Patuxent NAS Guide — Naval Air Station Patuxent River
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Naval Air Station Patuxent River

Located in beautiful St. Mary’s County, Md., Naval Air Station Patuxent River overlooks the picturesque Patuxent River and Chesapeake Bay. Approximately 90 miles from the fleet at Norfolk, Va., the station, affectionately known as “Pax River,” was commissioned in April 1943 and has since evolved into the center of excellence for naval aviation. With the consolidation, integration and collocation that has occurred throughout the last decade, Pax River now hosts the Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR) and Naval Air Warfare Center Aircraft Division (NAWCAD), which provide the full spectrum of acquisition management, research and development capabilities, air and ground test and evaluation, aircraft logistics and maintenance management. This distinctive synergy supports landbased and maritime aircraft and engineering, test, evaluation, integration, and life cycle support for ship/shore electronics. These combined capabilities are unique within the Department of Defense and ensure Pax River’s status as an aviation leader working effectively to continue progress into the 21st century.

The naval air station complex includes Webster Outlying Field, Naval Recreation Center Solomons and Bloodsworth Island Range and provides office space for the NAVAIR, NAWCAD and more than 50 tenant activities. Pax River’s mission is to maintain and operate facilities and provide services and materials to support operations of NAWCAD, and other activities and units as designated by appropriate authority.

With the Base Realignment and Closure consolidations of the 1990s, more than 22,000 people now work in support of the complex. To accommodate the tremendous increase in employees and workloads due to the BRAC consolidations, more than 1.5 million square feet of new construction and renovations were approved.

Thus, the Navy is the largest employer in the community. Approximately 70 percent of these employees live in St. Mary’s County, another 19 percent reside in Calvert and Charles counties. The remainder call other counties in Maryland, Virginia and Pennsylvania home.

The BRAC implementation could not have been successful without outstanding community support. This continued teaming effort by the U.S. Navy, state and Southern Maryland communities is key to the future success of the complex.

As was the case when NAS Patuxent River was being built in the 1940s, the installation continues to evolve to meet the needs of our base employees and mission requirements for today and into the future. Millions of dollars of construction and improvement are ongoing today.

Hanger 110, which dates back to the earliest days of Pax River, is undergoing a $15 million renovation and upgrade that will extend the life and serviceability of one of the most recognizable structures of the installation.

Currently under construction is a $13.1 million, 38,000- square foot Child Development Center to support the needs of our military and civilian workforce. Once complete, it will be one of the largest in the Navy.

Looking into the future of Naval Aviation and the increasing reliance on unmanned aircraft, a $30 million facility is being constructed to support the Broad Area Maritime Surveillance program. It will be the first facility built specifically to support an unmanned aircraft system. More than $1 million in improvements are planned to support the wind tunnel test facility in the South Engineering Complex and another $3.5 million of renovations and improvements are being spent to increase the capability of the dental clinic.

As the complex grows to fulfill its mission as a center of excellence for research, development, test and evaluation of military aircraft, so does the Navy’s commitment to the community it serves. Working together to solve issues, providing mutual support and appreciating each others’ efforts improves the quality of life for the community and Pax River employees and their families. To that end, the commanding officer openly encourages employee volunteerism and support for the community. Pax River employees provide thousands of hours in volunteer work for the community in a variety of categories. These include tutoring, emergency response organizations and various youth organizations. Additionally, Pax River complex employees provide speeches and briefings to a variety of groups and organizations, local media and government officials on a continuing basis.

Webster Outlying Field

Located 12 miles southwest of the NAS Patuxent River complex, Webster Outlying Field is home to the Ship and Shore Based Electronics Systems competency. The S&SBES has four dynamic divisions that provide unique and much needed product design and development, warfighter rapid response/irregular warfare rapid prototyping, and life cycle fleet support for many DoD critical systems. These divisions are:

The Air Traffic Control Systems Division supports manned And unmanned Navy and Marine Corps shipboard and shore based ATC landing systems. The division designs, integrates, tests and evaluates ATC systems for new and existing requirements and provides support for the systems in the fleet. This group of ATC experts includes the only group in the nation that supports these shipboard systems installed on all carriers in the fleet.

The Identification Systems Division provides technology design and development, systems integration, acquisition, installation, training, and in-service hardware/software support services for Combat Identification and ATC processing and display systems used by Navy, Marine Corps, Coast Guard, and foreign military sales combat ship and shore facilities.

The Integrated Communications and Information Systems Division, also known as ICIS, provides design, development, integration, installation, testing, certification, training and in-service engineering for communication and information systems for ships, aircraft and land-based facilities. ICIS provides Turnkey solutions for unmanned systems and develops advanced information systems for video and metadata manipulation and dissemination. ICIS is equipped with Rapid Reaction capabilities that result in Turnkey solutions to emergent and irregular challenges world-wide.

The Special Communications Requirements Division designs, develops, tests and supports joint special warfare communications electronics. The division develops quick reaction and testing of communications packages for handheld and man-pack radios, high speed and rigid inflatable boats, mobile and fixed-base operations, special communications vans and other vehicles, and air-land transportable command posts. The division also provides production of special operations communications packages for other agencies, including the U.S. Customs Service, White House Communications Agency and State Department.

You can learn more about NAS Patuxent River at and /NASPaxRiver.