The Coast Guard Air Station North Bend was commissioned 28 September 1974, as part of Group North Bend, co-located on the North Bend, Oregon, Municipal Airport. The airport is a former Naval Auxiliary Air Station and is located on the shore of Coos Bay.
The original Group has grown since inception and now consists of the Air station, an Air Facility at Newport, the 110 foot Coast Guard Cutter Orcas, six Motor Lifeboat Stations with two additional search and rescue detachments, an Aids to Navigation Team with five lighthouses and 181 minor aids to navigation. The Newport Air Facility was built in 1992 after local groups lobbied for additional resources. The Group oversees all operations of Group North Bend units and supports them by providing administrative, supply, medical, engineering, and communications services. The area of responsibility extends from Depoe Bay Oregon southward to the California border. The Commanding Officer of the Group is also the Commanding Officer of the Air Station and many of the officers assigned to the Air station have additional duties in the Group.
The Air Station was commissioned to address the increase in the amount of Search and Rescue activity which took place on the Oregon coast in the late sixties and early seventies. Three HH-52 helicopter aircraft were assigned. The HH-52s were replaced by HH-65A dolphins by 1990 and five are presently assigned to address the increased activity. Search and Rescue remains the primary mission of the Air Station. There has been an increase in law enforcement and environmental activities in recent years. The Air Station also frequently assists federal, state and county agencies by responding to calls for assistance with inland searches and medical evacuation of injured loggers.
Coast Guard Air Station North Bend can leave you in awe of the wonderful beauty of the Pacific Northwest, but it can also remind you of tremendous force of nature. Many lives have been lost off the Oregon Coast due to frigid waters and violent seas; mariners and a fellow Coast Guard Aviator.