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NGA to honor historical marker of satellite tracking facility in Great Falls, Virginia

22 June 2017
SPRINGFIELD, Virginia

Don Kerr, Chief of Media
donald.b.kerr@nga.mil
703-600-9248
Herndon Site, near Great Falls, Virginia, served as a satellite tracking facility of the U.S. Army Map Service
Herndon Site, near Great Falls, Virginia, served as a satellite tracking facility of the U.S. Army Map Service

The Virginia Board of Historic Resources is scheduled to dedicate a historical marker June 24 at 10 a.m., honoring the work of the U.S. Army Map Service at The Turner Farm in Great Falls, Virginia.

The historical marker dedication recognizes The Turner Farm as a former Nike missile site and satellite tracking facility of the U.S. Army Map Service, a predecessor of the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency.

The marker states, "This tracking system contributed fundamentally to the Global Positioning System (GPS). The data gathered here enabled geospatial scientists to establish precise geographical reference points on the Earth’s surface and to refine their estimates of the Earth’s true shape and variations in its gravity field."

Speakers include:

  • Tim Hackman, Dranesville District Park Authority Board Representative
  • State Senator Barbara Favola, 31st District
  • Lee Ann Henning, Science Director, Thomas Jefferson High School
  • Clyde Smith, Chairman, Virginia Department of Historic Resources Board

Former NGA employee, Jack Fahey, will also provide remarks at the ceremony. Fahey spent 47 years working with NGA, starting in the 1960’s with the Army Map Service. He spent time representing the U.S. government in more than 40 countries and helping to coordinate and implement geographic information systems across multiple government agencies. 

The ceremony will be located at Observatory Park at The Turner Farm, 925 Springvale Road, Great Falls, Virginia.

Note: Media interested in attending the event, please call Don Kerr at (703)-600-9248.