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According to the Navy, the Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA) is the largest of the Navy's five system commands. About 3,000 people work in the command headquarters at the Navy Yard.
It has an annual budget of almost $30 billion, and the command makes about 25% of the Navy's entire budget. The command has a total workforce of 50,000 civilian, military and contract support personnel. The command engineers, builds, buys and maintains the Navy's ships and submarines and their combat systems, according to the Navy. It has facilities around the world.
The building where the shooting took place is a high-security facility because of the sensitivity of the information handled by the command. It is inside the Navy Yard, itself a military installation that would not allow public access.
Most military bases require a sticker to get through the gates. Often base commanders will heighten security by requiring identification checks.
Visitors who don't work there would usually need to be cleared in advance and at some bases they might have their vehicle searched.
The Sea Systems Command headquarters has another layer of security, which requires an additional badge and has turnstiles similar to the Pentagon. The command works with sensitive documents, including equipment test results.
The Navy Yard was established in 1799 and is the oldest shore establishment of the U.S. Navy.
Washington's Navy Yard area has gone through a revitalization in the last five years since the completion of the stadium for the National League's Washington Nationals. It also close to Capitol Hill.