Officials complete transfer of two more California bases

  • Published
  • By Linda Geissinger
  • Air Force Real Property Agency PA
With the closure of six major Air Force installations in California by the Base Realignment and Closure Commission, the state has been going through a tremendous transformation since 1988. That is when it was announced that Norton Air Force Base in San Bernardino would close. In 1993, March AFB in nearby Riverside was selected for realignment. Today, property transfers at both bases are 100 percent complete, totaling more than 6,700 acres in the Inland Empire region of Southern California.

The Air Force Real Property Agency is responsible for the milestone, including the complete transfer of Castle AFB in Merced, Calif. Rick Solander, AFRPA's base environmental coordinator, credits the communities and the environmental regulators for the teamwork that helped reach this goal.

In California, the other bases left to achieve "complete transfer" include McClellan AFB and Mather AFB in Sacramento and George AFB in Victorville.

March AFB at a glance:

March AFB was realigned in 1996, leaving 2,091 acres of base property for the Air Force Reserve Command. On Sept. 19, Air Force representatives delivered the final deeds for excess property at the former base to the March Joint Powers Commission, who oversees civilian reuse of the 4,531-acre surplus at March.

Previous agreements with the community enabled commission representatives to use and redevelop the land before deed transfer. As a result, many businesses are already up and running at the former base. Some examples include international cargo carrier DHL and Philips Consumer Electronics. Both share the runway with the Reserve base at March. Also, Moreno Valley built a skate park and plans to build twelve soccer fields on surplus property as well.

Examples of March Redevelopment:

-- March Air Reserve Base -- one of the largest military reserve bases in the country, hosting Air Force, Navy, Marines, Army and National Guard contingents.
-- U.S. Customs
-- Moreno Valley Parks and Recreation Department
-- Ben Clark Public Safety Training Center
-- March Field Museum
-- Green Acres Estates

Norton AFB at a glance:

On Sept 26, AFRPA representatives delivered the final deed for Norton to the community. A total of 2,221 acres are now transferred to the local communities at the base that officially closed in 1994 under BRAC. The property is now known as the San Bernardino International Airport and officials are hoping to see a busy commercial airport at Norton in the near future.

Hillwood Investments is the master developer for "Alliance California" and the Inland Valley Development Agency. They are developing property as a major transportation hub for the Inland Empire, including distribution and logistics facilities that use trucks, trains, and airplanes to move goods nationwide.

Examples of Norton Redevelopment:

-- Stater Bros. Markets
-- Mattel, Inc.
-- Kohl's
-- Pep Boys
-- Matich Corp.
-- San Bernardino Regional Emergency Training Center
-- U.S. Forest Service
-- SBD aircraft Services, LLC