NAS Patuxent River is located adjacent to the mouth of the Patuxent River, and is on the Chesapeake Bay, in the county of Saint Mary’s, Maryland. The base plays home to the Naval Test Pilot School, and is essential in the process of training new pilots. The base was commissioned originally on April 1, 1943, and started as a small center for tests, evaluations and systems acquisition. It quickly grew in response to the demand presented by World War 2. Today, the base serves not only as a training place for test pilots, but also a grounds for testing new weapons.
NAS Patuxent River, which is often called NAS Pax River, has continued to grow over the years. Due to budget cuts and the end of the cold war, many Navy bases were closed. As the bases were closed, training and testing personnel were moved to NAS Pax River. Today, the base hosts more than 17,000 people, most of which are Military personnel, but there are many civilians at NAS Patuxent River as well.