ATTENTION: Due to the COVID-19 Pandemic all public tours have been temporarily cancelled until further notice.
The NSWC Carderock Division, West Bethesda site is a secure installation. No visitors, including military and civilian personnel, may enter without approval. Special arrangements (like reserved parking) need to be made for VIP visits. Visiting foreign nationals must have information on file in the security office prior to their arrival. To avoid problems, please make arrangements with your point of contact ahead of time before visiting. For U.S. citizens, one day's notice is usually sufficient for most visits. However, foreign national visitors should make arrangements as soon as you know about your intended visit (at least two weeks prior to your arrival, sooner if possible).
Upon your arrival at West Bethesda (see driving directions for information on how to get here), you will be stopped by a security guard at the front gate and directed to the security building. There you will park and enter the security office. Once inside you will be asked to sign the guest log, present picture identification, and identify the person you have come to visit. The security officer will then call the person you have come to visit to receive final approval for your entry (you can save time if you know their phone number, since the officer won't have to look it up). Upon final approval of your entry, you will be given a visitor's badge and a car pass (if necessary).
The security badge issued must be worn at all times while on site. The car pass should remain visible on the dashboard of your car. Upon leaving, you must stop at the front gate and return the badge and car pass. There is a drop box for this purpose (you do not need to go back into the security building to do this).
Visitors may generally park in any unmarked spaces as well as spaces marked as visitor parking. There are a limited number of spaces reserved for handicap parking. Do not park in any numbered or otherwise marked reserved spaces. Certain VIP visitors or groups may have temporary spaces reserved for them.
Restrictions and precautions:
Please observe the following while at the West Bethesda site:
- No cameras allowed
- No parking in numbered or otherwise marked reserved spaces
- Do not enter restricted areas
- Display your visitor badge at all times
There is a cafeteria onsite that is open for breakfast and lunch. There are also vending machines located inside most buildings.
For police, fire, medical and HAZMAT dial 202-433-3333. For non-emergency fire dial 301-227-1550 and for non-emergency police dial 301-227-1502.
Emergency weather closing information:
For weather closings, the West Bethesda site follows announcements directed to "Federal Agencies in the Washington D.C. area". Closing information can be found on our recorded announcement by dialing 1-877-679-2231 or at the OPM website.