Picatinny Arsenal is an American military research and manufacturing facility located in Morris County, New Jersey. It is home to the the United States Army Armament Research, Development and Engineering Center (ARDEC) as well as army's center of expertise for small arms cartridge ammunition. The base covers approximately 6,400 acres and is mostly wooded. Picatinny is a one hour drive from Newark Liberty International Airport and thirty minutes from the Morristown Airport.
Picatinny Arsenal is also centrally located an hour and twenty minute drive from from West Point Military Academy, one hour from The United States Army Garrison Fort Hamilton, one hour from Tobyhanna Army Depot, and one and a half hours from The United States Merchant Marine Academy.
Picatinny Arsenal History
The base was established in 1880 as the "Dover Powder Depot" and in a matter of several days, it was renamed to the "Picatinny Powder Depot" and was responsible for the creation of munitions.
In 1907, its name was again changed, this time to "Picatinny Arsenal". Shortly after it became a school of weaponry sciences in the era of World War I in 1911. Ten years later the base shifted its focus to testing experimental fuses.
During a lightning storm in 1926, a building containing several million pounds of explosives was struck, causing them to detonate for a period of three days which left great destruction and both military and civilian casualties. From this accident, the Armed Forces Explosives Safety Board was created. As a result of this explosion, large parts of the base are off-limits and remain undeveloped due to the risk of discovering Unexplored Ordnance (UXO).
Shortly before World War II, the base expanded its grounds considerably and during war time the Arsenal employed 18,000 individuals working 24 hours a day to produce artillery shells.
Following World War II, the Arsenal returned to experimental weapon design and is created with improving both the bazooka and grenade launcher during the Korean War and several other advancements in the following decades including the Patriot Missile. The Picatinny rail, a standard system for mounting scopes onto firearms, was developed at Picatinny Arsenal.
In 2007, the Arsenal was awarded The Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award which recognizes U.S. organizations for performance excellence. 2014 unveiled Picatinny's first all-female command pairing.
Cabins are also available to active and retired military personnel for $86 a night or $2,070 per month. Both the cabin and apartment units permit pets for a small fee.
Schools near Picatinny Arsenal
Picatinny Arsenal has a Child Development Center for children aged six weeks through 5 years old with options of full day or part day care. The development center is open to the children of military personal and civilians working on post. The wait list for children to join is often several years.
For school aged children, before and after school care is provided as well as clubs such as 4-H. In the summer months, Picatinny offers summer care which includes field trips, swimming, and other outdoor activities.
Randolph Township Schools are the closest public school system to the Arsenal and is designed for students from Pre-K through 12th grade. For more information, please call 973-361-0808 ext. 8603 or e-mail [email protected].
Things to Do
Picatinny Arsenal is located only 1.5 hours away from New York City which boasts some world famous sights such as the Statue of Liberty, Times Square, Central Park, and the September 11th Memorial and Museum to name a few.
Newark, New Jersey is a 50 minute drive from the Arsenal with such things to do as the New Jersey Performing Arts Center, Cathedral Basilica of the Sacred Heart, and the Staten Island Ferry. For those who do not want to travel far, the area has many hiking trails and outdoor activities, most notably Wharton State Forrest.
Morale, Welfare, and Recreation
Picatinny Arsenal provides many events and activities for families and single members of the military. A leisure travel service to help members find tickets to exciting destinations and theme parks, Forge Fitness, a fitness center which offers intramural sport competitions, several dining facilities and multiple community based programs.