About Naval Support Facility Indian Head

Indian Head Base

Naval Support Facility Indian Head became the United States Navy’s first permanent presence in Southern Maryland when the base was founded in 1890, surrounded by the Potomac River and the Mattawoman Creek.

Today, the base employs a broad cross-section of sailors, Marines and Defense Department civilians, and it remains one of our region’s largest and most vital employment centers.

The work carried out on the base has long proven essential to the mission of the United States military and the defense of our nation.

Naval Support Facility Indian Head (NSF IH)

In 2003, the management of the Naval Ordnance Station changed over to Commander Navy Installation Command (CNIC) to provide shore installation management to all naval activities. NOS was aligned with Naval District Washington (NDW) and was renamed Naval Support Facility Indian Head. Today, this facility serves the US Navy, DoD and allied nations through the research, development, testing and evaluation of energetics and their systems and provides all armed services with knowledge and safety regarding every aspect of explosive threats.


Naval Support Activity South Potomac (NSASP)  Indian Head

Naval Support Activity South Potomac (NSASP) was established on Nov. 3, 2005, as a component of Naval District Washington. NSASP oversees Naval Support Facility Dahlgren and Naval Support Facility Indian Head. As the base landlord, NSASP provides management functions supporting command to joint DoD, U.S. Navy and U.S Marine Corps commands and other activities.


Naval Surface Warfare Center Indian Head (NSWC IHD)

NSWC IHD is field activity of the Naval Sea Systems Command and part of the U.S. Navy’s Science and Engineering Establishment as well as the largest tenant. It is the leader in ordnance, energetics and EOD solutions. The division focuses on energetics research, development, testing, evaluation, in-service support and disposal. It provides warfighters with solutions to detect, locate, access, identify, render safe, recover, exploit and dispose of explosive ordnance threats.


NSWC’s unique synergy and balanced capabilities address all aspects of energetics. They include basic research, applied technology demonstration, prototyping, engineering development, acquisition, low-rate production, in-service engineering, mishaps and failure investigations, surveillance and demilitarization.

Naval Ordnance Safety and Security Activity (NOSSA)

The Naval Ordnance Safety and Security Activity (NOSSA) is a field activity of the Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA). Located 25 miles south of Washington, D.C. in Indian Head, NOSSA manages all aspects of the Department of the Navy Explosives Safety Program.

As the NAVSEA Technical Authority for Explosives Safety, NOSSA provides technical policies, procedures and design criteria associated with weapons systems safety, including software safety across the warfare disciplines. NOSSA manages all programmatic policy requirements for the five major DON Explosives Safety Program component programs: Ordnance Safety and Security, Weapons and Combat System Safety, Ordnance Environmental Support Office, Insensitive Munitions Office, and Weapons and Ordnance Quality Evaluation.

Naval Sea Logistics Center Detachment Indian Head (NAVSEALOGCEN)

NAVSEALOGCEN Indian Head Site provides support in the functional and financial management of unit operations, serving as the NAVSEA Headquarters and Warfare Center OM&S Lead under the direction of SEA 00B and the NSWC/NUWC Technical Director and serving as the ERP Logistics and Supply lead for NAVSEA Navy ERP deployment under the direction of NAVSEA 04B in close coordination with NAVSEA 01. Functions include operating materials and supplies, single-supply solution (ERP 1.1) functionality, logistics and supply advice on ERP related matters, business rules, training, role mapping, new functionality, inventory, validation, configuration, and warehouse management support to NAVSEA field activities, and functional and administrative support for the U.S. Navy ERP Business Office.

The NAVSEALOGCEN Indian Head Site provides Information Technology products and services and Integrated Logistics Support for the NAVSEA and its program executive offices, and ultimately in support of the fleet. The Indian Head Site combines a thorough knowledge of Navy business practices integrated with information technology and project management expertise to support and deliver products that strengthen fleet logistics, maintenance and modernization, as well as products that improve the financial and industrial operations of the naval shipyards. Additionally, NAVSEALOGCEN Indian Head Site provides automated information systems security, testing and accreditation, and supports many NAVSEA corporate systems and initiatives.


U.S. Marine Corps Chemical Biological Incident Response Force (CBIRF)

As one of America’s national assets, the Chemical Biological Incident Response Force, U.S. Marine Corps Force Command, remains second to none in fulfilling the mission of Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear and High-Yield Explosive (CBRNE) consequence management.

The CBIRF concept was developed by the Marine Corps Warfighting Laboratory and came to fruition in 1996. The active-duty unit is now located at Naval Support Facility, Indian Head. Less than 30 miles from the capital building, CBIRF’s proximity to the National Capital Region makes it the force of choice within DoD when responding to CBRNE threats in Washington, DC.

The Marines and sailors who comprise CBIRF come from more than 40 military occupational specialties and train year-round to carry out the unit’s mission. CBIRF is prepared to respond with minimal warning to a chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear or high-yield explosive (CBRNE) event. This unit assists local, state and/or federal agencies and the geographic combatant commanders in a CBRNE response and/or consequence management operations.  

As such, CBIRF Marines and Sailors are skilled in command and control, agent detection and identification, search, rescue, and decontamination, and emergency medical care for contaminated personnel.


Naval Facilities Engineering Command (NAVFAC) Washington

NAVFAC Washington was established in July 2004, by consolidating EFA Chesapeake and PWC Washington into a single facilities engineering entity. Comprising nearly 1,500 people, this new organization was established to plan and deliver facilities engineering support, services and solutions in capital improvements, base development and planning, real estate, public works, and environmental services. The NAVFAC Washington Commanding Officer serves a dual role, reporting to NAVFAC Atlantic as NAVFAC Washington commanding officer and to the Naval District Washington commandant as regional engineer.


Expeditionary Exploitation Unit 1 (EXU-1)

Expeditionary Exploitation Unit 1 (EXU-1) personnel are widely regarded as the U.S. Navy’s premier mobile explosive ordnance disposal expeditionary and technical exploitation unit. With the reception of the Navy Unit Commendation (NUC) from the Secretary of the Navy on Dec. 15, 2020, they can now say they have it in writing.

EXU-1 is an operationally deployable Type II, Echelon V command aligned under Naval Surface Warfare Center Indian Head Division (NSWC IHD). EXU-1 hosts a variety of platoons designed to collect, process, exploit and analyze improvised and conventional explosive ordnance, explosive hazards and other related components on land and sea to provide real-time targeting information and intelligence to explosive ordnance disposal (EOD) forces.

From January 2016 through May 2019, EXU-1 personnel demonstrated unparalleled success in providing expeditionary technical exploitation services to joint and naval forces in the U.S. Central Command, U.S. Africa Command and U.S. Pacific Command Areas of Operation. EXU-1 exploited first-seen ordnance, identified new threat streams related to commercial technologies used in improvised weapons, provided national-level decision-makers with verifiable identification of captured ordnance and improvised weapon systems, and conducted biometric, document and media exploitation to identify terrorist networks, individual bomb makers and resource facilitators. During this period, EXU-1 also developed and exercised policy, doctrine, and tactics to advanced joint and naval technical exploitation capabilities.

Current supported commands on board NSF Indian Head include the Naval Surface Warfare Center Indian Head Explosive Ordnance Disposal Technology Division, Naval Ordnance Safety and Security Activity, Naval Sea Logistics Center Indian Head, Joint Interoperability Test Command, and Marine Corps Chemical Biological Incident Response Force.