LEMOORE, Calif. (KSEE/KGPE) – – Naval Air Station Lemoore turns 60 in July.

The base was commissioned on July 8, 1961, when built it was the Navy’s largest Master Jet Base in the nation and cost $100 million, according to NAS Lemoore.

The base’s main function is to train fighter jet pilots and crew in 1961 – which meant the A4D Skyhawk. Now the base is home to F/A-18E/F Super Hornets and the F-35C Lightning II.

When commissioned in 1961, Navy officials say the base covered 28 square miles and employed more than 5,000 people with salaries that totaled more than $30 million annually ($280 million in 2022).

Since then the base has not grown much in land size – but it has more than doubled its workforce, with roughly 11,800 jobs boasting an annual payroll of $478 million.

Photo provided by NAS Lemoore.

More than 210,000 flight operations are conducted annually and more than 3,700 students are trained each year.