Camp Shelby Joint Forces Training Center

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Camp Shelby From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Camp Shelby, Mississippi is a very historic place.Camp Shelby is a military post whose North Gate begins at the southern boundary of Hattiesburg, Mississippi, on United States Highway 49. It is the largest state owned training site in the nation, has a long history of serving the country and is considered by many as “a national treasure.” During wartime, the camp's mission is to serve as a major, independent mobilization station of the United States Army Forces Command (FORSCOM). Camp Shelby Joint Forces Training Center is the largest reserve component training site, covering 136,000 acres (550 km2), allowing up to battalion level maneuver training, Gunnery Table 8-12, excellent FA Firing Points and a wide range of support facilities. This is the normal Annual Training location for National Guard and Reserve units located in Mississippi, Alabama, and Tennessee. However, units from across the country use its excellent assets to support a variety of missions. The 2nd BN, 114th FA conducts its gunnery and has the bulk of its combat equipment stored in the Mobilization and Annual Training Equipment Site (MATES) located there.

Camp Shelby Joint Forces Training Center (CSJFTC), encompassing over 525 square kilometers, is located in portions of Perry and Forrest Counties, in south Mississippi. The training center was established during World War I and it has served almost continuously since then as a training site, not only for the Reserve Components of the Army, but also for the Active Components of the Army, Navy, Marine Corps, and Air Force. The training site consists of a mix of State, Department of Defense, and U.S. Forest Service lands in the DeSoto National Forest.

Encompassing more than 134,820 acres (546 km2), Camp Shelby, Mississippi is the largest state-owned and operated field training center in the United States. It is a training ground for the Abrams M1 Tank, Paladin Howitzers and home to the 3rd Brigade 87th Division Training Support. Camp Shelby serves as a training site for National Guardsmen and Reservists from throughout the country hosting as many as 100,000 personnel annually.

Camp Shelby was established in 1917. The Post was named in honor of Isaac Shelby, Indian fighter, Revolutionary War hero and 1st Governor of Kentucky, by the first troops to train here, the 38th Division.

In 1934, the State of Mississippi acquired the site for use as a summer camp by the National Guard. Because of Camp Shelby's natural advantages of climate, terrain and location, it was reopened in 1940 as a federal installation. Some of the divisions that have trained in Mississippi include the 31st, 37th, 38th, 43rd, 63rd, 65th, 69th, 85th, 94th, and the 99th Divisions.

The famous Japanese-American 442nd Regimental Combat Team and the 100th Battalion trained here in preparation for World War II. Women's Army Corps (WAC) units also trained here. The Post contained a large convalescent hospital and had a prisoner of war camp which housed members of the German Afrika Corps.

The post closed shortly after the end of World War II. During the Korean Conflict, Camp Shelby was established as an Emergency Railhead Facility.

In the summer of 1954, non-divisional National Guard units trained at Camp Shelby and in 1956, it was designated a permanent training site by Continental Army Command (now FORSCOM). Over 5,000 troops were processed through Camp Shelby during Desert Storm Operations.

The 199th Light Infantry Brigade trained at Camp Shelby from September to November 1966 in preparation for deployment to Vietnam from Ft Benning GA. The 199th was the only combat unit to train at Camp Shelby during the Vietnam War.

Camp Shelby was federalized as a FORSCOM Mobilization Center on June 6, 2004. Since then, several Regimental or Brigade Combat Teams have mobilized through Camp Shelby including the 278th RCT, the 155th Heavy Brigade Combat Team, the 2/28 BCT, the 53rd BCT, the 1/34th BCT, and the 41st BCT.

Camy Shelby is also one of two locations the specialized U.S. Navy Seabee's train at. Seabee's endure 10 days of building training as well as simulated real-life combat situations known as Building/Fighting 101, or more popularly known as FEX, Field Exercise.

Camp Shelby is also home to the Youth Challenge Program (a boot camp for military minded youths) and the Mississippi Armed Forces Museum.

In mid 2007 the Air National Guard opened a new combat training runway at Camp Shelby. The 210-acre (0.8 km2) Shelby Auxiliary Field 1 is one of only two facilities in the world designed for C-17 Globemaster III short-field landing operations. It was constructed to meet Air Force C-17 training requirements.

Camp Shelby Website

Mississippi Armed Forces Museum

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