NSA Panama City, FL Image 1
    NSA Panama City, FL Image 2

    NSA Panama City, FL History

    NSA Panama City started as the U.S. Navy Mine Countermeasures Station, at the tail end of World War Two, after a relocation from another station, dedicated to making better defenses against sea mines.

    Over the years this support activity station has changed names several times, and expanded its research and development to include various kinds of nearshore and on-beach ("littoral") combat concerns. Research at the NSA over the years has included mine detection, defusal, avoidance, and other forms of defanging; vehicle improvement (including mine-avoiding vehicles like beach-landing air-cushion hovercraft); better anti-mine and other mission diving; better ship salvaging and refloating technology; and better visual and sonar detecting devices. Recent NSA Panama City projects have led to features of modern LCAC (landing craft air-cushioned) hovercraft and new littoral combat ships.

    NSA Panama City also provides housing for the Navy Experimental Diving Unit, which started in 1912 with old-fashioned heavy diving suits, and over the years discovered how to avoid nitrogen narcosis, developed the Momsen Submarine Escape Lung and sub escape and rescue methods, and improved salvage diving. Other diving advances developed at NEDU include supersaturation (where the diver prevents 'the bends' by pre-breathing and slowly adjusting to slowly building pressure), and better dive suits and masks. NEDU has been part of NSA Panama City since relocation in 1975.

    NSA Panama City also houses a range of other commands, especially research centers, a criminal investigation command, a health unit, family housing, an exchange, and Coast Guard Station Panama City and its cutter, serving since 1971.