Air Force Bases

Nike Missile Washington Defense Area

Site designations and locations of the Virginia sites defending the nation's capital were: (W-64) Lorton (double site), (W-74) Fairfax Pohick, and (W-83) Herndon Dranesville. Headquarters sites were at Fort Myer and Vienna.

Lorton was the prototype underground missile battery with installation completed in September 1954. During the 1950s and early 1960s, the Lorton site served as the National Site so the battery was subjected to frequent VIP visits. Foreign dignitaries and military officials, politicians, school groups, and boy scouts often toured the missile site. The sites were manned initially by Regular Army units with Virginia Army National Guard units assuming responsibilities in later years.

Lorton became the lone operational site in the Virginia part of the Washington Defense Area after 1963. This Nike Hercules battery remained active until 1974.