U. S. Naval Activities, UK

London, England


7 North Audley Street and view of House of Parliament, London

7 North Audley Street and view of  House of Parliament

Since April 1942, with the arrival of Admiral Harold R. Stark, the U.S. Navy has had a presence in Europe with its headquarters building on Grosvenor Square (7 North Audley Street) in London. The building was also the headquarters of General Dwight D. Eisenhower, Supreme Allied Commander, early in World War II, and provided key intelligence reports for the invasion of North Africa. The command's name has changed during the past fifty years, but its mission has not--coordination and leadership of naval forces throughout Europe and Western Africa. The headquarters continues to house the Commander in Chief, U.S. Naval Forces, Europe, and his staff.

US Naval Activities, London was established in 1951 by the direction of the Chief of Naval Operations as a union of two shore commands; US Naval Activities in London, and US Naval Facility, London. The functions assigned these two commands had been previously performed by the Headquarters Command, Commander in Chief, Eastern Atlantic and Mediterranean (CINCNELM).

In 1958, the US Naval Facility, London was designated as the US Naval Support Activity, London. As other Naval activities in the United Kingdom and Northwestern Europe were established, the command was designated by the Secretary of the Navy to its present title of US Naval Activities, United Kingdom (NAVACTUK). In August 1965, the US Naval Support Activities, London was disestablished and reassigned to COMNAVACTUK, consolidating the support activity and old facility into one command.

Until 1977, US Naval Activities, United Kingdom was located at 7 North Audley Street (Grosvenor Square), London. It is now located at 86 Blenheim Crescent, Ruislip in northwest London, with some Administrative, Supply and Public Works support operations located in or adjacent to the CINCUSNAVEUR Headquarters building in downtown London.

Naval Activities United Kingdom (NAVACTUK) oversees facilities and services in England. Its mission is to exercise command over assigned activities; to discharge area coordination responsibilities over shore activities in the United Kingdom and Northern Europe; to coordinate the provision of logistic and administrative support for the US Naval activities and units in the United Kingdom and Northern Europe and other agencies as directed; and carry out responsibilities and act as the single Navy

Commander, US Naval Activities, United Kingdom is an echelon three command subordinate to the Commander in Chief, US Naval Forces, Europe. As the regional area coordinator for the United Kingdom and Northern Europe, COMNAVACTUK also exercises command over Naval Air Facility, Mildenhall, Navy Exchange, United Kingdom, US Naval Medical Clinics, United Kingdom, and the Marine Corps Security Force Company, London.

Additional information on London:

London is the capital city of Great Britain. One of the world's most important financial and cultural centers, London is noted for its museums, performing arts, exchange and commodity markets, and insurance and banking functions, as well as a host of specialized services. In popular and traditional usage, the term City of London, or the City, is applied only to a small area (1 sq mi) that was the original settlement (ancient Londinium) and is now part of the business and financial district of the metropolis. The City of London and 32 surrounding boroughs form the Greater London metropolitan area, which covers 610 sq mi. The 13 inner boroughs are Camden, Hackney, Hammersmith and Fulham, Haringey, Islington, Kensington and Chelsea, Lambeth, Lewisham, Newham, Southwark, Tower Hamlets, Wandsworth, and the City of Westminster. The 19 outer boroughs are Barking and Dagenham, Barnet, Bexley, Brent, Bromley, Croydon, Ealing, Enfield, Greenwich, Harrow, Havering, Hillingdon, Hounslow, Kingston upon Thames, Merton, Redbridge, Richmond upon Thames, Sutton, and Waltham Forest.

Settlement at Ruislip was recorded in 1086, but evidence of Iron Age settlements (500 BC) have also been found nearby. During the 13th century, Benedictine monks oversaw their land holdings in southern England from Ruislip, until they were seized by King Edward II in 1337. Kings College in Cambridge also owned the village and land at Ruislip during the 15th century. Tithes (rents) contributed to many of the fine college buildings in Cambridge. This area was heavily wooded, and the oak trees were particularly fine. At various times, orders came from London to supply wood for the building of such things as the Tower of London, Windsor Castle and the Palace of Westminster. Ruislip (and most of London) is built on a clay vale, and with the abundance of raw materials, the area became well known for the quality tiles and bricks it produced. A 13th century kiln was discovered recently in Ruislip.

Since 1914 there has been considerable military activity in the area, with one of the first Royal Air Force bases set up at RAF Northolt (about 1 mile north). The American Air Force occupied RAF West and South Ruislip during the Second World War, and as a consequence the area suffered considerable bombing raids.

Source: COMUSNAVEUR Public Affairs Office (PAO)
COMNAVACTUK Public Affairs Office (PAO)
Global Security

Note: COMNAVACTSUK was disestablished on 14 September 2007 after 55 years (1952 - 2007) of service.

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