Naval Air Station Meridian is located near the town of Meridian, Mississippi, and spans the counties of Lauderdale and Kemper. It is one of the Navy’s 2 jet strike pilot training centers, and plays a vital role in the Navy. It was commissioned on July 14, 1961, and has been active ever since. It is currently commanded by Captain Charles Gibson, and has a relatively small population. The Air Operations unit at NAS Meridian has only 230 personnel, both military and civilian.
There are several divisions and tenant commands at NAS Meridian, but the bases main purpose is to train jet strike fighter pilots. The training is very intensive, and requires strong, motivated and skilled individuals. This is one of the Navy’s premier pilot training locations, and is known as such throughout the military. Some tenant commands at NAS Meridian include: Training Air Wing 1, Training Squadron 9, Training Squadron 7, Naval Technical Training Center, and the Marine Aviation Training Support Squadron 1. The station also commands a search and rescue team, which uses HH-1N Huey helicopters.