Mission and Vision Statement
"Provide required services, infrastructure, a safe and secure community, and a quality of life that supports mission readiness and the Fort Meade community."
"The Nation's Center for Intelligence, Information, and Cyber Operations."
Fort G. Meade Website)
History and General Information
Fort George G. Meade (Fort Meade) began its operations in 1917 as one of the 16 cantonments (military camps) built for troops drafted for World War I. The Post was originally called Camp Meade, named after Major General George G. Meade, who was the general who led the victory at the Battle of Gettysburg during the American Civil War. Fort Meade is situated midway between Baltimore, Annapolis, and Washington, D.C. The site was strategically selected in 1917 because of the resources of those cities, including the port and railroad systems.1
Fort Meade is an Army installation within the
Installation Management Command (IMCOM) and
Military District of Washington (MDW), which is the home to
U.S. Cyber Command and a host of several national centers for information and intelligence, such as the
National Security Agency,
Army Intelligence and Security Command,
Marine Force Cyber Command, and
Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA), among other high-profile tenants. These commands and tenants support mission readiness for multiple military branches and federal agencies and engage in operations that are often highly classified.
Fort Meade has played a crucial role in conflicts throughout history. During World War I and II, hundreds of thousands of soldiers utilized Fort Meade as a training site. During the Cold War, Fort Meade provided air defense and intelligence for U.S. armed forces. In the 1950s, Fort Meade became home to the National Security Agency and continued to expand in response to the decades long Cold War with the former USSR. Expansion continued after the emergence of terrorist threats and actions; including the 1982 TWA Flight hijacking and killing of Navy Seabee Diver Robert Stethem; the 1992 Beirut Marine Barracks attack that killed more than 200 Marines; the 1993 World Trade Center parking garage bombing; the World Trade Center attack on September 11th, 2001; and continuing attacks on American facilities, citizens, and cyber assets to the present.
Fort Meade has also been impacted by various Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) actions. As a result of the 1990 BRAC action, more than 7,600 acres at Fort Meade were declared excess and transferred to the adjacent Patuxent Wildlife Research Center for land preservation, wildlife research, and compatible public uses.2 More recently, as a result of the 2005 round of BRAC, Fort Meade benefitted through the relocation of three major commands, including the
Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA), and the co-location of
Defense Military Adjudication Activities and
Defense Media Activity. This move brought an additional 5,700 people to Fort Meade by the end of FY113 and spurred ongoing growth at the installation. For example, the
U.S. Cyber Command was founded at Fort Meade in 2010 and the Defense Information School significantly expanded in 2015.
Today, Fort Meade provides a wide range of services to more than 120 partner organizations from the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, Coast Guard, and Space Force in support of a comprehensive intelligence, information, and cyber operations strategies for the U.S. government. As the largest employer in the state and the third largest workforce of any Army installation in the U.S.,4 Fort Meade houses some of the nation's most important government and military agencies and maintains robust relationships with surrounding communities and engages in community partnerships, thereby providing resources for military members and their families.
Compatible Use Organizations, Programs, and Resources
For more information on how Fort Meade works with surrounding communities to build strong and mutually beneficial relationships, you can explore compatible use organizations, programs, and resources.
Community Resources to Promote Compatibility
Military installations and their host communities have strong and mutually beneficial relationships. They rely on and support one another in terms of jobs, housing, schools, recreation, infrastructure, and social services. Communication, coordination, and partnerships that support compatible community development can create mutually beneficial results to ensure support for warfighters and their families, military operations, and continued community growth and economic development.
Economic Resources to Promote Compatibility
Counties and municipalities develop comprehensive plans to provide a long-term vision for their future growth and development. Comprehensive plans typically include maps showing proposed future land uses and anticipated transportation and community facilities, and emphasize sustainability, as well as protection of environmental features, and historical and cultural resources.
While comprehensive plans in Maryland do not require a military element, many plans for jurisdictions around Fort Meade include references to the installation and consider potential influences on the community. Fort Meade is referenced in the following comprehensive plans:
Howard County: PlanHoward 2030 (Amended 2021)
- The impact Fort Meade has on Howard County in terms of economic development and job growth is referenced in the
Economic Development chapter of PlanHoward 2030.
- An implementation action of
Economy Policy 5.1 focuses on the anticipated growth of Fort Meade due to BRAC, Cyber Command, NSA, and other planned expansions to capture new growth.
- Policies and implementation actions in the
Transportation chapters include planning for future transportation services and facilities that connect the county to Fort Meade.
Anne Arundel County General Development Plan: Plan2040 (2021)
- A recommendation included in the Transportation Functional Master Plan is to “improve regional corridors to make commutes more reliable” (pg. 55). This includes prioritizing infrastructure improvements in areas around Fort Meade, adding commuter bus service to the facility, and establishing a transit center on Fort Meade near NSA to allow for local and commuter bus service.
Goal HE3 (Healthy Economy) specifically directs the county to “promote high-quality, coordinated development that supports the Fort Meade area.” (pg. 67) This includes promoting transit-supportive development and redevelopment in the area, working with installation representatives to support land development that is in alignment with planned growth, and working with the Fort Meade Alliance to ensure installation leadership has support from the business community.
Odenton Town Center Master Plan (2016) Currently being
updated by Anne Arundel County.
- The Odenton Town Center Master Plan, adopted in 2016 and currently being updated,
includes recognition of the proximity of Fort Meade to the Town Center. A specific goal of the master plan is to “expedite quality land use proposals through flexible and timely development approvals to support planned and future growth in the Town Center, West County, and at Fort Meade.”
City of Laurel Master Plan (2016)
- The high level of
geographic mobility, as shown in the American Community Survey (ACS) estimates of residence population, is at least partially attributable to the large percentage of Laurel residents who are employed at Fort Meade.
- Part of the growth in Laurel is attributable to the significant increase in military and civilian personnel at Fort Meade due to the
2005 Base Realignment and Closure Committee Plan (BRAC).
Maryland Designated Transit Oriented Development (TOD) Site: Odenton. The Odenton Town Center development, directly to the
east of Fort Meade, is a joint venture between the developer, county, and state. The Odenton MARC Station area is a
state-designated TOD site, as it can access state support for its TOD planning efforts and implementation. Anne Arundel
County officially established the Odenton Station Area as a TOD District in 2011. Maryland statutes enabled the designation
of TODs in 2008, facilitating the Maryland Department of Transportation's (MDOT) support of TODs, including technical
assistance, discretionary program funding, financing tools (such as
Tax Increment Financing) and locating state office facilities in TOD designated areas. Visit MDOT's
TOD Hub or
TOD in Maryland website for more information on this program. Maryland's TOD designation of the Odenton Station
area recognizes its importance at the state level, but also provides the opportunity and potential resources for compatible
use development, particularly around transit, within Fort Meade.
Fort Meade Community Covenant Council: Established in 2011, the council is a formal partnership that brings together
federal, state, and local elected officials, regional business organizations and private businesses, the state's veterans
affairs and economic development offices, and local economic and workforce development organizations to support
Fort Meade and its surrounding communities. The council operates through the signing of a covenant agreement that takes
place once a new garrison commander assumes command of Fort Meade. Fort Meade held a
ceremonial re-signing of the covenant in 2019 . The council recognizes the great potential for beneficial partnerships,
initiatives, programs, and events that connect communities and enhance the overall well-being of the entire Fort Meade
region. Its mission is to “provide the Fort Meade military community and those who serve there with the support
and resources reflective of their commitment to our nation.”
Fort Meade Resiliency Portal: Fort Meade has a dedicated website that military members, civilians, and the public
can access to find information and resources (via links to other organization sites) on family, emotional, social,
physical, and spiritual pillars that comprise Fort Meade's resiliency campus. The mission is accomplished through a
combination of military and civilian agencies that work together to provide hands-on training and support in those
five pillars of resiliency.
A jurisdiction's economic development office and support organizations offer a variety of resources that help the community seek out economic growth opportunities and strengthen existing businesses. These resources are particularly valuable for defense communities who are continually looking for ways to attract new business, retain a skilled workforce, and provide resources and opportunities for military families relocating to the area.
Fort Meade generates 116,036 direct, indirect, and induced jobs as a result of its operations in Fort Meade and the surrounding region.5 This includes the military, civilian, and contractor employees responsible for carrying out the installation's mission and the employment opportunities generated by local spending on goods and services by the workforce. For a breakdown of employment type by installation, refer to the installation's
economic impact analysis sheet.
According to the
FY 2021 Economic Impact of Maryland's Military Installations and the Associated Defense Ecosystem, prepared by the Maryland Department of Commerce, the annual economic output for
Fort Meade (sum of direct, indirect, and induced impacts) is $17.8B, with a total employee compensation of $10.5B.6 According to the
Maryland Manual On-line, Fort Meade is one of the state's largest employers.
Fort Meade Alliance (FMA) is a 501 (c) non-profit independent community membership organization whose mission “is
to promote Fort G. Meade as a growing regional economic asset and provide impact to the region with targeted programs
and initiatives.” The FMA works to build relationships between Fort Meade and its constituencies in the region including
individuals, businesses, civic, social, and educational organizations, and local and state government entities.
FMA facilitates communication among community partners including economic development, military, and defense business representatives,
and the community at-large to ensure long-term viability and support for Fort Meade and an opportunity to identify neighborhood
compatibility concerns. The FMA connects members to tenant agencies at Fort Meade and other organizations that do business
with Fort Meade, while striving to create long-term economic growth throughout the region and state.
Anne Arundel Economic Development Corporation (AAEDC) assists those looking to start a business, grow a business,
or relocate an existing business. The office partners with many organizations to foster economic stability and growth,
including Fort Meade, the
Anne Arundel Chamber of Commerce, the
Maryland Department of Commerce, and the Small Business Development Center Maryland. AAEDC serves the business community,
from large corporations to family-owned small businesses, new entrepreneurial endeavors, and existing commercial enterprises.
Services include financing, site selection assistance, permitting and zoning guidance, workforce development support,
community revitalization, market research, and small business counseling and resources. One example of the AAEDC's efforts
to support Fort Meade and its tenant agencies that specialize in national security information and network security,
big data intelligence, and analytics is the
Arundel Defense Tech Toolbox, which provides low interest financing, workforce training grants, and other incentives
to businesses looking to grow their presence in the national security market space.
Baltimore Metropolitan Council (BMC), more specifically the
Baltimore Regional Transportation Board (BRTB), is the regional Metropolitan Planning Organization responsible for
coordinating planning activities and investment decisions related to surface transportation assets (e.g., roads, bridges,
transit assets, pedestrian facilities, and bicycle facilities). Roadway congestion, construction, and transportation
planning are regional concerns that impact local communities and access to Fort Meade, potentially affecting employees,
service members, and the mission. Communication between the military installation and the BMC is necessary to ensure
an adequate regional transportation infrastructure that supports continued military operations.
The BRTB adopts a four-year financial
Transportation Improvement Program which describes the planned schedule for distributing federal, state, and local
funds for state and local transportation projects within the region.
Fort Meade Website. U.S. Army.
History Fort Meade
The Evolution of Patuxent as a Research Refuge and a Wildlife Research Center.
National Park Service History
.3 Fort Meade gains new missions with BRAC deadline less than one year away
. U.S. Army.
4 Fort Meade Info
. Fort Meade Alliance.