View Full Version : US Army Presence on Naval base?

11-17-2013, 12:08 AM
Zombie apocalypse. Town suddenly overran. School evacuated to Naval Air Station Fallon in Nevada.

Right now I have a refugee-type camp setup inside the gate, but outside the main base (it's a huge base). The camp is ran by the Army rather than the Navy for a couple of reasons. The main one, is conditions and discipline at the camp start to get out of hand and I figure this would be more realistic if it wasn't under direct control of the officers running the base.

So my question is this: Is it realistic, under national crisis-type circumstances, for the Navy to allow the Army to setup an evacuee station inside their walls?

Any thoughts or insights are welcome!

11-17-2013, 03:16 AM
My sister is an officer in the USMC and my cousin in a captain in the Navy. They live together in Florida and work on the base at Pensacola, so I thought they would be able to answer your question. I actually just got off the phone with my sister after I read her your question verbatim.

Both of them laughed pretty hard, because they thought it was the most random and awesome question they had been asked about the military in a long time. But they were more than willing to make some conjectures.

Basically, they both acknowledged that in a zombie apocalypse, all bets are off because the military doesn't have specific training for a such a crisis. They said that it's possible that an Army evacuee camp would exist on the Naval base. If so, however, it would be a joint operation, organised by the joint chiefs of staff. As such, there would not be a larger likelihood of military breakdown because the officers of both branches would be working in tandem. In other words, you would have Naval officers present at the camp and working directly with their Army counterparts to ensure a smooth operation. Despite what you see in films, the military is an extremely efficient machine no matter what the crisis.

That being said, both my cousin and my sister wondered why you would have the Army running the evacuee camp instead of the Marines. Generally, the Navy and Marine Corps work in tandem, as do the Army and the Air Force. Marines are trained to set up small operations with great speed, do their job, and strike camp and move on. The Army and Air Force are utilised for much larger operations. When the establish a base of any kind, it is usually semi-permanent, much larger, and also much slower.

So both my sister and my cousin were in agreement that in the situation you described, a Marine Corps encampment in the Naval base would be much more accurate. Most likely they would receive support directly from Camp Pendleton and Coronado Island in San Diego.

So to sum it all up: A Navy-Army joint operation is possible as long as the proper procedure is followed through the joint chiefs. But if that is the route you are going to take, make sure you have a clear reason why the Army is getting saddled with the evacuee camp and not the Marines.

EDIT: My cousin just texted me to say that for civilian evacuation and refugee management, a joint operation with the National Guard would be also be more likely than the Army.

11-17-2013, 06:13 AM
Wow, GypsyKing, what a great answer!

Fist off, I'm shocked to learn the military isn't preparing for the inevitable Zombie Uprising--we're doomed!

Seriously, I do have the evac start with the National Guard, but when things go south, the army shows up. Just ignorance that it wasn't the Marines. I'll change that right away--kids being in awe of the Marines will work well.

Very good information on the joint running of the camp. I guess I could even have it ran by a civilian government agency. It would just need to be one with enough power to kidnap one of the kids; I don't think FEMA would cut it. Homeland Security might do well and it resolves a few other issues as well. Like the fact I don't really want to make any branch of the military look bad, but Homeland Security is an entirely different matter.

Thanks again for the detailed reply. Give me lots to consider. Plus re-enforces the notion that when it comes to the military, I have no idea what I am talking about--I'll have to get someone with military experience to vet those portions of the manuscript.

11-17-2013, 07:01 AM
Take a look at Camp Lemonnier (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Camp_Lemonnier)

Joint command run by the Navy, with Marine and Army units on it as well. Only personal my daughter didn't see when she was there were Coast Guard. My daughter, who is Navy, was given combat training before going there on an Army base.

Marines are a more natural fit with the Navy then the Army, but joint commands can involve whichever services make sense in the situation.

Remember that police/law enforcement agencies are both very similar and very different from the military. Military has been known to play well with them, and military has been known to play poorly with them.

What you want to look at is incident command structure. An overall commander is appointed, and all other agencies are subordinate to that commander, but each have their own command structure. Incident command is more varied and flexible, but is the same way you'd set up your command.

Best of luck,

Jim Clark-Dawe

11-17-2013, 07:12 AM
It's not at all uncommon for servicepeople of one branch to be assigned to bases run by another. If anything, everything is becoming more integrated. We here in Anchorage, Alaska, just a year or so ago saw our two major, and geographically adjacent, military bases, Ft. Richardson Army Base and Elmendorf Air Force Base, formally combined in a single command structure and now titled Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, JBER for short.


11-17-2013, 08:42 AM
Navy would maintain official control of the base unless an Army officer of higher combat rank is present. If for some reason your scenario happened the Navy would utilize the army for military operations other than Air which they would share under the command of the highest officer (combat grade, which means a chaplain or medical officer etc would not be in charge)

11-19-2013, 10:02 AM
Thanks for the additional information everyone!

Lots of great info here. It seems like these sort of scenarios are much more common that I would have thought.