Ft. Belvoir, in Fairfax County, Virginia, was named for a colonial-era plantation estate owned by Britain’s titled Fairfax family. Belvoir, or Belle à voir, is French for “beautiful to see.” The base encompasses 8.77 square miles, situated on a lush, extensively wooded tract along the Potomac River. The War Department acquired the property in 1912, and it was originally used as a rifle range and training ground. As of World War One, the site was officially designated as a military base, and named Camp A. A. Humphreys, a Civil War Union General and distinguished military scientist and engineer.
Between the World Wars, the camp was renamed Fort Belvoir, in reference to its historic landowners, and the base Army Corps of Engineers headquarters was instead named for General Humphries. Prior to 1980s-era base realignment, Ft. Belvoir became a central location for Army Engineering education and research. The base is currently a major Army installation, as headquarters for the consolidated National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency, a diverse range of technical, security, and intelligence agencies, and garrison for the 29th Infantry Division, among other units. During the 2010 Census, Ft. Belvoir’s population was reported to be approximately 7,100.