Naval Support Activity Bethesda

​​Mission and Vision St​atement
Mission​: "As an installation, we create an environment that enables patients to heal, staff to thrive,and guests to feel at home."

"Naval Support Activity Bethesda provides customer-focused installation management and base operating support to our tenant activities in their pursuit of excellence. We partner in healing, wellness, research, and education."
                                                                                            (Source: Naval Support Acvitiy Bethesda Website)

​History and Ge​​neral Information

Naval Support Activity (NSA) Bethesda is located north of the nation's capital in Bethesda, Maryland. Its major tenant, Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, originated as a result of a 2005 BRAC action to combine the two premier military medical hospitals in the country, the National Naval Medical Center (commonly called Bethesda Naval Hospital) and the Walter Reed Army Medical Center located in Washington, DC, off 16th Street NW and Military Road. One driver of the decision was the outdated and poorly maintained condition of the Walter Reed Medical Center, given it was built in 1909. By combining both medical centers into one campus in Bethesda, the DoD was able to construct a new, state-of-the-art hospital and medical center to meet the needs of all military personnel when needed. In August 2011, they were officially combined to become the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center (WRNMMC).

In addition to the WRNMMC, NSA Bethesda hosts more than 40 tenant organizations across the installation, including the Navy Medicine Professional Development Center, Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences, Armed Forces Radiobiology Research Institute, Armed Forces Blood Bank, Naval Dosimetry Center, and the Warrior Transition Brigade. The Uniformed Services University trains medical professionals for careers in the DoD and the Public Health Service. The Naval Dosimetry Center manages the radiation protection programs for the Navy and Marine Corps and conducts ongoing research into the human burden and health impacts of radioactive dosage. Collectively, the WRNMMC and other NSA Bethesda tenant commands provide military personnel and their families with comprehensive health, medical, wellness, and recovery/recuperative care.

As the host command, NSA Bethesda supplies the full spectrum of operations, maintenance, utilities, and other infrastructure support services. NSA Bethesda operated programs also include the Fleet & Family Readiness Department, which hosts Morale, Welfare, and Recreation (MWR) Programs and the Military & Family Support Center (MFSC). On a typical day, approximately 15,000 employees, patients, residents, and visitors visit the base.


Compatible Use Organizations, Programs, and Resources

For more information on how NSA Bethesda 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 should 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.

Local Comprehensive Planning


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.

The following are links to the comprehensive plans for areas surrounding NSA Bethesda.

  • Bethesda-Chevy Chase Master Plan (1990): While this master plan is more than 30 years old it remains the guiding document for the area surrounding the facility. It describes the importance of the Naval Medical Command to the local economy and jobs, its impacts on transportation infrastructure and public transit, the need to maintain the facility's visual quality and access to open space, the desire to strengthen coordination with the installation, and its potential role in supporting an increase in housing units if certain policies endorsed by the Master Plan were implemented. Montgomery County continues to recognize the importance of compatible use planning with NSA Bethesda.
  • Master Plan for the Communities of Kensington-Wheaton (1989): The Kensington-Wheaton community is adjacent to the northeast portion of Walter Reed National Military Medical Center. Although more than 30 years old, this plan remains the guiding document for the area and should be taken into consideration if expansion or changes in mission were to take place at NSA Bethesda.

Local Resiliency Planning


Naval Support Activity Bethesda Military Installation Resiliency Review Grant (2021): This grant, from the Department of Defense Office of Local Defense Community Cooperation (OLDCC) Military Installation Sustainability Program, will provide funding for the Montgomery County Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) to complete a resiliency study for the community around NSA Bethesda and will make recommendations on how to minimize impacts from inland flooding. The study began in fall 2021. The county provided $41,358 of in-kind existing staff resources. The primary area of investigation includes the Stoney Creek subwatershed (Rock Creek) and the NSA Bethesda property. A secondary, high-level analysis of transportation resources will extend outside the primary area of investigation, bounded to the north by I-495, to the south by MD 410, to the east by MD 185, and to the west by MD 187. The study will recommend potential water resources, transportation, and power grid resiliency projects. Future projects recommended in the study may also be eligible for other federal grant programs such as FEMA's Building Resiliency Infrastructure and Communities (BRIC), National Fish and Wildlife Foundation's National Coastal Resilience Fund, and Maryland Department of Natural Resources Chesapeake and Atlantic Coastal Bays Trust Fund.


Economic Resources to Promote Compatibility

A jurisdiction's economic development office and support organizations offer a variety of resources to 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.

NSA Bethesda Workforce and Economic Impact


NSA Bethesda generates more than 14,620 direct, indirect, and induced jobs as a result of its operations in Bethesda and the surrounding region.1 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 NSA Bethesda (sum of direct, indirect, and induced impacts) is $1.9B, with a total employee compensation of $1.4B.2

Department of the Navy Office of Small Business Programs


The Department of the Navy's (DON) Office of Small Business Programs (OSBP) promotes small business acquisition opportunities to support the needs of sailors and marines through policy, advocacy, counseling, and training. The OSBP promotes systems, innovation, products, and tools to support the mission and provides guides and videos to assist small businesses in working with the Navy. The vision for the program is to “influence change and create a culture of small business inclusiveness across the DON.”3

Naval Facilities Engineering Systems Command Small Business Office


The Naval Facilities Engineering Systems Command Office of Small Business Program's (NAVFAC OSBP) mission is to “support the local small business community to deliver life-cycle technical and acquisition solutions aligned to the Fleet and Marine Corps priorities.” The NAVFAC OSBP conducts industry outreach, communicates small business opportunities across all socio-economic sectors, and provides information on teaming opportunities with large businesses and other resources and information to help local small businesses obtain work with the Navy.

Economic Development in Montgomery County


Montgomery County Economic Development Corporation (MCEDC) works to strengthen business development throughout the county and offers a variety of programs and services to foster business retention, growth, and new investment for businesses of all sizes. The office partners with many organizations to foster economic stability, attract and retain a highly educated and experienced workforce to provide businesses with the talent they need to grow, and information on federal agencies in the area for contracting opportunities, including NSA Bethesda and its tenant organizations. The corporation partners with the Montgomery Chamber of Commerce, the Maryland Department of Commerce, and the Small Business Development Center.

MCEDC adopted an Economic Development Strategic Plan in April 2022 that presents a unified vision for economic development in the county and includes target metrics and strategies to increase business activity. The plan acknowledges life sciences and advanced technology as economic drivers and prioritizes recommendations to aggressively recruit and retain talent and utilize public-private partnerships with the county's existing research assets such as NSA Bethesda.

The Economic Development team in Montgomery County's Division of Fiscal Management also sponsors and oversees a variety of programs to help the business community grow and bring in new businesses to the county. These programs include the Small Business Assistance Program (SBAP), Cybersecurity Supplement Program (CSP), and the Small Business Innovation Research and Small Business Technology Transfer (SBIR/STTR) Matching Grant Program. More information on these and other programs is available on the Department of Finance's website.

Regional Transportation Organization


The National Capital Region Transportation Planning Board (TPB) is the federally designated Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) for the region, playing an important role as the forum for regional transportation planning. With participation from the District of Columbia, Maryland, and Virginia departments of transportation and the region's local governments, the TPB prepares intermediate-range and long-range plans and programs that permit federal transportation funds to flow to the metropolitan Washington region. The TPB also works to advance safety, land use coordination, and inform the work of decision makers. The Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments (COG) houses and staffs the TPB.

The TPB 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. Among the planned transportation projects are intersection improvements at MD 355 at Woodmont Avenue/Glenbrook Parkway and South Wood Road/South Drive, completed in 2020, that provide improved access to and relieves congestion around NSA Bethesda.

Additionally, the recently completed MD 355 Crossing Project, spurred by implementing the 2005 Base Realignment and Closure Act that dramatically increased pedestrian and vehicular traffic in the area, facilitates underground pedestrian movement from the Medical Center Metro stop to WRNMMC and the National Institute of Health on either side of MD 355. This has helped eliminate street level crosswalks and illegal jaywalking that have proven dangerous and deadly for employees and visitors to the area. Learn more about the project in this video that celebrates the project's completion.


1 FY ​2021 Economic Impact of Maryland's Military Installatio​ns and the Associated Defense Ecosystem. Maryland Department of Commerce. FY 2021 Economic Impact of Maryland's Military Installations and the Associated Defense Ecosystem.
2 Ibid.
3 About the Office of Small Business Programs. Navy Office of Small Business Programs. ​


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