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Gulfport NCBC, Mississippi

The Gulf Regional Planning Commission and Gulfport Naval Construction Battalion Center work to address incompatible growth issues.

The Gulf Regional Planning Commission served as the project sponsor and grantee for the 28-month Joint Land Use Study (JLUS) for the areas surrounding the Gulfport Naval Construction Battalion Center (NCBC). The study was completed in August 2017.  Study partners included Harrison and Hancock Counties, the Cities of Gulfport and Long Beach, Mississippi Development Authority, National Aeronautics and Space Administration, and leadership from the installation. 

The Gulf Regional Planning Commission, serving as the regional planning organization comprised of three Mississippi coastal counties and twelve cities, will oversee carrying out the JLUS recommendations for both NCBC Gulfport and Keesler AFB through a single organizational structure. The focus of implementation includes several of the more critical and complicated strategies identified and ranked as highly important, particularly those that have a direct bearing on the safety and well-being of the neighborhoods in close proximity of the installations and that help sustain military operations. The effort to carry out the JLUS recommendations across the Mississippi Gulfport Region began in September 2017 with Federal, state and local agency support and is projected for completion in February 2019.

The Gulf Regional Planning Commission’s JLUS represents a community-driven planning process among NCBC Gulfport and the surrounding communities to promote compatible civilian development in support of military readiness and defense capabilities; protect public health, safety, general welfare, and quality of life; promote the economic viability of the communities; and foster continued communication among NCBC Gulfport and surrounding communities to address compatibility issues.  The JLUS process benefits both the military installation and its supporting communities by identifying existing and future land use conflicts, and where mitigation strategies, ordinances, and future planning may counter possible civilian development that may impair continued military operations.

NCBC Gulfport is comprised of the main base in Gulfport and associated Special Areas throughout southern Mississippi.  The main base supports three active Naval Mobile Construction Battalions, Naval Construction Group Two, and the Naval Construction Training Center.  The Atlantic Seabees, also located at the main base, provide a wide range of responsive military construction training regarding roads, bridges, airfields, and logistics bases to support operational forces.  NCBC Gulfport tenants often train and operate equipment on public roads, beaches, and waterways in the Gulfport region.

NCBC Gulfport also maintains mission critical facilities, infrastructure, and property at its associated Special Areas, located throughout the Mississippi Gulf Coast, that support readiness training and operations to ensure all components are prepared to mobilize.  Special Area operations include live-fire training ranges at Camp Keller and Stennis Space Center; Navy training in the Western Maneuver Area; logistics/mobilization operations at the Port of Gulfport; and rotary wing flight operations at the Stennis International Airport.  Existing incompatible civilian activity has limited the type of weaponry used in live-fire training, restricted Navy SEAL training, and required enhanced force protection measures.

NCBC Gulfport, including the associated Special Areas, face the following encroachment issues:

  • Existing incompatible residential development to the west of the main base in the City of Long Beach has required enhanced force protection measures;
  • Existing incompatible residential development to the west of Camp Keller in Harrison County has limited the type of weaponry used in live-fire training, and;
  • Civilian transient recreational activity within Camp Keller and the Navy’s Western Maneuver Area in Hancock County has restricted Navy training activity.

Continuation of this incompatible civilian development and activity may result in segmented training at the main base, Camp Keller, and the Western Maneuver Area.  Major JLUS findings include incompatible urban development in proximity to the military areas of influence, incompatible land uses in safety and noise zones, increased traffic congestion causing delays in military maneuvers, and disruptions of Navy maneuvers by shared use of waterways.

The following deliverables are a result of the study effort:

  • JLUS Final Report
  • JLUS Project Overview for public distribution
  • Stakeholder and Public Engagement Plan
  • Implementation Plan

Point of Contact:

Elaine Wilkinson

Executive Director

Gulf Regional Planning Commission

(228) 864-1167

Program: Compatible Use

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