NSA Washington, DC HistoryNSA Washington is the modern name of the Washington Navy Yard, which is the Navy's oldest and originally the largest naval shore establishment. Until the War of 1812, the Yard was also a primary Navy base, but was burned in the British attack on Washington DC. The Yard was established again, but not as a base.
After 1815, the Yard focused on shipbuilding and ordnance, mainly for shallow draft vessels. In the Civil War the ironclad USS Monitor was built at the Yard. A great many naval developments came out of the Yard in the 19th Century, including early steam vessels, ironclads, cannon improvements, the early clockwork torpedo, prosthetic improvements, tank-tested scale models for hull designs. The gears of the Panama Canal locks were cast at the Yard, and the 14" railway guns used by France in World War One were built here. Until the 1960s most of the Navy's new weapons were designed and lab tested at the Yard, and in 1945 the facility was renamed the US Naval Gun factory, a name change reversed in 1964.
The Yard is also the reception port for ceremonial functions. Many diplomatic missions have arrived here, as well as returning American dignitaries, including the original Japanese diplomatic reception of the 19th Century, the visit of King George VI, and the official return of Charles Lindbergh after his famous transatlantic solo.
Since the earliest days of the USA, the Navy Yard has been the "Quarterdeck of the Navy," housing many commands. Today the Yard houses the headquarters for the Chief of Naval Operations, the JAG Corps, Sea Systems Command, the Military Sealift Command, and the Marine Corps Institute.