Naval support to midshipmen began in 1851, six years after the founding of the U.S. Naval Academy, when the USS PREBLE arrived at what was then Fort Severn for duty as the first training ship. Upon completion of the Naval Air Station at Greenbury Point in 1911, Annapolis became the home of naval aviation, having both the first naval air station and the first flight from a naval air station to add to its illustrious history.
The first Yard Patrol Craft arrived in 1939, and the Naval Station began to take shape as we know it today. The involvement of the United States in World War II prompted the establishment of the Severn River Naval Command in 1941, to provide efficient and centralized military control over the functionally diverse, yet geographically associated, activities located around the mouth of the Severn River. The Naval Air Facility was reestablished the same year at the present site of the Naval Station to enhance naval aviation indoctrination of midshipmen.
In 1943, 123 additional acres of land were purchased to improve undesirable living conditions for the 800 men living aboard the USS REINA MERCEDES and USS CUMBERLAND, part of the Naval Barracks Command responsible for the enlisted men assigned to the Naval Academy. That same year, the Boat Repair Facility and the Boat Basin were built.
On May 15, 1947, Rear Admiral J. L. Holloway, Jr., father of one of the former Chiefs of Naval Operations, formally commissioned the Naval Station Annapolis. Many large structures were built that year, including the first land barracks, Building 46. The Severn River Naval Command was now expanded to include Naval Station Annapolis, Naval Small Craft Facility, Naval Air Facility and Naval Barracks Command. Each of these commands had a Commanding Officer who reported to the Commandant of the Severn River Naval Command.
In 1962, the Severn River Naval Command was disestablished and all missions and personnel were transferred to the Commanding Officer, Naval Station Annapolis.
Naval Support Activity (NSA) Annapolis was officially established in a commissioning ceremony June 6, 2006, following the retirement of Naval Station Annapolis' colors the previous week. This transition streamlined operations to better support the U.S. Naval Academy, eliminating redundancy and providing a more efficient and responsive organization for the training of Midshipmen and the support of Academy faculty, staff, and family members. The Midshipman training programs and training support operations based at NSA Annapolis remained part of the Academy's Director of Tactical Training, and the mission stayed the same -- to provide underway seamanship and sail training, small arms weapons familiarization, and navigation and engineering professional development for Midshipmen. This includes a fleet of more than 250 Yard Patrol and sail craft, which teach Midshipmen pierside familiarization, basic damage control and underway training, including basic and advanced seamanship and navigation.
Capt. Michael R. Fierro assumed duties as the first commanding officer of NSA Annapolis.
The facilities that fall under NSA Annapolis include military housing and Bachelor Enlisted Quarters, the Fleet and Family Support Center, the Navy Exchange and the Commissary. Under Commander, Navy Installations Command, those organizations provide the same services to Annapolis area service members and their families as directed by the Superintendent of the U.S. Naval Academy.
NSA Annapolis is home to more than 600 military and civilian employees.