In December, 1953, the NSG Dept at NCS Port Lyautey, located at Naval Air Station Port Lyautey, French Morocco, moved to Sidi Yahia, and was established as the NSG Dept, NCS Sid Yahia, Morocco. NSG Dept, NCS Sidi Yahia remained active until it closed in December 1976.
The following is from the NSG Bulletin 1978, courtesy Tom Kotche:
U.S. Hands Over Base to Morocco
The United States quietly abandoned its last military base in Africa on September 30 with a low-key ceremony that ended a 36 year military presence in Morocco dating back to Operation Torch, one of the turning points of World War II.
The signature of Captain William Parrish, USN, the commander of the American run communications bases centered at Kenitra, 25 miles north of the Moroccan capital of Rabat, formally handed over to the Moroccan government all the that remained of the multimillion dollar installations.
Captain Parrish and four other officers were the last in a succession of tens of thousands of American troops who have served in Morocco since General George Patton’s GIs stormed ashore on November 8, 1942, and captured Kenitra – then named Port Lyautey – from the forces of Vichy France in a three day battle that cost the lives of 57 Americans.
Greatly expanded and modernized by the United States, the bases at Kenitra and neighboring Sidi Yahia and Boukanadel were placed under nominal Moroccan command in 1965 to counter communist and Third World criticism, similar to the raised against the former U.S. military facilities in Libya and Ethiopia. Those facilities were abandoned after new governments came to power in those countries, but the Moroccan bases remained firmly under U.S. control.
At the height of their importance in the 1950’s, the bases served as a major U.S. arm deport, staging point and communication center, with a garrison of more than 2,000 troops and dependents.
The NAVSECGRU presence in Morocco began in July 1945 and continued in one form or another until very recently. COMINT operations ceased in July 1972. All “T,” “R,” and “I” branch CTs left Morocco shortly thereafter, although “O” branch personnel and some “A” and “M” branchers remained at the NAVCOMMSTA. Now they too have departed.
Two years ago the United States decided to disestablish the bases, costing more than $7 million a year to operate, and replace them with satellite facilities. Sidi Yahia, the radio receiver station, was turned over to the Moroccans in December 1977.