Aberdeen Proving Ground (APG) in Maryland is one of the lesser-known Army installations. That’s probably because it’s largely an R&D installation. It’s also home to nearly 80 tenant commands and hosts satellite operations and commercial activities, too. Aberdeen focuses on five core areas – public health and medical research, testing and evaluation, research and development, Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear and Explosives (CBRNE), and efforts relating to the Army Command, Control, Communications, Computers, Intelligence, Sensors and Reconnaissance Team (C4ISR). Speaking of bio attacks, these are the Marines that go right in after chem warfare.
Aberdeen is definitely not a military town, which makes this a unique duty installation. The town boasts a booming tech sector and all the warmth and community you might expect from a small town. That means there’s a low cost of living. That’s to say nothing of the strategic location between Washington, D.C. and New York make it ideal for nearly everyone. In fact, Aberdeen has excellent schools, a lower-than-average cost of living, and plenty of entertainment options. Of course, there’s so much more to love about the area too, including 140 miles of scenic shores, over 6,600 acres of state parks, and closeness to everything you might need.
Aberdeen Proving Ground Location
Located in Harford County, Aberdeen is adjacent to the I-95 corridor.
Take I-95 West to I-695 toward Baltimore. Then, merge onto MD-295N. Next, take the Harbor Tunnel Thruway. This becomes I-95. Next, take exit 80 to merge onto Md-543 S. Finally, turn right to enter the main gate.
Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport (BWI) is the closest airport to Aberdeen Proving Ground.
If BWI isn’t accessible, you might explore arriving at Washington Dulles International Airport located in Dulles, Virginia or Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport in Arlington, Virginia.
Train transportation is available using MARC Train services. Amtrak offers regional and express service to Aberdeen as well.
Gates and Hours
APG has two access regions – APG North and APG South. Each of these regions includes two gates. The Visitor Control Center is located at the Main Gate.
Harford Blvd Gate, Monday – Sunday 0500 – 2400
Maryland Blvd Gate – Main Gate, 24/7
Route 24, Hoadley Rd Gate 24/7
Wise Rd Gate, Monday – Friday 0600 – 1800
Contacts at Aberdeen Proving Ground
APG School Liaison (410) 278-2857
Army Emergency Relief (410) 278-2453
Auto Craft Center (410) 278-5178
Badging Office (410) 306-2380
Barber Shop (APG North) (410) 272-7886
Barracks/Single Service Member Housing (410) 306-2012
Base Operator (410) 278-5201
Beauty Shop / Exchange Service (410) 272-6396
Carlson Wagon Lit Travel – Official (410) 273-1100
Central Registration/Resource and Referral (410) 278-7479
Chapels (410) 278-4333
Child Development Center (APG North) (410) 278-5748
Civilian Personnel Office (410) 278-1583
Clothing Sales (APG North) (410) 272-6828
Commissary Officer (410) 278-3101
Dental Clinic (APG North) (410) 278-1795
Education Center (410) 306-2042
EFMP Enrollment (410) 278-5475
EFMP Family Support (410) 278-2420
Employment Readiness Program – ACS (410) 278-2435
Exchange (410) 278-5784
Finance – DFAS (410) 306-2364
Fire & Emergency Services (410) 306-0501
Garrison Library (410) 278-3417
Health Benefits Advisor-TRICARE (410) 278-1724
Hospital/Medical Treatment Facility (410) 278-5475
Housing Office (410) 306-2002
ID/CAC Card Processing (410) 306-2353
KIRK U. S. Army Health Clinic (410) 278-5475
Legal Services/JAG (410) 278-1583
MP Desk (410) 306-2222
MWR Leisure Travel Services (410) 278-4907
MWR Operations Team (410) 306-4522
Operator (410) 306-1403
Personnel Support Office (410) 306-2333
Shoppette (410) 278-2857
Thrift Store (APG North) (410) 272-8572
Transition Assistance Program (410) 306-2320
Transportation Office Inbound /Outbound (410) 306-2056
Troop Store (APG South) (410) 612-9306
Unaccompanied Member Housing (410) 306-3074
VA Facilities Perry Point VA Medical Center (410) 642-2411
Veterinary Treatment Facility (410) 278-3911
Welcome/Visitors Center (410) 278-2330
Youth Programs/Sports (410) 306-2297
Mission and Units
Aberdeen’s mission is to provide test and test support services in both real and simulated training environments. It also aims to provide expert knowledge and tech services while developing leading edge instrumentation and testing methodologies.
Major commands at APG include the 20th CBRNE Command Army Contracting Command – Aberdeen Proving Ground (ACC-APG). You’ll also find the Army Evaluation Center (AEC), the Army Materiel Systems Analysis Activity (AMSAA), the Army Research Laboratory (ARL), and the Army Test & Evaluation Command (ATEC).
Aberdeen Proving Ground History
APG traces its history to 1917. America needed facilities to test war munitions. However, the Sandy Hook Proving Ground was incapable of further expansion. Demands for testing increased so the Secretary of War asked Sandy Hook’s commanding officer, Col. Colden Ruggles, to find a new location to test munitions.
Of course, the qualifications for a new proving ground were specific. It needed to be near a major industrial and manufacturing center, but far enough away from civilians so year-round testing wouldn’t be an issue. Enter the Chesapeake Bay and what we now know as the Aberdeen Proving Ground.
Initially, the site was all farmland. However, farmers were reluctant to leave. It ended up taking a Congressional act and two presidential proclamations to get them to abandon the land that would become Aberdeen. Farmers eventually received $200 an acre and resettled in other parts of Maryland.
The War Department took formal possession of the land in October, 1917. Testing began at once.
Since then, the name of the installation and its central focus has adapted to fit the needs of the nation’s defense. These days, Aberdeen’s mission has evolved to keep pace with the changing landscape of war.
Things to Do Around Aberdeen Proving Ground
Annapolis, Baltimore, Washington, D.C., and even New York are all within reach when you call Aberdeen home! That’s to say nothing of the majestic Chesapeake Bay area.
Its ideal location means that there are several hotels near Aberdeen.
BaySide Inn & Suites (410) 272-3666
Hilton Garden Inn Aberdeen (410) 272-1777
Holiday Inn Express Aberdeen-Chesapeake House (410) 272-8100
Home2 Suites by Hilton (410) 272-0203
La Quinta Inn & Suites by Wyndham Aberdeen-APG (410) 273-2000
Foodies will love being stationed at Aberdeen. With its closeness to so many major cities, you’ll have the world’s cuisine at your fingertips. If you’re interested in staying closer to home, Maryland is famous for its crab and seafood. There’s nothing better than hunkering down at a crab shack to watch a game.
Annapolis and Baltimore are both easy reaches for interactive weekend activities. Don’t miss out on the Ft. McHenry National Monument. Equally exciting is the Baltimore Museum of Art. Similarly, don’t forget about exploring the nautical history of Annapolis.
Aberdeen Proving Ground Housing
As you might expect, single Soldiers E1-E5 live on post in barracks. Unaccompanied housing is also available for single Airmen. Call the Unaccompanied Member Housing office for more information.
Of course, all other permanent party service members and families have the choice of living on or off post. Corvias Property Managements owns and manages three separate communities of post housing.
If you choose to live off post, nearby Aberdeen is an excellent option, as the cost of living is relatively low for the area.
Schools Near Aberdeen Proving Ground
While there are no DoDEA schools on post, mil-kids who call APG home have several options. If you live on the north side of post, your child will attend Roye-Williams Elementary, Aberdeen Middle School or Aberdeen High School. Mil-kids who live on the south side of the post or Edgewood area will attend Edgewood Elementary, Edgewood Middle or Edgewood High School. Moreover, school bus transportation is provided for students,. Even more exciting, these schools offer breakfast and lunch daily. The best thing to do is to speak with the School Liaison Office for more information.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can you visit Aberdeen Proving Ground?
Currently, visits to APG require a DoD ID. However, visitors who don’t have official DoD IDs have to stop at the Visitor Control Center.
What do they do at the Aberdeen Proving Ground?
APG is a testing and research facility.
Why is it called a proving ground?
The name comes from a way-back term. It means that munitions needed to be ‘proven’ to use useful and capable.
What units are stationed at Aberdeen Proving Grounds?
The major unit at Aberdeen is the 20th CBRNE Command. This unit supports homeland and overseas operations to defend against WMD and IED threats.