Lakehurst's history begins as a munitions-testing site for the Imperial Russian Army in 1916. It was then gained by the U.S. Army as Camp Kendrick during World War 1. The Navy purchased the property in 1921 for use as an airship station and renamed it Naval Air Station Lakehurst.
The Navy's lighter-than-air program was conducted at Lakehurst through the 1930s. During World War II, anti-submarine patrol blimps were operated from Lakehurst. Since the 1950s, aviation boatswain's mates have been trained at Lakehurst to operate catapults and arresting systems on aircraft carriers.
Lakehurst conducts the unique mission of supporting and developing the Aircraft Launch and Recovery Equipment and Support Equipment for naval aviation. The Electromagnetic Aircraft Launch System and the Advanced Arresting Gear system that will replace the existing steam catapults and the Mk-7 arresting gear are being developed and tested at Lakehurst at full-scale shipboard representative test facilities here.