History of Fort Greely
Fort Greely begun its history in 1942 when 1st Lt. William L. Brame, of the 138th Infantry, led an advanced detail comprised of fifteen men to build an Army Air Corps Base in the Big Delta Area. 1st Lt. Brame was the first post commander of Fort Greely. Brame was a part of an organization that was comprised of a quartermaster, infantry platoon, finance, signal, and medical detachments that was activated in Seattle.
The first Army units established camp on June 30, 1942. These Army units established Station 17, Alaskan Wing, Air Transport Command. Fort Greely played a vital role during World War II because the fort served as a refueling/rest post for American pilots transferring aircrafts to Ladd Airfield for the Lend Lease program. The fort continued as an Army Air Corps Base till 1945 when it was put on inactive. Until 1947, the Civil Aeronautics Authority maintained the military post while it was on inactive status.
After a few years on hiatus, Fort Greely was designated as the site for post-war cold weather maneuver tactics. The War Department tasked Fort Greely to fulfill Exercise Yukon that took place in the winter months of 1947-1948. The installation in Fort Greely was fully reactivated on May 1, 1948. The Department of the Army took control of the base and re-designated it as a full time military post. Under the new directive of the military post, the post was named United States troops, Big Delta, Alaska. The military post became the Arctic Training Center in 1948. The military post in Fort Greely was chosen for the Arctic Center because of its extremely low temperatures that mixed with various terrains. The terrain includes rivers, mountains, open plains, lakes, and swamps that can be training sites for soldiers.
The Arctic Training Center has three subdivisions which were:
- The Army Arctic Indoctrination School
- Army Training Company for School Troops
- Test and Development Section
The schools were established to teach the different living and movement conditions that soldiers would face in arctic and subarctic temperatures. The schools will train soldiers from all over America to withstand extremely low temperatures.
September 1, 1952 was an eventful day for the military post because it was renamed the Army Arctic Center. In 1953, construction began on the new buildings and facilities near the airfield. In the same year the United States Army Chemical Corps-Arctic Test Team was established on the military post. In 1954, another group of buildings were erected on the airbase to further develop the military. The new buildings were post headquarters, fire stations, auditoriums, photographic labs, post engineer facilities, maintenance shops, warehouses, and the Cold Weather & Mountain School buildings.
The military post was renamed Fort Greely on August 6, 1955 in honor of the late Maj. General Adolphus Washington Greely, founding father of the Alaska Communications System and one of a kind arctic explorer. Maj. Gen. Greely was responsible for numerous telephone lines in the United States, the Philippines, Alaska, and Puerto Rico. Maj. Gen. Greely boasts of more than 45,000 miles of telegraph lines in Alaska. At the zenith of his career Maj. Gen. Greely was awarded the Medal of Honor by the United States Congress in 1935.
Facts & Figures About Fort Greely
- Fort Greely is home to the United States Army Chemical Corps. The military post is also home to several facilities such as the Arctic Test Board and the Army Cold Weather and Mountain School. There are other several facilities scattered to different parts of the fort such as family housing, recreational centers and other necessary facilities.
- Fort Greely is an integral part of the United States Ballistic Mission Defense System and is a National Security Asset. Fort Greely is a vital cog in the United States Army mission at home and all over the world.
- Work Force in the Garrison: 420 people (including military, contractors, civilians)
- Total Work Force: 1,119 people (including military, civilian, contractors, AAFES, NAF, DECA)
- Residents of the Installation: 500 people (including contractors, civilians, military)
Mission of Fort Greely
Fort Greely is an installation mission that focuses on mid-course missile defense. The fort destroys mid-course missiles that are a threat to the United States. Fort Greely also hosts other military missions such as the Northern Warfare Training Center and the Cold Regions Test Center. The overall mission of the fort is comparable to an isolated city which provides the government a multitude of services. The services offered by Fort Greely include police, transportation and protection from fire.
Due to the remote location of the fort, it is important to keep the morale of the troops and the workers at a high level. All the services are provided for them during their stay. They get top notch welfare, schools, housing, health services, religious services, child development and support. Fort Greely is concerned with integrating each individual to form a sense of community with each other. The community fosters leadership in all levels of the community. You can hone and develop other skills during your stay in Fort Greely. The top notch services will provide you all of the necessities. The Army also involves itself with community programs to develop a bond and to help uplift the spirits of soldiers and civilians alike.
Fort Greely was established to serve and protect civilians and the United States. The soldiers and personnel are highly trained to uphold their mission.