Joint Base Andrews
Andrews Air Force Base and the Naval Air Facility Washington officially became known as Joint Base Andrews on Oct. 1, 2009. Camp Springs Army Air Field, as it was originally called, became operational on May 2, 1943. The field’s early mission was to train fighter pilots for overseas combat duty. It became Andrews Field in 1945 to honor of one of the Air Force’s founding fathers, Lt. Gen. Frank M. Andrews. While Andrews has served as headquarters for various commands over the years, it is best known for its role in the transportation of senior government and military leaders and has officially been “Home of Air Force One,” since March 1962, according to the base’s website.
Warfield Air National Guard Base
Situated on the northwest side of the Martin’s State Airport in Middle River, the Air National Guard base is home of Maryland’s 175th Wing and its A-10 Thunderbolt aircraft. The 175th Wing has a dual mission – to augment active duty forces and assist state authorites during civil and natural disaster emergencies, according to Air National Guard’s website. The base was named in honor of Maj. Gen. Edwin “Ted” Warfield III in 1982.
Aberdeen Proving Ground
One of the oldest military installations in America and the Army’s oldest active proving ground, Aberdeen Proving Ground was established in October 1917, six months after the U.S. had entered World War I, and officially opened in December 2017. Composed of two major areas -- the northern Aberdeen area and southern Edgewood area (previously known as Edgewood Arsenal), APG was originally used as a center to test military equipment and artillery. Its current role in the federal workplace is as an Army research, training and testing location. All tanks and wheeled vehicles from the past 50 years have been tested at APG, and chemical warfare research is performed at the proving ground.
Historically the home of the U.S. biological weapons program from 1943 to 1969, the U.S. Army Medical Command Installation in Frederick is now home to many biological defense programs. The U.S. Army Medical Research and Development Command, the U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases, the National Cancer Institute-Frederick, the National Center for Medical Intelligence, the National Interagency Biodefense Campus and the Department of Homeland Security’s National Biodefense Analysis and Countermeasures Center are among the many programs that operate on Fort Detrick’s 1,200-acre campus.
Fort George G. Meade
Named for a Civil War general who served as commander for the Army of the Potomac, Fort George G. Meade makes up a large portion of western Anne Arundel County. Opened in 1917 as a training camp for soldiers, it was used as a recruit training post and prisoner of war camp during World War II. Today, it is known for being the headquarters of the National Security Agency, which it has been since 1957. Fort Meade is also home to the United States Cyber Command, the Defense Courier Service, Defense Information Systems Agency headquarters and the U.S. Navy's Cryptologic Warfare Group Six.
U.S. Coast Guard Yard and Surface Forces Logistics Center
Since it was established in 1899, the Coast Guard Yard has built, repaired and renovated ships for the U.S. Coast Guard. Located on Curtis Bay in Baltimore, the Coast Guard Yard is the Coast Guard’s only shipbuilding and major repair facility. It operates as a revolving fund activity with an annual revenue of about $100 million, according to its website. In 2009, the Surface Forces Logistics Center was established at the Coast Guard Yard, uniting divided parts of the Coast Guard’s fleet mission support system. It is the single logistics center for the Coast Guard’s surface fleet, providing engineering, maintenance, supply and technical information services to more than 1,800 boats stationed throughout the U.S.
U.S. Naval Academy
The 338-acre campus of the United States Naval Academy is located along the Severn River in Annapolis, and is the second-oldest of the country’s five service academies. The Naval School moved from Philadelphia to Annapolis in 1845, under Secretary of the Navy George Bancroft. Five years later, it became the Naval Academy, with a new curriculum requiring midshipmen to study at the Academy for four years and train aboard ships each summer. Over the years, the student body has grown from 50 to 4,000, and began accepting women in 1976. Females now comprise 20 percent of plebes entering the Academy. The campus is a National Historic Landmark and home to many historic sites, buildings and monuments.
Naval Support Activity – Annapolis
Across the Severn River from the U.S. Naval Academy is NSA Annapolis. Officially commissioned in 2006, Annapolis has been home to naval aviation since 1911. The Naval Station began to take shape in the late 1930s, and U.S. involvement in World War II led to the establishment of the Severn River Command in 1941. The Naval Air Facility was re-established at the present site of the Naval Station later that same year. The 2006 transition aimed to provide more efficient support of training midshipmen and faculty, staff and family members at the Naval Academy.
Naval Support Facility Indian Head
Founded in 1890, as a gun test facility on the Potomac River in Charles County, Naval Support Facility Indian Head has evolved and expanded to include numerous missions serving all branches of the military – Navy, Air Force, Army and Marines. Its main tenant is the Indian Head Naval Surface Warfare Center, which researches, develops and tests explosives, pyrotechnics and propellants for application in warfighting systems. About three-fourths of all explosives deployed in U.S. weapons were developed at Indian Head.
Naval Air Station Patuxent River
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Also known as NAS Pax River, the St. Mary’s County naval air station near the mouth of Patuxent River is headquarters to the Naval Air Systems Command. The Naval Air Warfare Center Aircraft Division and the U.S. Naval Test Pilot School are among programs located there. The site was commissioned in April 1943, after the onset of World War II required an expansion of armed forces and significant changes to naval aviation’s infrastructure.
Carderock Division of Naval Surface Warfare Center
The Carderock Division is a state-of-the-art research, engineering, modeling and test center for U.S. Navy ships and ship systems. Headquartered in West Bethesda with other sites around the country, it serves both U.S. naval forces and the maritime industry. The Caderock facility consists of multiple test basins, including the David Taylor Model Basin, one of the largest ship model basins in the world.
Officially known as the Naval Support Facility Thurmont, Camp David is best known as the retreat for the President of the United States, located in the Catoctin Mountain Park in Frederick County. It’s approximately a 30-minute helicopter ride from the White House, according to the Camp David website. President Franklin D. Roosevelt named it “Shangri-La” in 1942, but it was President Dwight D. Eisenhower who came up with the more permanent name in honor of his father and grandson, both named David.
Walter Reed National Military Medical Center
Walter Reed, sometimes referred to as Bethesda Naval Hospital or Navy Med, opened in 2011 after the Base Realignment and Closure Act (BRAC) of 2005 closed both National Naval Medical Center and Walter Reed Army Medical Center. The medical center combined the Army, Navy, Air Force and Uniformed Services University healthcare systems. Walter Reed is the world’s largest military medical center, with 2.4 million square feet of clinical space and providing care and services to more than 1 million beneficiaries annually, according to its website. It remains on the grounds of the former National Naval Medical Center built in 1939, which was designed to hold 1,200 beds as well as the Naval Medical School, Naval Dental School and Naval Medical Research Institute.