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NEWS | Oct. 18, 2023

Community invited to Dahlgren Downtown 2023

Dahlgren Downtown is back for its second year, looking to be bigger than 2022.

The event is Friday, Oct. 20, from noon to 3 p.m., at the Inn at the Old Silk Mill in Fredericksburg.

Come celebrate our division - your Navy next door - downtown!

This is an opportunity to bring the Dahlgren division to the community and to showcase what we do. Come to explore displays including Dahlgren Heritage Museum, Surface Navy Museum and the division’s history.

Learn about the division’s recruiting opportunities including internships for high schoolers and college students. You could become our next recruit.

A variety of STEM activities await ranging from the Van de Graaff generator to a slime station and an American Society of Naval Engineers STEM booth.

Meet an Explosive Ordnance Disposal team at their vehicle with their robot. Come see a range boat.

Drop by for your lunch break! A food truck will be available.

We look forward to homeschoolers, JROTCs and the following schools: Post Oak Middle School from Spotsylvania County Public Schools, Montross Middle School from Westmoreland County Public Schools and Rappahannock County High School from Richmond County Public Schools.

Reflecting on our history, in early 1918, the Navy selected several tracts of land on the Potomac River near Machodoc Creek to serve as its new proving ground. The planned range was over water and offered a long, straight shot toward the Chesapeake Bay. From here, the Navy could adequately test its new long-range guns for use during World War I. On October 16, 1918, the first shot of the new base was fired from a 7-inch, 45-caliber, tractor-mounted gun. It was decided to name the proving ground Dahlgren in honor of Rear Admiral John Adolphus Dahlgren, a Civil War Navy commander known as the “father of modern naval ordnance.” Dahlgren soon established itself as a premier testing ground and earned the responsibility to proof and test every major gun in the Navy’s arsenal. True to our history, Dahlgren Division is a hands-on research, development, test and evaluation laboratory.