The former Camp Elliott is located approximately 12 miles northeast of downtown San Diego, California. The U.S Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) is investigating and monitoring the former camp through the Formerly Used Defense Sites Program for munitions and explosive hazards that may remain from previous military activity. USACE has divided the former Camp Elliott property into four project areas. The information on this page relates to the Mission Trails project.
The former camp property that is now the Mission Trails Regional Park was transferred to the city of San Diego in January 1964. The deed restricted its use to historic monument/public recreational purposes for 20 years. Community members enjoy a variety of recreational opportunities including biking, camping, hiking, horseback riding and wildlife viewing. The city of San Diego hosts numerous public events at the park such as wildlife tracking, guided hikes, festivals and art classes.
The Mission Trails project is located in the south-central portion of the former Camp Elliott and the area is comprised of 11 overlapping ranges that originated on either the Tierrasanta or Marine Corps Air Station Miramar properties. The ranges were used for artillery, anti-aircraft, Howitzer, mortar, small arms and towed-target training.
After Camp Elliott closed in 1960, the Navy and the Marine Corps cleared ordnance from portions of the former camp. In 1983 three children discovered a 37mm unexploded round in an open area near their Tierrasanta homes, and while playing with it the round detonated. This accident prompted the U.S. Navy Explosive Ordnance Disposal Mobil Unit to perform two searches for unexploded ordnance in the area (1984 and 1985) of the Tierrasanta community. These searches extended into the southwest boundary of Mission Trails and the results indicated the need to conduct extensive munitions removal activities, especially in areas of thick brush. Additional removal actions were conducted from 1992 through 1995 and USACE removed ordnance items, small arms, munitions debris and trash.
The Mission Trails project is currently under Long-Term Management, in which USACE investigates the site every five years to evaluate if previous removal actions and remediation activities are still protective of human health and the environment.