Saint Mary's County, Maryland is home to Naval Air Station Patuxent River, also known as NAS Pax River (Naval Air Warfare Center, NAWC). NAS Pax River is a United States Naval Air Station located on the Chesapeake Bay near the mouth of the Potomac River. With over 50 tenant commands, including Naval Air Systems Command, U.S. Naval Test Pilot School, Air Test and Evaluation Squadron 20, Scientific Development Squadron 1, Rotary Wing Test Squadron 21 and Air Test and Evaluation Squadron 23, NAS Pax River serves as the principal research center for all of the U.S. Navy's aviation test and evaluation and systems acquisition. Spanning over 14,500 acres, NAS Pax's installations include: Webster Field Annex, Solomons Recreation Center, and the Bloodsworth Island Range. Currently, 3,000 active duty military members are stationed at NAS Pax. In addition, the base employs 6,900 civil service employees, 6,400 defense contract employees, and 370 non-appropriated fund employees.
In response to WWII, the base was commissioned on land acquired through eminent domain. Much of this land consisted of farmed plantations and the Cedar Point community. Cedar Point was chosen due to its coastline location and ability to support weapons testing. It became a premier testing center during the 1950s and 1960s.
Saint Mary's County was the first county established in Maryland. It has become a technology corridor, due to the large number of defense and aerospace contract firms that have come to the area in support of the air station.
Being the first county in Maryland shaped the cultures and traditions of its residents. These cultures and traditions were defined by the watermen who worked the Chesapeake and local rivers. Crab boils and oyster scalds are local favorites and not to be missed. Stuffed ham is a southern Maryland specialty which local families not only take seriously, but also secretively. Everyone has a special family recipe. Food and family are St. Mary's County staples and when it comes to fun, softball reigns king. There is a softball league for everyone and the fields stay very busy.
With an average summer temperature of 74 degrees and winters averaging 37 degrees, Saint Mary's County maintains a mild climate. Most snowfall occurs in February and averages 17 inches over the course of a winter.
The county is home to 1,990 businesses which employ 28,000 workers. Fifty local businesses have over 100 employees. Due to growth in the technology sector, the average median income in Saint Mary's county is $90,000, the 2nd highest median income in Maryland. The area's labor force continues to outpace state and national growth and is expected to reach 77,000 by the year 2030. While many residents are employed by defense contractors, such as Boeing, Northrup Grumman Corporation, BAE, Dyncorp and Wyle Labs, there are many non-defense related employers. The College of Southern Maryland, Saint Mary's College, Saint Mary's Hospital, and the Paul Hall Center for Maritime Training and Education all provide ample opportunities for employment.
The area has a large selection of housing for those seeking a home. The median home price at the end of 2011 was $258,000. From rentals and starter homes to retirement communities, Saint Mary's County has something to offer everyone.
Saint Mary's County Public Schools have been recognized by the Military Child Education Coalition as having among the highest percentage of students connected to the military in the country. Due to this, the schools have implemented the Interstate Compact on Educational Opportunity for Military Children in order to address any inequalities faced by the children of military parents.
There are 17,000 students enrolled in the public school system, which runs 17 elementary schools, 4 middle schools, 3 high schools, an alternative learning school and The Vocational Training Center.
There are multiple civil and social clubs including Rotary Club, VFW, The Navy Flying Club, American Legion, Marine Corps League and Navy League. Steeped in maritime heritage, Saint Mary's County is the perfect place for outdoor adventures. Kayak runs, bay fishing and hiking are popular activities in the area. Adult intramural and youth sports leagues are also very popular. After all the activity, local residents enjoy a variety of family-run seafood restaurants, which line the banks of both the Patuxent and Potomac rivers.
NAS Pax is located 62 miles south of Washington DC and 80 miles south of Baltimore, allowing an easy drive for day trips to the cities and convenient access to both Baltimore-Washington and Reagan National Airports. Saint Mary's County Regional Airport is 8 miles from the air station. It has one runway and mostly services small aircraft. Saint Mary's County Transportation Department offers a community- based transportation program.
Saint Mary's County has a small town atmosphere, abundance of nature, and top notch schools. A focus on growth and maintaining family friendly recreational opportunities has led many new residents to proudly call St. Mary's County home.
The following links provide useful information on NAWC and NAS Pax River:
* Rebates are not allowed in all states. In some states, a gift card or commission credit at closing may be provided in lieu of the Cash-Back bonus. You must register with U.S. Military on the Move® before contacting a real estate agent and be represented by the assigned real estate firm at closing to qualify. All real estate transactions are negotiable. Other terms and conditions may apply.
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