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United States Army
2201 Aberdeen Boulevard
Aberdeen Proving Ground, MD 21005
Defense Service Network (DSN) Dialing Instructions
The DSN is the provider of long-distance communications service for the Department of Defense (DoD). Every installation has a special DSN number and the numbers vary by world-wide location. In order to place a call using DSN, the caller must be using a military phone on an installation. Cell phones cannot dial DSN numbers. When dialing a DSN number from a United States installation to another United States installation, it is unnecessary to dial the DSN 312 area code. When dialing a DSN number to/from overseas locations, the DSN area code must be included. The operator can be reached at commercial (719) 567-1110. Please note that long distance charges may be incurred.
As of 01 Oct 09 it is illegal to text and operate a motor vehicle in Maryland.
Aberdeen Proving Ground was established in 1917 as an answer to an immediate need for national defense. The United States Army was not fully prepared to meet its new obligations as a consequence of America's declaration of war on the Central Powers in April 1917.
One of the urgent issues was to obtain facilities for testing war munitions.
Due to its proximity to New York’s populated suburbs and busy harbor, the then-Sandy Hook Proving Ground at Fort Hancock, N.J., was unable to expand to test all incoming war materiel.
As demands for munitions to fight the war in Europe increased, the Ordnance Department's need to obtain test facilities for munitions and equipment became urgent.
Secretary of War Newton D. Baker commissioned Sandy Hook’s commanding officer, Col. Colden L. Ruggles, to find a new site for the Army's ordnance testing.
The qualifications for the new site were specific. It had to be near the nation's industrial and manufacturing centers, yet far enough away from population centers so year-round testing would cause neither community disturbance nor public hazard.
Ruggles' search took him to the Chesapeake Bay area.
He first considered Kent Island, on Maryland's Eastern Shore, but encountered so much opposition from the inhabitants that he quickly abandoned the idea. Influenced by Maj. Edward V. Stockham, who lived in Perryman, Ruggles then shifted his attention to an area along the western shore of the Chesapeake Bay near the city of Aberdeen.
The site was fertile farming area, partly located along the Chesapeake Bay and the lower Susquehanna River, which had been explored and mapped by Captain John Smith and company from the Jamestown settlement in Virginia in 1608. The entire area was included in a land grant that King Charles I of England gave to Lord Baltimore in 1632.
Tomatoes, wheat, and a sugar corn called "shoepeg," which could not be cultivated successfully anywhere else in the country, were the area's specialties. The canning industry produced more than 300,000 cases of shoepeg corn and tomatoes worth $1.5 million annually; the area's fishing industry had an estimated yield of approximately $700,000.
Understandably, the farmers were reluctant to part with their farms, many of which—Poverty Island, Planter's Delight, Shandy Hall, and Swamp Quarter—had belonged to their families for generations.
It took an act of Congress and two presidential proclamations to persuade the farmers to leave their property. The Congressional act provided financial compensation for the 35,000 acres of upland and 34,000 acres of swamp and tidal lands which President Wilson's proclamation claimed for the U.S. government.
The farmers received approximately $200 an acre for their land and were assisted in resettling in other parts of Maryland.
Approximately 3,000 people, 12,000 horses, mules, sheep, cows, and swine evacuated. Even the family graveyards were moved.
The government took formal possession of the land at Aberdeen on Oct. 20, 1917, and immediately began building testing facilities.
The new proving ground at Aberdeen would be used for proof-testing field artillery weapons, ammunition, trench mortars, air defense guns and railway artillery. The mission was later expanded to include operation of an Ordnance training school and developmental testing of small arms.
On Jan. 2, 1918, during a blinding snowstorm, Edward V. Stockham fired the first gun at Aberdeen Proving Ground. Despite the snow, within two hours, the regular work of ammunition acceptance testing was underway.
The assigned workload increased very quickly and on March 28, 1918, the Ordnance Department reorganized the proving ground. Four departments were set up to facilitate testing: Proof, Service, Administration and Military. However, just as the newly reorganized APG was effectively performing its wartime testing missions, the war came to an end on Nov. 11, 1918.
The administration building, or post headquarters Bldg. 310, was designed as APG's primary administration building during the fall of 1917. The high-style classical revival south wing of the building, with its imposing portico, came to symbolize APG's importance to the U.S. Army. Bldg. 310 served as post headquarters from its completion in 1918 until 1995, as APG evolved from a proving ground to one of the Army's major ordnance research and development centers to meet military needs during the 20th century.
APG's peacetime mission emphasized research and development of munitions. Much of the work done during this period by the military and civilian personnel was in developmental testing of powders, projectiles and bombs, and the study of interior and exterior ballistics.
Some construction continued in the years immediately after the war, but it was limited to facilities that were necessary for conducting tests.
In 1923, two major construction projects were completed. A new hospital, Bldg. 45 on the small golf course, was erected. At the same time an airfield, hangar and quarters for an aviation squadron were created.
The airfield was used by aircraft that supported the creation of bombing tables. The techniques these tables provided improved the adequacy of aerial bombing. Phillips Army Air Field was named in memory of 1st Lt. Wendell K. Phillips, who was killed in an aircraft accident at Aberdeen. The original airfield is now a portion of the industrial area.
A number of new and diverse activities were assigned to APG during the 1930s. Some of this activity was generated by the $2 million authorized in 1933 by President Franklin D. Roosevelt for construction of barracks, roads and test facilities.
Several of these new or intensified activities lead to an increasing importance of APG's products to the Army's mission accomplishment.
One of these areas was the Ordnance Museum. Begun in the years immediately following the World War, with artifacts shipped from France, the museum became increasingly important and as a source of foreign and domestic technical Ordnance intelligence.
The Ordnance Specialist School for enlisted personnel was transferred from Raritan Arsenal, N.J, in 1931.
A separate Research Division was formed in 1935, and four years later plans were approved for a special building to house a new organization called the Ballistic Research Laboratory. Bldg. 328 was completed in 1941 and provided the facilities to conduct research and experimentation in ballistics and fire control.
By the time the United States went to war in 1941, the need for testing facilities had grown so much that the government was forced to acquire additional acreage for APG. Seven thousand acres, which extended APG almost into the city limits of Aberdeen, were added in 1942, as were 1,800 acres when Spesutie Island was acquired in 1945.
During the war, personnel grew to a peak strength of 27,185 military and 5,479 civilians as all fields of research, development, and training expanded and facilities were increased to meet the heavy workload of wartime.
Work at the Ballistic Research Laboratory was expanded and achieved increasing prominence in the nation's scientific community. The automotive and armor testing activities were greatly enlarged, and the antiaircraft gun testing mission was expanded.
A new airfield, capable of accommodating the larger aircraft being used for bomb testing, was constructed and the Phillips name was maintained.
Even the Ordnance Museum contributed to the war effort. Eighty-five percent of its holdings were given to the scrap drive, and the remainder of the collection was used for technical intelligence studies.
APG's technological contributions to the war effort include the world's first digital computer (the Electronic Numerical Integrator and Calculator or ENIAC), the first man-portable antitank weapons system (the Bazooka) and the first system-wide practical applications of Statistical Quality Control. These sophisticated theories were devised by Bell Laboratories and were first applied through Ordnance materiel procurement contracts in World War II.
A sociological change of significant proportions, which was shared with industry, was APG’s large-scale introduction of women in the workforce in non-traditional roles.
When the war ended in 1945, APG again reverted to its peacetime role of research and development. But the Korean conflict of 1950 reactivated many wartime activities.
Testing of materiel continued as did facility construction.
The Ordnance Replacement Training Center, which had been closed on Feb. 14, 1947, was reactivated Sept. 7, 1950. Because of the heavy Ordnance training responsibility, the Ordnance Training Command was established at Aberdeen on Oct. 13, 1950, and was assigned responsibility for training all Ordnance troop units. The Ordnance School and the newly activated Replacement Training Center were both made subordinate to the Ordnance Training Command.
During the 1950s and early 1960s, many technological advances were incorporated into the weapons research performed at APG. This was especially true of the Ballistic Research Laboratory, which began to integrate work in electronic computers, space study and satellite tracking.
Climatic testing also took on added significance and APG personnel performed these specialized tests at Yuma, Ariz., and Fort Churchill, Manitoba, Canada. These severe environmental tests were identified as "safari" type actions.
The continued dependence on science and technology to help produce better weapons led to the establishment in 1952 of the Human Engineering Laboratory, another APG tenant activity.
In 1962, as a result of a reorganization, the Army set out to centralize all of the then existing testing assets in a new environment. That new center of excellence was established at APG and was identified as the U.S. Army Test and Evaluation Command (TECOM).
TECOM Headquarters was organized to manage and control 10 test installations and activities which ranged in location from the east coast to the western desert of Yuma, Ariz., and from Alaska to Panama.
The late 1960s also brought about the development of the Decision Information Distribution System (DIDS), created by the Office of Civil Defense in the Department of the Army to deliver warnings to the public in the event of an enemy nuclear attack.
The DIDS complex was engineered to meet specific criteria of survivability with a high level of automation to avoid the potential for human error.
The design and construction of the DIDS illustrated the U.S. official response to the Cold War, embodied our national preoccupation with nuclear deterrence, and reflected the governmental stance toward civil defense and the appropriateness of alerting the population to incoming nuclear attack.
During the period of conflict in Southeast Asia, APG reentered a period of intense growth and new direction.
The recreation of the Ordnance Officer Candidate School (OCS) took place and the unusual contributions of the Land Warfare Laboratory increased.
The intensive developmental efforts and scientific contributions of the Ballistic Research Laboratory, the Army Materiel Systems Analysis Activity and the Human Engineering Laboratory made the decade of the 1960s and 1970s an extraordinary time in APG's history.
The Ordnance Center and School's contributions included three-shifts-a-day training at the height of the conflict.
A significant change was made on July 1, 1971, when Edgewood Arsenal, the former chemical center and current chemical research and engineering center for the U.S. Army, was merged into APG. Although the mission functions remained separate entities, the real estate and base operations functions were operated as one post. From this point on, APG was the common identifier for both areas.
In 1985, the Commanding General of TECOM assumed the additional position as APG Commander.
Also a part of that mid-1980s proving ground reorganization was the establishment of the Aberdeen Proving Ground Support Activity (now U.S. Army Garrison Aberdeen Proving Ground), which handles base operations for the entire installation and is headed by the garrison commander, and the creation of the Combat Systems Test Activity (CSTA), which had been known as Materiel Test Directorate (MTD), now Aberdeen Test Center. The Army's chemical demilitarization program was activated at APG in 1986.
Partly because of the 1988-1989 trial and conviction of three senior Chemical Research, Development, and Engineering Center (CRDEC) employees on charges of not complying with federal environmental laws, environmental awareness increased at APG. Millions of dollars annually go into cleaning up, restoring and preserving the natural beauty of Aberdeen Proving Ground.
By the end of the 1980s, APG's workforce had grown to more than 14,000 military and civilian employees, making it the largest single employer in Harford County, Md.
As the 1990's began, much had changed in the Army, the nation and the world with the end of the Cold War. APG participated in Operation Desert Shield/Desert Storm (ODS). All elements of the proving ground helped test and field equipment, and mobilize and train Soldiers for the war in the Persian Gulf.
Throughout the 1990s, changes continued to be made on APG.
In 1992, LABCOM re-designated Army Research Laboratory (ARL), which was headquartered at Adelphi, Md. BRL became Weapons and Materials Research Directorate, and HEL became the Human Research and Engineering Directorate.
In 1994, the mission for storage of chemical agent and munitions at APG was transferred from TECOM to CBDCOM, a new commissary was completed, the 389th Army Band (AMC's Own) was assigned to APG, and the Officer's Club (Bldg. 30) was renamed Top of the Bay.
CTSA became Aberdeen Test Center (ATC) in 1995, the same year that post headquarters moved from Bldg. 310 to Bldg. 305.
In 1997, ARL's Rodman Building was completed and the Army Aberdeen Acquisition Center (AAC) was established from procurement functions of CBDCOM and TECOM.
In 1998, AAC was renamed Army Materiel Command Acquisition Center (AMCAC).
The U.S. Army Soldier and Biological Chemical Command (SBCCOM) was assigned operational control of the garrison, APG and the 389th Army Band in 1999, and control of the garrison and APG was transferred to SBCCOM on Oct. 1.
Further changes were made as we entered the new millennium, including the renaming of AMCAC to Robert Morris Acquisition Center (RMAC) in 2000.
Following the events of September 11, 2001, APG North again mobilized for the Global War on Terrorism throughout the rest of the decade. Testing vehicles against improvised explosive devices became a critically important new mission.
The Installation Management Agency (IMA) was established in 2002, under which the garrison would fall. The APG garrison was realigned under a new, off-post organization eventually designated the Installation Management Command (IMCOM).
In 2004, the U.S. Army Research, Development and Engineering Command (RDECOM) was created to include ARL, AMSAA, ECBC, and RMAC (RDECOM Acquisition Center).
In 2005 the Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) Commission report was signed into law, which meant APG would lose and gain new tenants.
Fort Monmouth, N.J, was designated for closure and the movement and consolidation of the Command, Control, Computers, Intelligence, and Reconnaissance (C4ISR) organizations from Fort Monmouth, Ft. Belvoir, Va., Redstone Arsenal, Ala., and Fort Huachuca, Ariz., resulted in the construction of large new research facilities throughout APG North. The first of these new buildings became operational in 2010.
Other organizations moving to APG include: Army Test and Evaluation Command (ATEC) from Alexandria, Va.; the Non-Medical Chemical and Biological Defense from Brooks City Base, Texas; the Defense Threat Reduction Agency from Fort Belvoir, Va.; Walter Reed Army Institute of Research from Forest Glen Annex, Md.; the Army Research Institute from Fort. Knox, Ky.; the U.S. Army Research Laboratory Vehicle Technology Directorate from Glenn, Ohio; and Langley, Va.
While the post gained new organizations and approximately 8,500 new positions under BRAC, it also lost several long time organizations including U.S. Army Ordnance Center and School and the Army Environmental Command.
The Ordnance Center and School began moving in 2010 to Fort Lee, Va. This move resulted in the Ordnance Museum also closing and joining the school. The Ordnance School headquarters was taken over by the Research, Development and Engineering Command (RDECOM) moving from APG South, and the Army Environmental Command relocated to Fort Sam Houston, Texas.
In 2011, the 143rd Ordnance Battalion was officially discontinued and ceremonies were held for both its discontinuation and also for the completion of BRAC. Also in 2011, the rear of Building 310 was removed, leaving just the front wing, and the New Army Test and Evaluation Command (ATEC) headquarters was completed.
All BRAC 2005 changes were finalized in September of 2011.
Because of the expanding number of families on APG, the new complex of Bayside Village housing was completed in 2012.
APG missions have constantly evolved to keep pace with the growing technology of war. APG has supported military technologies through two world wars, the Korean War, the decades of Cold War, Vietnam Conflict and the Persian Gulf War.
By combining Edgewood Arsenal with APG in July 1971, this created the most diversified military installation in the nation. Today, as a result of the merger, the installation is home to an ever-expanding list of major commands.
Today Aberdeen Proving Ground is recognized as one of the world's most important research and development, testing and evaluation facilities for military weapons and equipment, and supports the finest teams of military and civilian scientists, research engineers, technicians and administrators.
APG is the Defense Department's Center for Excellence for land combat systems, vehicles, Soldier systems and chemical and biological defense.
With BRAC 2005 and programs such as the Enhanced Use Lease, which allows private industry to lease APG real estate in exchange for services-in-kind or projects deemed necessary by the garrison, APG continues to transition into a highly technical RDTE (research, development, test and evaluation) installation for military weapons and equipment.
Test and support facilities allow instrumented firing of weapons on a variety of state-of-the-art ranges, testing of tanks and other tracked vehicles over specifically engineered courses, and a wide variety of laboratory-type investigations. Newly designed weapons and other combat material are put through the most grueling field and laboratory workouts conceivable.
Today, Team APG continues to advance the techniques and equipment of tomorrow’s weapons into today’s tasks.
From the earliest concepts of a requirement, through research, and on into development and proofing, APG no longer devotes its attention exclusively to ordnance items, but tests and proofs all Army materials with which our soldiers defend this nation and the free world.
Despite the many reorganizations and name changes since 1917, the mission of APG has remained basically the same: to provide the best equipment and support in the world for the United States Warfighter.
Harford County: 250,025
More than 19,500 civilians work at Aberdeen Proving Ground, and more than 1,000 military personnel are assigned there. In addition, there are nearly 3,000 contractors and private business employees working on the proving ground. There are 1,148 military family members living on the post and another 155 off post. The post supports more than 16,000 military retirees and retiree family members.
Aberdeen convenient location on I-95 corridor has made it one of Harford County's fastest growing communities and created high demand for business and tourist activity. Located in southern Harford County, Aberdeen is a diverse municipality successfully balancing a booming technology sector with the warmth of small town flavor. A unique hometown energy is generated here by the synergy of high-tech companies, like Battelle and APG, partnering with family oriented communities to build handsome neighborhoods, advanced educational environments, like the HEAT Center, and exciting leisure activities, including the Cal Ripken Stadium. Aberdeen is not a military town. Harford County's prime location, highly skilled workforce, business-friendly environment and quality of life offer the ultimate setting for growing businesses and families. Aberdeen affords a low cost of living. Strategically located between New York and Washington, D.C., the City of Aberdeen is situated on both Interstate 95 and U.S. Route 40.
Aberdeen is not only a great business community, it is also a great place to live, offering gracious amenities and picturesque landscapes that enrich the quality of life. Just off Maryland's beautiful Chesapeake Bay, the Aberdeen area features family- oriented communities, beautiful neighborhoods, and many exciting leisure activities that compliment the relaxed Chesapeake Bay Lifestyle. Aberdeen has excellent schools, an array of entertainment options and sports facilities, 140 miles of scenic shoreline, 6,600 acres of state parks, and close proximity to Baltimore, Philadelphia, and Washington, D.C. The base operator's phone number is 410-278-5201.
Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport (BWI) is the closest airport to Aberdeen Proving Ground. Other servicing airports are: Washington Dulles International Airport located in Dulles, Virginia and Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport located in Washinghton, D.C. Maryland has 8 airlines that service the area, American, Continental, Delta, Jet Blue, Northwest, Southwest, United, and US Airways. To find out more about BWI visit their website.
Traveling North -- Leave the highway at Aberdeen Interchange (85), turn right onto State Route 22 East (Aberdeen Thruway) and proceed to the Aberdeen Proving Ground (Harford RD.) Military Police Gate. (Approximate. 3 miles)
This gate is closed at 8 p.m. If you are traveling after 8 p.m., from Route 22 turn off ramp at US Route 40 west, stay on the left merge onto US Route 40 west. Proceed on Route 40 west, until you see Exit 715 on your right proceed onto the ramp until you come to the Aberdeen Proving Ground Military Police Gate.
Taxi services are readily available but they can be costly. A taxi from BWI could cost anywhere between $69 to $85. In addition, rental cars maybe acquired at the airport but are found to be costly too.
MARC Train service operates on Monday through Friday only, servicing: Washington Union Station; New Carrollton, Seabrook, Bowie State, Odenton, BWI Rail Station, Halethorpe, West Baltimore, Baltimore/Penn Station Martin Airport, Edgewood, Aberdeen & Perryville. Penn Line. To print a schedule in the same format as the MARC Penn Line brochure, please select the .PDF version. Please check the schedule for Holiday & Inclement Weather service. For additional information, please call 866-743-3682/410-539-5000.
Commercial Bus Transportation (MTA Local Bus)
The MTA operates nearly 50 Local Bus lines throughout Central Maryland. Many Local Bus lines connect with Light Rail, Metro Subway and MARC Train service. When riding MTA Local Bus service, pay the fare as you board. Exact fare is required. For individual Local Bus routes and schedule information, call the MTA Information Line at 410-539-5000 or 1-866-RIDE-MTA (743-3682). The Maryland Transportation Authority (MTA) bus terminal is located at 120 S. Weber Street. For fare information, call the MTA terminal at 719-635-1505.
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What do you do when you get to the Installation Gate
Aberdeen Proving Ground is a 'closed' post. All persons entering on the installation will need proper identification. There is a 100% vehicle check on vehicles entering Aberdeen Proving Ground. All visitors without vehicle identification or proper military identification cards will be denied access to the installation. First time visitors should report to the Visitors Control Center located at the 715 Gate located at the Route 40 entrance. A military identification card or military sponsorship is required. In addition, a valid driver's license, vehicle registration and proof of insurance are required at time of sign-in.
There is currently no on-post transportation.
410-278-5201 - automated only