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Nuclear Power School was in Orlando, Florida after it moved from Mare Island. It shared a base with the Recruit Training Command, Service School Command, and the Naval Regional Medical Center, and was home for the nukes for six months of intense classroom training prior to practical power plant training at Idaho, New York or Connecticut.

Orlando in the late 70's was an idyllic location. Lounging on the 'beach' under the palms, playing tennis, side trips to Daytona, Clearwater, and Cape Kennedy/Canaveral made for a much better duty station than, say, Great Lakes in the winter. It wins my vote for most enjoyable duty station, despite the routinely scheduled 3:30 thunderstorm. Of course, I spent most of my tour in '78 with a broken foot, hobbling around on crutches, as part of the class of 7806.

Today, NPS is in South Carolina, and the base at Orlando is gone. The last NPS class graduated in December 1998, all the other commands were gone by then, and rumor is they locked the gates behind the last student out.  Today it has been replaced by expensive condos, and even the shopping mall is gone. The local green area is named Bluejacket Park, though I doubt any of the residents would even know what a Bluejacket is, or was.

Much like the Bates, we didn't expect it to be around forever, but we thought we'd be a lot older before they both disappeared.



Bennett Road entrance to Nuclear Power School



rx-122002-nukeschool-1978 (b)


NPS classroom building from the circle - 1978



rx-122002-nukeschool-1978 (a)


NPS classroom building - side view - 1978



Nuclear Power School - Aerial View - 1999
(note the building between the two wye shaped classroom buildings that wasn't there in 1979)



Nuclear Power School (former location) - Aerial View - 2002


David McConnell
The thing I remember most about Orlando is that the young ladies there were the friendliest towards us squids than anywhere else in the States. I don't know if that's my imagination or if it was due to the fact that Disney World was there and we just fit in!
Brad Williamson
Just missed you - I was there in October 2007 for the Florida Gay Pride event and parade. No, I wasn't marching in the parade, I was there with Paladin Pictures working on their latest film 'Stained Glass Rainbows', a documentary exploring the conflict between the church and the gay community. We were interviewing and filming for a couple of days - didn't have time to go check out the suburb that occupies the site of the former NPS.
Orlando was very different from what I remembered. I did meet some interesting folks, but turned down all, and I mean all, offers for extracurricular activity.

Ted Malone
I was in Orlando for a conference in July of 2008. I had not been there since November of 1978. I could not recognize anything.

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