History

Ariel View of Joint Base Anacostia Bolling

Joint Base Anacostia-Bolling (JBAB) began with a 2005 Base Realignment and Closure Commission (BRAC) recommendation that resulted in congressional legislation ordering the consolidation of Naval Support Facility (NSF) Anacostia and Bolling Air Force Base (BAFB).

The joint base is one of 12 formed in the country, consolidating 26 installations.

With NSF and BAFB sharing a common boundary, military and congressional leaders recognized the opportunity to reduce duplication of efforts and facilities requirements; better utilization of facilities and infrastructure and consolidation and optimization of existing and future service contract requirements, capable of generating financial savings.

Years of planning, followed by a gradual transition of installation management functions performed by civilian, military and contract personnel culminated in the smooth transition of base operating support management under a single, Navy-led joint military command.

Since the BRAC legislation was enacted, Air Force and Navy planners, support personnel and leaders steadfastly worked to ensure a smooth transition to JBAB. The transition began with an initial operating capability on Jan. 31, 2010, when certain installation support functions began to transfer to the joint base construct and reached full operational capability on Oct. 1, 2010.

A DOD asset since 1917
JBAB’s property has been a Department of Defense (DOD) asset since 1917. From its beginning, the installation has included the Army Air Corps (predecessor to today’s Air Force) and Navy aviation and support elements. It began as a single installation, known as the Flying Field at Anacostia, then renamed Bolling Field a year later.

Not long after its acquisition by the military, the single installation evolved into two separate, adjoining bases; one Army (later Air Force) and one Navy. In the late 1940s, Bolling Field’s property became Naval Air Station Anacostia and a new Air Force base; named Bolling Air Force Base was constructed just to the south in 1948.

Over the years, Marine Corps, Coast Guard and National Guard units, as well as DOD and federal agencies also found the installation to be an ideal place to operate from.

Rich History of service to the country and world
From the start, the installation served an important role in service to the country and the world, including many aviation and humanitarian developments and missions.

In 1918, pilots from the installation were dispatched by President Woodrow Wilson to create the first permanent airmail route from Washington, D.C. to New York, N.Y.

Navy seaplanes were first tested and Air Force aerial refueling techniques were developed by installation-based personnel and military commands.

Following its successful transatlantic flight in 1927, Charles Lindbergh's "Spirit of St. Louis" returned to the installation. Soon after, the aircraft was utilized for Lindbergh's goodwill flight to Mexico and South America.

Air Force Lt. Col. Henry "Hap" Arnold led a bomber flight from Bolling Field on a 4,000-mile journey to Alaska in 1934, to demonstrate the capabilities of long-range strategic bombing missions.

Throughout World War II, the installation served as a training and organizational base for personnel and units going overseas. It also served as the aerial gateway to the nation's capital.

The Air Force’s first headquarters was established at the installation, as Army Air Forces Headquarters in 1941 and with the creation of the United States Air Force, Air Force Headquarters in 1947.

The Sacred Cow, President Harry Truman's initial official aircraft and Franklin Roosevelt's only official aircraft, retired from service on the installation in 1961. The aircraft was the predecessor to Air Force One. The aircraft’s presidential and VIP support missions were significant. The desk inside of the aircraft is where President Truman signed the National Security Act of 1947, which created the United States Air Force.

In 1962, fixed-wing aircraft operations at the air force and naval installations ceased, due to congested airspace around Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport, on the opposite shore of the Potomac River.

With fixed-wing aircraft operations ceased, the installations continued their important service to the country and the world, serving in many capacities, including service with the Military Airlift Command (MAC); the headquarters for the Air Force District of Washington; the Air Force 11th Wing; Commander, Naval Installations Command, Naval Media Center (now, Defense Media Activity-Navy) and many other military commands and federal agencies.

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