Maryland Military Bases
The state of Maryland is known for its great seafood and fascinating American history. Maryland is nicknamed the Old Line State. The nickname is believed to come from the Maryland soldiers who fought in the Revolutionary War. Maryland is an very important state for our nations defense. Below are the military bases in Maryland and their locations.
Map of Military Bases in Maryland
Aberdeen Proving Ground
This base is the oldest active proving ground in the Army. It was established only half a year after the U.S. entered WWI in 1917. At that time, it primarily tested ordnance materiel around industrial centers. Plants on the base also served as manufacturing centers of toxic gas such as chloropicrin, phosgene, and mustard gas, and together the plants were known as Edgewood Arsenal. Not all of the 11,000 tons of gas manufactured here before 1918 was used by the U.S. A large portion of it was shipped to and used by the British and French militaries. In 1969, this area was also used as a testing site for Agent Orange.
Camp Fretterd Military Reservation
Camp Fretterd is located just a few miles northwest of Reisterstown, Maryland. It’s owned by the Maryland Army National Guard and was acquired in 1989. It is home to the 58th Troop Command. Even though it has 8 training ranges, the base has never been used for munitions training. Instead, Camp Fretterd’s training areas include those for maneuver, rappelling, heavy equipment, and a two-mile trail. This base was designated as Maryland’s second Distributive Training Technology site in 1996. The grounds of the base was declared a historic site in 1990 due to the rich history of the Montrose Mansion located there.
Located in Frederick, Maryland, this base used to be the headquarters for the U.S. biological weapons program until 1969. With the close of that program, Fort Detrick instead helped with various parts of the biological defense program. But at its very beginning, what soon came to be Fort Detrick was just a small municipal airport operated by only one person in 1929. The airfield there was soon named after Major Frederick L. Detrick, and in the next few years, it was upgraded to serve as a training center for cadet pilots. With the onset of WWII, however, the base’s objectives changed, and it wasn’t long before Fort Detrick was no longer an aviation center.
The base conducted pioneer researching in 1943 of decontamination, bio containment, agent purification, and gaseous sterilization. This research soon developed into intense biological warfare research that was benefited by the base’s close proximity to Edgewood Arsenal and Washington, DC. The Army’s Chemical Warfare Service that operated here was so secretive about its work in biological weapons during WWII that the public wasn’t aware of anything related to it until after the war was over.
Fort George G. Meade
This Army facility opened in 1917 as Camp Annapolis Junction, and it underwent several name changes until it was finally named after George G. Meade. Originally, it was used as a training camp, but it served many purposes over the course of its life, including testing vehicles in expedition convoys through its Experimental Motorized Forces. During WWII, it became a training post for recruits in addition to a prisoner-of-war camp. Later it turned into a holding center for immigrant residents from Japan, Germany, and Italy. Today the fort hosts the Defense Media Activity, the Defense Information School, the U.S. Army Field Band, and the NSA headquarters, among other organizations.
Joint Base Andrews Naval Air Facility
This is a joint facility of Naval Air Facility Washington and Andrews Air Force Base. The base is sometimes called the “Gateway to the Nation’s Capital” and is only a few miles east of Washington, DC. It is a part of the U.S. Navy Reserve and the Air Force District of Washington. Because it is so close to DC, it serves as the headquarters for the Air Force One aircraft that provides transportation for the president of the United States. Andrews is also home to the 11th Wing, which helps to maintain emergency reaction rotary-wing airlift.
Fort Meade NSGA
Fort Meade Naval Security Group Activity was established in 1957 and is now the largest installation of its kind in the country with over 2,500 personnel. This fort mainly provides information about cryptologic information to the fleet. It serves alongside Fort George G. Meade in Maryland and is under the command of Naval District Washington.
Fort Patuxent River
This installation is located at the meeting point of the Patuxent River and Chesapeake Bay. It was commissioned in 1943 and has since developed into the Center of Excellence for Naval Aviation, which has contributed to it being known as “where the future of Naval aviation begins.” It hosts the headquarters for both the Naval Air Warfare Center Aircraft Division and the Naval Air Systems Command. The host’s air station staff consists of only about 800 employees.
In the 1950s, the base’s main role was testing naval aircraft, and several training facilities were constructed there, including the Weapons Systems Test Division and the U.S. Naval Test Pilot School. During the 70s, major advancements in naval aircraft were made, such as the development of mine sweeping capabilities in helicopters. The movie Random Hearts, starring Harrison Ford, was filmed here.
Indian Head Naval Surface Warfare Center
This Navy base is located in Charles County and is an energetic s center for the U.S. Department of Defense. This base develops propellants, pyrotechnics, explosives, high-energy chemicals, and more. In fact, Indian Head takes on about 60 percent of the energetic s workload done by the Navy, and 75 percent of all deployed U.S. weapon explosives were created by the Indian Head base.
Coast Guard Stations
There are six active Coast Guard stations in Maryland and three that have been inactivated. One active station, called Station Annapolis, has been in operation since 1957. It was originally created to help local mariners, but activity and duties increased with the attacks on 9/11, especially since this station is located so close to the nation’s capital. The station currently carries out around 130 search-and-rescue cases each year.