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Virginia Peninsula Chapter MOAA

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Military Bases serving VIPMOAA

 History of Langley AFB


For details see

Military Bases on the Virginia Peninsula

On 1 October 2010, Langley Air Force Base was joined with Fort Eustis to become Joint Base Langley–Eustis. The base was established in accordance with congressional legislation implementing the recommendations of the 2005 Base Realignment and Closure Commission. The legislation ordered the consolidation of the two facilities which were nearby, but separate military installations, into a single joint base, one of 12 formed in the United States as a result of the law.

More about Joint Base Langley-Eustis

Fort Eustis is known for its association with Army Transportation, Army Aviation, and as the home to the Army’s Training and Doctrine Command. But Fort Eustis and its predecessor Camp Eustis have a history that includes many branches of the Army. In 1914 the world was thrown into chaos by the start of World War One, the Great War.  America entered the war in 1917. By 1918, millions had died, and the war was locked in a deadly stalemate. After a year of combat, Army leaders determined that more and better-trained heavy artillery Soldiers were needed. The task to create a new camp to train Soldiers in heavy artillery fell to the Coast Artillery, headquartered at Fort Monroe, Virginia.

More about the history of Fort Eustis

Langley Air Force Base, originally Langley Field, is one of the oldest air bases in the World. In 1916, the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics, predecessor to NASA, established the need for a joint airfield and proving ground for Army, Navy and NACA aircraft. Langley is located in Hampton, Virginia, part of the Hampton Roads historic region and  62 miles south of Richmond.

Langley Field was named after Samuel Pierpont Langley, an aerodynamic pioneer and a former Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution. Langley began aerodynamic experiments in 1887 and formed a basis for practical pioneer aviation. He built and saw the first steam model airplane in 1896 and the first gasoline model in 1903. Both planes were believed to be capable of flight. He also built the first man-carrying gasoline airplane in 1903, which failed to fly on its first attempt and broke apart and crashed on its second. It was, after major modification eleven years later, flown "successfully" by Glenn Curtiss for a little over 3 seconds, traveling 150 feet through the air in 1914.[6] Langley Field was the first Air Service base built especially for air power.

More about the history of Langley Air Force Base    

Naval Weapons Station Yorktown

Naval Weapons Station Yorktown (including Cheatham Annex) sits on 20.7 Square Miles, roughly 1/5 of the total land area of York County. Naval Weapons Station Yorktown borders the counties of York and James City, the cities of Newport News and Williamsburg, and shares almost 14 miles of the York River shoreline (about half of the county's York River shoreline and wetlands) with the National Park Service.

The land of the Weapons Station Yorktown is rich in colonial history. The station sits amidst a setting of natural beauty surrounded by the distant echo of the first settlers in Virginia and the battle cries of the Revolutionary War. Long before the world ever conceived of such things as the testing and evaluation that now go on at the weapons station, the infantry of the American Revolution and the Civil War slogged along the Old Williamsburg Road where today it runs through the station. The oldest structure onboard the installation is the Lee House, built around 1650, where many generations of the family lived out their lives before the property was acquired by the U.S. government.

The site of the weapons station was acquired for the Navy by a presidential proclamation on August 7, 1918, and was at the time the largest naval installation in the world, its land area covering about twenty square miles. Given the country’s ordnance needs once the U.S. entered World War I, the initial mission of the installation was to support the Allied underwater mine barrage in the North Sea. However, when the Armistice was signed on November 11, 1918, the station’s mission quickly evolved to receipt and storage of returned mines and provision of ordnance support for the peacetime Navy

Today, the installation and its tenant commands continue to provide critical fleet ordnance support for the Navy.

More about the history of Naval Weapons Station

US Coast Guard Training Center, Yorktown

US Coast Guard Training Center, Yorktown dates back to the beginning of the 20-th century, in 1917. Back then, the United States Navy decided to build a huge fuel depot, therefore it acquired around 400,000 acres. The local peninsula in Yorktown seemed like an excellent place. It was fully protected, yet open to water. The mission on site changed over the years, especially after the United States of America joined World War II. In 1942, the US Navy decided to relocate the training school for mine warfare. There was plenty of land for all the required ranges. After World War II reached to and end and the Korean War lost its intensity, the US Navy decided to hand the site to the United States Coast Guard. The move was done in 1957.

More about the history of the Coast Guard Training Center

Portsmouth, Virginia: Official Coast Guard City Guarding Our Homeland 

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