Four centuries ago, the first Englishmen visited, explored, and mapped the area that is now Pasquotank County. Shortly thereafter, the DeBry map, dated 1585, first appeared in London. the map shows land on the north side of the main water as "Pasquenoke", and the shoreline, while crude, is remarkably recognizable and true.
Pasquotank Precinct was later created in 1672 and named for a band of Indians who inhabited the area.
In 1793, the General Assembly authorized a town at the "Narrow" of the Pasquotank River that was known as Reding. That same year, construction of the Dismal Swamp Canal began. In 1794, the name of the town was changed to Elizabethtown and changed again to Elizabeth City in 1801.
Today Elizabeth City is the cultural, commercial, medical, and educational center of the Albemarle area. It serves as home for the Museum of the Albermarle, the Albemarle Hospital, Elizabeth City State University, and two colleges, as well as the world's largest United States Coast Guard Station.
The USCG Air Station, Elizabeth City, NC had a meager beginning with three officers and 52 enlisted men in August 1940 on the Old Hollowell Plantation on the shores of the Pasquotank River. Spurred by the demand of war in 1942, the station was in a rapid state of expansion and served as a training base for both Army and Navy personnel, as well as a base for coastal patrols.
The idea of a Coast Guard Aircraft Repair and Supply Center was conceived in 1945, but a suitable location was not found until after the end of World War II. At that time, the Coast Guard obtained the facilities constructed for the Consolidated Vultee Corporation in Elizabeth City.
Elizabeth City is located approximately 50 miles south of Norfolk, VA. Except for National Strike Force Coordination Center, all commands are located on the Support Center Complex, 4 miles east of Elizabeth city on Hwy.34 (Halstead Blvd/Weeksville Road). NSFCC is located approximately 8 miles north of the Support Center Complex on Hwy 17N.
Major Commands are Support Center, Air Station, Aircraft Repair & Supply Center, Aviation Technical Training Center, and National Strike Force Coordination Center. Air Station Elizabeth City has 4 Lockheed HC-130 long range aircraft and 3 Sikorsky HH60 medium range helicopters.
SUPPORT CENTER: Maintains 800 acres of real estate, including runways and taxiways, roadways, buildings, 72 Coast Guard owned family housing units. Personnel reporting unit that maintains pay and personnel records for all local Coast Guard members. Provides transportation and logistics support, and medical and dental services for active duty personnel, approximately 500 dependents and 700 military retirees in the area.
AIR STATION: Search and Rescue, Law Enforcement for fisheries, drugs and migrants, International Ice Patrols, and support to District Aids to Navigation and cooperative flights for other federal, state and local agencies.
AIRCRAFT REPAIR & SUPPLY CENTER: ARSC overhauls and makes major repairs and modifications to all Coast Guard aircraft and aeronautical equipment. It performs procurement, accounting, stock inventory control, storage, issue and shipping of aircraft parts, supplies and aeronautical equipment. ARSC also provides technical support in aeronautical and avionics engineering for the Coast guard aviation community nationwide. It is the largest employer of the five local Coast Guard commands.
AVIATION TECHNICAL TRAINING CENTER: ATTC is the central training location for all enlisted aviation personnel. Students receive their training in a state of the art training facility and graduate as crew members that fly and maintain all Coast Guard aircraft.
NATIONAL STRIKE FORCE COORDINATION CENTER: NSFCC provides support and standardization guidance to the three strike teams located in New Jersey, Alabama and California. The Center provides public information crisis response support to federal on-scene coordinators. Additionally, the unit provides a public access computer database which lists oil spill removal organizations and an inventory of response equipment located around the nation. NSFCC evaluates oil industries' and other agencies' preparedness to respond to oil industries' and other agencies' preparedness to respond to oil and hazardous substance pollution incidents by conducting full-scale pollution response exercises coast-to-coast.
The Coast Guard in Elizabeth City was established in 1940 as a seaplane base. The Air Station was the first of the five commands. Aircraft Repair and Supply Center was commissioned in 1947 as a sub-unit of Coast guard Air Station. In 1964 as a result of a Headquarters study, an Air Base was established as a Fifth coast guard District unit, the command of the Air Base was a collateral duty of the ARSC Commanding Officer. After the commissioning of the Air Base, the first Joint Use Agreement was implemented. By this agreement, the ultimate responsibility of providing, maintaining and assigning facilities so the tenants might best accomplish their missions, was given to the Air Base Commander. In 1971, following another Headquarters study, the Air Base was commissioned as a separate command and its first individual Air Base commander was assigned. On 15 February 1978, the Air Base was formally redesignated a support Center by the Commandant to better describe the function that it performed. The final two commands, ATTC and NSFCC were established in 1978 and 1991 respectively.