Washington Naval District (Naval Yard) FAQ

Installation Info: Zip Code: 20374, Area Code: 703, DSN: 288

The Washington Naval Yard is part of the greater Washington Naval District, which encompasses more than 4,000 square miles, including the District of Columbia, five Maryland counties, eight Northern Virginia counties and the cities within their outer boundaries. In total, the District has 400 commands and activities. The Washington Naval District is also known as the Quarterdeck of the Navy. The Naval Yard's ongoing mission is to provide service, support and interagency coordination to Navy and Marine Corps commands in the Washington Naval District.

Occupying land set aside by George Washington for use by the federal government, the Washington Naval Yard is the U.S. Navy's oldest shore establishment. It was authorized by the first Secretary of the Navy, Benjamin Stoddert, in 1799. It expanded rapidly as a shipbuilding port until 1814 when the British occupied Washington. Capt. Thomas Tingey, the yard's first commandant, was ordered to burn the base to prevent it from falling into enemy hands. Rebuilt after the War of 1812, the yard went on to achieve such technology as the first marine railway (1822), the first ship model basin (1898), the first successful shipboard catapult (1912), and a wind tunnel (1914).