Freedom of Information Act


The Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), 5 United States Code 552 (5 U.S.C. § 552) is a federal law that allows for the full or partial disclosure of information and documents controlled by the United States government. The Act defines agency records subject to disclosure, outlines mandatory disclosure procedures, and grants nine exemptions to the statute. Any "person" may file a FOIA request, including U.S. citizens, foreign nationals, organizations, universities, businesses, and state and local governments. 

The Department of the Navy implements the Freedom of Information Act through Secretary of the Navy Instruction (SECNAVINST) 5720.42G , "Department of the Navy Freedom of Information Act Program."


Submit a FOIA Request


The most efficient way to handle responses to requests is via electronic inquiry. To help ensure proper processing, all FOIA requests should adhere to the following:

1Describe the specific record(s) you are seeking with enough detail so that a knowledgeable official of the activity may locate the record with a reasonable amount of effort (include descriptive information, time-frame to be searched, contract number, program title and contracting officer, if known). 

2. State your willingness to pay all fees or those up to a specified amount.

3.  Include your complete personal contact information, including mailing address, telephone number and email address.  This expedites communication and release of any responsive documents.

If the documents you seek are held by NAWCWD, you may use any one of the following methods to submit a Freedom of Information Act request:


To submit a FOIA request for NAVAIR/NAWCWD records, please use our new portal at  

By Mail:

Submit your request via e-mail to: [email protected] 

By Mail:

Online or email submissions are the preferred method for submitting requests. When submitting a request by mail:

  • Ensure "FREEDOM OF INFORMATION ACT REQUEST" or "FOIA" is stated within your request and on the envelope.

  • Describe the specific record(s) you are seeking with enough detail so that a knowledgeable official of the activity may locate the record with a reasonable amount of effort. Such detail should include descriptive information, time-frame to be searched, etc. Because most Navy records are not retained permanently, the more information provided, the better opportunity there is to determine if the records would still exist and where. The FOIA clearly states that records must exist at the time the request is submitted to be considered.

  • State your willingness to pay all fees or those up to a specified amount or provide a justification to support a fee waiver. Agreements to pay all fees are considered to be up to $250.00, unless another amount is specified.

  • Include your complete postal service mailing address on your request. While it is not necessary, it can be helpful if you provide a personal email address. This expedites communication and the release of any responsive documents, in addition to saving postage costs. If you choose not to provide an email address, this will not impact the handling of your request. Provide enough information for NAWCWD to identify your fee category. 

  Send your request to:    

CHINA LAKE, CA 93555-6610



Freedom of Information Act (5 U.S.C. § 552) 

Secretary of the Navy Instruction (SECNAVINST) 5720.42G 

DOD Directive (DODD) 5400.7 

Department of Defense Freedom of Information Act Handbook 

Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR) FOIA Office 

Department Of Justice FOIA Guide 

Executive Order 12600, Pre-disclosure Notification Procedures for Confidential Commercial Information