Coronado is a proud Navy town with two Navy bases on the Island, Naval Air Station North Island and Naval Amphibious Base. As you travel down the Silver Strand, you will see the Coastal Campus is on the right just before arriving in Imperial Beach, and Navy Outlying Field Imperial Beach further south on the coast. These are four of the eight Navy installations that fall under the leadership of Capt. Scott Mulvehill, Commanding Officer of Naval Base Coronado.
Sometimes thought of as the ‘Mayor’ for the Navy in Coronado, Mulvehill is responsible for a security force, fire department, environmental concerns and community relations. His installations are home to more than 35,000 Sailors and Civilians, and two aircraft carriers. San Clemente Island is also under his command. This location is unique in that it supports live weapons training from aircraft, ships and ground personnel, while protecting 21 threatened and endangered species. Along with all the operational expertise he has on staff, he also has a botanist, ornithologist, archaeologist and arborist whose responsibilities include monitoring and protection of wildlife. His staff works closely with Fish and Wildlife to ensure the programs Naval Base Coronado has established supports the environment and resident wildlife species.
Mulvehill grew up in Shelby Township, Michigan and earned his degree from Michigan State prior to joining the Navy and flying the F/A-18 Hornet and Super Hornet. Mulvehill came from a military family, his father was in the Air Force and his family travelled all over the world with him at a young age. He also had an uncle who served with the Green Beret, so he was exposed to a diverse military background. He shared a story about what had the most impact shaping his future as a Naval Aviator saying, “my grandfather was an original crew member of the Flying Tigers, I loved his stories and I really got the bug to fly from talking to him.”
Mulvehill spent much of his youth participating with Boy Scouts and earned the rank of Eagle Scout. He said, “that really immersed me in doing outdoor type activities, and they got me interested and motivated for the military.” Mulvehill has two sons who are both students at Coronado High School, both are lifeguards in town and one is in the JROTC program while the other plays varsity water polo. His boys love Coronado, but they have gained an appreciation for traveling the world with their parents, and are up for whatever new experiences the Navy offers them for their next duty station. The Mulvehill family came to Coronado after a tour in Belgium and are hoping to be stationed overseas again to keep the adventures going.
During our interview, I asked Capt. Mulvehill a few personal questions including his favorite things about Coronado and he responded with, “the immediate accessibility of everything, biking around town, concert in the park, the parades, the great restaurants in town, everything is so well done and well thought out here in Coronado.”
When I asked him what are some challenges the base is dealing with, he said, “The Navy is growing and changing in San Diego, here at North Island we are transitioning one of our aircraft, the C-2 Greyhound, to the new V-22 Tilt-rotor aircraft. Again, as we continue to engage and communicate with the community, we are having a meeting on Feb 7th to share information on the continuing environmental assessment for the V-22.”
Mulvehill and Naval Base Coronado enjoy a strong relationship with the Coronado community, and he is working hard to continue to strengthen that relationship. He has provided briefs at town halls to ensure the residents of Coronado are aware of any changes coming that may impact the community. He has been very proactive in keeping the lines of communication open with community officials, city managers and concerned citizens.
Mulvehill closed our interview by saying, “Last year was our [NAS North Island] 100 year anniversary and we look forward to enjoying another hundred years as good neighbors here on Coronado.”