Former Norton AFB reuse award recognizes partnership behind base transformation

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JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-LACKLAND, Texas – The former Norton Air Force Base, California, joins the ranks of five other former bases in the Air Force Civil Engineer Center Base Realignment and Closure portfolio to be recognized by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for transitioning the military site for community and commercial use.  
EPA announced Norton AFB as the 2024 National Federal Facility Excellence in Site Reuse Award winner June 5.  
“This year’s winners demonstrate the importance of strong partnerships in transforming contaminated federal facilities into community assets,” said Cliff Villa, EPA’s deputy assistant administrator of the Office of Land and Emergency Management. 
The award recognizes the accomplishments of federal agencies, states, tribes, local partners, communities, and developers in restoring and reusing contaminated land at federal facilities for beneficial use.  
Norton joins these former installations as an EPA site-reuse awardee:Kelly AFB, Texas; McClellan AFB, California; Myrtle Beach AFB, South Carolina; and Griffiss AFB, New York. 
“We are beyond honored to be recognized five out of the last seven years for our continued stewardship in revitalizing former bases across our BRAC portfolio to benefit the local economies and communities of these former bases,” Greg Gangnuss, chief of AFCEC’s BRAC program. The program manages the environmental restoration and transfer of 40 former Air Force installations with a combined total of 88,396 acres to local communities. To date, the Air Force has transferred more than 98 percent of the total acreage with 1,650 acres left to transfer 
“The Air Force spent $64 million to remediate legacy Air Force contamination, which allowed the reuse authority to convert the former base into a major warehouse and distribution center for goods entering through west coast ports,” said Jose Reyna, Norton base environmental coordinator.  
Norton AFB closed in 1994. Located two miles east of San Bernardino, California, it’s now home to an international airport and global logistics complex employing nearly 18,000 people.  The base got its start in 1941 as a municipal airport and pilot training center under U.S. Army jurisdiction. Following the attack on Pearl Harbor, the Army based fighter planes at the facility to defend Los Angeles in the event of enemy attack.  
The base was placed under several commands and had different missions throughout its history. In 1966, the installation become one of six Military Airlift Command strategic-airlift bases and was part of Air Mobility Command when it closed.

Learn more about the 2024 National Federal Facility Excellence in Site Reuse Awards

For more information on the former Norton AFB, please visit Norton (