Originally build as a Marine Corps Air Station the base was transferred to the United States Navy shortly after the end of WWII. In early days the base was mostly used as a parashute training facility. It wasn´t until the late 1970´s that it became a seasonal jet trainig base.
El Centro is situated about 100 miles east of San Diego near the Californian/ Mexican border in the Impireal Valley. El Centro (KNJK) has no active squadrons allocated this is why it has the status as a Naval Air Facility and not a Naval Air Station.
Although Naval Air Facility El Centro has two operating runways RWY 08/26 is used most of the time because it´s the longest one with 9500ft or 2900m. It is also equipped with a FLOLS system which translates to Fresnel Lens Optical Landing System which is used to train carrier landing procedures.
The second available runway is RWY 30/02 which is 6824ft in length.
Offering year round almost perfect weather condition and nearby training ranges, NAF El Centro is a welcome place for US Navy Squadrons to train especially during the winter.
Winter is also the time when the famous Blue Angels demonstration team is based here.Often several Blue Angels training missions can be observed througout the day.