Share on Facebook
Share on Twitter
E-mail this article
Print this Article

Joint Base Anacostia-Bolling (JBAB), "The Premier Joint Base" of Naval District Washington, is rich with history and full of recreational activities that would interest anyone visiting the National Capital Region.

JBAB's land has been under the jurisdiction of the Department of Defense (DOD) since 1917, and there has been some form of military presence there since. In 1918, an airfield was established called The Flying Field at Anacostia, and later the Anacostia Experimental Flying Field.

Soon after, the singular installation split into two separate, adjoining bases: one headed by the Army (the Air Force had not yet been established by the National Security Act of 1947) called Bolling Airfield after Colonel Raynal C. Bolling, and a Navy installation. The Navy initially tested seaplanes at the location, but eventually became Naval Air Station Anacostia. A couple of years following the conclusion of World War II, Bolling Air Force Base also was established.

Support for conventional, fixed-wing aircraft in use for air defense of Washington D.C. continued at both installations up until 1962, when all fixed-wing aircraft use was suspended from Bolling and Anacostia due to high traffic concerns in connection with the proximity of Washington National Airport (now Ronald Reagan National Airport) just north of the two facilities across the Potomac River.

Despite the transfer of fixed-wing aircraft support to other facilities in the area, JBAB still maintains a 100' by 100' helipad on the installation and is a vital part of helicopter operations in the region, including support of the HMX-1 Marine Helicopter Squadron, which has the duty of transporting the President and other VIPs.

Subject to a 2005 Base Realignment and Closure Commission recommendation and relevant legislation from Congress, Naval Support Facility Anacostia and Bolling Air Force Base joined together in 2010, forming Joint Base Anacostia-Bolling and reaching full operational capacity as a joint base on Oct. 1 of that year.

"Since our establishment in 2010, JBAB has maintained the proud tradition and heritage of service to the country of the former Naval Support Facility Anacostia and Bolling Air Force Base," said Joint Base Commander Capt. Anthony T. Calandra, USN. "Additionally, we have become the military installation of choice in the NCR and a caring neighbor in the community. Our success is due in large part to the cooperation of all our Mission Partners and the US Navy / Air Force Team."

JBAB is also the home to some of the finest support, morale, welfare and recreation facilities that NDW has to offer. According to Director of Warfighter and Family Readiness for JBAB John Robinette, the facilities are always in high demand and it is hard to pick just one activity as being the most popular.

"It is hard to say," said Robinette. "It really depends on what your interests are."

However, Robinette highlights the Child Development Centers (CDC) as being very much utilized. There are three CDCs on JBAB, and they are all filled to capacity with over 600 children, with a waiting list of roughly 300.

"We're hoping to build a fourth center in the very near future to either eliminate or at least reduce the wait," said Robinette.

Robinette referenced the Fitness Centers and physical training facilities as being top-notch. JBAB is home to two Fitness Centers, Aerobics Center, and outdoor track available to all branches of the military as well as DOD civilians. They're open around 90 hours a week and provide a wide range of services including aerobics classes, monthly fun runs, CrossFit, spinning, among others.

Two facilities that are a major draw for JBAB is the Outdoor Recreation Center Capital Cove Marina. The ORC offers seasonal programs such as horseback riding, hiking, fishing, camping, paintball, skiing and rock climbing. An equipment rental center offers a wide variety of leisure equipment at reasonable prices.

The Capital Cove Marina is an excellent opportunity for anyone looking to engage in some recreation on the water. The Marina features docks open slips with electricity, dry-lot storage, a maintenance area, transient berthing, launching ramp, marina ramp pass, emergency pumping service, charter sailboats and a number of rental watercraft.

Other facilities that Robinette highlighted included the newly renovated 30-lane bowling center, the base pool, Arts & Craft, Information, Ticket, & Tours, and Auto Hobby programs, and dining options such as Furnari Hall and the Bolling Club. According to Robinette, one of the most popular facilities is the Slip Inn. It provides "a nice place to relax with an awesome view of the Potomac River and is noted for its fried chicken and burgers."

"MWR is totally focused on its customers and provides a wide variety of activities in a convenient location at a great price or free," said Robinette. "That's good for everyone's morale."

"As the Nation's premier Joint Base, Anacostia-Bolling is committed to providing exceptional mission support and base services through pride and teamwork and excellence," said Calandra.

For more information on JBAB, visit their website at mil/JBAB/index.htm or read the base guide online at http://www.dcmilitary. com/section/baseguide_anacostiabolling