The complete base guide to 32nd Street Naval Base

Jessica Evans
Updated onJan 11, 2023 9:33 AM PST
7 minute read
naval base san diego

U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Austin Haist/Released


Questions about the 32nd Street Naval Base Exchange? Or maybe you’ve just received orders to this duty station and you’re…

Questions about the 32nd Street Naval Base Exchange? Or maybe you’ve just received orders to this duty station and you’re wondering about the basics like housing and schools. Well, this guide covers all that and more! Officially, the Navy calls it the Naval Base San Diego, but its location on 32nd Street has earned it the nickname. It’s the second largest surface ship base of the Navy. 32nd Street Naval Base is also the homeport of the Pacific Fleet. To say it’s massive is definitely an understatement! Read on to find out more about this San Diego, California Navy installation.


Naval Station San Diego is home to more than 60 ships and over 200 tenant commands. The installation conducts various waterfront operations and engages in fleet support. On average, there are nearly 24,00 service members and 10,000 civilian workers supporting the base operations. Base consists of a wet side on the bay side of Harbor Drive and a dry side. Most of the housing is located on the dry side.

32nd Street Naval Base Location

32nd Street Naval Base is located in gorgeous San Diego, California. The weather is delightful all year round. 

An aerial photo of Naval Base San Diego in San Diego, CA. The photo was taken from a U.S. Navy MH-60S Seahawk assigned to the Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron 14 (HSC-14). (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Austin Haist/Released.)


Heading in from the north? Take I-15 South to the I-5 N exit toward Harbor Drive. Then merge onto South 32nd Street and you’ll see the main gate.

From the south, take I-5 North to exit 11A toward Civic Center Drive. Then, make a sharp left onto South 32nd Street and you’ll see the main gate.


Flying into San Diego International Airport is probably most convenient. That’s because it’s less than ten miles from base. Even more exciting, the USO operates a shuttle outside of Terminal Two for Sailors and their families PCSing to 32nd Street Naval Base. You’ll need to contact the USO ahead of time.

There’s a base shuttle that runs Monday through Friday on the wet side of the installation.

In and around San Diego, be sure to take advantage of the Metro Transit System. The MTS can connect you to trains and trolleys, too.

Additionally, the Transportation Incentive Program issues vouchers to active duty service members so that transportation to and from work is free. Visit the website for more information.

Gates and Hours

32nd Street Naval Base has 14 gates. Two are for pedestrians and 12 are for traffic. The Main Gate 6 is 24/7. Gates are divided by the wet side of the base and the dry side.

Wet Side Gates

8th and Harbor Gate 9, Monday - Friday 0500-0800 and 1430-1700

Harbor at 32nd and 8th Gate 8, CLOSED

Main Gate 6, 24/7

NASSCO Gate 2, Monday - Friday 0500-1500; Inbound only Monday - Friday 0500-0800

Pedestrian Wet Side Gate 5A, 24/7

Pier 13 Gate 13, Inbound Monday - Friday 0500-0800, outbound Monday - Friday 1500-1700

S. 32nd Street, Monday - Friday 0500-1700

Vesta and Harbor Gate 7, Monday - Friday 0500-1900, weekends 0500-0800, closed holidays

Dry Gates

28th Gate 15, 24/7

32nd at NEX Gate 23, Monday - Saturday 0600-2200, Sundays and holidays, 0600-2100

Building 279/280 Gate 40, Monday - Friday 0430-2000

Main Division Yua at Anchors Gate 32, Monday - Friday 0500-1900

Norman Scoot and 32nd Gate 42, Pedestrian Only, 24/7

Vesta Gate 29 Monday - Friday 0500-0800

The Ensign and surrounding pennants stand waving in the wind near the gate 6 entrance of Naval Base San Diego. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Austin Haist/Released)

Contacts at 32nd Street Naval Base

32nd Street Naval Base Commissary (619) 556-8657

Armory (619) 556-1834

Athletic Complex (Volleyball, Playground, Fitness Station) (619) 556-7444

Auto Repair Shop (619) 544-2289

Barber Shop - Main (NEX) (619) 544-2244

Base Transportation (619) 556-7610

Beauty Shop - Main (NEX) (619) 544-2232

Branch Medical Clinic NBSD (619) 556-8088

Chaplain's Office - Naval Base San Diego Chapel (619) 556-2658

Child Development Center (CDC) – NBSD (619) 556-3522/7394

Childcare Resource and Referral (619) 556-3522

Chung's Custom Framing (619) 544-2292

Construction Battalion Maintenance Unit 303 Mainbody (619) 666-9672

Counseling Appointments (619) 556-7404

Dental Clinic NBSD (800) 874-2273

Deployed Forces Support (619) 526-9110

DoD Safe Helpline - Sexual Assault 877-995-5247

Family Advocacy Center (Serves all San Diego Bases) 877-995-5247

Fleet & Family Support Center (866) 923-6478

Force Protection (Police) (619) 556-2919

Health and Fitness Assessments (619) 556-7444

Home Childcare Office (619) 545-0259

Housing Referral Office (619) 556-8443

ID Card Section/DEERS (619) 556-9248

Information and Referral Services (619) 556-7404

ITT (Information, Tickets, & Tours) – NEX (619) 556-7498

Laundry & Dry Cleaning – NEX (619) 544-2233

Legal Assistance (619) 556-2293/2211

Long Term and Non-Deployed Vehicle Storage (619) 556-3320

Main Exchange (NEX) (619) 645-6312

Military Housing Office (619) 556-8443

MWR Personal Storage (619) 556-3320

NAF Jobs & Human Resources (619) 556-8406

NBSD Operator (619) 556-1011

NMCI Helpdesk (866) 843-6624

Optical Shop (619) 544-2231

Outdoor Recreation & Gear Rental (619) 556-7493

Pacific Beacon Single Service Member Housing (888) 437-1485

Passenger Transportation Office-NAVPTO (619) 556-6683

Personal Property (Household Goods) (800) 462-2176

Port Operations (Ops) (619) 556-8506

Retired Activities Office (RAO) (800) 321-1080

School Liaison Officer (619) 247-9082

Thrift Shop - San Diego (619) 556-8624

Training Support Center (TSC) (619) 556-8372

Unaccompanied Housing – Donnelly Hall (619) 556-1077

Uniform Center - Fleet Store (619) 544-2171

USO (619) 253-6503

Youth Sports 858-268-2244

Mission and Units

The mission at 32nd Street Naval Base is to “deliver the highest standard of support and quality of life services to the Fleet, the Fighter and their Families.” 

Major units at San Diego Naval Base include the Afloat Training Group Pacific (COMATC PAC), the Amphibious Squadron 5, Amphibious Squadron 3, and Amphibious Squadron 1. It’s also home to nearly 50 Navy vessels, two Littoral Combat Ships, and eight ships operated by the Military Sealift Command.

Sailors aboard the mine countermeasures ship USS Devastator wait to debark their ship after arriving at the ship's new homeport at Naval Base San Diego.

32nd Street Naval Base History

In 1919, Naval Base San Diego was given to the government by a coalition of concrete ship building firms operating as the Pacific Marine Construction company. By 1922, it was a docking and fleet repair base. At that time, the installation consisted of 21 water acres. The first ship to moor at 32nd Street Naval Base was the USS Prairie. Then in February of 1922, acting Secretary of the Navy Theodore Roosevelt Jr. issued General order 78, establishing the facility as the U.S. Destroyer Base, San Diego.

The installation grew rapidly as repair facilities expanded. For example, in 1924 alone, the base decommissioned 77 destroyers and commissioned seven. Additionally, the War Department established both torpedo and radio schools at the installation.

During WWII, more than 5,000 ships were maintained, converted, or repaired at the installation!

Following WWII, the name changed from “Repair Base” to Naval Station San Diego and its mission changed as well to support ships of the Pacific Fleet.

Then, in the 1990s, the base’s name changed again to its current moniker when it absorbed the functions of the Long Beach Naval Shipyard.

Things to Do Around 32nd Street Naval Base


Hotels near 32nd Street Naval Base vary depending on your price point. Here are some of our suggestions.

Best Western Plus Marina Gateway Hotel National City (619) 259-2800

Howard Johnson Express Inn National City (619) 474-6517

Quality Inn I-5 Naval Base San Diego (619) 238-2788

Ramada Hotel South Bay National City (800) 760-7718

Travelodge Downtown San Diego (800) 760-6483

Additionally, there are three lodges that offer temporary housing for service members and families PCSing into the area.

Food Scene

Of course you’re going to want to take advantage of the fresh seafood in San Diego and Oceanside. This vibrant area of California is especially known for its fusion cuisines, so don’t let your taste buds shy away from trying new and innovating dishes. There’s also a lively craft beer, cocktail, and coffee scene too. Don’t skimp on the great barbecue restaurants that dot the area as well as the Mexican and southwestern options, too. Speaking of beer, San Diego always ranks #1 on the list for beer lovers choosing their next duty station!


It might sound silly, but the 32nd Street Naval Base Exchange has a lot to offer you on a random weekend when you’re just looking to get out of the house. Of course, you’d probably have to be pretty bored to just go to the BX when you have gorgeous San Diego to explore! This world-class city offers you everything from zoos and museums to beaches and nightlife. San Diego is the second largest city in California and one of the largest in the country. You’re going to love the vibrant neighborhoods, fantastic beaches, and amazing cultural attractions. Be sure to check out Balboa Park.

Naval Base San Diego Pacific Beacon military housing at 32nd Street "dry side." (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Kyle Carlstrom/Released)

32nd Street Naval Base Housing

It’s no surprise that San Diego is expensive! Living in privatized housing might be the most economical choice for you and your family.

Liberty Military Housing owns and operates all housing on base. The private company offers over 30 different neighborhoods with a variety of home styles and sizes. Homes issued are based on rank and family size. Call the Military Housing Office as soon as you receive orders to talk about current housing wait times.

Of course, you can choose to live off base as well. The MHO can help you decide which is best and offer suggestions on neighborhoods to explore.

The majority of barracks are located on base. All single, permanent-party Sailors E1-E3 and E4 with less than four years of service are required to live in the barracks.

Schools Near 32nd Street Naval Base

While there aren’t any DoDEA schools on base, there are over 40 independent school districts in the San Diego metro region. Where your child attends school depends on where you live. Bus transportation is usually available. Additionally, most schools offer before and after school programs. Speak with the School Liaison Office for more information, including current enrollment requirements.

Frequently Asked Questions

Where is 32nd Street Naval Base?

32nd Street Naval Base is also called Naval Base San Diego. It’s located right in the heart of sunny San Diego, California.

Where should I live near the 32nd Street Naval Base?

The cost of living in California is higher than the national average. Where you live will depend on your family needs. The Military Housing Office can offer more information.

What schools are near the 32nd Street Naval Base?

The San Diego metro area is home to over 40 school districts, so there’s definitely a school to fit your mil-kid’s needs.

What’s the weather like at Naval Base San Diego?

It’s darn near perfect! Sunny and mild, it’s ideal for outdoor activities all year long!


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