Fort Detrick Community


Air Force independent duty medical technicians respond to a simulated mass casualty situation and prepare “patients” for transport during a Centers for Sustainment of Trauma and Readiness Skills field training exercise at Fort Detrick. Students were given multiple scenarios to help them prepare for the unique injuries during conflict. (Photo by Staff Sgt. Alexandre Montes, March 2016)

Fort Detrick is in Frederick, Maryland, in one of the state’s fastest-growing counties. The U.S. Army Garrison, Fort Detrick, supports five cabinet-level agencies: the Department of Defense, Department of Veterans Affairs, Department of Agriculture, Department of Homeland Security and Department of Health and Human Services.

Within the DOD, Fort Detrick supports elements of all four military services. Major Department of the Army mission partners include the U.S. Army Medical Research and Materiel Command and the 21st Signal Brigade. Fort Detrick is also home to Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases and the National Cancer Institute. For a full list of Fort Detrick tenants, visit


21st Signal Brigade

The 21st Signal Brigade’s mission is to provide command, control, communications and computers systems support to the president, secretary of defense, Joint Chiefs of Staff, Department of Defense, combatant commanders and other federal agencies. The brigade conducts network operations for theater-based LandWarNet communication systems, networks and enterprise services providing information services support to war fighters and intergovernmental, interagency and civil authorities to enable full-spectrum operations.

The brigade is headquartered at Fort Detrick and has three subordinate battalions: the 56th Signal Battalion headquartered at Joint Base San Antonio, Texas; the 114th Signal Battalion at Raven Rock Mountain Complex in Adams County, Pennsylvania; and the 302nd Signal Battalion headquartered at Fort Detrick.

National Cancer Institute

The National Cancer Institute at Frederick is a community of more than 3,000 government- and contractor-employed biomedical researchers, laboratory technicians and support staff. The majority of the staff work on-site at the Frederick campus of the National Cancer Institute.

NCI at Frederick comprises several cancer research facilities, including the 68-acre campus at Fort Detrick, the Advanced Technology Research Facility, the Vaccine Pilot Project and others.

U.S. Army Medical Research and Materiel Command

The U.S. Army Medical Research and Materiel Command is the Army’s medical materiel developer, with responsibility for medical research, development, and acquisition and medical logistics management. The command ensures our armed forces remain in optimal health and are equipped to protect themselves from disease and injury, particularly on the battlefield. The command is headquartered at Fort Detrick, with 12 subordinate commands located throughout the world. Approximately 7,100 military, civilian and contractor personnel are assigned to support the headquarters and subordinate units.

Six medical research laboratory commands execute the science and technology program to investigate medical solutions for the battlefield with a focus on various areas of biomedical research, including military infectious diseases, combat casualty care, military operational medicine, medical chemical and biological defense, and clinical and rehabilitative medicine. The command manages a large extramural research program with numerous contracts, grants, and cooperative research and development agreements to provide additional science and technology capabilities from leading academic, private industry and other government organizations.

Six additional commands focus on medical materiel advanced development, strategic and operational medical logistics, and medical research and development contracting, to complete the full life cycle of medical materiel acquisition.

U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases

Since 1969, the U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases has served as the DOD’s lead laboratory for medical biological defense research. The institute’s core mission is to protect the war fighter from biological threats, but it also investigates disease outbreaks and threats to public health. Research conducted at the institute leads to medical solutions — therapeutics, vaccines, diagnostics and information — that benefit both military personnel and civilians. The institute’s specialized capabilities include Biosafety Level 3 and Level 4 laboratories, world-class expertise in the generation of biological aerosols for testing candidate vaccines and therapeutics, and fully accredited animal research facilities. The institute is a subordinate laboratory of the U.S. Army Medical Research and Materiel Command.

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