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Fort George G. Meade


  • National Security Agency
  • 694th Intelligence Wing
  • 704th Military Intelligence Brigade
  • 902nd Military Intelligence Group
  • Naval Security Group Activity
  • Defense Courier Service
  • Defense Information School
  • 55th Signal Company (Combat Camera)
  • First United States Army - East
  • Headquarters U.S. Army Garrison
  • NCO Academy
  • U.S. Army 1st Recruiting Brigade
  • U.S. Army Central Personnel Security Clearance Facility
  • U.S. Army Field Band
  • U.S. Army Recruiting Battalion-Baltimore
  • U.S. Medical Department Activity
  • 85th General Hospital

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Located almost midway between the cities of Baltimore and Washington, D.C., Fort Meade is home to approximately 10,000 military personnel along with about 25,800 civilian employees. Nearly 6,000 family members reside on post. It lies approximately four miles east of Interstate 95 and one-half mile east of the Baltimore-Washington Parkway, between Maryland State routes 175 and 198. Fort Meade is located near the communities of Odenton, Laurel, Columbia and Jessup.

Fort Meade's mission is to provide a wide range of support to more than 78 partner organizations from all four services and to several federal agencies. Major tenant units include the National Security Agency (NSA), the Defense Information School, the Defense Courier Service the U.S. Army Field Band, the U.S. Army Intelligence and Security Command, First U.S. Army (East), the Naval Security Group Activity, the 694th Intelligence Group (U.S. Air Force) and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Center.

Fort Meade is virtually a city in itself. It consists of 5,415 acres with 65.5 miles of paved roads, 3.3 miles of secondary roads, and about 1,300 buildings. There is a modern exchange mall, bank, credit union, post office, chapels and many other facilities.

Fort George G. Meade became an Army installation in 1917. Authorized by Act of Congress in May 1917, it was one of 16 cantonments built for troops drafted for the war with the Central Powers in Europe. The present Maryland site was selected on June 23, 1917. Actual construction began in July. The first contingent of troops arrived here that September.

The post was originally named Camp Meade for Major General George Gordon Meade, whose defensive strategy at the Battle of Gettysburg proved a major factor in turning the tide of the Civil War in favor of the North. During World War I, more than 100,000 men passed through Fort Meade, a training site for three infantry divisions, three training battalions and one depot brigade. In 1928, when the post was renamed Fort Leonard Wood, Pennsylvanians registered such a large protest that the installation was permanently named Fort George G. Meade on March 5, 1929. This action was largely the result of a rider attached to the Regular Army Appropriation Act by a member of the House of Representatives from the Keystone State.

Fort Meade became a training center during World War II, its ranges and other facilities used by more than 200 units and approximately 3,500,000 men between 1942 and 1946. The wartime peak-military personnel figure at Fort Meade was reached in March, 1945--70,000. With the conclusion of World War II, Fort Meade reverted to routine peacetime activities, but was later to return to build-up status. Many crises, including Korea, West Berlin and Cuba, along with Vietnam-related problems, were to come.

One key post-World War II event at Fort Meade was the transfer from Baltimore, on June 15, 1947, of the Second U.S. Army Headquarters. This transfer brought an acceleration of post activity, because Second Army Headquarters exercised command over Army units throughout a then seven-state area.

A second important development occurred on January 1, 1966, when the Second U.S. Army merged with the First U.S. Army. The consolidated headquarters moved from Fort Jay, N.Y. to Fort Meade to administer activities of Army installations in a 15-state area.

In August 1990, Fort Meade began processing Army Reserve and National Guard units from several states for the presidential call-up in support of Operation Desert Shield. In addition to processing reserve and guard units, Fort Meade sent two of its own active duty units--the 85th Medical Battalion and the 519th Military Police Battalion--to Saudi Arabia. In all, approximately 2,700 personnel from 42 units deployed from Fort Meade during Operation Desert Shield/Desert Storm.

Today, Fort Meade provides support and services for more than 50 tenant units which include the Defense Information School, Headquarters, the U.S. Army Field Band, and the National Security Agency

Fort George G. Meade has a total of 2,862 sets of quarters, of which 488 are allocated to officers and 2,374 to enlisted personnel. These quarters are located in five major housing areas on post. These areas are now designated as Argonne Hills, Meade Heights, Geraghty Village, MacArthur Manor, and Shea Court. Argonne Hills (7000-8135) consists of single, double, and multiple family units, and provides housing for both officer and enlisted personnel. Old Meade Heights is composed of 250 housing units in two-story apartment buildings, with two to four bedroom apartments. Newly constructed housing (1995-1996) for junior enlisted personnel consists of 115 housing units in New Meade Heights (1800-1900) and 147 housing units at the Clark Road Site (3300-3400). The units are in two-story apartment buildings with two, three and four bedrooms. Geraghty Village (2682-2694) is composed of multi-dwelling three bedroom quarters and provides housing for company grade officer personnel. MacArthur Manor (2901-3564) is composed of multi-dwelling quarters and provides housing for officer and enlisted personnel. Shea Court, located in the 4800 area, is composed of multi-dwelling quarters consisting of two and four bedroom units designated as officer housing for four bedroom and two bedroom for junior enlisted personnel. The 2500 and 4200 areas are composed of single family Cape Cod houses. They are designated for enlisted personnel in the grade of E9. The 4300 and 4500 areas are designated for general and flag officers, colonels, and Navy captains.

Fort George G. Meade is an administrative installation supporting the missions of over 114 tenants representing a wide variety of training, intelligence, and educational programs. Following BRAC actions, Fort Meade has an increased mission as a major federal administrative center and has the need to accommodate additional tenants and activities.

The closing of Fort Holabird, Md., due to the Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) act of 1990, led to a "success story" - the erection of a building that houses the Defense Security Service Personnel Investigations Center. The $8.3 million brick facility is located near Mapes Road at 10th Street and Chisholm Avenue. The Personnel Investigations Center had previously been a tenant at Fort Holabird in the Baltimore/Dundalk area. The new building stands in stark contrast to the facility used at Fort Holabird, which was built in the 1940s as a testing facility for the Army jeep. Sarbanes termed the Fort Holabird facility "substandard" and Mikulski called it "crowded" and "decrepit." Since 1996, DSS has been temporarily housed in a leased facility at Airport Square in Linthicum, Md.

Under Fort Meade's Real Property Master Plan (RPMP) for the Years 2000-2004, the planned projects which will occur during this time include the following: construction of new facilities that will consolidate tenants from dilapidated World War II structures and off post leased facilities into more cost efficient and effective facilities, demolition and construction of barracks and mess halls and providing on post development opportunities for tenants on installations that are currently faced with Base Realignment and Closure. The Fort Meade RPMP has the potential to significantly impact certain natural, economic, social and cultural resources of the Fort Meade community. The objective is to prepare a comprehensive EIS which will serve as a planning tool, a public information source and a reference for mitigation tracking. Alternatives may consist of alternate locations for specific projects, partial implementation of the specific project or modifications to the specific project.

Within Fort Meade's boundaries lie numerous historic and prehistoric sites that were identified through the Cultural Resources Management Plan. Fort Meade also maintains historically significant structures which are eligible for inclusion on the National Register and may be directly affected by the actions proposed in the long range Master Plan. Equally important is the impact Fort Meade has on the Chesapeake Bay and the crucial role it plays in maintaining and protecting which is considered one of the world's most diverse ecosystems. Fort Meade is also home to eleven State Endangered Species, including the Glassy Darter which is one of only two locations in the State of Maryland where the fish is known to exist.

To address traffic impacts, Fort Meade is considering encouraging the use of alternative transportation (e.g. carpooling and flextime), although major rail or bus lines do not currently service the installation. In addition, the construction of the State Route 198 by-pass onto Fort Meade via the former Tipton Army Airfield by the Maryland State Highway Administration is designed to limit the through traffic at Fort Meade to those who reside, work or visit the installation for recreation or other purposes. This is expected to reduce congestion at the intersection of State Routes 198 and 32.