Army Bases

Fort Detrick, Maryland

Fort Detrick's service to the nation carries on the legacy of the Frederick County patriots who played major roles in the development of the Nation. Five farms originally constituted what is today known as Area A, or the main post area,where most activities are located.

Fort Detrick traces its roots to the small municipal airport known as Detrick Field in the 1930s.

The first military presence was the encampment of the 104th Aero Squadron of the Maryland National Guard. It was named Camp Detrick to honor squadron surgeon Maj. Frederick L. Detrick who served in France during WorldWar I. Major Detrick died in June 1931, two months before the first encampment, August 10, 1931.

Detrick Field was a cadet pilot training center until December 1941. The 2nd Bombardment Squadron, U.S. Army Air Corps, was reconstituted at Detrick Field between March and September 1942,when it deployed to England becoming the nucleus of the new Eighth Air Force headquarters.

The U.S. Biological Laboratories were established at Detrick Field in 1943, achieving pioneering efforts in decontamination, gaseous sterilization, and agent purification.

Camp Detrick became Fort Detrick in 1956, continuing its mission of biomedical research and its reputation as the world's leading research campus for agents requiring specialty containment. The offensive biological warfare program was disestablished in 1969. The closing of the former biological warfare laboratories gave way to a period of transition in the 1970s. Former laboratories and land were transferred to the Department of Health and Human Services; the National Cancer Research and Development Center was established in 1971 and is now called the National Cancer Institute-Frederick.

The installation has grown in the scope of its operations and now has an interagency-agency campus; it houses all of the military services as well as non Department of Defense organizations.

The installation has matured as a center for advanced biomedical research and development, medical materiel management, and long-haul telecommunications for the White House, Department of Defense, and other governmental agencies. The National Interagency Biodefense Campus is being developed here and by 2013 will co-locate the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIH) and the National Biodefense Analysis and Countermeasures Center (DHS) with the U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases-to provide opportunities for scientific coordination, education, and partnerships.

Fort Detrick was annexed into the city of Frederick in 1983 and partners with the city on many progressive endeavors that benefit everyone in the community. Fort Detrick is the largest employer in Frederick County with more than 7,900 Service members, federal civilians, and contractors. An estimated $500 million is brought into the community through salaries and contracts. Many of its people teach in local schools and colleges and serve as members of service and charitable organizations.

Fort Detrick has four structures on the National Historic Register including the Nallin Farm House, the Bank Barn, Spring House, and the One Million Liter Sphere, also called the "Eight Ball."

The housing division transferred family housing operations to Balfour Beatty Communities. Balfour Beatty Communities is responsible for the operation and maintenance of family housing.