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The defense industry plays a vital role in the Fredericksburg Region, with three installations that provide for the operational readiness of the United States military. Representing a total of more than 230 years of military and defense presence in the region, these facilities furnish leadership in engineering and technology for the next generation of surface combatant ships, interagency coordination of national security measures and training and testing for all services.

They also serve as integrators of homeland defense technologies for the future of war fighting. The region’s defense industry provides nearly 32,000 jobs and pumps more than $1.2 billion into the local economy.


Marine Corps Base Quantico—where vital concepts, training and equipment of the future are developed—has been the initial training ground for thousands of Marines since its establishment in Stafford County in 1917. Some of the most important techniques in war fighting were born at Quantico including amphibious warfare, for which the Marine Corps is renowned.

MCB Quantico is home to the Marine Corps Combat Development Command and numerous tenant organizations. The base staff provides infrastructure, operational and community services support to these organizations and to the military members, families and civilians who live and work on base. The base is also a key player in support of overall Marine Corps objectives and programs and plays host to scores of training events, conferences, symposia and other special events.

MCB Quantico employs more than 20,000 military and civilian personnel. It serves as a focal point for Professional Military Education within the Marine Corps. The Marine Corps University provides an academic platform to shape leaders throughout their military careers. It is also home of the National Museum of the Marine Corps, which looms over Interstate 95 with its roof that recalls the famous Iwo Jima Flag-raising of World War II.


Naval Support Facility (NSF) Dahlgren, Virginia is located in King George County. Dahlgren provides critical expertise in the science and engineering of naval warfare systems. Commands located at Dahlgren are steeped in joint or coalition warfare development, operations and leadership.

NSF Dahlgren consists of approximately 4,300 acres and employs more than 4,100 civilians, approximately 500 military personnel and more than 4,200 badged contractors. Its operating budget runs at roughly $1 billion. Major organizations on the base include the host command, Naval Support Activity South Potomac, as well as supported commands: Navy Air and Missile Defense Command, Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense, Naval Surface Warfare Center Dahlgren Division, the Center for Surface Combat Systems, the Aegis Training and Readiness Center, the Joint Warfare Analysis Center, the U.S. Air Force 20th Space Control Squadron Detachment 1 and the U.S. Air Force 614th Air and Space Operations Center Detachment 1.


Dahlgren is the Navy’s technology and development leader for guns, projectiles and fuzes. It pioneered the development of fire control and targeting software for strategic nuclear weapons for United States and United Kingdom submarines. Dahlgren represents the Navy’s knowledge base in Tomahawk Weapon System computer programs and provides the naval expertise for all aspects of chemical, biological and radiological defense. Dahlgren is also home to key Department of Defense and Navy initiatives focused on protecting America from ballistic missile attack.


Fort A.P. Hill is an all-purpose, year-round 76,000-acre Regional Training Center in Caroline County that provides realistic joint and combined arms training to America’s Defense Forces.

It includes a 28,000-acre, live-fire range complex capable of accommodating all traditional small arms, plus mortar, artillery and combined running fire, hover fire and terrain flight aerial gunnery. Unencumbered by environmental constraints, Fort A.P. Hill is used extensively for Army and joint warfighter training exercises, as well as interagency use.

The installation has served as a major training and mobilization site for units deploying for Desert Shield and Desert Storm, missions in Bosnia-Herzegovina, Kosovo, Afghanistan, Iraq and other destinations associated with the overseas contingency operation.

Fort A.P. Hill is one of the largest East Coast installations, and is the range and training center nearest the National Capital Region. It is one of only two installations in the northeastern U.S. capable of training a large maneuver force. It hosts almost 670,000 man-days of training annually, representing more than 91,000 warriors of all services—the highest throughput in 15 years. Its annual operating budget is approximately $57 million.

Fort A.P. Hill was identified by the 2005 BRAC Commission as the most militarily valuable installation in Virginia and the 22nd most militarily valuable of 97 installations assessed in the United States.

It is the second largest employer in Caroline County after the county’s public school system. The people that call this installation home and their place of business are friends and neighbors to those in the surrounding communities. Beyond supporting our nation’s warriors, the installation readily assists neighboring localities with highly trained, professional fire and emergency response via mutual aid agreements.

Every soldier and civilian employee shares the Fort A.P. Hill vision statement, “The Best Training and Support—Anywhere!”

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Annette Roberts & Jimmy Hedge