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Naval Surface Warfare Center Indian Head

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Naval Surface Warfare Center Indian Head

Off-Base Neighborhoods

The base sits on a peninsula on the Maryland side of the Potomac River. This area of Maryland is less crowded and developed than the Virginia neighborhoods of Woodbridge and Dumfries, directly across the river. The town of La Plata, Maryland--due east of the base--has quiet neighborhoods for professional individuals. In Northern Virginia, there is a huge variety of neighborhoods, ranging from Quantico (southwest of Indian Head) up to the Fort Belvoir and Mount Vernon areas. However, pay attention to commute times! The only bridges to cross from Virginia to Maryland are US 301 to the south across the Potomac (the Gov. Harry W. Nice Memorial Bridge) and I-495 all the way north in Alexandria.

On Base Housing

Lincoln Military Housing is the PPV who manages the 2 communities aboard NSWC Indian Head. There are 151 homes in those 2 communities. Riverview Village is for enlisted families of all ranks. These townhouse-style homes have 3 or 4-bedroom layouts. Dashiell Mews has older style, single-family homes for E-6 and above. There are 3, 4, and 5-bedroom layouts, and some homes have 8 bedrooms! But of course, these are extremely limited.


There are no schools for military-connected students aboard NSWC Indian Head. Most military kids attend Charles County Public Schools, which consists of 21 elementary schools, eight middle schools and seven high schools.

Cost of Living and BAH

Because NSWC Indian Head is within commuting distance of Washington, D.C., the cost of living is still higher than many other parts of the country. Housing costs increased considerably in 2021, and the BAH rates increased by 9% to match the market. BAH at Indian Head varies depending on rank and whether or not you have dependents. To determine your BAH at Naval Surface Warfare Center Indian Head, use our BAH calculator.

BAH Calculator

Housing Costs

Military families choosing to live off the installation can expect the average home price in Charles County to be around $393,000. Average price to rent a 2-bedroom apartment is around $1,700 per month. Renting a 3-bedroom home will cost around $2,100 per month.


Military families moving to Indian Head can expect to experience all four seasons: summers can reach the mid 90’s while some winters can get down into the teens. There is an average snowfall of 11 inches at with most falling in January and February. Springtime is beautiful in Maryland! Be sure to take a trip into D.C. to enjoy the cherry blossoms by the Tidal Basin. In September and October, the temperatures become milder, and the leaves start to change. It’s a great time to take a drive to enjoy the fall foliage.

The installation sits on a peninsula, with water all around. Rising waters in recent years have given way to nuisance flooding in the area, even outside regular flood plains.

Base Amenities

PX/BX: The Indian Head Navy Exchange is open M-F beginning at 8 AM and opens at 10 AM on Saturday and Sunday. 

Commissary: There is no commissary aboard NSWC Indian Head. Most military families who choose to shop at a military commissary can go to Fort Belvoir, in Virginia, which is around 10 miles away. 

MTF/Clinic: Branch Health Clinic Indian Head  provides routine and acute family practice health care. They also have pharmacy, laboratory, and radiology services, though they are somewhat limited. Some families also choose to receive their health care at Fort Belvoir Community Hospital aboard Fort Belvoir in Virginia.  

MWR/Outdoor Rec: MWR aboard Indian Head has a slew of things for military families to do! For fitness, service members and spouses can participate in intramural sports and organized races. There is also a theater, library and bowling center as well.

Area Attractions

The area surrounding Indian Head is rich in wildlife, with the 2nd largest population of bald eagles in Maryland. Military families will be able to go fishing, boating, kayaking and more, as well as experience several local and state parks and nature preserves. 

Additionally, Washington DC’s monuments and museums are only about 45 min down the road and perfect for a Saturday or Sunday adventure.

Food and Drink

Explore the flavors of the world by visiting the many restaurants in the greater Washington D.C. area. Regional specialties include blue crabs from Maryland (crab cakes, yum!), or peanuts, and country ham from Virginia. Northern Virginia has a large number of wineries, so be sure to take a trip into Virginia wine country!

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