NIOC Sugar Grove is located in picturesque Pendleton County, West Virginia, in the Potomac Highlands or eastern portion of the state, approximately 170 miles southwest of Washington, D.C. Also close enough for a day-trip are Winchester, VA at 110 miles, Richmond, VA at little over 110 miles, Arlington, VA just 165 miles and Baltimore, MD located a bit over 200 miles away. Within a day’s drive to the biggest cities on the East Coast, our area has much to offer the visitor who would like to spend some time amid scenes of mountains, beautiful valleys, fertile farms, and deep gorges where streams have carved their way over centuries.
The Navy’s presence in Sugar Grove, West Virginia began in 1955 when the site was selected by the Naval Research Laboratory (NRL) for constructing a 600-foot parabolic antenna for advanced communications research. In July 1962, the Navy Department abandoned construction of the 600-foot diameter “Big Dish” for the naval Radio Telescope Laboratory at Sugar Grove due to unforeseen technological advances in the other areas. In response to this development, Senator Robert C. Byrd spoke with President Kennedy on July 23, 1962 to see if a new use could be found for the Sugar Grove installation. Later that year, the Department of Defense decided to use Sugar Grove as a radio receiving station due, in part, to its being located with the National Radio Quiet Zone. In 1963, the navy Radio Stations (NRS) was established in a developmental status. NRS Sugar Grove was formally commissioned on May 10, 1969. The new station was called “the Navy’s ear” gathering communications from Navy planes, ships and stations around the world.
Due to increased automation in Naval communications, NRS Sugar Grove’s mission was merged at another station’s location. On October 1, 1992, the NRS closed and naval Security Group Activity (NSGA), Sugar Grove was commissioned. On October 1, 2005, NSGA was changed to Navy Information Operations Command.
The mission of NIOC Sugar Grove is to conduct communications research and development for the Department of Defense. Since its establishment, the command has continued to build upon the strong relationship the Navy has enjoyed since 1955 with the citizens of West Virginia and Virginia. The command has earned numerous awards for excellence in operations, retention of quality Sailors, base management, environmental stewardship, energy conservation, fire fighting, community service as well as other areas.
NIOC Sugar Grove is located in a remote area of West Virginia. Your sponsor is the key to keeping you informed. You may contact your sponsor through the mail at:
Navy Information Operations Command
63 Heddrick Drive
Sugar Grove, WV 26815-5500
You or your sponsor should make arrangements for temporary lodging at the local motels, bed and breakfast or one of the recreational cabins prior to your arrival. Once you have a temporary place to stay, your sponsor will help you with the check-in process.
The NIOC Sugar Grove Spouses’ Group runs a Lending Locker with many household items for temporary loan for newly transferred families such as cots, and cookware.
Critical Installation Information
Directions to Installation
The Sugar Grove area is not accessible by commercial transportation; however, the nearby Harrisonburg/Shenandoah Valley, VA, area is serviced by Greyhound Bus Lines and USAir through the Shenandoah Valley Regional Airport in Weyers Cave, VA.
If you’re driving east, take Interstate 79 South to U.S. Route 33 East exit at Weston/Buckannon, WV. Take U.S. 33 to Brandywine, WV and continue south on Route 21 (Sugar Grove Road) for five miles. The Main Base (containing Admin, the Housing Welcome Center and the base dining facility) will be on your right. Park at the building with the flag pole.
If you’re heading west, use Interstate 81 to reach U.S. Route 33 West in Harrisonburg, VA. Head west over Shenandoah Mountain to Brandywine; at the intersection, turn left on to Route 21 (Sugar Grove Road). The Main Base is five miles south.
Base housing consists of 80 two, three and four bedroom family housing units. Limited private rental housing available in Sugar Grove, Brandywine, Franklin and 40 miles away in Harrisonburg, VA. The housing Office is a good source of information for available rentals. Please contact the Housing Manager at 304-249-6306 or DSN 312-564-7276, extension 6306 as soon as possible to obtain current information about on base housing or off base housing for sale or rent.
The Admiral Boorda Bachelor Housing Facility is a new building that houses 70 enlisted personnel. This style allows members enjoy a suite with a bedroom, living room, kitchen and bathroom. No Bachelor Officer or Transient Bachelor Housing exists. An advance call to the Housing Office or to your sponsor will help to assure a space is available on your arrival.
Most children residing on base, between kindergarten and sixth grade, attend Brandywine Elementary. However, due to class space, some elementary students go to Franklin Elementary. All middle and high school students attend school in Franklin, 18 miles from the base. Transportation to and from the base is provided by a Pendleton County school bus. Classes run from late August through early June. The registration lottery begins in April for entering Kindergarten and pre-school students. Brandywine classes are small, allowing for individualized attention not often found in schools near other Navy bases, with a teacher-student ratio ranging 15 to 20 pupils per teacher. Special education services are somewhat limited in Pendleton County schools. Special education needs must be identified during your isolated duty screening.
Sugar Grove’s Branch Medical Clinic is staffed with a two full-time Healthcare Providers. A Physician Assistant who is Nationally Certified in Primary Care and GYN, a Surface Force Independent Duty Corpsman, and two General Duty Corpsman. A wide spectrum of primary care services are offered, including physical exams, health and occupational maintenance, well baby exams, immunizations, and gynecologic services. Obstetrical patients are consulted to Harrisonburg, VA or Petersburg, WV, but the clinic will evaluate and treat routine primary care complaints unrelated to the pregnancy. There is a fully equipped emergency management room in our clinic, which enables us to stabilize and transport utilizing ACLS, PALS, and Neonatal Resuscitative protocols. All emergent patients are stabilized and transported by our base Fire & Rescue services, which is staffed by full time certified paramedics, EMT’s, and firefighters. Clinic services are available for all Active Duty, Active Duty Family Members, Retirees, and their families who are signed up with this clinic.
Dental care is available on base for Active Duty only, and provided by a dental team based out of Washington Navy Yard Dental Clinic. Additionally, the dentist and accompanying technicians will visit the base quarterly for routine examinations, caps, fillings, and other minor care. Active Duty Family Members will need to seek dental care in the civilian community utilizing MetLife Dental Program.
A small Navy Exchange is located on the main base and provides basic necessities such as uniform items and PT gear. They also stock a variety of “package store” items, as well as home office supplies and CDs/DVDs for your leisure time. The Commissary is also located on main base. It stocks more than 2100 food items such as cereal, pet food, soda, frozen foods, bread, and cleaning/laundry supplies. The selection is larger than what you would find in a 24- hour convenience store. Hair cutting and styling services are also available at our barbershop.
Defense Service Network (DSN) Dialing Instructions
The DSN is the provider of long-distance communications service for the Department of Defense (DoD). Every installation has a special DSN number and the numbers vary by world-wide location. In order to place a call using DSN, the caller must be using a military phone on an installation. Cell phones cannot dial DSN numbers. When dialing a DSN number from a United States installation to another United States installation, it is unnecessary to dial the DSN 312 area code. When dialing a DSN number to/from overseas locations, the DSN area code must be included. The operator can be reached at commercial (719) 567-1110. Please note that long distance charges may be incurred.
Frequently Called Numbers on Base
Barracks/Single Service Member Housing 304-249-6306
Beauty/Barber Shops 304-249-6325
Casualty Assistance Officer 304-249-6371
EFMP – Enrollment 304-249-6380
EFMP – Family Support 757-887-4606
Family Center 304-249-6519/6376
Hospital/Medical Treatment Facility(s) 304-249-6380
Housing Office/Government Housing 304-249-6214
Law Enforcement 304-249-6399 (Emergency)
Legal Services/JAG 304-249-6371
MWR (Morale Welfare and Recreation) 304-249-6362
MWR (Morale Welfare and Recreation) 304-249-6366
Personnel Support Office 304-249-6302/6304
School Liaison Office/Community Schools 304-249-6309
Victim Advocate Services 757-438-4011 (24/7)
Youth Programs/Centers 304-249-6309