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NAS Patuxent River Navy Base in Lexington Park, MD Maryland Military Bases
Naval Air Station (NAS) Patuxent River is one of the military bases established under the command of the United States Navy. It is often referred to as NAS Pax River. It is located in the southern part of Maryland, in Saint Mary’s County. The name of the base comes after the nearby river Patuxent River, whose mouth is in the immediate proximity. It is one of the most important bases run by the US Navy due to the Test Pilot School on site. The base also starred in one of Harrison Ford’s movies. “Random Hearts”, which was released in 1999, presented Harrison Ford flying a plane himself, as he is a certified pilot.
The history of NAS Patuxent River begins on the Fool’s Day. It was established on April, 1-st, 1943. Although World War Ii was already at its peak, the base quickly grew to become one of the main players. Prior to the construction, the land belonged to local farmers. The place was not entirely erased. Some of the old homes were actually kept to serve the US Navy necessities. The construction was approved a few weeks after the Pearl Harbor attacks, but was delayed until the summer of 1942. The place helped Saint Mary’s County improve a little and increase its value. Since the transportation was not that advanced in the area, the authorities worked on a few railroads and some new streets. The construction was fast. There were more than 7,000 workers struggling to finish it as soon as possible. It came as a great employer in the area. People from Saint Mary’s County and the nearby counties rushed to get a job at the high paying installation. At the time the construction was over, the new station was referred to as the most significant military base of the US Navy.
The US Marines arrived on site before the base was done. They came in a few months after the construction actually began. They joined for security measures. These days, the security is operated by the MA (Masters at Arms), the Department of Defense, the NCIS (Naval Criminal Investigation Service) and a few contractors. During its first weeks, the base was named Cedar Point, but the authorities were concerned about the potential confusion with a different base from North Carolina, so the name was later changed.
Exactly 33 years after the groundbreaking ceremony, the airfield on site was renamed in the memory of Frederick M. Trapnell, one of the local commanders.
NAS Patuxent River is also popular for the local museum, which presents the living history of the US Navy technology and aviation. Other than that, it is an open book to the local history of the base. The museum doesn’t host just old aircrafts and artifacts, but also documents, photos, testimonials and movies.
There are six major tenant units hosted at NAS Patuxent River. The Air System Command, the Test Pilot School and the Scientific Development Squadron 1 are the most important ones. There are also a few less significant and temporary units deployed there.
NAS Patuxent River
Naval Air Station Patuxent River stretches across approximately 12 miles of shoreline at the mouth of the Patuxent River in St. Mary’s county, overlooking the picturesque Chesapeake Bay, 65 miles southeast of Washington, D.C. and 75 miles south of Baltimore. NAS Patuxent River covers more than 13,800 acres, including the Bloodsworth Island Range and the Webster Field Annex, which is located about 15 miles south of the station. Patuxent River is located outside of Lexington Park in southern Maryland.
Situated on a peninsula between the Patuxent River and the Chesapeake Bay, NAS Patuxent River is located on 6,400 acres (26 km²) of what was once prime farmland, consisting of several large farms, Mattapany, Susquehanna, and Cedar Point, as well as numerous tenant and sharecropper properties and a few clusters of vacation homes. The Cedar Point community included several churches, a post office, and a gas station. Some of the old homes now serve as quarters for Navy personnel stationed there. In 1937, the Navy’s Bureau of Aeronautics sought to consolidate aviation test programs, previously being conducted at several stations, including Dahlgren and Norfolk, Virginia, the Washington Navy Yard, and Naval Air Station Anacostia in Washington, D.C., and the Naval Aircraft Factory in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Cedar Point was selected due to its remote location on the coastline, well removed from air traffic congestion, with ample space for weapons testing.
Patuxent River is home to the Naval Air Systems Command and the Naval Air Warfare Center Aircraft Division headquarters. NAVAIR’s Aircraft Division at Patuxent River (including the Webster Field Annex) is the Navy’s full spectrum acquisition, research, development, test, evaluation and engineering and fleet support activity for manned and unmanned aircraft, engines, avionics, aircraft support systems and ship/shore/air operations. With more than 165,000 air operations annually, activities at Patuxent River fly 140 different aircraft over 780 restricted and 5,000 controlled square miles. Capabilities range from concepts analysis and procurement to flight testing and support equipment. NAS Patuxent River is under the command of Naval District Washington (NDW). NDW is one of ten regions reporting to Commander, Navy Installations. Headquartered at the Washington Navy Yard, NDW is the regional provider of common operating support to twenty Navy installations, including Naval Air Station Patuxent River. NDW is also known as the Quarterdeck of the Navy.
The Navy is the largest employer in the community with over 20,000 employed on the station. This includes about 3,000 active duty, 7,800 federal employees, 9,000 defense contractors, 400 non-appropriated-fund employees, and 4,500 family members.
There is a base taxi for official business and for delivery to one of the local rental car agencies if you are traveling. There is a base shuttle service that travels two times a day (M-F except holidays) to and from Ronald Reagan National Airport, Bethesda-Naval Regional Medical Center, and the Navy Yard. For all services you should call the Transportation Office, 301-342-5088, for information and reservations
If you have orders for Patuxent River, you will need a sponsor who can assist you with your needs. To ensure a sponsor is assigned, you should contact your gaining command. For a listing of commands see Major Unit Listings. Your sponsor should arrange to meet you upon your arrival. This is why consistent communication with your sponsor prior to moving here will make your relocation experience much better.
Your mail may begin to be redirected to the General Delivery address 2 weeks prior to the service member’s arrival. The address to use is: Service Member’s Name, C/O General Delivery, NAS Patuxent River, MD 20670. Post Office boxes for unaccompanied members residing in base Bachelor quarters are currently issued by Bachelor Housing personnel upon assignment of Bachelor Quarters to the service member.
For Permanent Change of Station (PCS) orders, if you are a single E-4 and below report to Bachelor Quarters for billeting; E-5 and above must be billeted at the Navy Lodge or Navy Gateway Inns & Suites (NGIS) until permanent billeting is approved. For transient orders (TAD), NGIS must be contacted first for lodging. If there is no available lodging at NGIS or the Navy Lodge, all members must obtain a Certificate of Non-Availability (CNA) from lodging authorizing them to stay off base. Reservations for NGIS can be made online, 1-877-NAVYBED or locally at 301-342-3601, Bldg 406. Reservations at the Navy Lodge should be made well in advance, but priority will be given to service members on PCS orders. Call the Navy Lodge central reservation number at 1-800-NAVY INN, or the local number 301-737-2400 FREE . Your sponsor should assist you with making lodging arrangements, especially if you have Pets or Special Needs family members. There are a number of Kennels in the area. Due to major housing demolitions and renovations, on base housing options are limited. Check with the Housing Service Center at 301-342-3846 for their housing and rental listings and apply in advance for base housing if possible. Please be sure to research your options prior to arrival.
The NAS Patuxent River Fleet & Family Support Center offers a wide variety of services, support and programs to help ease the stress and financial strain of a PCS move. Services available to all Active Duty members and their families includes a Loan Closet with commonly used kitchen items, as well as aerobed mattresses and sleeping mats, folding Director’s style chairs, folding tables, coffee makers and 700 w microwave ovens. A “Welcome to Pax” newcomer’s briefing and windshield tour of the installation is offered twice quarterly. Hard-copy and internet-based information is provided covering subjects such as employment, childcare, housings, schools, and a myriad of other topics of importance to new arrivals. The Relocation Assistance Program manager can be reached at DSN 312-342-4911 or 301-342-4911.
Critical Installation Information
Effective Friday, October 1, 2010, all Maryland drivers are prohibited from using a cell phone without a hands free device while operating a motor vehicle in motion. Exceptions are allowed for calls placed to 9-1-1, ambulance, hospital, fire, or law enforcement agencies, as are calls made by emergency and law enforcement personnel. A driver is allowed to turn a handheld phone on or off and to initiate or terminate a call. Maryland also bans texting while driving. This law prohibits an individual from writing or sending a text message while operating a motor vehicle that is in motion or in the travel portion of the highway. This law does not apply to texting 9-1-1 or using a global positioning system.
Frequently Called Numbers on Base
All numbers Area Code (301) unless otherwise indicated
Station Operator 342-3000
American Red Cross 342-4100
Branch Dental Clinic 342-1407/1408
Child Development Center 342-7636
Child Development Home Providers 342-3960
Command Career Counselor 342-1563
Command Duty Office 342-1096
Employee Relations 342-0943
IT IPD MAS Patuxent River 757-1694
Fleet and Family Support Center 342-4911
Gate One Pass and ID Office 757-1770/1771
Gate Two Pass and ID Office 342-3231/4509
NAS Patuxent River Chief of Police 757-4663
Housing Welcome Center 342-3846
Judge Advocate 342-7510
Legal Assistance Services 342-7643
Lincoln Military Housing 342-3847
Bachelor Housing 995-2753
Mattapany Day Camp 342-4800
Navy Exchange 342-0614
Navy Gateway Inns & Suites 342-3601
Naval Health Clinic 342-1418
Navy Lodge (800) NAVY INN
Navy Marine Corps Relief Society 342-4739
Personnel Support Detachment 342-7311/7315/7324
Personnel Property Office 757-9666
Inbound Household Goods 757-9659/60/61/62/64
Public Affairs Office 757-6748
Religious Programs 342-3811/3812
Veterinary Treatment Facility 342-4213