Marine Corps Air Station Miramar is less than 20 miles north of San Diego, and is the home base for 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing, which in turn is part of the 1st Marine Expeditionary Force. Miramar is about 40 miles south of Camp Pendleton, the Corps’ largest amphibious assault training area.
Miramar history has a tie-in with the silver screen; this is the Air Station known as the former location of the United States Navy Fighter Weapons School and the TOPGUN training program associated with the Top Gun movie starring Kelly McGillis and Tom Cruise. As in the movie, the Miramar facility was known as Fightertown U.S.A.
Find information about MCAS Miramar, San Diego California, including the main commercial and DSN numbers for the base, information on basic services, base transportation, lodging for TDY and PCSing personnel, and inprocessing.
Mission & Units
MCAS Miramar is strategically located and the 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing operates in the area in cross-service support of DoD missions. Miramar supports “all aircraft operations occurring on MCAS Miramar” and supports the Marine Corps expeditionary mission.
Important missions and units at MCAS Miramar include:
- Admin/3rd MAW
- Aviation Supply
MCAS Miramar got its start under the U.S. Army when it purchased more than 12,000 acres in the Miramar Ranch section of San Diego. When the land was converted to Camp Kearny in 1917, it was used to train Infantry troops to fight in World War One. After Armistice Day, the facility was closed after being used to demobilize troops coming back home from the war. It closed in 1920 and saw thousands of the original structures torn down.
Charles Lindberg’s famous Spirit Of St. Louis was being built in San Diego and he made landings at the disused parade field there in anticipation of his solo flight across the Atlantic.
Airpower would factor heavily in the future of the installation. The U.S. Navy used helium dirigibles there in the 1930s, but things remained fairly quiet until the Second World War. By then the area was being renovated and became the home of Fleet Marine Force Training Center, West Coast and the 2nd Marine Division.
By 1943 it was known as Naval Auxiliary Air Station Camp Kearny. Not too long after, the U.S. Marine Corps Air Depot Camp Kearny was opened but later redesignated Marine Corps Air Depot Miramar. The Navy and Marines would share the area until being combined in 1946 and named Marine Corps Air Station Miramar.
In the 1950’s, the site was known as a Navy Master Jet Station in the 1950s. Circa 1969, the United States Navy Fighter Weapons School would be established with F-14 Tomcats and the VF-124 Fighter Squadron coming on board to help train crews.
Miramar got the attention of the Base Realignment and Closure Commission in the 1990s, but not as a liability to be shut down; instead, the facility was transferred to the Marines. By the end of the 90’s, two other Marine Corps Air Stations would be closed, and the 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing was assigned to the base after it was redesignated a Marine Corps facility.
2005 brought more attention from BRAC, which sent instructor pilots and support staff from Miramar to Eglin AFB in Florida as part of the Joint Strike Fighter program there.
Main Base Address And Phone Numbers:
MCAS Miramar, Miramar Way, Building 5303
San Diego, CA 92145-2008
Important Contact Numbers At MCAS Miramar
- Child Development Center (858) 577-4144
- EFMP Family Support (858) 577-8644
- EFMP/Enrollment (858) 577-8644
- Family Advocacy Program Coordinator (858) 577-6585
- Marine and Family Services (858) 577-6585
- New Parent Support Program (858) 577-9812
- Finance Office (760) 725-8545
- Dental Clinic (858) 577-1824
- Health Promotion program (858) 577-1331
- Medical Acute Care Clinic (858) 577-7754
- MCAS Miramar Billeting Office (858) 577-4233
- Lincoln Military Housing Office (858) 577-1121
- Lincoln Military Housing Referral Office (619) 556-7667
- Miramar Inn (858) 271-7111
- Career Resource Program (858) 557-76491
- ID/CAC Card Processing (858) 577-1142
- Information and Referral (858) 577-6228
- Citizenship and Immigration Services (858) 577-1656
- Legal Assistance Office (858) 577-1656
- Marine and Family Services (858) 577-6585
- Personnel Reporting Office (858) 577-1783
- MCCS Youth and Teen Center MCAS Miramar (858) 577-4136
- School Age Care (858) 577-4136
- School Liaison Officer (858) 577-6633
- Dist. Man. Office Personal Property (858) 577-1276
- Career Resource Program/ Transition Assistance Program (858) 577-6491
- Loan Closet (858) 577-1428
- Passenger Travel Office (858) 577-1298
- Relocation Assistance Program (858) 577-1428
- Joint Reception Center (858) 577-1428
San Diego has major league sports, Seaworld, the San Diego Zoo, and day cruises around San Diego Harbor and elsewhere. If live concerts and events are your jam, consider a trip to the La Jolla Playhouse; that venue along with the Olde Globe Theatre is ranked among the top destinations in the area.
Every base has its’ hardcore sports fans and if you’re PCSing or TDY to the area, the San Diego Padres play at PetCo Park. Military history attractions are plentiful including the USS Midway Museum (self-guided tours through some 60 exhibits including a collection of restored airplanes). A trip to Balboa Park should include the San Diego Air & Space Museum.
The station is roughly 40 miles from Camp Pendleton, and a visit to that area should include a look at LegoLand California, and the California Surf Museum.
San Diego is technically only a few hours from Los Angeles (traffic, time of year, weather conditions and other variables will affect your travel times to and from L.A.) so Hollywood fans will have many incentives for an extended weekend or even just a prolonged day trip to see the Hollywood sign, visit the Hollywood Walk of Fame, and too many other sights to list here.
Inprocessing and Check-In
All personnel arriving during normal duty hours Monday through Friday are directed to check-in at the Installation Personnel Administration Office in the Joint Reception Center. This applies to active duty, Guard, and Reserve members. All other arrivals will report to the Command Duty Officer in the Headquarters Building.
Health care aboard the Air Station is provided (sick call) for active duty members at the Branch Medical Clinic and there is a Family Practice Clinic on board the Air Station.
However, all specialty care is provided at Navy Medical Center San Diego with no appointments needed for urgent care. Those who wish to use TRICARE coverage in-network should contact their TRICARE rep to learn what options are best depending on the location of the home and other variables.
MCAS Miramar Child Development Centers handle on-base childcare and there are options in private homes that are certified as part of the Family Child Care program. Due to demand, there may be extensive waiting lists; a Regional Childcare Resource and Referral Office manages consolidated waiting lists for the six childcare centers located in Metro San Diego.
You read that correctly, the size of the military population in the area means there are several options for care in centers located onboard Naval Base San Diego, Naval Base Point Loma, MCRD, MCAS Miramar, Naval Medical Center, and the Murphy Canyon housing area. Waiting lists apply but you may be placed on the list as soon as you submit an application.
Call for more information: 858-577-4144.
All inbound troops are directed to track and manage household goods shipments to MCAS Miramar via the Defense Personal Property System at Move.mil. You can also get local help by calling (858) 577-1670.
Dependent And Retiree ID Card Renewal, Replacement, New Issue
All ID card services should be scheduled via the MCAS Miramar RAPIDS system or by calling (858) 577-1421.
There are no DoD schools onboard MCAS Miramar. The closest school districts where military members may send their school-age dependents is San Diego Unified School District and Poway Unified School District. The Miramar School Liaison Office can help you with placement requirements, immunization rules, and other details. Call 858-577-6633 or (DSN) 312-267-6633.
Busing issues vary depending on the school district and it may be best to call ahead to learn what may be possible in the neighborhoods you’re thinking about living in. For example, San Diego Unified School District has no busing program except for students who attend magnet schools. Poway School District provides fee-based transportation depending on how far the student must walk.
There is on-post housing at Miramar as well as other units in San Diego County. Waiting lists vary but can last up to 24 months in some cases depending on location and demand.
According to DoD sources, all accompanied personnel are eligible to apply for on-post housing and military housing in San Diego county. New arrivals are advised that signing up in advance is not technically required but you must register within 30 days of your arrival to stay on the waitlist.
Apply for the waitlist with a DD Form 1746 plus your orders and certification of your family members.
Unaccompanied military members PCSing to the Air Station are assigned temporary rooms before being switched to permanent military housing. This applies to all E5s and below.
PCS and TDY Lodging
MCAS Miramar temporary lodging facilities are provided by the Miramar Inn. This TLF has no pet facilities. Make reservations and learn more about where you can board pets in the local area by calling 800-628-9466 or 858-271-7111.
Military members with dependents (accompanied or not) may be eligible to be paid a Temporary Lodging Expense but to qualify for this you must either attempt to make reservations with billeting or get a certificate of non-availability that authorizes you to stay off base and have the cost reimbursed on your travel voucher.
Unaccompanied military members should contact the Billeting Office on arrival; you will likely be assigned a room in transient barracks. Military members in the rank/grade of E-5 and below are assigned permanent rooms as part of inprocessing. E5s and above must generally reside in the local area.
The usual ride-share and commercial taxi options may be available depending on your day of arrival, time, rush hour considerations, demand, etc. PCS and TDY new arrivals will likely fly into San Diego International Airport (17 miles from the base) or McClellan-Palomar Airport (27 miles away).
It’s best to coordinate with your sponsor when flying into San Diego due to rush hour issues and California traffic patterns–you may be advised to fly earlier, later, or during off-peak times (assuming you have the option).
Vehicle Registration And Driver’s License
Military members and their dependent family must comply fully with State of California motor vehicle requirements including emissions testing, minimum insurance coverage, and vehicle registration.
California has comparatively strict emissions standards and other requirements, it’s best to ask your sponsor about current laws and pending legislation that may affect your choices about bringing a vehicle, buying one in-state, and related issues.
Currently serving military members stationed in California are exempt from the California vehicle license fee for any motor vehicle registered in California as long as a nonresident military owner is shown as a lessee or registered owner of the vehicle. This exemption does not apply to commercial vehicles or non-commercial vehicles used in a commercial enterprise.
Vehicles are subject to a 100% ID check policy depending on base security levels, current mission requirements, and other variables.
Base decals for permanent party military members may not be required depending on current security levels, but all personnel entering and leaving the base should be prepared to show current valid military ID.