While the community has referred for years to all growth at Fort Meade as “BRAC,” in fact that term only encompasses the three agencies relocated by the 2005 Base Relocation and Closure decision: Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA), Defense Media Activities (DMA), and Defense Adjudications Consolidation. With those agencies now in place at Fort Meade, we are “Beyond BRAC” – but Fort Meade will continue to grow.
The mission of Fort Meade was expanding even without the BRAC relocations, and total growth has far outstripped the 5,800 personnel added as a result of BRAC. Over the last 10 years, Fort Meade’s total workforce has grown from 34,000 to 56,800, and it is expected to exceed 60,000 by 2015. In that same time, the number of partner commands has grown from 73 to over 90, with other agencies and commands expanding. Federal investment of over $500M has resulted in 1.4 million sf of new office space and labs on Fort Meade.
Parallel to the BRAC growth, the National Security Agency (NSA) has continued to add personnel at a rate of approximately 800/year. Plans are now underway to develop a new operational complex alongside the new DISA buildings (site of the current golf course). Plans include 5.8 million sf of development, with the first phase, 1.8 million sf, breaking ground in October 2012 for expected completion in 2015. This new complex is projected to house an additional 6,500 personnel, some already working at other facilities in the local area.
The establishment of the U.S. Cyber Command at Fort Meade in 2010 has added new growth potential in both the public and private sector, and its co-location with NSA and DISA solidify Fort Meade’s position as the epicenter of the United States’ cyberspace and information assurance efforts.
Outside the fence, 26 new defense contractors have opened offices in Anne Arundel or neighboring counties, and another 51 have expanded their presence in and around Fort Meade. In response to this contractor growth, more than 5.4 million sf of office space is either underway or in the planning stages in the area around Fort Meade. Fort Meade continues negotiations with a private developer to construct secure office space on federal land across MD175 that would be expected to accommodate another 10,000 contractors (the Enhanced Use Lease Agreement), but barring completion of that agreement, which has been in contention since 2006, those contractors are expected to find space in private office complexes locally.