Navy owned and operated facility used as instrumentation site
  • Located 65 nautical mile southwest of Point Mugu
  • Cornerstone capability due to land mass and depth of surrounding waters
  • 10,000-foot runway, air terminal, housing, power plant, fuel farm
  • Instrumentation:
  • Metric tracking and surveillance radars
    Global Positioning Systems (GPS) receivers
    Optics
    Telemetry
    Communications to support long range and over-the-horizon weapons testing
    Fleet training and Theater Missile Defense exercises.
    Intercontinental Ballistic Missile (ICBM) and Polar satellite launches
  • Frequency monitoring
  • Meteorological measurements
  • Ordnance and launching facilities
  • Ideal for littoral warfare training and classified operations

Naval Missile Test Photographs

http://www.nawcwpns.navy.mil/~pacrange/s1/photo/Sea.htm

San Nicolas Island Naval Outlying Field
San Nicolas Island, California, USA

http://www.airnav.com/airport/NSI
[Excerpts]

FAA INFORMATION EFFECTIVE 23 JANUARY 2003

Location

FAA Identifier: NSI

Lat/Long: 33-14-23.210N / 119-27-29.481W; 33-14.38683N / 119-27.49135W
33.2397806 / -119.4581892 (estimated)

Elevation: 504 ft. / 154 m (estimated)

Variation: 14E (2000)

Airport Operations

Airport use: Private use. Permission required prior to landing

Airport Communications

NAVY NICHOLAS TOWER: 126.85 374.8 [0700-1630 MON-FRI]
EMERG: 121.5 243.0
RDR: 126.85 134.1 308.4 345.2

Runway Information

Runway 12/30

Dimensions: 10000 x 200 ft. / 3048 x 61 m
Surface: asphalt/concrete
Weight limitations:

Single wheel: 76000 lbs
Double wheel: 99000 lbs
Double tandem: 148000 lbs

Runway edge lights: high intensity

RUNWAY 12
RUNWAY 30

Airport Ownership and Management from official FAA records

Ownership: U.S. Navy
Owner: US NAVY OCEANOGRAPHIC OFC - CODE 3142
WASHINGTON, DC 20373

Additional Remarks

FLD SUBJECT TO CLOSURE WITHOUT PRIOR PMSN DUE TO DRONE MISSLE OPER.



Eyeballing

the
San Nicolas Island
Missile Test Center

[Image]
Source