The sign as you enter Reeves Field, the base’s operations area, clearly defines NAS Lemoore’s primary mission — to train, maintain, man and equip F/A-18 Hornet strike fighter squadrons in support of the U.S. Pacific Fleet. Every organization in the operations area directly supports the ability of the base’s homeported strike fighter squadrons to deploy aboard Pacific Fleet aircraft carriers.
A low cost of living, plenty of open space and a bounty of locally grown produce in Kings and Fresno counties contribute to a quality of life not often found in larger metropolitan areas. In 2014, an estimated 150,269 people called Kings County home, while around 965,974 resided in Fresno County, the U.S. Census Bureau says. Population density in Kings County was 110 people per square mile and 156 in Fresno County in 2010, the Census found.
The Central San Joaquin Valley, which encompasses Kings and Fresno counties, is home to the majority of the United States’ agricultural production (as measured by dollar value) and is continuing to experience growth in food processing, warehousing and distribution, education and health care. Though population growth has seen a decline since 2011 due to the drought, the area is seeing a trend of nonfarm job growth. One industry that has received a great deal of attention in the area in the past five years is renewable solar energy.
There are many health care services in Kings and Fresno counties for military, civilians and veterans, though implementation of the Affordable Care Act may change established insurance options. Visit www.healthcare.gov for information on open enrollment for health care coverage under the national Affordable Care Act. California currently has 10 insurance companies that participate in the Covered California marketplace, offering a range of federally subsidized services to individuals and families. Visit www.coveredca.com for more information on open enrollment and options.
For those moving to a new location, it’s important to know what educational options are available. This chapter outlines the public schools system in Kings and Fresno counties, along with information about local libraries and higher education. There are private schools, charter schools and home schooling available to children in both counties as well.
Communities surrounding NAS Lemoore reflect the many contrasts of California living. County fairs, festivals, concerts in the park, renaissance faire — all reflect a small-hometown atmosphere of rural America. Yet, within a two- to four-hour drive are some of the nation’s largest cities and major tourist attractions, which draw millions of visitors each year.