NSA Crane was originally established in 1941 under the Bureau of Ordnance as the Naval Ammunition Depot for the production, testing and storage of military weaponry. In the late 1940s, the Bureau added an ammunition quality evaluation unit to expand its quality control system. As the complexity and sophistication of weapons increased through the 1950s and 1960s, Crane’s activities, capabilities and expertise expanded in scope under the newly formed Bureau of Weapons to include small arms, sonobuoy surveillance, microwave tubes, POLARIS missiles and other scientific and engineering support to the Bureau.
In the 1960s, Crane came under the command of the newly established Naval Ordnance Systems Command and began providing technical support for weapons systems including logistics, in-service engineering, repair, overhaul, and design. In the years that followed, Crane’s support included batteries, rotating components, electronic components, failure analysis, and standard hardware and new technologies related to night vision systems.
In 1974, Crane came under the Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA) that was established from the merger of the Naval Ordnance Systems Command and Naval Ship Systems Command. Shortly after in 1975, Crane’s name was changed to the Naval Weapons Support Center, which more accurately reflected the true function of the installation.
In 1977 the tenant command, Crane Army Ammunition Activity (CAAA) was established. CAAA subsequently took over the loading, assembly and storage of ammunition at the installation.
Crane’s name was changed again in 1992 to Crane Division, Naval Surface Warfare Center (NSWC), whose mission is to provide acquisition and in-service engineering and technical support for sensors, electronics, electronic warfare and special warfare weapons.
In 2004, Naval Support Activity Crane officially stood up as the installation command, charged with ensuring quality support allowing NSWC Crane, CAAA, and other tenant commands to remain focused on their engineering, ammunition and logistics missions. Today grown from its ordnance roots, Crane is recognized worldwide as a modern leader in diverse and technical products aimed at meeting the needs of today’s warfighter in the defense of the nation.