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Fort Belvoir

A list of organizations at Fort Belvoir reads like a "Who's Who" in the Department of Defense. No other Army installation in the world can compare with out diverse, modern-day mission of providing logistical and administrative support to over 120 diverse tenant and satellite organizations. Fort Belvoir is home to Army major command headquarters, units and agencies of nine different Army major commands, 16 different agencies of the Department of the Army, eight elements of the U.S. Army Reserve and Army National Guard and nine DoD agencies. Also located here are a U.S. Navy construction battalion, a Marine Corps detachment, one U.S. Air Force unit and an agency of the Department of Treasury. Fort Belvoir gained the headquarters for the Defense Logistic Agency, Defense Technical Information Service, Defense Contract Audit Agency, Defense National Stockpile Center and the Defense Fuel Supply Center. All these agencies play important roles in Fort Belvoir's global mission to provide worldwide logistical and administrative support to all the armed services.

Fort Belvoir's history is interwoven with the birth of our nation, as well as the founding of Fairfax County, Va. Like most land in colonial America, the 8,656-acre tract along the Potomac River that is now Fort Belvoir was part of a grant from a 17th-century English king. The land was handed down through the Culpepper family to Thomas, the sixth Lord Fairfax, who, in 1734 persuaded his cousin, Col. William Fairfax, to come to Virginia and oversee the family's holdings. In 1741, Col. Fairfax built his home on 2,000 acres of what is now much of the South Post peninsula. The mansion sat on a high bluff overlooking the Potomac. Col. Fairfax named the estate Belvoir, which means "beautiful to see." One of Col. Fairfax's sons, George William, was friendly with young George Washington, who, at age 16, came to live with his half-brother at nearby Mount Vernon. George William and his wife, Sally Cary, made Belvoir a center of culture and aristocratic elegance in the Virginia wilderness, and they frequently entertained the wealthy landowners from the nearby plantations. Washington was a frequent guest at Belvoir. Col. Fairfax died in 1757, and he and his second wife, Deborah, are buried on the estate grounds. George William and Sally returned to England in 1773, and Belvoir was rented until 1783, when it was mostly destroyed by cannon fire in the War of 1812. The estate remained in private hands, though largely uninhabited, until 1910, when the District of Columbia purchased 1,500 acres for a proposed prison. Local citizens objected to the plan, and the land was transferred to the War Department in 1912.

In 1915, engineer troops from Washington Barracks, now Fort McNair, established Camp Belvoir as a rifle range and training camp. The name was changed to Camp A.A. Humphreys in 1917 when a major camp was constructed during an unusually bitter winter to train engineer replacements for World War I. The post was renamed Fort Humphreys in 1922 to indicate its permanent status, and became Fort Belvoir in 1935.

The outbreak of World War II in Europe in 1939 and Japanese expansion in Asia and the Pacific motivated the United States government to begin preparing for possible involvement in the expanding world conflict. To accommodate the influx of draftees after 1940, an additional 3,000 acres north of U.S. Route I were acquired to make room for the new Engineer Replacement Training Center (ERTC). One of the most innovative troop training strategies developed during World War II was the obstacle course. A Fort Belvoir invention, the course was designed to teach recruits how to handle themselves and their equipment in simulated field conditions. The massive influx of inductees at Fort Belvoir prompted a wave of temporary construction at the post during World War II. Housing was constructed for approximately 24,000 enlisted men and officers.

Following World War II, the engineer training role at Fort Belvoir waxed and waned according to wartime needs. In 1945, both the Engineer Replacement Training Center and the Engineer Officer Candidate School were phased out; however, both programs were reactivated in the1950s during the Korean Conflict, and again in the1960s with the Vietnam build-up. Both conflicts required a reassessment of the installation's training function and methods, and a revamping of its physical plant.

By 1950, many World War II temporary barracks had been adapted for other uses. When new enlistees and draftees arrived on the post, they had to be housed in six-man tents while the barracks buildings were reconverted back to their original function. The types of training offered also reflected shifts in warfare technology and philosophy; a Close Combat Range was installed on the peninsula south of the village of Accotink, and on North Post, a Chemical/Biological/RadiologicaI School was instituted. In general, emphasis at Fort Belvoir in the 1950s began shifting from training to research and development. Throughout the decade, the Engineer Research and Development Laboratories (ERDL) were involved in experimentation with a wide range of technical military applications. The laboratories developed and tested new techniques for electrical power generation; camouflage and deception; methods of handling materials and fuel; bridging; and mine detection. They experimented with portable map copying machines, fungicides for use in tropical environments, and heavy earth-moving equipment. The Castle reported on ERDUs development of prefabricated buildings for use in Arctic environments, and the subsequent testing of these structures in Greenland and Canada. During the 1960s, the primary focus of research at Fort Belvoir shifted to the development of Army vehicles.

Perhaps no structure on the post illustrates more graphically Fort Belvoir's research and development phase than the SM-1 (Stationary, Medium Power, First Prototype) Nuclear Plant. This facility was developed to generate electricity for commercial use, and to cut back the Department of Defense's dependency on fossil fuels. The SM-1 Plant, which represented the first national nuclear training facility for military personnel, became operational in 1957 and remained in operation until its decommissioning in 1973.

Fort Belvoir's mission expanded between 1950 and 1980. The post began playing host to a variety of organizations, including the DeWitt Hospital, the Defense Systems Management College (DSMC), and the Defense Mapping School (DMS). The DeWitt Hospital, constructed in 1957, provides regional healthcare services. DSMC, founded in 1971, is a graduate level institution that offers advanced courses of study in weapon systems acquisition management for both military personnel and civilians. DMS, a component of the Defense Mapping Agency, was established in 1972 to provide instruction in tactical mapping, land geodetic surveys, and cartographic drafting.

In 1988, the post was transferred from the Training and Doctrine Command to the Military District of Washington. Fort Belvoir remained the home of the Engineer School until 1988. Due to a shortage of land for training at Belvoir, the Engineer School relocated to Fort Leonard Wood in Missouri, thus ending the 76-year association between the Engineer School and Belvoir.

Although its role as an engineer training center diminished after the move, Fort Belvoir continued to fulfill an important and valuable role today. The 8,600-acre post is one of the larger installations in the Military District of Washington, which also includes Fort McNair, Fort Myer, Fort Meade, and Fort Richie. The post's present mission is to provide essential administrative and basic operations support to its tenant organizations.

Few other Army installations in the world can compare with the singular mission of providing both logistical and administrative support to 90 diverse tenant and satellite organizations that call this post "home." Fort Belvoir is now home to two Army major command headquarters, as well as 10 different Army major commands, 19 different agencies of the Department of Army, eitht elements of the U.S. Army Reserve and the Army National Guard, and 26 DoD agencies. Also located here are a U.S. Navy construction battalion, a Marine Corps detachment, a U.S. Air Force activity, and an agency from the Department of the Treasury.

Fort Belvoir houses tenants from all armed forces. To carry out this mission effectively, Fort Belvoir has evolved from a traditional military installation to a more broadly based community. Today, Fort Belvoir functions in many ways like a small city, with its own ordinances, land use plan, building codes, utilities, public parks, and academic institutions.

The post continues to grow as Army and other DoD activities relocate to Belvoir because of base realignment and closure actions, and others leave leased facilities in the region. A number of improvements are under consideration to accommodate the expected growth at Fort Belvoir. These include the construction of additional recreational, community support and base operations facilities. Several on-post road improvements are also underway. In the face of this development, Fort Belvoir approved a landmark plan to protect wildlife habitat on the post, adding 600 acres to the post's already 1,450 acres of forest, wetlands and shoreline that have been set aside for wildlife refuge. More than one-third of the installation's acreage has been preserved as a designated wildlife sanctuary. The Accotink Bay Wildlife Refuge was established in 1980 and includes over 1,300 acres of marsh and hardwood forest in the southwestern corner of the post, in an area formerly used for target ranges.

BRAC 2005


In its 2005 BRAC Recommendations, DoD recommended that Fort Belvoir, VA be realigned by relocating and consolidating Sensors, Electronics, and Electronic Warfare Research, Development and Acquisition activities to Aberdeen Proving Ground, MD, and by relocating and consolidating Information Systems Research and Development and Acquisition (except for the Program Executive Office, Enterprise Information Systems) to Aberdeen Proving Ground, MD. The recommendation would also realign the PM Acquisition, Logistics and Technology Enterprise Systems and Services (ALTESS) facility at 2511 Jefferson Davis Hwy, Arlington, VA, a leased installation, by relocating and consolidating into the Program Executive Office, Enterprise Information Systemsat Fort Belvoir, VA. The elements of the Program Executive Office for Enterprise Information Systems at Ft. Monmouth, NJ would be consolidated into the Program Executive Office, Enterprise Information Systems and relocated at Fort Belvoir, VA.

Assuming no economic recovery, this recommendation could result in a maximum potential reduction of 1,218 jobs (694 direct and 524 indirect jobs) over the 2006 - 2011 periods in the Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV Metropolitan Division (0.04 percent). When moving from Fort Monmouth to Fort Belvoir, DoD estimated that the following local area capabilities would improve: Employment and Medical Health. The following attributes would decline: Education and Safety. When moving from Fort Belvoir to Aberdeen, MD, DoD estimated that the following local area capabilities would improve: Cost of living and Education. The following attributes would decline: Employment, Safety and Transportation. Environmentally, an Air Conformity Analysis and a New Source Review and permitting effort would be required at Fort Belvoir. The extent of the cultural resources on Fort Belvoir would be uncertain. Additional operations at Fort Belvoir might further impact threatened/endangered species that could lead to additional restrictions on training or operations.

In another Recommendation, DoD would realign Federal Office Building 2, Arlington, VA, by relocating a Headquarters Command Center for the Missile Defense Agency to Fort Belvoir. This recommendation would meet several important Department of Defense objectives with regard to future use of leased space, rationalization of the Department's presence within 100 miles of the Pentagon, and enhanced security for DoD Activities. Additionally, the recommendation would result in a significant improvement in military value due to the shift from primarily leased space to locations on military installations. The military value of MDA based on its current portfolio of locations was 329 out of 334 entities evaluated by the Major Administration and Headquarters (MAH) military value model, and SMDC's headquarters was 299 out of 334. Fort Belvoir was ranked 57 out of 334. Implementation would reduce the Department's reliance on leased space which had historically higher overall costs than government-owned space and generally did not meet Anti-terrorism Force Protection standards as prescribed in UFC 04-010-01. The relocation of two activities to a military installation that is farther than 100 miles from the Pentagon would provide dispersion of DoD Activities away from a dense concentration within the National Capital Region. This, plus the immediate benefit of enhanced Force Protection afforded by a location within a military installation fence-line, would provide immediate compliance with Force Protection Standards. The vast majority of MDA's and SMDC's present leased locations were not compliant with current Force Protection Standards.

Assuming no economic recovery, this recommendation could result in a maximum potential reduction of 2,782 jobs (1,644 direct jobs and 1,138 indirect jobs) over the 2006-2011 period in the Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV Metropolitan Division (less than 0.1 percent). Environmentally, This recommendation might impact air quality at Fort Belvoir. An air conformity analysis and New Source Review would be required. A potential impact might occur to historic resources at Fort Belvoir since resources would have to be evaluated on a case-by-case basis, thereby causing increased delays and costs. Additional operations might further impact threatened/endangered species at Fort Belvoir, leading to additional restrictions on training or operations.

In another recommendation, DoD would realign Fort Belvoir, VA by relocating Army Materiel Command (AMC) and the Security Assistance Command (USASAC, an AMC major subordinate command) to Redstone Arsenal, AL. The Army Materiel Command (AMC) and the Security Assistance Command would relocate to Redstone Arsenal in order to collocate with one of AMC's major subordinate commands, the USA Aviation and Missile Command. The relocation of AMC and USASAC to Redstone Arsenal would result in the avoidance of future military construction costs; this future cost avoidance would not be reflected in the payback calculation because it was planned for post-FY05. This military construction would provide for a new headquarters building for AMC and USASAC on Fort Belvoir; the majority of AMC's current space on Fort Belvoir was in temporary structures. Assuming no economic recovery, this recommendation could result in a maximum potential reduction of 3,791 jobs (2,167 direct jobs and 1,624 indirect jobs) over the 2006-2011 period in the Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV Metropolitan Division (0.1 percent).

In another recommendation, DoD would close National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA) Dalecarlia and Sumner sites, Bethesda, MD; Reston 1, 2 and 3, leased installations in Reston, VA; Newington buildings 8510, 8520, and 8530, Newington, VA; and Building 213 a leased installation at the South East Federal Center, Washington, DC, relocating all functions to a new facility at Fort Belvoir. It would also realign the National Reconnaissance Office facility, Westfields, VA, by relocating all NGA functions to a new facility at the Fort Belvoir. DoD also recommended to consolidate all NGA National Geospatial-Intelligence College functions on Fort Belvoir into the new facility at Fort Belvoir. This recommendation would be a strategic consolidation of the personnel, equipment and functions of NGA's 22 legacy organizations into a new geospatial intelligence consolidated campus. It would consolidate multiple NGA National Capital Region-based intelligence community activities now occupying small, government facilities and privately-owned leased space, to a secure Department of Defense-owned location, reducing excess capacity and increasing overall military value. It would optimize mission efficiencies, improve readiness, and enhance mission partner coordination, while addressing Antiterrorism/Force Protection deficiencies. This recommendation would accommodate current and surge requirements and would be consistent with the 20-year Force Structure Plan.

The total estimated one-time cost to the Department of Defense to implement the recommendation would be $1,117.3M. The net of all costs and savings to the Department during the implementation period would be a cost of $796.7M. Annual recurring savings to the Department after implementation would be $127.7M with a payback expected in 8 years. The net present value of the costs and savings to the Department over 20 years would be a savings of $535.1M. This recommendation would have a moderate impact on air quality at Fort Belvoir. This recommendation would also have the potential to impact historic properties at Fort Belvoir. Additional operations at Fort Belvoir might further impact threatened and endangered species, leading to additional restrictions on training or operations. This recommendation would require spending approximately $1.7M for environmental compliance activities.

Another recommendation would also realign Fort Belvoir by relocating Defense Threat Reduction Agency National Command Region conventional armament Research to Eglin Air Force Base, FL. Eglin was one of three core integrated weapons and armaments RDAT&E centers (with China Lake, CA, and Redstone Arsenal, AL) with high MV and the largest concentration of integrated technical facilities across all three functional areas. Eglin AFB had a full spectrum array of Weapons & Armaments (W&A) Research, Development & Acquisition, and Test & Evaluation (RDAT&E) capabilities. The overall impact of this recommendation would be to: increase W&A life cycle and mission related synergies/integration; increase efficiency; reduce operational costs; retain the required diversity of test environments; and facilitate multiple uses of equipment, facilities, ranges, and people. DTRA NCR technical facility recommended for relocation had lower quantitative MV than Eglin AFB in all functional areas.

This recommendation included Research, D&A, and T&E conventional armament capabilities in the Air Force and DTRA NCR. It would consolidate armament activities within the Air Force and promotes jointness with DTRA NCR. It would also enable technical synergy, and position the DoD to exploit center-of-mass scientific, technical, and acquisition expertise within the RDAT&E community that currently resides as DoD specialty locations. This recommendation would directly support the Department's strategy for transformation by moving and consolidating smaller W&A efforts into high military value integrated centers, and by leveraging synergy among RD&A, and T&E activities. Capacity and military value data established that Eglin AFB was already a full-service, integrated W&A RDAT&E center. Relocation of DTRA NCR W&A technical capabilities would increase life cycle synergy and integration at Eglin AFB. Conventional armament capabilities possessed by DTRA NCR directly complement on-going RDAT&E at Eglin AFB. Cost savings from the relocation of DTRA NCR to Eglin AFB would accrue largely through the elimination of the need for leased space, and by virtue of the fact that Eglin AFB can absorb the DTRA NCR (and Hill AFB) functions without the need for MILCON. Assuming no economic recovery, this recommendation could result in a maximum potential reduction of 114 jobs (67 direct and 47 indirect jobs) over the 2006-2011 period in the Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV, Metropolitan Division (less than 0.1 percent).

Another recommendation would realign Fort Belvoir, VA, by relocating Army Prime Power School training to Fort Leonard Wood, MO.


The Commission found that while the recommendation to relocate the Army Prime Power School has a small net savings, it successfully achieves the purpose of consolidating engineering courses at one location. In addition, the new facilities would significantly improve safety and training. The Commission's review and analysis identified one issue involving a loss of the close relationship between the school and the 249th Engineer Battalion (Prime Power), the only prime power battalion in the Army. The Army is reviewing the battalion's location and has the authority and the means to move the battalion outside the BRAC process.


The Commission finds the Secretary's recommendation in regards to the Army Prime Power School consistent with the final selection criteria and the Force Structure Plan. Therefore, the Commission approves the recommendation of the Secretary.

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