NSWC Crane is located 20 miles southwest of Bloomington. It is the 3rd largest Navy base in the world, spanning 4 counties, 2 time zones, and nearly 100 square miles.
It is the 2nd largest employer in the region and hosts two major Commands: the Naval Surface Warfare Center and the Army Ammunition Activity.
Crane is a perennial candidate for Base Realignment and Closure, but has thus far evaded that fate.
Its original mission was the production, testing, and storage of ordnance, but over the years it expanded to include small arms, sonobuoy surveillance, microwave tubes, POLARIS missiles, technical support for weapons systems, batteries, and night vision systems.
As the structure of the United States Military has changed, Crane's place in it has changed as well. In 1941 the base was established under the Bureau of Ordnance as the Naval Ammunition Depot, but later, it would come under the command of first the Bureau of Weapons; then the Naval Ordnance Systems Command; then the Naval Sea Systems Command. In 1977 the Army became the manager of all conventional ammunition, and Crane, recently renamed the Naval Weapons Support Center, came under control of that entity.
In 1992 it was renamed again, to the Crane Division, Naval Surface Warfare Center.