McGuire was originally part of the Army Air Forces. Fort Dix Army Army Force Base was established in 1941. The base closed at the end of the war, but McGuire AFB opened in 1948.
The base is named after Thomas B. McGuire, Jr., a posthumous Medal of Honor recipient for his deeds during World War II.
Fort Dix was established in 1917. The base was named after John Adams Dix, who served in the War of 1812 and the Civil War. Fort Dix became a permanent Army installation in 1939. The base was previously a basic training installation, but Dix currently focuses on mobilization and training.
The original site for Lakehurst was acquired by the United States Army after being used by the Russian Imperial Army for proving ammunition. Camp Kendrick was based on the site during World War I. In 1921, the Navy acquired the area, and Naval Air Station Lakehurst was established. Through World War II and beyond, Lakehurst has played a major role in naval aviation.
In 2005, the Base Realignment and Closure Commission suggested joining the separate installations into one Joint Base. The merger was completed in 2009.
The three individual bases conduct training for the different branches of the military, but some facilities and resources are shared to save space and resources. The host unit for JB MDL is the 87th Air Base Wing.
JB MDL is less than an hour away from Trenton, the capital of New Jersey. JB MDL is less than two hours away from New York City. The city is home to countless restaurants, theaters, shops, and other attractions. Many cultures intersect in New York City, allowing visitors to enjoy a wide variety of experiences.
For families living on McGuire or Dix, parents select a school district for their children, but all children from the same family must attend schools in the same school district. Lakehurst School District provides services to elementary and middle school students in Lakehurst, and high school students attend Manchester High School. The 87th Medical Group Ambulatory Health Care Center offers outpatient services. A nearby civilian hospital offers inpatient services to JB MDL.
United Communities manages the housing on Dix and McGuire. In recent years, new housing developments have been built on Dix and McGuire, and many older structures have been renovated. Balfour Beatty Communities manages the Lakehurst housing. Most of the Lakehurst government housing units are not on base.
Rental and purchase options are available off base. Housing costs off base tend to be significantly higher than the national average. Temporary lodging for the JB MDL is available at the All American Inn.