For easy calculations to compare the cost of living from your location to the differences here in Patuxent River visit the Office of Financial Readiness PFM Tool List for a list of Cost of Living Calculators.
24 Hour Access Gate Designation
Please Note: Gate 1 is the 24 hour access gate for those arriving after normal duty hours.
Maryland Cell Phone Law
Maryland drivers are prohibited from using a cell phone without a hands free device while operating a motor vehicle in motion. Cell phone usage is a primary violation and drivers will be stopped and cited. 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. Maryland also prohibits 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.
There are no commercial bus, railroad or air services in the immediate area that connect to the DC Metro Area. If you are flying in, you will land in the Washington D.C. area or in Baltimore (all airports are at least 1.5 hours from the base). You may wish to contact your command and/or sponsor for a possible pick-up. Taxi service to NAS Patuxent River from any of the DC Metro area airports will cost approximately $150 or more, depending upon the size of the vehicle or the number of individuals being transported. Sponsor or Command pickup is highly encouraged.
There are also several local shuttle services that will take you to and from Union Station (AMTRAK) and all the area airports; Dulles, Baltimore/Washington International (BWI) and Ronald Reagan National. This does not mean they will transport you to the installation! Be sure to check the credentials of any taxi or shuttle service to insure they are a licensed and legal transportation company.
Saint Mary's County Department of Public Works and Transportation offers local bus transportation throughout the county. For an updated listing of routes, maps, schedules and fees please visit: https://www.stmarysmd.com/dpw/STSfares.asp
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.
NDW Wide Area Alert Network (WAAN)
The NDW Wide Area Alert Network (WAAN) is one of the principal tools the Region Commander and installation commanding officers utilize to alert the workforce to destructive weather hazards, emergencies, severe traffic conditions, force protection condition (FPCON) changes, etc., both during and after working hours. The automated telephone notification system (ATNS), one of four sub-systems of the WAAN, enables registered users to receive telephonic, email, and text alerts on devices they designate. Personally identifiable information the user provides is safeguarded. Once registered, a user can update their profile at any time. (Note: the ATNS is a different WAAN sub-system than the one that is CAC-enabled and generates desktop pop-up alerts.)Personnel are not automatically registered in the NDW WAAN, but must individually self-register. Because the NDW WAAN uses the NMCI domain, only NMCI account users are currently able to self-register. Self-registration is easily done with a Common Access Card (CAC) on a NMCI computer/laptop, using the AtHoc Self-service Client application. To register, or to update an AtHoc profile, the NMCI user needs to log-in from a NMCI computer with the AtHoc Self-service Client application loaded to it.
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 expansion of the armed forces during World War II brought major changes to naval aviation’s infrastructure. The test and evaluation facilities at NAS Anacostia quickly became inadequate due to the growing complexity, size and number of aircraft, in addition to the area’s swelling population. A new location became essential. It was to be in the general Washington, D.C. area but large enough and sufficiently isolated, to allow for exhaustive aircraft test and evaluation. A site at Cedar Point, Md., was identified, and on April 1, 1943, it was commissioned as Naval Air Station Patuxent River.
The Pax River Story: Station Built to Centralize Facilities
Naval Air Station Patuxent River was built to centralize widely dispersed air testing facilities established during the pre-World War II years. Spurred by events of World War II, the consolidation effort was swift, and the farms at Cedar Point, Md., were replaced by flight test operations within a year after ground was broken in 1942. During the commissioning ceremony April 1, 1943, Rear Adm. John S. McCain, then chief of the Navy’s Bureau of Aeronautics, called NAS Patuxent River “the most needed station” in the Navy. By mid-August 1943, flight test, radio test, aircraft armament and the aircraft experimental and development squadrons were in place at Pax River. By the end of 1944, the station had formed the service test, electronics test, flight test and tactical test divisions.
Test and Support Functions Divided
The Naval Air Test Center was established as a separate entity on June 16, 1945, organizationally dividing the test and support functions. During World War II, hundreds of combat experienced pilots arrived at Pax River to test airplanes. The evolution of the Navy test pilot began with rainy day discussions between seasoned veterans and aeronautical engineers. Formalized classroom instruction began in 1948 with the establishment of a Test Pilot Training Division. The test pilots not only flew the proliferation of U.S airplanes built for the war effort, but were given opportunities to examine enemy aircraft as well. Captured airplanes such as a German Focke-Wulf 190 and Doring DO 335A and Japanese Kate and Tony were test-flown, with findings on their vulnerabilities passed on to fleet pilots.
Pax River’s History Is Studded With Milestones
Radar fire control, radar tracking, airfield lighting and instrument landing techniques were developed and refined at NAS Patuxent River. The first U.S. all jet-powered airplane, the XP-59A, was flight tested here in 1944. The FR-1 Fireball, a carrier-based fighter which combined a conventional engine and a General Electric jet engine, and the FD-1 Phantom, the first Navy all-jet airplane to operate from a carrier, were tested at Pax River in 1945-1946. The first U.S. test of the adaptability of jet aircraft to shipboard operations was conducted by the Naval Air Test Center in 1946 when Lt. Cmdr. James Davidson flew a Phantom aboard USS Franklin D. Roosevelt. Test pilots were exposed to ejection seats in 1949, barrier engagements in 1951 and a simulated angled deck aboard USS Midway in 1952.
’50s-’60s See Test Programs Expand
The Korean War, from 1950 to 1953, intensified efforts at Pax River. The air station was faced with developing jet aircraft and at the same time improving existing conventional weapons for the war effort. The challenge grew as jet aircraft routinely eclipsed the speed of sound and airplane cannons were supplemented with guided missiles. Several airborne early warning squadrons operated from Pax River in the 1950s. Among them were VW-2, VW-11 and VW-15. The squadrons patrolled the Atlantic Ocean along the DEW (Distant Early Warning) line until their disestablishment in the 1960s. NATC’s increased responsibility for development as well as pure testing was acknowledged as early as 1951. Rapidly advancing technology forced changes in test techniques and in the organizational structure.
In 1953, the Tactical Test Division was merged with the Service Test Division. The Weapons Systems Test Division was established in 1960 through the consolidation of the Armament Test and Electronics Test divisions. This nation’s great space adventure started with the selection of the original seven astronauts in 1959. Four of the seven were TPS graduates. In 1961, former Navy test pilot Alan Shepard became the first American in space. A year later, three test pilots from Pax River became the first Americans to orbit the earth.
Hostilities in Southeast Asia in the 1960s brought a sense of urgency to test programs at Pax River, particularly those dealing with ordnance. The unorthodox nature of the action in Vietnam turned the focus at Pax River from technological advancements to further refinement of more conventional weapons.
Anti-Submarine Warfare Buildup
At the same time, a buildup of fleet antisubmarine warfare squadrons was taking place at Pax. River Patrol Squadrons 8, 24, 44, 49 and 56 formed Fleet Air Patuxent and later Fleet Air Wing Five. A detachment from VP-30 was formed at Pax River in 1962; when the detachment was disestablished in 1966, VP-30 was relocated to the air station from Jacksonville, Fla. Oceanographic Development Squadron Eight, then known as the Oceanographic Air Survey Unit, was home-ported here in 1965, and Fleet Air Reconnaissance Squadron Four was established here in 1968 from a Take Charge and Move Out (TACAMO) detachment left behind by Naval Air Transport Squadron One when that unit moved to Norfolk, Va. Three divisions of the test center, Flight Test, Service Test and Weapons Systems Test, gave up assets to enable the Technical Support Division to form in 1967. Automation of NATC’s data processing brought the Computer Services Division on line in 1968. In the 1970s the ASW squadrons began leaving Pax River for NAS Brunswick, Maine, and NAS Jacksonville, Fla. VP-30 was the last to go in 1975. Helping offset the squadron departures, Air Test and Evaluation Squadron One moved here from Key West, Fla., in 1973 and the Naval Aviation Logistics Center was formed in 1977.
Principal Site Testing Built
A sweeping reorganization took place in 1975, preparing NATC for its role as the Naval Air Systems Command’s principal site for development testing. Under the plan, Flight Test, Service Test and Weapons Systems Test divisions were disestablished and new directorates were formed to evaluate aircraft by type and mission. The new NATC was comprised of Strike Aircraft, Antisubmarine Aircraft, Rotary Wing Aircraft and Systems Engineering test directorates. The Computer Services and Technical Support directorates and the U.S. Naval Test Pilot School remained intact. Reliability and maintainability became the watchwords in the acquisition process and NATC adopted a reliability-by-design philosophy. Computers were having a profound effect on airplanes and their systems, and testing by simulation as well as by flight was becoming an economic necessity. A major upgrading of test facilities began in the late 1970s with some of the largest construction appropriations in the history of the base. Reflecting changes spurred by this technological growth, the 1980s saw the Computer Services Directorate become the Computer Sciences Directorate, the Technical Support Directorate become the Range Directorate and the Antisubmarine Aircraft Test Directorate become the Force Warfare Aircraft Test Directorate.
Navy Realignment Brings NAWCAD
In 1991, the Navy began consolidating its technical capabilities to improve its products and services, resulting in the creation of four large warfare centers. One of these, the Naval Air Warfare Center, located in Washington, D.C., has integrated sites and capabilities to improve services to the fleet and sponsors. NAWC streamlined its resources into two divisions: the Aircraft Division located at Pax River and the Weapons Division at China Lake, Calif.
The standup of the NAWC Aircraft Division at Pax River took place Jan. 1, 1992; thus beginning its role as the Navy’s full spectrum research, development, test and evaluation, engineering and fleet support center for air platforms. NAWCAD integrated the Naval Air Test Center along with the Naval Air Development Center, Warminster, Pa.; Naval Air Engineering Center, Lakehurst, N.J.; Naval Air Propulsion Center, Trenton, N.J.; and the Naval Avionics Center, Indianapolis.
Since the early 90s, relocated employees from NAWCAD sites at Warminster, Pa., Trenton, N.J., and the Naval Air Systems Command Headquarters in Crystal City, Va., have called NAS Patuxent River home.
Pax River continues to evolve to meet the needs of its employees and mission requirements for today and the future with millions of dollars invested in construction and improvements around the air station. Major plant improvements have been made and new state-of-the-art laboratories have been added during the last two decades. Such new additions as the Manned Flight Simulator, the Aircraft Anechoic Test Facility, the Air Combat Environment Test and Evaluation Facility, the Aircraft Test and Evaluation Facility, the Capt. Steven A. Hazelrigg Flight Test Facility, the U.S. Naval Test Pilot School academic building and an Aviation Survival Training Center pool facility and a new Air Traffic Control Tower have significantly improved aviation safety and enhanced simulation capabilities. A $15 million renovation project for Hangar 110, one of the most recognizable structures at the base, was completed in 2013 which extends the life and serviceability of this history facility.
Also in 2013, a newly constructed $13.1 million Child Development Center (CDC) opened its doors. At 38,000 square feet, this CDC is one of the largest in the Navy and increases the support of the military and civilian workforce at the air station by offering the space to care for more children on base.
Looking to the increased reliance on unmanned aircraft, construction of a new facility to support the Triton program was completed July 2013 - the first of its kind. At over 70,000 square feet, the $33 million hangar now houses three MQ-4C Tritons that are currently undergoing tests and evaluation to ensure the unmanned asset will meet the Navy's specifications, bringing the UAS one step closer to the fleet.
In the coming years, the air station's airfield, known as Trapnell Field, will undergo a multi-million dollar facelift to rehabilitate runway pavements as well as support infrastructure and facilities. Additionally, the project will repair the airfield's electrical infrastructure.
Also on the horizon is a $40 million construction project for a 110,000-square-foot, multi-story facility to house unaccompanied junior enlisted service members. This modern, market-style apartment complex will boast modules comprising sleeping and living areas, a kitchen, bathrooms, closets and in-module laundry facilities.
St. Mary's County, Maryland Population July 2022. St. Mary's County, Maryland's estimated population is 114,877, according to the most recent United States census data. U.S. Census Bureau QuickFacts: St. Mary's County, Maryland
The Navy is the largest employer in the community with approximately 20,000 employed on the station. This includes roughly 2,400 active duty, 9,100 federal employees, 9,500 defense contractors, 420 non-appropriated-fund employees, and 4,500 family members.
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. The base operator's phone number is 301-342-3000.
There are no airports in the immediate vicinity of NAS Patuxent River. There are, however, 3 major airports in the Washington, DC Metro area. These are Dulles International (IAD) in Dulles,Virginia; Baltimore-Washington International (BWI); and Ronald Reagan National Airport (DCA) in Arlington, Va.
Washington Dulles International (IAD)
Drive East on Saarinen Circle for 13.0 miles, then merge onto VA-267 E (Dulles Toll Rd) (toll required for some segments) for 0.9 miles. Take Exit 18 (I-495, Baltimore, Richmond) on the right, and drive for 29.2 miles. Take Exit 11A (MD-4 SOUTH/EAST, Pennsylvania Av, Upper Marlboro) on the right, and continue onto MD-4 S (Pennsylvania Av). Drive south on MD-4 for approximately 49.5 miles. Continue through Prince Frederick and over the Governor Thomas Johnson Bridge. Go to the traffic light at the intersection of Routes 4 and 235 and turn left onto Route 235. Gate 1 is on the left at the intersection of Route 235 and Pegg Road. Gate 2 is on the left at the intersection of Route 235 and Great Mills Road (Route 246). Both intersections have a stop light.
From Ronald Reagan National Airport (DCA)
Take Route 1 south to I-95 toward Baltimore. Go about 4 miles to Route 210 south toward Indian Head. Go 10 miles to Route 228 and turn left toward Waldorf. Go 6 miles, cross Route 301, and keep straight onto Route 5 south. Route 5 will become Route 235 as you continue straight. Continue on Route 235 to Lexington Park. Gate 1 is on the left at the intersection of Route 235 and Pegg Road. Gate 2 is on the left at the intersection of Route 235 and Great Mills Road (Route 246). Both intersections have a stop light.
From Baltimore/Washington International Airport (BWI)
Take I-97 south to Route 3 south. Route 3 will become Route 301 south. From 301 south exit to Route 4 south. Continue through Prince Frederick and over the Governor Thomas Johnson Bridge. Go to the traffic light at the intersection of Routes 4 and 235 and turn left onto Route 235. Gate 1 is on the left at the intersection of Route 235 and Pegg Road. Gate 2 is on the left at the intersection of Route 235 and Great Mills Road (Route 246). Both intersections have a stop light.
From Route 301 or I-95 (3 Options)
Route 234 South off of Route 301
Go about 20 miles to intersection of Route 5 south - make a right. Continue straight about 15 miles to Great Mills Road (Route 246, light) and turn left. Go approximately four miles and Gate 2 is at the end of Great Mills Road. For Gate 1 turn north on Route 235 and Gate 1 is on the right at the intersection of Pegg Road and Route 235.
Route 4 South from Route 301 or I-95
Go about 45 miles from Route 301 (8 miles further from I-95), across the Governor Thomas Johnson Bridge to Route 235. Turn left onto Route 235 and go about 5 miles. Gate 1 is on the left at the intersection of Route 235 and Pegg Road. Gate 2 is on the left at the intersection of Route 235 and Great Mills Road (Route 246).
Route 5 South from Route 301 or I-95
Go to Waldorf where Route 5 will turn left going toward Lexington Park. When Route 5 turns right (about 20 miles from Waldorf), continue straight on Route 235. Gate 1 is on the left at the intersection of Route 235 and Pegg Road. Gate 2 is on the left at the intersection of Route 235 and Great Mills Road (Route 246). Both intersections have a stop light and are clearly identified by street signs.
After entering Gate 1, continue straight to Cedar Point Road (at the third traffic light). Turn left to Building 409, your check in spot, which is on the right at the intersection of Cedar Point Road and Tate Road. After entering Gate 2, continue straight on Cedar Point Road to Building 409 (approximately a mile down on the right just before the second light). In Building 409, you will check in at the Command Duty Office.
Naval Air Station Base Taxi Service was suspended as of 18 March 2013 as directed by Commander, Navy Installation Command, as a result of the ongoing budget constraints.
301-342-3000 (Fully Automated System)