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The U.S. Navy boasts more than 75 domestic bases. Though they are most always situated on the water, not all Navy bases have that oceanside charm. Task & Purpose polled more than 1,000 readers to determine which installations are least liked across all the services. The reasons why service members and their families hate housing seem infinite, whether it’s because the housing is trashy, schools are below par, or the weather is downright nasty,
Here are the five worst places to be stationed in the Navy.
An aerial view of Norfolk Naval Station, the largest naval base in the world.Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Christopher B. Stoltz
Located in southeast Virginia, Norfolk is home to the biggest Navy base in the world. According to Task & Purpose readers, however, it is also the worst Navy base in the world in terms of living. Residents complain that the base housing is trashy, there is too much crime, and the traffic is bad. It’s fairly close to Virginia Beach and Chesapeake, Virginia, but you essentially need to use the highway to get everywhere and anywhere. The overall area is also called Hampton Roads, which encompasses the entirety of the surrounding metropolitan region in southeastern Virginia and northeastern North Carolina. Some people also dislike how “Navy” the area is — suggesting that there is no way to escape because everywhere you look is military. Plus, the whole city essentially sits below sea level, so when it rains, it floods.
2. Great Lakes
Building 1 at Naval Station Great Lakes, IllinoisPhoto via Creative Commons
Naval Station Great Lakes sits on Lake Michigan in Illinois. Among sailors, it has several different nicknames, including "Great Mistakes." Residents often complain about the lake-effect weather that causes temperatures to be -19 degrees in January. In addition, a majority of the buildings are from the Cold War era. It’s north of Chicago, but still an hourlong drive away. Residents have also reported that the schools are below par and the cost of living off base is high.
3. Washington Navy Yard
Latrobe Gate, Washington Navy YardPhoto courtesy of Gary Dee
Infamous for the 2013 shooting that left 12 dead, the Navy Yard in Washington, D.C., is not well liked among Task & Purpose readers. However, it was once the location of Military Sealift Command, now Navy Sea Systems Command, Navy Band, and the Naval Historical Center. In addition, D.C. is one of the top three most expensive cities in the country. It’s also very touristy, being in the national capital.
4. Ventura County
E-2C Hawkeye assigned to the Carrier Early Warning Squadron 113 (VAW-113), Black Eagles, flies over its home station Naval Air Station (NAS) Point Mugu, California.DoD photo by JO2 Thomas Peterson
Located in California, Ventura County has three operating facilities — Point Mugu, Port Hueneme, and San Nicolas Island. There is a long history of gang violence in the area. In 2013, it was ranked one of the most smog-polluted areas in the country. However, the weather is always temperate — in case you’re looking for an upside.
An F/A-18 Super Hornet assigned to Strike Fighter Squadron 125 taxis to the runway at Naval Air Station Lemoore.Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Oscar Espinoz
Lemoore was the first Navy base chosen to host the F-35; however, Navy families are not interested in being stationed here. Many residents said that living there feels more like living on an overseas base because of its rural location in "the middle of nowhere," in Kings County, California. Some residents complain that the water smells like sulfur and the air is difficult to breathe. Being that the area is surrounded by farms, many families report that there is a lingering manure odor from local livestock.
Correction: An earlier version of this article said that Navy Yard was home to Naval Criminal Investigative Service Headquarters, which has been moved to Quantico, Virginia (3/22/2016 10:09 am).
Hand grenades from the last major battle of the Revolutionary War have repeatedly scrambled bomb squads in Virginia's capital
In an uh-oh episode of historic proportions, hand grenades from the last major battle of the Revolutionary War recently and repeatedly scrambled bomb squads in Virginia's capital city.
Wait – they had hand grenades in the Revolutionary War? Indeed. Hollow iron balls, filled with black powder, outfitted with a fuse, then lit and thrown.
And more than two dozen have been sitting in cardboard boxes at the Department of Historic Resources, undetected for 30 years.
At least 4 American veterans among group arrested in Haiti with arsenal of weapons and tactical gear
At least four American veterans were among a group of eight men arrested by police in Haiti earlier this week for driving without license plates and possessing an arsenal of weaponry and tactical gear.
Police in Port-au-Prince arrested five Americans, two Serbians, and one Haitian man at a police checkpoint on Sunday, according to The Miami-Herald. The men told police they were on a "government mission" but did not specify for which government, according to The Herald.
They also told police that "their boss was going to call their boss," implying that someone high in Haiti's government would vouch for them and secure their release, Herald reporter Jacqueline Charles told NPR.
What they were actually doing or who they were potentially working for remains unclear. A State Department spokesperson told Task & Purpose they were aware that Haitian police arrested a "group of individuals, including some U.S. citizens," but declined to answer whether the men were employed by or operating under contract with the U.S. government.
White supremacist Coast Guard officer stockpiled firearms and hit list of Democrats for mass terror attack
A Coast Guard lieutenant arrested this week planned to "murder innocent civilians on a scale rarely seen in this country," according to a court filing requesting he be detained until his trial.
(Reuters Health) - Military service members who are at risk for suicide may be less likely to attempt to harm themselves when they receive supportive text messages, a U.S. study suggests.
The Army allegedly missed this soldier's stomach cancer for 4 years. His widow wants someone to answer for it
The widow of a soldier whose stomach cancer was allegedly overlooked by Army doctors for four years is mounting a medical malpractice lawsuit against the military, but due to a decades-old legal rule known as the Feres Doctrine, her case will likely be dismissed before it ever goes to trial.