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Joint Base Andrews Naval Air Facility Washington

Air Force District of Washington.png
Air Force District of Washington (AFDW)

Andrews AFB MD - 10 Apr 1988.jpg
USGS aerial photo as of 10 April 1988
Airport type Military: Air Force Base
Owner United States Air Force
Location Camp Springs, Maryland
Built 1945
In use 1945-Present
Commander Col. Steven M. Shepro
Elevation AMSL 280 ft / 85 m
Coordinates 38°48′39″N 076°52′01″W / 38.81083°N 76.86694°W / 38.81083; -76.86694
Direction Length Surface
ft m
01L/19R 9,300 2,835 Concrete
01R/19L 9,755 2,973 Asphalt/Concrete
Sources: official site[1] and FAA[2]
Andrews AFB is located in Maryland
Andrews AFB
Location of Andrews AFB, Maryland

Joint Base Andrews Naval Air Facility Washington[3], formerly Andrews Air Force Base, (IATA: ADWICAO: KADWFAA LID: ADW) is a United States Air Force base in Prince George's County, Maryland, United States, eight miles east of Washington, D.C..

The 4,320-acre base hosts more than 20,000 active duty military people, civilian employees and family members. Andrews' current mission is that of emergency reaction and contingency response capabilities critical to national security, and support for Air and Space Expeditionary Forces. The base was named for General Frank M. Andrews, former Commanding General of United States Forces in the European Theater of Operations during WWII.



Andrews Air Force Base is named after Lieutenant General Frank M. Andrews, USAAF. He was killed on May 3, 1943 when his B-24D Liberator crashed in Iceland.[4] The base is home to the Air Force District of Washington's 316th Wing -- the base's host wing—with several partner units on base including Air Mobility Command's 89th Airlift Wing, the Air Force Office of Special Investigations headquarters, Air Force Reserve Command's 459th Air Refueling Wing, the District of Columbia Air National Guard's 113th Wing, Naval Air Facility Washington, and Army and Marine Corps detachments.

  • 316th Wing (316 WG) (AFDW)
The 316th Wing is responsible for maintaining emergency reaction rotary-wing airlift and other National Capital Region contingency response capabilities critical to national security, and for organizing, training, equipping and deploying combat-ready forces for Air and Space Expeditionary Forces (AEFs). The wing also provides installation security, services and airfield management to support the President, Vice President, other U.S. senior leaders and more than 50 tenant organizations and federal agencies.
  • 89th Airlift Wing (89 AW) (AMC)
The 89th Airlift Wing is responsible for worldwide special air mission airlift, logistics and communications support for the President, Vice President and other U.S. senior leaders. Air Force One is assigned to the 89th AW.
  • Air Force District of Washington
The Air Force District of Washington (AFDW) is composed of three wings and two groups. The 11th Wing at Bolling Air Force Base, and the 79th Medical Wing and 316th Wing at Andrews Air Force Base. Also under AFDW is the Air Force Operations Group (AFOG) at the Pentagon and the 844th Communications Group. The Air Force Operations Group is the principal operational entity of the Air Staff in support of the Secretary of the Air Force and the Chief of Staff of the Air Force. The 79th Medical Wing and 844th Communications Group both have specialized missions where they will be the single Air Force voice in the National Capital Region (NCR) for their respective fields of expertise. Both the 11th and 316th Wings will fulfill duties as the host base organization of Bolling and Andrews, respectively, while also supporting AFDW requirements
  • 79th Medical Wing
The 79th Medical Wing is the Air Force's single medical voice for planning and implementing Air Force and joint medical solutions within the National Capital Region (NCR). Activated on May 10, 2006, it is the largest wing within the Air Force District of Washington and only the second medical wing in the Air Force.
  • Tenant Units
89th Airlift Wing (Air Mobility Command)
457th Airlift Squadron
113th Wing (Air National Guard / Air Combat Command-gained and
Air Mobility Command-gained)
459th Air Refueling Wing (Air Force Reserve Command /
Air Mobility Command-gained)
744th Communications Squadron
Air National Guard Readiness Center
District of Columbia Air National Guard
Army Jet Detachment
Civil Air Patrol - Andrews Composite Squadron
Marine Fighter Attack Squadron 321 (Marine Corps Reserve)
Electronic Attack Squadron 209 (Navy Reserve)
Fleet Logistics Support Squadron 1 (Navy Reserve)
Fleet Logistics Support Squadron 53 (Navy Reserve)
Fleet Logistics Support Squadron 48 (Navy Reserve)
National Guard Bureau
Naval Air Facility Washington D.C.
Naval Communications Security Material Systems
Maryland State Police Aviation Division (Medevac Helicopter)
Federal Aviation Administration


  • C-20B/D (89th Airlift Wing, Army Jet Detachment and VR-48 / Naval Air Facility)
  • C-21 (457th Airlift Squadron)
  • C-32A (89th Airlift Wing)
  • C-37A (89th Airlift Wing, Army Jet Detachment and VR-1 / Naval Air Facility)
  • C-37B (89th Airlift Wing, Army Jet Detachment and VR-1 / Naval Air Facility)
  • C-38 (113th Wing, D.C. Air National Guard)
  • C-40B/C (89th Airlift Wing/113th Wing, DC Air National Guard)


Opened on 2 May 1943, the base was originally known as Camp Springs Army Air Base. It was renamed to Andrews Field on 7 February 1945 in honor of Lt. General Frank Maxwell Andrews (1884-1943). General Andrews organized and commanded the General Headquarters, Air Force (1935-1939), and at the time of his death on 3 May 1943 in the crash of a B-24 Liberator in Iceland, he was Commanding General, United States Forces, European Theater of Operations.


Major commands

Redesignated: Strategic Air Command, 21 Mar 1946
Air Defense Command (Attached)
Eastern Air Defense Force, 13 Aug 1950 - 1 Jul 1963
Redesignated: Headquarters Command, USAF, 17 Mar 1958

Major units assigned

Redesignated: 76th Military Airlift Wing, 30 Sept 1977 - 16 Dec 1980
Redesignated: 76th Airlift Division, 15 Dec 1980 - 1 Oct 1985

References for history introduction, major commands and major units[5]

Operational history

Lieutenant General Frank Maxwell Andrews
KC-135 of the 459th Air Refueling Wing
US Navy EA-6B Prowler of VAQ-209 at Naval Air Facility Washington/Andrews AFB
F-16Cs of the 113th Wing
UH-1N Huey of the 316th Wing
VC-25 (Air Force One) of the 89th Airlift Wing
A C-32, a specially configured version of the Boeing 757-200 commercial intercontinental airliner (89th Airlift Wing)
C-37A Gulfstream V (89th Airlift Wing)
The C-40 B/C (Boeing 737 BBJ) of the 89th Airlift Wing

The military history of Andrews AFB began in the 1850s during the Civil War when Union troops occupied a small country church near Camp Springs, Maryland, as sleeping quarters. At present, the same church is used on the base and is known as Chapel Two.

Established first as Camp Springs Army Air Field, Andrews' history began Aug. 25, 1941, the day President Franklin D. Roosevelt wrote a letter to the secretary of war directing the use of the land on which the base now stands. Located 10 miles southeast of Washington, D.C., in Prince George's County, Md., the base was under construction during the remainder of 1942 and became operational 2 May 1943, with the arrival of the first Republic P-47 Thunderbolt.

Four 5,500-foot runways constructed by 1943; field then served mainly as Army Air Forces Headquarters base with secondary missions for fighter and bomber training. Developed as a B-25 Mitchell medium bomber training base during the Korean War. HQ Air Research and Development Command (later, Air Force Systems Command) moved to Andrews from Baltimore, 24 Jun 1958. With the construction of new facilities beginning in 1959, Andrews AFB had become by early 1962 the primary USAF flight installation serving the Washington, DC, area with the closing of the runway at Bolling AFB.

With the establishment of the United States Air Force as a separate military service on 18 September 1947, the name was modified to its present form, Andrews AFB. Serving largely as a headquarters base in a curtailed operational capacity during the post-World War II years, Andrews has been the home of the Continental Air Command, Strategic Air Command and the Military Air Transport Service. Headquarters Command held command reins at Andrews from 1947 through 1952 and again after 1957. Headquarters Military Air Transport Service controlled the base during the interim period.

The year 1947 marked the arrival of the first permanently assigned jet powered aircraft, the F-80 Shooting Star, at Andrews. The long-lived and versatile training version of the F-80, the T-33, still played an important role in proficiency flying programs at Andrews more than 30 years later.

With the onset of the Korean War in June 1950, Andrews rapidly became involved in combat readiness training for B-25 Mitchell medium bomber crews. Combat readiness training and proficiency flying for military pilots assigned non-flying duties in the Washington area have remained two key elements in the local mission since the establishment of the base.

Andrews' air defense role was strengthened in the 1950s with the latest in fighter-interceptor hardware appearing on the flightline. F-94 Starfires, F-102 Delta Daggers and finally, F-106 Delta Darts formed the backbone of the three fighter interceptor squadrons which operated from the base until 1963.

In the late 1950s Andrews began an annual open house and air show on base. This event later evolved into the Department of Defense Joint Services Open House, an annual event that now brings more than 700,000 visitors to the base every year. The open house is held every year over Armed Forces Day weekend.

In the years since 1959, Andrews' flight operations and importance have increased greatly. In 1961, the last of the Military Air Transport Service's flying units at Washington National Airport transferred to Andrews. This was followed a year later by the transfer to Andrews of all fixed-wing flying activities from Bolling Air Force Base. Andrews has become firmly established as the main port of entry for foreign military and government officials en route to Washington and the United States. In July, 1961, Andrews became the home of the official presidential aircraft, known as "Air Force One" when the president is on board. Before 1961, the presidential airplane had been kept at Washington National Airport and Bolling AFB.

In 1963, the Naval Air Facility (NAF), originally established at the former NAS Anacostia in 1919, moved to Andrews. The NAF handles Naval VIP flight operations and is home for a Marine Corps detachment that flies the FA-18 Hornet. Coast Guard Air Station Washington DC occupies space at Andrews AFB. Andrews AFB has evolved to become one of the most modern bases in the Air Force.

A tragic time for Andrews AFB occurred on 22 Nov 1963, when the 35th president of the United States was assassinated in Dallas, Texas. The body of John F. Kennedy arrived at Andrews at 6:08 p.m. the same evening, accompanied by his widow Jacqueline B. Kennedy, newly sworn in President Lyndon B. Johnson and his wife Ladybird. The air terminal was jammed with thousands of people, including the largest gathering of news media representatives ever assembled at any time on Andrews AFB. Since that time, Andrews has seen the arrival of other fallen leaders, but no other death has caused such national attention.

In a major reorganization, Headquarters Command, U.S. Air Force, was disbanded 1 July 1976, restructured under the Military Airlift Command as the 76th Airlift Division and transferred its headquarters from Bolling AFB to Andrews. The 76th remained the parent unit of the Andrews host command, redesignated as the 1st Air Base Wing.

In October 1977, the 76th Airlift Division became the 76th Military Airlift Wing. The 1st Air Base Wing was redesignated the 76th Air Base Group, and the 89th Military Airlift Wing became the 89th Military Airlift Group. The 76th MAW remained the parent unit at Andrews.

On 15 Dec 1980, the 76th Airlift Division was reestablished, the 76th Air Base Group became the 1776th Air Base Wing and the 89th Military Airlift Group became the 89th Military Airlift Wing.

On 1 Oct 1985, the 76th Airlift Division was inactivated as the result of activation of the Headquarters Air Force District of Washington at Bolling AFB. The 1776th Air Base Wing was designated the "host wing" for Andrews AFB and assumed base support responsibilities.

During Operation DESERT STORM, Andrews handled 16,540 patients in makeshift hospital facilities located in the base tennis center.

On 12 July 1991, the 89th Military Airlift Wing was redesignated as the 89th Airlift Wing and assumed duties as the host wing at Andrews AFB. Support functions previously performed by the 1776th Air Base Wing now fall under the 89th and the 1776th was inactivated. With the consolidation of the two wings, the newly formed 89th Airlift Wing is one of the largest wings in Air Mobility Command with a work force approaching 9,000 people.

Known as "The President's Wing," the 89th Airlift Wing continues to contribute to Andrews' rich history as the elite Air Mobility Command wing for transporting VIPs around the world. Not only does Andrews provide service for America's senior officials, but also kings, queens, presidents, prime ministers, popes, and local and foreign military leaders make Andrews AFB their first stop in the United States.

On 5 January 2005 the Air Force reactivated the Air Force District of Washington (AFDW) as the single Air Force voice for planning and implementing Air Force and joint solutions within the National Capital Region (NCR). This event brought with it significant changes at Andrews. On 12 May 2006, the 89th Medical Group at Andrews and the 11th Medical Group, Bolling Air Force Base, Washington, D.C. combined into the 79th Medical Wing where it established its headquarters at Andrews. In June 2006, the 316th Wing stood up under the command of AFDW as the new host unit for Andrews Air Force Base and its nearly 50 tenant units to include organizations from the U.S. Army, the Air Force Reserve Command, Air National Guard, Navy Reserve, Marine Corps Reserve and the Civil Air Patrol. The activation of the 316th prompted the transfer of the 1st Helicopter Squadron from the 89th Airlift Wing to the 316th Operations Group. Finally, in May 2007 the AFDW, as well as the 844th Communications Group, transferred from Bolling AFB to Andrews AFB.

source for history[6]


Andrews Air Force Base is located at 38°48′13″N 76°52′17″W / 38.80361°N 76.87139°W / 38.80361; -76.87139 (38.803490, -76.871508),[7] a few miles southeast of Washington, D.C. near the town of Morningside. According to the United States Census Bureau, the CDP has a total area of 6.8 sq mi (17.7 km²), all land. There are two runways on the base; the western runway is 11,300 ft (3,440 m) in length, and the eastern runway is 11,700 ft (3,570 m) in length. The minor 3rd runway between them at the top of the picture (above the cross-base roadway)is now closed, and the small T-shaped runway at the bottom right of the opening picture was closed and demolished by 2008. [1]


As of the census[8] of 2000, there were 7,925 people, 1,932 households, and 1,864 families residing in the CDP. The population density was 1,158.9 people per square mile (447.3/km²). There were 2,133 housing units at an average density of 311.9 sq mi (120.4/km²). The racial makeup of the base was 65.30% White, 22.78% African American, 0.64% Native American, 3.17% Asian, 0.11% Pacific Islander, 3.65% from other races, and 4.35% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 8.72% of the population.

There were 1,932 households out of which 75.9% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 86.1% were married couples living together, 7.3% had a female householder with no husband present, and 3.5% were non-families. 3.2% of all households were made up of individuals, none of whom was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 3.39 and the average family size was 3.44.

In the CDP the population is spread out with 35.0% under the age of 18, 16.3% from 18 to 24, 44.9% from 25 to 44, 3.6% from 45 to 64, and 0.2% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 24 years. For every 100 females there were 119.7 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 126.0 males.

The median income for a household in the base was $44,310, and the median income for a family was $42,866. Males had a median income of $27,070 versus $27,308 for females. The per capita income for the base was $16,520. About 2.6% of families and 2.4% of the population were below the poverty line, including of the total population, 2.8% of those under the age of 18 and none of those 65 and older.

Popular culture

  • In the film Clear and Present Danger, Andrews AFB serves as the backdrop for the return of main character Jack Ryan as the sole U.S. survivor of a drug cartel ambush/assassination in Colombia that claims the life of the Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation and his associated security detail.
  • In the film Independence Day, Air Force One narrowly escapes destruction as Washington DC and the airbase are engulfed in flame from an alien attack.
  • In the film The Kingdom, an FBI team departs from Andrews AFB to investigate a car bombing in Saudi Arabia.
  • In the PC real time strategy game Command and Conquer 3: Tiberium Wars, Andrews AFB is still active in the 2040s as a GDI facility which falls under the control of Brotherhood of Nod terrorists during their campaign. In the GDI campaign, it must be regained from the occupying Nod forces.
  • In the game Fallout 3 created by Bethesda in the "Broken Steel" add on, Adams Air Force Base is based heavily off of Andrews AFB.

See also


PD-icon.svg This article incorporates public domain material from websites or documents of the Air Force Historical Research Agency.

  1. ^ Andrews Air Force Base, official site
  2. ^ FAA Airport Master Record for ADW (Form 5010 PDF), effective 2007-10-25
  3. ^ [ Officials unveil Joint Base Andrews Naval Air Facility Washington ]
  4. ^ Frank M. Andrews: Marshall's Airman, DeWitt S. Copp, Air Force History and Museums Program, Washington D.C. 2003.
  5. ^ Mueller, Robert (1989). Volume 1: Active Air Force Bases Within the United States of America on 17 September 1982. USAF Reference Series, Office of Air Force History, United States Air Force, Washington, D.C. ISBN 0912799536; 0160022614
  6. ^ Fact Sheet, Andrews Air Force Base history, Office of History, 316th Airlift Wing
  7. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2000 and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2005-05-03. Retrieved 2008-01-31.  
  8. ^ "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31.  

External links


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