Aberdeen Proving Ground (APG) is a United States of America Army facility based in & around Aberdeen, MD, Harford County.
Aberdeen Proving Grounds is definitely the U.S. Army’s oldest active proving grounds, founded on October 20, 1917, several months after the U.S. entered into World War I. Its location permitted layout and testing of ordnance materials to transpire within the vicinity of modern day manufacturing, shipping and delivery facilities. The very first gun was subjected to testing and fired there on January 2, 1918. The proving ground was developed as a successor for the Sandy Hook Proving Grounds, which hadn’t been big enough for a number of the larger weaponry being tested at that time. At the peak of World War II, APG had billeting space for 2,348 officers and 24,189 enlisted personnel.
APG makes up two primary locations, divided by the Bush River. The northern location is called the Aberdeen Area, as well as the southern area, previously called the Edgewood Arsenal, now the Edgewood Area. The majority of APG’s tenants are based in the Edgewood Area and perform work in environmental and chemical circles.
They range from the Chemical and Biological Defense Command, Army Environmental Center, Chemical Demilitarization and Remediation Activity, Medical Research Institute of Chemical Defense, and the Center for Health Promotion and Preventative Medicine. While actively testing military hardware, environmental protection is actually a major concern. The Proving Ground has developed an environmental program that has made it a haven for bald eagles and other wildlife.
It takes up over 72,500 acres in Harford County, Maryland. More than 7,500 civilians work at APG, and more than 3,900 military personnel are assigned there. In addition, there are nearly 3,000 contractor and private business employees working on the Proving Grounds. There are 2,700 military family members residing within the post and another 243 off post.
U.S. Army Garrison, Aberdeen Proving Grounds, provides general, administration and logistical support to the post tenants and satellite activities, and is responsible for the management and operation of the entire installation, which in several ways is sort of a modest city. APG has more than 2,200 structures exceeding 15 million square feed of building space.
The post has more than 300 miles of improved roads, 30 miles of railroad and more than 567,000 square yards of airfield pavement. The post has nearly 2.25 million linear feet of electrical distribution lines, more than 215,000 linear feet of steam and hot water distribution lines, and nearly 21,000 linear feet of gas distribution lines. In addition, the post’s water distribution system can handle as much as 7 million gallons a day and its sewer facilities have a daily capacity of 4 million gallons.
The U.S. Army Combat Systems Test Activity (CSTA), located at Aberdeen Proving Ground in Maryland, provides a premier range and test facility for the Department of Defense. Chartered in 1917 to provide testing of field artillery, weapons and ammunition, CSTA now operates under the Army’s Test and Evaluation Command (TECOM) and has become a world class, all purpose testing center.
CSTA encompasses state-of-the-art facilities and equipment, advanced instrumentation, and comprehensive support capabilities to test a wide range of military weapons systems, equipment, and material.
Testing covers the full range of life cycle support from concept evaluation and research prototypes through advanced development to quality assurance testing of production items. Testing is primarily performed for the Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marines, but CSTA also offers its services to other government agencies and private industry as well.
Capabilities at CSTA are sustained by scientists, engineers, mathematicians, technicians, and support employees, totaling 1000 military and civilian personnel.
These capabilities include the ability to design, develop, and construct state-of-the-art instrumentation incorporating advanced technologies necessary to keep pace with testing requirements of current military systems. Soldiers from the field participate as members of test teams, bringing valuable field experience and training to the test effort.
Located on 52,000 acres,CSTA maintains numerous exterior and interior firing ranges, automotive courses, environmental chambers that simulate temperature conditions, underwater explosive test ponds, non-destructive test facilities, and an extensive industrial complex to support equipment maintenance and experimental fabrication.
These capabilities are used in the three principal directorates for technical management including Live Fire Vulnerability, Automotive and Support Equipment, and Armament and Advanced Technology.