About ADC


What is a defense community?

Communities adjacent to active and closed defense installations are distinct places. America’s defense installations depend on local communities for housing, services and even operational support. This connection and responsibility is what makes these communities unique – it’s what makes them defense communities.

Defense communities have active installations – where local governments and states are working to support our military. Defense communities also may have closed or realigned installations – where local governments lead the way in finding new economic uses for former bases.

What is the history of ADC?

Summer 1976: A group of airport managers at former military facilities in Kansas, Oklahoma, and Texas organized the Airpark Development Study Conference in Clinton, OK. The purpose was to provide managers and owners of former military bases the opportunity to exchange ideas, discuss experiences and learn new techniques for operating former military installations.

Invitations were sent to operators of former military bases in the Midwest and to communities where bases had been announced for closure in April 1973. Forty people from eleven locations attended. With assistance from the Defense Department’s Office of Economic Adjustment (OEA), a program was developed with speakers from various federal agencies.

Following the meeting, participants recommended scheduling another conference the following year and establishing a permanent organization.

1977-1978: A second conference was held in 1977, and at the 1978 meeting in Big Spring, TX, the National Association of Installation Developers (NAID)was formed.

1982: The group secured affiliate status with the American Economic Development Council (AEDC). This relationship allowed NAID to move from a traveling briefcase to a permanent home.

1983: Plants, Sites & Parks magazine recognized the potential for communities to provide employment opportunities when military bases were converted to civilian use by establishing the “Facility of the Year” and “Developer of the Year” awards. These awards have evolved to become the highest honors given in the field.

1986: NAID hired its own staff in Northbrook, IL, and left AEDC.

1991: NAID moved its headquarters to the Washington, DC, area and affiliated itself with a full-service management group.

1993: NAID was awarded a three-year Technical Assistance Grant by the Department of Defense’s Office of Economic Adjustment, administered by the Department of Labor’s Office of Worker Retaining and Adjustment Programs. The central purpose of the grant was to give NAID the financial foundation to allow the association to significantly expand its capabilities to assist communities that were facing closure of military facilities. The grant allowed NAID to shift from what essentially was a completely volunteer-staffed organization to one with a core of professionals to devote their full time and energies to expanding and enhancing the range of support services made available to NAID members and to the base closure community as a whole.

1995: The association formed a Strategic Planning Committee to set the direction for NAID’s future. It successfully developed the Mission Statement, Vision and Goals to take NAID into the 21st century. The plan was adopted by the membership at the 1995 Annual Conference. The membership also increased the size of the Board of Directors from five members to seven in order to manage the increased demands on NAID as the fourth Base Realignment and Closure Commission was approved by Congress and the President. The final BRAC selections brought the number of closures and realignments to 538 bases, which should ensure a continued role for NAID well into the future.

Late 1996: After considerable thought, the NAID Board of Directors entered into a three-year management contract with the Council for Economic Development, later known as the International Economic Development Council. In addition to staffing changes, NAID moved its Alexandria, VA, offices into CUED’s downtown Washington, DC, office. The goal of this alliance was to lower operating costs and at the same time strive to become a stronger and more efficient organization that provides more services to its members.

2004: NAID changed its name to “NAID, an Association of Defense Communities” (NAID/ADC) to reflect the association’s diverse membership – communities redeveloping closed bases as well as communities supporting active military installations.

2006: The Board of Directors accepted a proposal to officially change the name from NAID/ADC to the Association of Defense Communities (ADC).

2009: Congress eliminates requirement for military services to seek fair market value when disposing BRAC properties.

2010: ADC enters management agreement with LRG Public Affairs.

2011: Defense Communities 360 becomes a daily publication. U.S. Reps. Sam Farr (CA) and Lynn Jenkins (KS) launch House Defense Communities Caucus.

2012: Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta speaks at ADC Annual Conference, the first time a sitting defense secretary has addressed ADC.

2013: Budget sequestration triggers unprecedented across-the-board cuts at the Department of Defense. With ADC’s support, Congress provides all installations broad authority, Sec. 311, to enter into shared-services agreements with their host communities. U.S. Senators Heidi Heitkamp (ND) and Johnny Isakson (GA) launch Senate Defense Communities Caucus. More than 550 people attend first-ever Defense Communities National Summit in Washington, part of ADC’s expanded event schedule that also includes Base Redevelopment and Installation Innovation forums. 



Who are ADC’s members?

ADC unites the diverse interests of communities, the private sector and the military on issues of mission enhancement/realignment, community-base partnerships, privatization and closure/redevelopment. The association’s membership includes:

  • Communities with active military installations
  • Communities with closed or closing installations who are working to redevelop the military property
  • Private sector companies and organizations interested in playing an active role in base redevelopment, military real estate, privatization initiatives, and community-military collaboration
  • Representatives of the Department of Defense, and federal and state agencies
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