Naval Station Norfolk - Millie Naval Station Norfolk - Millie

Naval Station Norfolk


Ever wonder where the largest naval station in the world is? Naval Station Norfolk is it! NS Norfolk is also home to the largest concentration of U.S. Navy forces. Its 14 piers and 11 aircraft hangars house 75 ships and 134 aircraft in support of the U.S. Atlantic Fleet. Essentially, NS Norfolk manages just about anything happening on or over the Atlantic—from here to Africa and between the North and South Poles. NS Norfolk hosts personnel from every branch of service and supports vital Joint missions as well.

The U.S. Navy established Naval Operating Base (NOB) Norfolk in 1917 at the start of America’s entry into World War I. Sewells Point in Norfolk had already earned a spot in Civil War history because of its strategic importance. The point overlooks most of the Hampton Roads waterways and is near the site of the epic clash between the Monitor and the Merrimack warships. The base has seen considerable expansion over the last century. Dredging of the Elizabeth River to accommodate large ships moved the shoreline farther out and provided more land to build piers, hangars, buildings, and ramps. In 1953, NOB Norfolk became Naval Station Norfolk, even though most locals still refer to it as “NOB.” In 1999 it absorbed the nearby Naval Air Station Norfolk, adding an airfield (renamed Chambers Field) to this massive complex.

As expected, the largest naval station in the world has some pretty impressive base services. People come from all over the Southside to take advantage of shopping at the Naval Exchange. Base housing is available, but you’ll likely be on a wait list. There are also many privatized housing communities located throughout the Southside cities and usually a high inventory of homes available for rent or sale in the area. A knowledgeable real estate agent can be a huge help in this region.

Norfolk is a vibrant city, replete with the conveniences any urbanite’s little heart might desire. Its moderate size keeps the pace manageable, though, and the proximity to nearby beach towns keeps the vibe a little more mellow. The city has many borough-like neighborhoods, each with its own flare. The surrounding communities are also very distinct, so you’re sure to find something that suits your family’s priorities.

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Base Location

Norfolk International Airport (ORF)
20 minutes
Newport News/Williamsburg International Airport (PHF)
35 minutes
Richmond International Airport (RIC)
1 hour 30 minutes
Norfolk Bus Station – 25 minutes
701 Monticello Ave.
Norfolk, VA 23510
Hours: M – Su: 0430 to 2330
Washington D.C.  – 3 hours 30 minutes
Raleigh, NC – 3 hours 45 minutes
Philadelphia, PA – 6 hours


Because of the unpredictability of commuting via a bridge-tunnel, we’re going to advise that you avoid it. Most people try to live where they work, so if you’re stationed at a base on the Southside, you want to find a home on the Southside. In the table below we’ve indicated whether or not a commute would include a bridge-tunnel rather than giving a broad range of possible commute times. A jam or accident on one of the bridge-tunnels could leave you stuck for hours!

Virginia Beach 35 MINS
*50 MINS
Norfolk 25 MINS
*40 MINS
Portsmouth 25 MINS
*50 MINS
Chesapeake 30 MINS
*50 MINS
Suffolk 45 MINS
*70 MINS
Newport News

Impact of Peak Hours 6a – 9a | 4p – 7p

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Nearby Neighborhoods

  • The Southside