As shipbuilding technologies advanced from wooden sail vessels to steel construction and nuclear propulsion, MINS underwent vast transformations during its years of operation. In the early 1920s, the Navy initiated construction and maintenance of submarines at MINS. During World War II, MINS reached peak capacity for shipbuilding, repair, overhaul, and maintenance. Following the War, MINS was considered to be one of the primary stations for construction and maintenance of the Navy’s Pacific fleet of submarines. It is presently over 5,200 acres, and was responsible for construction of over 500 naval vessels and overhauling thousands of other naval vessels. In addition to shipyard operations, ordnance manufacturing and storage was another key mission at MINS for nearly the same time period—including those used prior to the American Civil War.
MINS was identified for closure during the Base Closure and Realignment (BRAC) process of 1993. Naval operations ceased and the facility was decommissioned on April 1, 1996. The California Conservation Corps, Touro University, and numerous commercial and industrial businesses are currently leasing property aboard the former naval shipyard. In May 2000, the Navy completed the transfer of a former housing area called Roosevelt Terrace using an economic development conveyance. An economic development conveyance is a method to accelerate the transfer of BRAC facilities back to civilian communities for their economic benefit. The Navy is also transferring property at the shipyard to other government agencies such as U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service refuge, a Forest Service office building, a U.S. Army Reserve Center, a U.S. Coast Guard communications facility, and a U.S. Department of Education school.