The Saratoga region of upstate New York first came to the attention of the world during the Revolutionary War. A brash young American officer and friend to Gen. George Washington named Benedict Arnold dealt a huge blow to the British at Saratoga and lost his leg there while doing so. It was because of this British defeat that France decided to aid the Americans in their fight for freedom. Now Saratoga is known for the large horse auction and subsequent horse races that occur there every year.
The Scotia Naval Administrative Unit is home to the Navy Recruiting Area 1, Personnel Support Detachment. Ballston Spa is home to the staff and personnel of the Naval Nuclear Power Training Unit. The units at Scotia, three miles west of Schenectady, and Ballston Spa, about 15 miles northeast of Schenectady, have a combined population of 2,500 active duty and 3,000 dependents. Ballston Spa shares most of its facilities with the Scotia unit, about 12 miles to the south. Housing consists of 200 enlisted-family units at Scotia. The shared commissary and exchange are small. Ballston Spa has a mini-mart. Schools are all run by local school districts. Home day care is available to the two bases. Branch medical and dental clinics are shared, but not under the Tricare System. All services not provided by the clinics can be found at area hospitals, such as the Saratoga Hospital & Nursing Home (seven miles), Glens Falls Hospital (25 miles) and the Albany Medical Center (29 miles) in the state capital.
For those seeking fun and exercise, Ballston Spa has an equipment rental center and Scotia offers softball fields, tennis, basketball and volleyball courts, and an equipment rental center.