FALLBROOOK, Calif. (NNS) -- Personnel from Naval Weapons Station Seal Beach Det. Fallbrook celebrated the installation's 75th birthday during an all-hands lunch, Feb. 21.
Commissioned as the Fallbrook Naval Ammunition Depot near the beginning of World War II, Feb. 2, 1942, the base has supported Navy and Marine Corps warfighters in both war and peace.
Although initially constructed to provide Navy ships with ammunition for the war effort, the base gradually took on a larger role supplying Marine Corps forces deploying from the adjacent Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton.
"Detachment Fallbrook continues to be a very important asset supporting our military's ordnance logistics needs," said Naval Weapons Station Seal Beach Commanding Officer, Capt. Noel Dahlke. "We are fortunate to have such a great relationship with our Fallbrook community and Camp Pendleton neighbors, and especially fortunate to have had such an outstanding workforce here supporting this critical mission."
Today, base personnel not only store and provide munitions to deploying Marine Corps units, but also perform maintenance on Navy and Air Force air-launched missiles and conduct weapons system testing and evaluation.
"Detachment Fallbrook has provided direct and efficient support for warriors deploying to every major conflict in the past 75 years," said Det. Director Tony Winicki. "I am so proud of my co-workers, many of whom have decades of experience working for the Department of Defense here."
One of those staff members is Leslie Hawkins, a physical security specialist who has worked at the base for the last 31 years.
"During my time, hundreds and hundreds of young Sailors were stationed here as part of the security force," said Hawkins. "I'm very proud to have had the opportunity to be a mentor to so many great people, and to pass along what I learned."
Public Works employee Kevin Bourelle first came to work onboard the base as a student intern while attending Fallbrook High School.
"Looking back, I've seen a lot of changes in my nearly 37-year career here," said Bourelle. "I've seen mission requirements change, facilities being built, wild land fires, winter floods, and many people coming and going. But what never fails to impress me is the caliber of people who have worked here over the years."
Winicki agreed, saying, "As I think back on the enduring presence of Detachment Fallbrook, what is most striking to me is this base is far more than a series of bunkers, buildings and roadways. It is a community of people committed to serving our nation and doing so faithfully for many years."
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