Branch Health Clinic China Lake


    Brief History of the NAWS

    China Lake is steeped in Naval History. In the summer of 1943 Dr. Charles C. Lauritsen of the California Institute of Technology, and Navy Commander Jack Renard, flew a small plane over the vast Mojave Desert in search of the perfect remote location to establish a "shooting range" for testing Navy missiles.  They eventually spotted a small two-way landing strip in Inyokern.  The site was extremely remote, but not too far removed from Cal Tech's Pasadena base.  Shortly afterwards, the Naval Ordnance Test Station (NOTS) was born.

    Mission / Vision / Culture


    We support readiness and health of the Navy and Marine Corps family by providing safe and high quality healthcare.


    NMRTC Twentynine Palms will be the premier remote training command for clinical excellence, readiness, and warfighter survivability.

    Elements of our Vision

    Establish the top operational medical training center in Navy Medicine
    Improve internal satisfaction
    Be the hospital of choice to deliver the highest quality care to the warfighter and the beneficiary
    NMRTC Twentynine Palms and our branch clinics are the duty station of choice

    Our Culture

    Caring and Compassion
    Honest and Open Communications

    Our Five Strategies

    1. We will build the next generation of leaders.
    2. We will ensure effective internal and external communications.
    3. We will take care of our own.
    4. We will establish agreements (MOUs) to create and sustain training.
    5. We will better manage data, funds, and human capital.

    Services Offered
    Family Practice/Military Medicine
    Dental Clinic (Active Duty only)
    Preventive Medicine
    Industrial Hygiene
    Basic Pharmacy, Laboratory and Radiology
    Routine military and dependent immunizations
    Overseas/Sea Duty/Commissioning/ROTC Screenings
    Civilian Physical Exams/Occupational Health
    Because the clinic is designed and equipped to primarily treat general medical conditions, anyone requiring specialty care, e.g., cardiology and neurology (just to name a few), may not be considered suitable for this isolated duty station.  If you have an ongoing medical or dental condition, you must obtain special clearance through the Overseas Screening Process before you transfer.
    If a medical emergency condition develops which is beyond the scope of care provided by the clinic, the patient will be referred to the nearest available medical facility for follow on care.
    Although able to assess standard visual acuity, eye care and eye wear correctible lenses prescriptions cannot be written or filled at the clinic.  Those personnel transferring to China Lake are strongly encouraged to bring extra prescription lenses.  Prescription eyewear for active duty may be ordered by the clinic, but please bear in mind that it can take up to two weeks for the eyewear to arrive.  Additionally, because of the strong ultraviolet light in the high desert, it is strongly advised to bring sunglasses designed to block ultraviolet rays.  If you require a prescription while stationed aboard NAWS, you will be referred to a local TRICARE approved Optometrist.
    Medical Home Port at China Lake
    We are proud to be on the cutting edge of patient care by providing our patients with the benefits of Patient Centered Home Port. Medical Home Port is a proactive, team-based approach to caring for you and your family. Patients will receive more personalized care that is coordinated by an entire team, led by your Primary Care Manager (PCM). Some of the goals of the Medical Home Port are to:
    Improve patient satisfaction
    Improve access and continuity with your PCM team
    Improve health outcomes
    Focus on disease prevention and health and wellness promotion
    Consults and Referrals
    Routine referrals to network or other Military Treatment Facility (MTF) specialty clinics require 3 to 5 days of processing. You be able to view the status and print your authorization letters from your referral portal at For further information or assistance with referrals, please contact Naval Hospital Twentynine Palms Referral Management Office at (760) 830-2616 or Health Net Federal Services at (844) 866-9378.
    TRICARE Information
    Personnel are strongly encouraged to resolve any TRICARE issues prior to departure from their previous duty station.  The following websites may be used as references:  
    After Hours Care
    Emergency vs. Urgent Care
    • EMERGENCY: Anything severe enough to reasonably believe life, limb or eyesight could be threatened. This includes maternity and psychiatric emergencies. No referral is needed. CALL 911 OR GO TO THE EMERGENCY ROOM.
    • URGENT CARE: An illness or injury that won't cause further disability or death if not treated immediately, but needs medical attention to keep it from evolving into a greater threat and requires urgent care. Active Duty must obtain a referral to go to Urgent Care during clinic business hours. To obtain authorization for Urgent Care, the patient or sponsor must call: Nurse Advice Line at 1 800-TRICARE (1-800-874-2273).
    Connecting with your care Team
    Please utilize MHS Genesis Patient Portal to securely connect with your care team:
    This portal allows you to:
    • Monitor your health information
    • Update your patient profile
    • Exchange secure messages with your care team
    • See laboratory and test results
    • Avoid unnecessary office visits and long waits over the phone
    Customer Feedback
    Your comments and experiences are important to us and help us continue to provide quality care to our patients. Feedback with the names of the team members who participated in your care is especially helpful. If you wish to provide feedback, you have several options:
    • Complete a paper comment card and drop it in any of our Customer Comment Boxes (located throughout the Clinic) or at the Front Desk.
    • Complete an electronic card (Interactive Customer Evaluation) online at
    • Call our main Clinic line and ask to speak to a Customer Relations Representative.
    Following your appointment, you may also receive a Joint Department Experience Survey (JOES) patient satisfaction survey in the mail. We greatly appreciate you taking a few minutes to complete and return the survey, noting our strengths and areas in which we can improve.
    Referral Patient Portal (View referral status and print your referral authorization letters):
    Referral Management Center (Twentynine Palms): (760) 830-2616
    Incoming staff members --Request a Welcome Aboard Package:


    Labor & Delivery Information for Beneficiaries

    Ridgecrest Regional Hospital’s labor and delivery services will close permanently, effective March 1, 2024. We understand that our patients have concerns about this closure, and we want to provide information and resources that are up-to-date and accurate.
    We are fully committed to supporting our beneficiaries through this transition and ensuring you receive quality health care from TRICARE-approved providers.

    Who Do I Contact If I Have Questions and Concerns?

    Health Net Federal Services case management team:

    • 844-524-3578, 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. (PST), Monday-Friday
    Referral information at Branch Health Clinic China Lake:
    • 760-939-1714
    Prime Travel Benefit (PTB) claims information at Branch Health Clinic China Lake:
    • 760-939-8002
    Naval Air Warfare Center Weapons Division federal employees should contact their insurance provider or the Family Resource Team at:
    • 760-939-0948

    Where Can I Get More Information and Resources?

    For information about the nearest available obstetricians and clinics:
    Click Here

    For more information about the closure of Ridgecrest Regional Hospital’s labor and delivery services, including FAQs:

    Fisher House
    If you know of an active duty service member, retiree, veteran, or a family member in need of a place to stay while receiving care at either Naval Hospital Camp Pendleton or Naval Medical Center San Diego, both locations have Fisher Houses, which might be an option.
    Fisher Houses can provide lodging, free of charge, when referred by the patient’s provider, nurse, chaplain, or case manager who is familiar with the patient and can confirm the need for a room. Availability is determined 24-48 hours prior to the need for lodging and space is limited. Fisher Houses will accommodate whenever they can, but families should have an alternate lodging plan in case a referral is denied.
    To learn more about the Fisher Houses near Naval Hospital Camp Pendleton and Naval Medical Center San Diego, please contact them directly:
    Naval Hospital Camp Pendleton:
    Naval Medical Center San Diego:

    Fisher House Guest Referral

    The TRICARE Prime Travel Benefit is for non-active duty beneficiaries enrolled to Branch Health Clinic China Lake.

    Travel may be reimbursed for specialty care outside of 100 miles (one-way).  Travel expenses will not be authorized for convenience, elective procedures, second opinion requests, or non-covered benefits.

    To request reimbursement for medical travel, please download and complete the documents below and return them to the TRICARE Prime Travel Benefit liaison at Branch Health Clinic China Lake.

    Documents for Tricare Prime Travel Benefit Submission

    Patient Information Worksheet
    Navy Medicine Request for Prime Travel
    EFT Authorization Form
    NMA Memorandum Form
    TRICARE Prime Travel Benefit Vignettes

    To learn more about the TRICARE Prime Travel Benefit, please visit,

    TRICARE Enrollment Reconsideration

    If you are currently enrolled in Tricare Select and do not currently qualify to switch to Prime, please fill out the Enrollment Reconsideration Request found here:
    Tricare Enrollment Reconsideration


    Contact Us


    Monday                  7:30 a.m. - 5 p.m.
    Tuesday                 7:30 a.m. - 5 p.m.
    Wednesday            7:30 a.m. - 5 p.m.
    Thursday                7:30 a.m. - 3 p.m. (Closed at 3 p.m. for training)
    Non-Flex Friday     7:30 a.m. -  4 p.m.


    Main: (760) 939-8000
    This number provides menu options for: 1. Appointments; 2. Pharmacy; 3. Pharmacy Refill Line; 4. Triage Nurse; 5. Referrals; 6. Aviation Medicine; 7. Dental; 8. Occupational Health; 9. Administration
    Chief of the Day (After Hours):
    (760) 855-7912


    Located aboard the Naval Air Weapons Station China Lake in Ridgecrest, California
    1 Administration Circle
    Bldg. 1403, Stop 1311
    China Lake, California 93555
    Need to Update Your Information in DEERS? Click Here