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Davison Army Airfield is 15 miles southwest of Washington at Fort Belvoir, Va. It was named in honor of Brig. Gen. Donald A. Davison, noted aviation engineer during World War II. It became part of Fort Belvoir's Engineer School on Sept. 2, 1952. Less than two years later, Aug. 1, 1954, it was reassigned to the U.S. Army Military District of Washington. It has remained a subordinate installation of MDW ever since.
The airfield has a 4,030 foot runway, occupies more than 500 acres, has 36 buildings and employs almost 400 people. The airfield has housed several aviation commands through the years, but the most visible mission has been providing fixed- and rotary-wing priority air transport to the Army, Department of Defense, federal-government officials and foreign dignitaries.
From 1957 to 1976, Davison provided presidential helicopter support, with the command's Executive Flight Detachment flying missions supporting Presidents Eisenhower, Kennedy, Johnson, Nixon and Ford. This mission was transferred entirely to the Marine Corps in July 1976.
MDW's aviation-support unit, the 12th Aviation Battalion is stationed at Davison Airfield. It is made up of three helicopter companies, a helicopter-maintenance company, base operations and Headquarters Company. The battalion operates UH1 and UH60 helicopters in support of training and contingencies for the 3rd U.S. Infantry (The Old Guard) and other MDW units. It also provides airlift to the highest level of the Army and DoD.
The battalion also operates a flight simulator facility at Davison. Active-duty, National Guard and Army Reserve pilots from five states get their instrument-flight training and maintain their flight records at the facility.
The Operational Support Airlift Command at Davison, run by the National Guard since 1995, consolidates the total Army's fixed-wing passenger aircraft in the continental United States.
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