The Crows Landing Air Facility and citizens of Stanislaus County proudly served our nation for more than 50 years. Commissioned in 1942 as an auxiliary airfield to Naval Auxiliary Air Station (NAAS) Alameda. From 1942 until its closure in 1997, the Crows Landing facility was developed and redeveloped by the federal government to support the missions of the United States Navy, Coast Guard and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).
The Naval Auxiliary Air Station (NAAS) Crows Landing was constructed to train military pilots during World War II. The facility was expanded in 1944 to include barracks, hangars and other equipment. In June 1945, the station's complement stood at 27 officers and 185 men. Squadron personnel added an additional 245 officers and 1,220 enlisted personnel. By the end of the war, the station was valued at $4 million.
Following World War II, Crows Landing became an Outlying Landing Field (OLF) to NAS Alameda and later to Moffett Field. For many years the Navy maintained a permanent detachment at the field that supplied crash equipment and refueling services for naval aircraft from other stations in the area. The site was used by a variety of military branches for diverse missions and supported various training activities performed by the U.S. Navy and Coast Guard.
Based on a recommendation of the 1991 Defense Base Closure and Realignment Commission (BRAC), Congress decided that Naval Air Station (NAS) Moffett Field would no longer be operated by the active-duty Navy. NASA assumed custody of the Crows Landing Naval Auxiliary Landing Field (NALF) in 1994. The transfer included all land, buildings, facilities, and infrastructure. Subsequently, Crows Landing were renamed as the Crows Landing Flight Facility, NASA Ames Research Center. Research ceased soon after. In June 1999, NASA proposed to divest itself of the Crows Landing facility.
On October 27, 1999, Congress passed Public Law 106-82, directing NASA to convey all right, title, and interest of the United States in Crows Landing to Stanislaus County following environmental cleanup and remediation. In 2004, NASA conveyed 1,352 acres of the 1,528 acre property to Stanislaus County. Environmental remediation has been completed on 160 acres of the remaining 176 acres, and the remediated areas will be conveyed to the Stanislaus County in 2018. The Navy will continue to perform groundwater remediation on an approximately 16-acre area until 2025, after which the property will be conveyed to the County.
The development of the former military facility provides a tremendous opportunity for the County. Existing infrastructure, such as the airfield pavements, power lines, and other utilities are available for immediate reuse. One of the two former runways is in remarkably good condition and can be transitioned for general aviation with little maintenance.
The next chapter in the proud history of Crows Landing is ready to begin!