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Naval Surface Warfare Center Dahlgren Division

Naval Support Activity South Potomac
6149 Suite 203, Welsh Rd, Dahlgren, VA 22448


The Naval Surface Warfare Center (NSWC) Dahlgren Division is a premier research and development center that serves as a specialty site for weapon system integration. It is a tenant unit of Naval Support Facility Dahlgren. The center rapidly introduces new technology into complex warfighting systems and excel based on their longstanding competencies in Science and Technology, Research and Development, and Test and Evaluation.


NSWCDD’s mission is to provide research, development, test and evaluation, analysis, systems engineering, integration and certification of complex naval warfare systems. Through the years, Dahlgren established itself as the major testing area for naval guns and ammunition. Today, it continues to provide the military with testing and certification by utilizing its Potomac River Test Range in Dahlgren, VA, and provides Fleet support at NSWC Dahlgren Division Dam Neck Activity, overlooking the Virginia Capes Fleet Operations Area, Virginia Beach, VA.


NSWCDD conducts basic research in all systems-related areas and pursues scientific disciplines including physics, mathematics, laser and computer technology, software, mechanical, electrical and systems engineering, and biotechnology and chemistry. As a premier naval scientific and engineering institution, Dahlgren technology is critical to new design concepts for current ships and for systems integration and interoperability for the U.S. Navy.

Arriving at Naval Surface Warfare Center Dahlgren Division

Dahlgren is located about 30 miles east of Fredericksburg, VA approximately an hour and a half south of Washington, D.C. and an hour and forty minutes north of Richmond, Virginia. The closest airport is Reagan National Airport in Washington, D.C.


If you are arriving by train or bus, both make stops in Fredericksburg about 30 miles from Dahlgren. The Amtrak train stops in downtown Fredericksburg and there is a Greyhound bus station on Princess Anne Street in Fredericksburg located across the street from the famous Carl’s Ice Cream Stand. There is no public transportation to Dahlgren. Taxi service is available but can be expensive ($60). Recommend military members arrange transportation with their Command sponsor or request a Command duty driver.


All incoming military personnel should report to their Command for in-processing directions and guidance. Single or unaccompanied military will be assigned billeting quarters at the Potomac Inn Billeting Office, Bldg 960. Military members accompanied by their families should be escorted to temporary lodging and Base Housing and then to Command for reporting and in-processing.


If you report to Dahlgren after duty hours or on holidays and weekends, check in with the BEQ/BOQ Billeting Registration Desk, Bldg 960. The next day of business, you should report to your Command to begin in-processing.


Incoming personnel should have a copy of their orders, any leave forms, copies of travel receipts, copies of any travel advances, military ID cards, drivers license, and auto insurance information. Families with school age children should have their birth certificates, immunization records, social security cards, and current physical certification.

Base Population
The NSWCDD employs approximately 5,700 scientists & engineers.  Naval Support Facility Dahlgren employs approximately 360 DoD active-duty military personnel, approximately 450 military family members, over 4,600 DoD civilian employees, and over 1,800 defense contractor employees.