- Camp David
(Naval Support Facility Thurmont)
Catoctin Mountain Park
Frederick County, Maryland
Main Lodge at Camp David during the Nixon administration, February 9, 1971
Type Military base Built 1935 Built by Works Progress Administration Current
U.S. Government Open to
No Controlled by U.S. Navy Occupants President of the United States, First Lady of the United States Events Camp David Accords
2000 Camp David Summit
Camp David is the country retreat of the President of the United States and his guests. It is located in low wooded hills about 60 mi (100 km) north-northwest of Washington, D.C., on the property of Catoctin Mountain Park in unincorporated Frederick County, Maryland, near Thurmont, at an elevation of approximately 1,850 feet. It is officially known as Naval Support Facility Thurmont and technically a military installation; staffing is primarily provided by the U.S. Navy and the U.S. Marine Corps.
First known as Hi-Catoctin, Camp David was originally built as a camp for federal government agents and their families, by the WPA, starting in 1935, opening in 1938. In 1942 it was converted to a presidential retreat by Franklin D. Roosevelt and renamed Shangri-La. Camp David received its present name from Dwight D. Eisenhower, in honor of his father and grandson, both named David. Camp David is not open to the general public. Catoctin Mountain Park does not indicate the location of Camp David on its official park maps due to privacy and security concerns.
Every president since Franklin Roosevelt has made use of Camp David.
- Roosevelt hosted Sir Winston Churchill in May 1943.
- Harry S. Truman rarely visited Camp David, because his wife Bess found it "dull".
- Dwight Eisenhower held the first cabinet meeting there.
- John F. Kennedy and his family often enjoyed horseback riding and other recreational activities. Kennedy often allowed White House staff and cabinet members to use the retreat when he or his family were not there.
- Lyndon B. Johnson often met with important advisors at the retreat and hosted Australian Prime Minister Harold Holt.
- Richard Nixon was a frequent visitor and did much to add to and modernize the facilities.
- Gerald Ford often rode his snowmobile around Camp David and hosted Indonesian President Suharto.
- Jimmy Carter brokered the Camp David Accords there in September 1978 between Egyptian President Anwar al-Sadat and Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin.
- Ronald Reagan visited the retreat more than any other president. In 1984, Ronald Reagan hosted the then Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, Margaret Thatcher.
- George H.W. Bush's daughter, Dorothy Bush Koch, was married there in 1992, the first ever to do so.
- Bill Clinton used Camp David more as his tenure in office progressed, and hosted then Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, Tony Blair, on several occasions in addition to numerous celebrities.
- George W. Bush hosted dignitaries, including the then President of Russia, Vladimir Putin in 2003 and hosted the then Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, Gordon Brown, in 2007.
- Barack Obama has used the camp to host celebrities and has made the camp's Evergreen Chapel his primary place of worship, as George W. Bush had done before him.
Camp David is a U.S. Navy installation, commanded by a naval commander. Sailors are mostly Seabees and most officers are in the civil engineering field. The Navy Seabee detachment performs maintenance and beautification. The sailors must undergo a "Yankee White" level background check, which involves passing the most rigorous background check conducted by the Department of Defense (DOD). The sailors are hand-picked for their service at Camp David, and are among the best of the U.S. Navy. Some of the sailors include: grounds and maintenance personnel, electricians, carpenters, corpsmen, and the President's cooks.
The camp is alleged to be one of the most secure facilities in the world, as reported by a Department of Defense journal in 1998. The facility is guarded by one of the United States Marine Corps' most elite units, Marine Corps Security Force Regiment (MSC-CD). Each Marine is hand-picked from the infantry field and sent through a battery of psychological and physical tests. Selected Marines must then undergo specialized security training at the Marine Corps Security Forces School in Chesapeake, Virginia. The candidates then report to the Marine Barracks, Washington, D.C., where they provide protection for the barracks, the Commandant of the Marine Corps and the Chief of Naval Operations. Assuming a Marine successfully completes his "pre-assignment" in Washington, he still must undergo the "Yankee White" background check. Only then is the candidate eligible for assignment to Camp David. Once at Camp David, Marines are rigorously trained in advanced security protocol, small unit tactics, close range weapons training and a variety of other topics. Marines receive private and semi-private courses with instructors from throughout the Marine Corps, the United States military, the special operations community, federal law enforcement, and other agencies. Camp David Marines also receive continuous marksmanship and advanced close-quarters-battle training at facilities on the campus as well as other sites in the region. After 12 months of service at Camp David, servicemen are awarded the Presidential Service Badge. Tours of duty at Camp David typically last for 18 to 24 months.
On July 2, 2011, an F-15E intercepted a small two- seat passenger plane flying near Camp David, where President Obama was in residence. The civilian aircraft, which was out of radio communication, was intercepted approximately six miles (10 kilometers) from the presidential retreat. The F-15E escorted the aircraft out of the area and it landed in nearby Hagerstown, Maryland without incident. The civilian plane's occupants were flying between two Maryland towns and were released without charge.
On July 10, 2011, an F-15 Intercepted another small two-seat passenger plane flying near Camp David where President Obama was in residence, totalling the number of interceptions over the July 9 weekend at 3 planes.
George H. W. Bush meets with his National Security advisors in the Laurel Lodge conference room on August 4, 1990.
George W. Bush meets with his advisors at Camp David on January 17, 2004, while preparing for his State of the Union address.
Shinzo Abe and George W. Bush at Camp David in 2007.
Menachem Begin, Jimmy Carter, and Anwar Sadat at Camp David, September 7, 1978.
President of Egypt, Anwar Sadat, and Jimmy Carter meet at the beginning of the Camp David Summit in 1978.
President Dwight D. Eisenhower meets with his National Security Council at Laurel Lodge, 1955
- White House, official residence of the President of the United States
- Blair House, another official White House lodging for guests
- Site R, nearby bunker and communications center
- Rapidan Camp, the predecessor of Camp David
- Camp Misty Mount Historic District and Camp Greentop Historic District, built at the same time in Catoctin Mountain Park as Camps 1 and 2.
- Chequers, the country retreat of the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom
- ^ "Park Map Viewer." Catoctin Mountain Park. Retrieved on February 4, 2011.
- ^ "Thurmont town, Maryland." U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved on February 4, 2011.
- ^ a b "Frequently Asked Questions." Catoctin Mountain Park, Retrieved on February 4, 2011. "10. Where is Camp David? The Presidential Retreat is within the park however, it is not open to the public and its location is not shown on our park maps for both security and privacy. If you're interested in historical information, visit our Presidential Retreat webpage."
- ^ "12 WPA Projects that Still Exist". How Stuff Works. Publications International, Ltd.. http://people.howstuffworks.com/12-wpa-projects-that-still-exist.htm. Retrieved 2009-03-11.
- ^ Eisenhower, David; Julie Nixon Eisenhower (2010). Going Home to Glory: A Memoir of Life with Dwight David Eisenhower, 1961-1969. New York: Simon and Schuster. pp. 31.
- ^ a b "Camp David". Whitehouse.gov. http://www.whitehouse.gov/about/camp_david/. Retrieved 2009-06-29.
- ^ "Camp David: A History of the Presidential Retreat". Infoplease.com. 1942-07-18. http://www.infoplease.com/spot/campdavid1.html. Retrieved 2009-06-29.
- ^ "Thatcher Reagan Camp David sofa 1984.jpg". http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Thatcher_Reagan_Camp_David_sofa_1984.jpg.
- ^ Sanger, David (September 27, 2003). "With Issues to Resolve, Bush Welcomes Putin to Camp David". nytimes.co.uk. http://www.nytimes.com/2003/09/27/world/with-issues-to-resolve-bush-welcomes-putin-to-camp-david.html. Retrieved August 6, 2011.
- ^ "Camp David". http://www.losthorizon.org/found/CampDavid/.
- ^ "Brown to meet Bush at Camp David". news.bbc.co.uk. July 26, 2007. http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/6917760.stm. Retrieved August 6, 2011.
- ^ Sullivan, Amy (June 29, 2009). "The Obamas Find a Church Home — Away from Home". Time. http://www.time.com/time/nation/article/0,8599,1907610,00.html. Retrieved December 14, 2009.
- ^ "NORAD intercepts aircraft near Camp David, where President Obama staying with family". Washington Post. July 2, 2011. http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/norad-intercepts-aircraft-near-camp-david-where-president-obama-staying-with-family/2011/07/02/AGZWpQvH_story.html. Retrieved July 2, 2011.
- ^ Weil, Martin (Sunday, July 10). "Jet fighters intercept planes 3 times over weekend near Camp David". The Washington Post. http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/jet-fighters-intercept-planes-3-times-over-weekend-near-camp-david/2011/07/10/gIQAEzan7H_story.html. Retrieved July 10, 2011.
- Camp David official White House page
- Camp David from the Federation of American Scientists
- Digital documents regarding Camp David, Dwight D. Eisenhower Presidential Library
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