Naval Air Station (NAS) Corpus Christi is located within the corporate bound of the city of Corpus Christi, in Nueces County, Texas. The installation covers a land area of 2844 acres on the northern end of the Encinal Peninsula. The peninsula is bounded on the southeast by Laguna Madre, the northwest by Cayo del Oso and the north by Corpus Christi Bay. The topography of the Encinal Peninsula is generally flat (low relief) with an approximate mean elevation of 15 feet above mean sea level. The facility is located with the Western Gulf Coastal Plain Province and is underlain by the Beaumont geologic formation. The Beaumont Formation is characterized by barrier island and beach deposits consisting of mostly fine-grained sands and shells.
The mission of Naval Air Station, Corpus Christi, Texas, is to provide service and facilities to aviation facilities and units of the Naval Air Training Command and other tenant activities and units. The Chief of Naval Air Training (CNATRA), is headquartered at NAS Corpus Christi. CNATRA oversees the training operation throughout the Southeast Region; it was established in August 1971 and moved to its present headquarters in July 1972.
Training Air Wing FOUR (TRAWING FOUR) was established in March 1972 and is comprised of four units: Training Squadrons TWENTY-SEVEN (VT-27), TWENTY-EIGHT (VT-28), THIRTY-ONE (VT-31) and THIRTY-FIVE (VT-35). VT-27 and VT-28 are primary training squadrons; they fly the T-34C Mentor, a single-engine, two-seat, basic training aircraft, and its replacement, the T-6B Texan II. VT-31 and VT-35 provide advanced multi-engine training in the T-44A King Air or TC-12B Huron. VT-31 is also responsible for intermediate phase flight training for future E-2C Hawkeye and C-2A Greyhound pilots. VT-35 was established as a Joint Advanced Multi-engine Training Squadron in October 1999.
The largest tenant command at NAS Corpus Christi is the Corpus Christi Army Depot (CCAD). CCAD occupies nearly 140 acres leased from the station and is the largest industrial employer in South Texas. It was established in 1961 as a relatively small maintenance facility for fixed-wing aircraft. CCAD currently provides helicopter maintenance, repair, recapitalization, and overhaul capability to all the U.S. military services, as well as several foreign governments.
Other major tenants at NAS Corpus Christi include the United States Coast Guard, which provides civilian search and rescue and maritime surveillance; the United States Marine Aviation Training Support Group; and the United States Customs and Border Protection Service. In all, there are more than 50 tenant commands and activities located on station.
Auxiliary Landing Field (ALF) Cabaniss is located on the eastern side of Nueces County, Texas, and lies approximately 8 miles west of Naval Air Station Corpus Christi. The installation is immediately bounded on the east by Brezina Road, on the west by Ayers Street and Farm-to-Market (FM) 286, on the north by Saratoga Road, and on the south by Oso Creek. The installation encompasses a total of 923 acres and lies just outside the corporate bounds of the city of Corpus Christi. NALF Cabaniss is bounded to the south by Oso Creek, a perennial water body that ultimately flows into Oso Bay. Beyond Oso Creek are agricultural and industrial properties. NALF Cabaniss is used to perform touch-and-go landing training between the main installation, NALF Cabaniss, and NALF Waldron. The airfield is lighted to allow for night flight training in addition to the routine daylight training. The unpaved areas of NALF Cabaniss are covered with tall grasses, shrubs, trees, and other low-lying vegetation. Grasses and other vegetation near the operational runways are maintained through periodic mowing in support of flight training operations.
Auxiliary Landing Field Waldron is located in the far eastern side of Nueces County, Texas, and lies approximately three miles south of Naval Air Station Corpus Christi. ALF Waldron is situated on the southern end of the Encinal Peninsula and is bounded to the east by Waldron Road; the south by Yorktown Boulevard; the west by Flour Bluff Road; and to the north by a fence line separating the installation from a wooded area and a residential community. ALF Waldron has a primary role of supporting air training operations originating from NAS Corpus Christi. NALF Waldron provides support for pilot training operations (touch-and-go flight training) and previously contained a Skeet Range used for cadet and security personnel weapons training and qualification. NAS Corpus Christi maintains and operates facilities and provides services and material to support the operations of the aviation facilities of the Naval Air Training Command and other tenant activities. NALF Waldron (851 acres in size) also had four 5,000-foot runways, of which only two (running north/south and northwest/southeast) are presently active and maintained.