Naval Support Activity Bethesda (NSAB) mail delivery service will change its street addresses to better adhere to Navy postal delivery and enhanced emergency response (911) standards to assist overall mail delivery and in response to emergency calls. The goal of this effort is to improve postal operations on the installation, and bring the installation into compliance with Navy regulations. They are scheduled to occur in late 2012.
According to Elizabeth Lusk, a geographical information systems analyst at NSAB, mail operations will change when individual facilities are provided with their own street address, rather than simply a building number, however, Lusk noted that some facilities on the installation will not be affected.
“These changes will not affect the main hospital core of Walter Reed National Military Medical Center (Buildings 1-10 and 19), which will keep 8901 Wisconsin Avenue as its street address. Additionally, neither the Fisher Houses nor the Flag Housing will be altered as their addresses already conform to Navy standards. "The new addressing system is intended to improve mail delivery to all facilities across the installation and ensure compliance with Navy regulations,” said Lusk.
Currently, all mail and packages are delivered to the main hospital building, after which it may be collected by tenant commands and residents.
In addition to mail delivery, it is often challenging to provide directions to a particular NSAB building without being able to list a street address. Facilities are not sequentially numbered along roadways. The building numbers reflect the number provided at the end of construction; those numbers are essential for building records, utility costs and future operation and maintenance budgeting. However, they are not the most helpful for an NSAB visitor.
According to the NSAB Fire Department, the address change will also improve emergency response times.
"The proposed new addressing for the base will assist our mutual aide partners; Montgomery County and the National Institute of Health Fire Departments in identifying the location of the emergency, providing a more rapid response time to situations,” said John Gray, Acting Fire Chief at NSAB.
A proposed list of addresses has been provided by NSAB to Naval Supply Systems Command (NAVSUP), the lead activity for the Navy Official Mail Program. This draft list is under review with the United States Postal Service (USPS) and Montgomery County for compliance with mail delivery standards and regional emergency response services.
As the list of addresses is finalized, they can only go into effect once all facility signs have been replaced to reflect the new addresses. Signs may be either building-mounted or be placed in front of the facility visible from the road. The current sign design for individual facilities is under review to add this new information.
The building numbers for each facility will also be retained on each facility, as these connect to facility maintenance records and associated operations and maintenance funding. This system is similar to other installations within Naval District Washington.
According to Lusk, those getting a new address should keep the address changes in mind as new letterhead, envelopes and business cards are needed. The NSAB Public Works Department anticipates the address approval process to be complete by the end of the summer, however, the procurement and installation of new signs may take several more months.
Information and updates will continue to be provided as the address change moves forward. Further questions about this change may be addressed to Lusk at 295-5787.