Fort Campbell, a US Army Installation, is located in the border between Kentucky and Tennessee. It was established a few years after the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor. As the home to the 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment and the 101st Airborne Division, it also became one of the most significant historical landmarks of the US Army. It was also named after Brigadier General William Bowell Campbell, a former governor of Tennessee. Read on to find out more about its history, vision and mission, and demographics.
Fort Campbell: a brief history
The site for Fort Campbell was selected on July 16, 1941. Its Title I Survey was completed on November 15, 1941, which is the same time when the Japanese Imperial Fleet left its home waters to bomb Pearl Harbor. On January 12, 1942, the construction of Fort Campbell began and the reservation designated as Camp Campbell was also developed to accommodate a number of support troops in that same year. With a total size of over 102,000 acres, Camp Campbell had billets for 45,198 enlisted personnel and 2,422 military officers.
Its close proximity to Clarksville, Tennessee allowed the War Department to designate it as the address of a new camp on March 6, 1942. This caused a lot of confusion because the Headquarters is located in Tennessee but the post office is in Kentucky. After several months of having problems in sending and delivering mail, Colonel Guy Chipman requested its address to be changed to Camp Campbell, Kentucky. The War Department approved the request and officially changed the camp’s address on September 23, 1942.
During early summer of 1942, Fort Campbell’s initial cadre, 19 enlisted men, and one military officer arrived from Fort Knox, Kentucky. From that time until the World War II ended, Fort Campbell served as the training ground for the 20th, 14th, and 12th Armored divisions, the 26th Infantry Division, and the Headquarters IV Armored Corps. In spring of 1949, the 11th Airborne Division also arrived at Campbell after serving an occupational duty in Japan. The 11th Airborne Division resided there until 1956. By April of 1950, the post evolved from a wartime training camp into a permanent military installation.
Wilbur M. Bruckner, Secretary of the Army, and Maxwell D. Taylor, Army Chief of Staff, presented the 101st Airborne Division on September 21, 1956. This is actually the first official ceremony that reactivated the legendary Screaming Eagles of World War II. On May 2, 1966, the Third Army General Order 161 also required the activation of the Basic Combat Training Center at Fort Campbell. Two months after the order was implemented, the training center of Fort Campbell received a batch of 220 newly inducted soldiers. This gave way to the training of over one thousands trainees.
Fort Campbell deployed the 1st Brigade to Vietnam in July 1965. Soon thereafter, when the hostilities in Southeast Asia escalated, the rest of the division was also deployed. In response to the military build-up, military officers in Fort Campbell reactivated the 6th Infantry Division in November 1966 and deactivated it in July 1968. After years of successful missions, 246 service members died with eight air crew on December 12, 1985. This was shortly after they took off from Newfoundland, Canada after returning from their peacekeeping duties in Egypt. A monument for the heroes was built near the posts museum.
Fort Campbell’s vision and mission
Fort Campbell’s main goal is to become a World Class Army Home. Its strategic location on the Tennessee/Kentucky state line allows this military installation to deploy mission-ready contingency forces by rail, highway, inland waterway, and air. It is also the home of 101st Airborne Division, the only Air Assault Division in the world. It also features two of the most prestigious Special Operations Command Units, the 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment and the 5th Special Forces Group. It is also where the 716th MP Battalion, 86th Combat Support Hospital, and Medical and Dental Activities are located.
Fort Campbell provides mobilization support and training for numerous members of the Army Reserve and the Army National Guard. This army installation also supports reserve and active component units, Army families, Army civilians, veterans, and retirees. It serves as the home to the US Army’s most-deployed contingency forces so Fort Campbell strives to refine its efforts to support expeditionary forces. The need to provide efficient, sustainable, and effective services that will improve the well-being of everyone in the Fort Campbell Community is also included in its vision and mission.
As with other US Army posts, Fort Campbell is always at the forefront of change. Today, it continues to prove its worth as the leader in developing proactive and innovative technologies that will meet the needs of customers as well as the challenges that the US Army constantly faces. As their people implement change, they take great caution in not losing sight of the traditions, culture, and heritage that shaped Fort Campbell, the US Army, and the communities that surround it. In line with its vision and mission, Fort Campbell guarantees soldiers with the high quality of life that they deserve.
Interesting facts and figures
It is normal for soldiers who are assigned to a new camp to wonder what their life would be like in there. Fort Campbell facts and figures allow them to get a clearer vision of what the community is and is not. With over 2,800 households, 2,600 families, and a total of 14,338 people living in its census designated place, Fort Campbell Community just keeps growing and growing. Today, there are also 2,967 housing units available for active-duty military, retirees, veterans, and their families. A huge percentage of people residing in Fort Campbell are of American and Latin origin.
Out of the 2,800 households in Fort Campbell, 87.1% had children that are under the age of 16 living with them. It continues to show a promising economic climate with $26,755 as the median income of every household. While females had a median income of $18,478, males had an average income of $19,846. New housing units, areas for recreation, schools, and quality medical care have also turned Fort Campbell into a world-class Army Home.