By the early 1940s, with our nation engaged in World War II, it became clear that the Navy needed inland supply depots. With the advent of the “Five Ocean” Navy, overcrowded coastal Navy facilities were in need of relief. The Mechanicsburg area was one of five locations chosen for new depots. Close to the Pennsylvania Turnpike and the railroad yards at Enola, the bucolic Pennsylvania countryside offered an ideal location.
The establishment of the Naval Supply Depot (NSD), Mechanicsburg, Pa., was authorized with the passing of Public Law No. 353 by the 77th Congress, December 17, 1941. The base was commissioned, October 1, 1942.
The Ship's Parts Control Center (SPCC) was commissioned as a tenant activity of the Naval Supply Depot, July 16, 1945. SPCC spun off the Naval Supply Depot in 1953 and became a full-fledged activity with its own commanding officer.
The next major change occurred July 1972 when the Naval Supply Depot merged with the Navy Ships Parts Control Center. With 2,800 military and civilian employees, including 600 who were transferred from NSD, SPCC was the largest activity at Mechanicsburg.
The 1990s witnessed some reorganization, as SPCC merged with the Aviation Support Office in Philadelphia to form the Naval Inventory Control Point (NAVICP).
In July 1996, the Naval Supply Systems Command (NAVSUP) Headquarters moved into Mechanicsburg from its leased facilities in Crystal City, Va. This move brought the status of a Supply Corps rear admiral upper half and an influx of new faces to the base. The headquarters activity was now physically aligned with two of NAVSUP’s activities: NAVICP and the Fleet Material Support Office (FMSO).
In the late 1990s, the management of the base turned over to Navy Region Mid-Atlantic in Norfolk, Virginia, and the host command, the Naval Support Activity (NSA) Mechanicsburg, with detachments in Northeast Philadelphia and at the Naval Ship Yard in Philadelphia was formally stood up. The base was re-named “Naval Support Activity,” with NAVSUP, NAVICP and the Navy Supply Information Systems Activity (NAVSISA) formerly FMSO as primary tenants.
Presently NSA Mechanicsburg serves approximately 4,300 civilian, military and industry partners assigned to over 40 tenant activities or commands. The largest of these are: NAVSUP Weapons Systems Supply (formerly NAVICP), with approximately 1,000 personnel; the NAVSUP Business Systems Center (formerly NAVSISA), with approximately 500 personnel and NAVSUP headquarters, with a complement of approximately 300 personnel.