Navy Base Ventura County’s MWR exists for the soldiers who serve this nation and their families. The pools are in
Port Hueneme and Point Mugu, and both aim to be training centers
for soldiers and places where they can go with their families to
relax, have fun and broaden their aquatic experience.
The main focus “is always our soldiers and making sure
they are provided with a well-equipped facility to train in,”
says aquatics manager Molly McCarthy. She adds that in the past few
years, the goal has been to extend the programs to the surrounding
community as well.
The agency has had the biggest success with summer swim lessons,
according to McCarthy. Initially, lessons were open only to
those in the military, but recently communities surrounding
the bases have been given access to the pools and aquatics
programs. “We’re very fortunate to have many patrons
come due to word-of-mouth references,” she notes.
But marketing goes beyond testimonials. MWR advertises via large
banners, brochures, local papers and special events. Last Halloween
was the first annual “Haunted Swamp,” and the entire
community was invited to the festivities.
Water safety is among the highest priorities of MWR. “We
feel that water safety education is crucial in the success of all
our patrons,” McCarthy says. “When they leave our
facilities, we want them to feel competent in all other forms of
water, such as the ocean, lakes and backyard pools.”
All the lifeguards and water safety instructors are certified
yearly. Staff meetings are held monthly along with regular
in-service training, and unannounced mock drownings occur during
hours for on-duty guards.
A recent challenge for MWR aquatics operators has been to become
more environmentally friendly. Less than five years ago the Point
Mugu facility was on the brink of shutting down because of low
attendance and poorly maintained programs and amenities. New
leadership and a dedicated commitment to improvement has since
turned things around, McCarthy says.
Before the end of the year, the agency is expected to complete a
project installing solar panels to heat the pools. Additionally,
each pool will have an
adequate number of pool covers to insulate them and help save on
“Operators show a clear commitment to doing as much
as possible for the military community and surrounding locales with
the resources provided.”
Point Mugu facility: 25-meter
outdoor pool and a kiddie pool; Port Hueneme facility: a
25-yard-by-50-meter outdoor pool and a kiddie pool.
lifesaving, water fitness, aquatic therapy, competitive swimming,
Masters swimming, water polo, scuba/snorkeling, surfing, adaptive