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Inland Empire Celebrating Navy's 241st Birthday

By Troy Clarke | Naval Surface Warfare Center, Corona Division | Oct. 11, 2016

NORCO, Calif. — Naval Surface Warfare Center, Corona Division's top officer will deliver the keynote address at the 2nd annual Inland Empire Navy Birthday Ball on Oct. 14 at the Riverside Convention Center, commemorating the Navy's 241st birthday.

The event is made possible with the support of the Greater Riverside, Corona and Norco Area Chambers of Commerce, along with event organizers at the Riverside Convention Center. All proceeds benefit the Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society.

"The U. S. Navy has been the cornerstone of American security and prosperity for almost two and a half centuries," said Capt. Steve Murray, NSWC Corona's commanding officer. "At the heart of our success is the American Sailor, and the civilian Sailors at warfare centers like Corona are the force behind the fleet."

The gala incorporates traditional military ceremonies, dinner, dancing, keynote address and a videotaped message from the Chief of Naval Operations and the Commandant of the Marine Corps.

This year's theme is "America's Sailor. For 241 Years: Tough, Bold, and Ready." The Navy traces its birth to Oct. 13, 1775, when the Continental Congress authorized its creation - even before the United States declared independence less than a year later.

"Our Sailors and civilians serving to the far reaches of the earth are protecting our country, advancing our interests, supporting our allies, delivering aid to people in crisis and vigilantly guarding the sea lanes that are absolutely necessary to our economic stability," Murray said. "Throughout history, our Navy has been a force to be reckoned with."

The Navy's presence in the Inland Empire marks its 75th year this December when President Franklin D. Roosevelt established the Corona Naval Hospital at the luxurious Norconian Hotel and Resort days following the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941.

Decades later, NSWC Corona remains at the center of the original property, as the Navy's premiere independent assessment agent, enabling Sailors and Marines around the world to train, fight and win. As a federally designated lab, NSWC Corona is uniquely positioned at the strategic, geographic center of the largest concentration of military power in the world: The fleet in San Diego and Port Hueneme, the Marines of Camp Pendleton, the Air Force in Riverside, the Army at Ft. Irwin and the Marines in 29 Palms. Each service, including the Coast Guard, uses the warfare center's technical capability to support their missions.

NSWC Corona's growing presence is evidenced by the more than 400 additional personnel hired in the last three years to keep pace with the growing demand for its mission - a 42 percent growth rate, 32 percent of which occurred in the last two years.

With more than 2,600 Sailors, Navy civilians and support contractors across the country - 1,500 headquartered in Norco - NSWC Corona injects more than $300 million each year into the local economy. The command's annual funding has grown $100 million in the last two years to $400 million annually in response to increased demand for its mission.

Tickets can be purchased for military and civilians online at www.navybirthdayball.com or by calling Paige Hawkins at (951) 683-7100, x211.

For media inquiries, contact Public Affairs Officer Troy Clarke at 951-393-5137 or 951-538-3207.

High resolution images from 2015 are available on our Flickr account: