Naval Air Engineering Station Lakehurst is one of the largest military installations and is located in the central part of New Jersey, only 40 kilometers away from Trenton. The base is operated by the United States Navy and has recently become part of the larger Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst. In fact, it no longer operated independently. The mixture was complete on October, 1-st, 2009 and was part of a more comprehensive program dictated by the 2005 Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) commission. Twelve new settlements have been created this way and the joint base is just one of them.
Naval Air Engineering Station Lakehurst used to be the largest installation dealing with aviation purposes in the northeastern part of the United States of America. The units hosted on site help the base make the difference, not to mention about their unique missions and objectives. For instance, NAVAIR is the largest and most advanced unit in the world that deals with aircraft launching missions. On another hand, the lighter-than-air idea released by the base turned it into one of the interface experts the Department of Defense concentrates the most.
The base is the only one in the world that can deal with all the spectrum of operations and sessions regarding aircraft recovery and launch. Such operations go on around the clock. According to the motto floating around the installation, the US Navy troops cannot go or get back without these experts. Other than that, there are a few training facilities and ranges on site too. They are attended by a lot of military forces in the United States of America and not just by the US Navy troops. Some of them include the US Army, the US Air Force or the US Public Health Service. After the BRAC decision from 2005 and the actual mixture from 2009, the base became even stronger, since all the facilities are shared now. The new base is more than 170 square kilometers in size, therefore it has everything you can think of. Its importance significantly grew after the mixture.
The history of Naval Air Engineering Station Lakehurst dates back to 1917. It was established as Camp Kendrick and it belonged to the US Army. The transition to the US Navy was made a few years alter, in 1921. The installation was actively used during World War Ii and the upcoming conflicts the United States of America were involved in, but without any major and notable events. Instead, the most important event on site took place in 1937. It is referred to as the Hindenburg disaster. On May, 6-th, 1937, a German airship was destroyed after a failed attempt to dock with its mast for mooring. The airship was LZ 129 Hindenburg. The incident began when it caught some fire in the back part, then it was entirely destroyed. There were 36 victims. One of them was in the crew on the ground.
Other than that, the second major event in its history is the 2005 BRAC commission. Although it had a good profile and was a solid military base, Naval Air Engineering Station Lakehurst got to be merged with a couple of other installations to remain alive.