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an armed and defended area (zone) of coastal territory and the adjacent sea area, usually with several points where ships may be based and with forces and means for defending the area, which supports the dispersed disposition and large-scale maneuvers of naval forces. The composition of the forces subordinate to the commander of the naval base (units or subunits of the naval rocket and artillery forces; large units of submarine chasers, minesweepers, and torpedo boats; and so forth) depends on the missions of the base.
Depending on the length of time ships are based there, a naval base may be a permanent or a temporary, a rear or a forward base. The permanent base at which a large proportion of the basic combat vessels are based and where, as a rule, a fleet headquarters is located, is called a major naval base. The basic elements of a permanent naval base are mooring facilities, ship-repair and power-producing facilities, missile and artillery arsenals, stockpiles of weapons, fuel and other kinds of supplies, hospitals, training centers, barracks and other living quarters, approach roads, and so forth. Security for ships based at a naval base is provided by organizing defense measures from land, sea, and air; by camouflaging the base; and by defending it from weapons of mass destruction. One of the most effective ways of defending naval units from destruction by nuclear weapons is considered to be the dispersed basing of ships. With this end in mind, various base points are established within the area of the base for separate large ships, groups of medium-sized ships, and large units of small ships. Places for the further dispersal of ships are also determined and equipped to the minimum degree necessary.
The supplying of ships at their positions of dispersal and at certain base points—such as the mobile base points for US missile-carrying submarine squadrons—is carried out by means of mobile (or floating) service areas—such as floating bases, floating docks, or supply transports. These areas reduce the dependence of such vessels on shore support facilities, which are extremely vulnerable to nuclear strikes.
N. A. MEL’NIKOV and K. T. TITOV