Located on the west bank of the Copper river in North Charleston, South Carolina, Naval Weapons Station Charleston spans an impressive 17,000 acres, including 10,000 acres of wetlands and forests. The base is very large, and hosts more than 11,000 personnel, along with 3,600 family members in on-base housing.
Naval Weapons Station Charleston was commissioned on November 5, 1941. It was named the United States Naval Ammunition Depot, and was used as an ammunition distribution and collection center. During World War 2, thousands of tons of ammunition were loaded onto boats at the Naval Ammunition Depot. Most of these boats were coming from the nearby Charleston Naval Shipyard.
After the war had ended, the base was inactive for several years. Later, around 1950, Naval Weapons Station Charleston was used to handle guided missiles. They armed submarines and other vehicles with guided missiles, a fairly new technology at this time. Today, the base is more of a training center than anything, and works in close cooperation with the Department of Defense. There are over 40 tenant commands at the base, and 1800+ homes for families of military personnel.