Camp Atterbury / Atterbury Range
Camp Atterbury is home to many disparate organizations and agencies. The majority of the camp, extending southward from just west of Edinburgh almost to Columbus, is run by the Indiana National Guard and the US Army Reserve. Much of it is a Reserve Forces Training Facility. The 655 acre Cantonment Area is open year round to serve the training requirements of all branches of military forces, as well as Federal and local law enforcement and other agencies.
The present post, consisting of 33,484.64 acres, measures nearly 12 miles, north-to-south, and is seven miles wide, east-to-west, at the widest point. Camp Atterbury's vast expanses allow commanders to train their troops in infantry operations on company, battalion, or even brigade scales. Varied terrain and begetation provide outstanding areas for all forms of offensive and defensive tactics. Sites are also available for air assault, rappeling, ground reconnaissance, and other specialized training operations.
From small caliber pistol to helicopter gunships, Camp Atterbury's range complex is designed to support the weapons systems found in a typical divisional element. In addition, fighter aircraft have a separate range available at all times for tactical training exercises. As an added safety consideration, the 8,000 acre impact area is centrally located well within post confines.
With terrain that varies from flat open spaces to rolling hills to triple-canopied forests, Camp Atterbury is perfectly suited to engineer training using equipment available on post. Also, unlike many other training sites, there are few restrictions on what training can be conducted. Camp Atterbury's 33,000 acres provide ideal locations for bridging, river crossing, pioneer, and other engineer training.
The 76th Separate Infantry Brigade (Light) is an enhanced National Guard brigade based in Indiana. Its 2-week annual training exercise is conducted at Camp Atterbury.
A Navy SEAL Training Camp is a Camp Atterbury. Atterbury features state of the art firing ranges, and the SEALs use those ranges for sniper training. The SEALs have been at the Camp since around 1990. They run two courses a year including scout sniper courses, a variety of things, marksmanship, reconnaissance and observation, and intelligence gathering techniques.
In July, 1958, the Indiana Air National Guard established an air-to-ground gunnery range in the southwestern portion of the post and continues to operate, Tuesday thru Saturday, today. Fighter aircraft assigned to active Air Force, Navy, and Marine units, as well as Air National Guard and Air Force Reserve units from the mid-western area, practice strafing and bombing gunnery on the range, with as many as 64 individual aircraft sorties flown per day. The range and post complex is included in FAA Restricted Zone R-3401A and R-34018 and controls all airspace up to 20,000 feet when the range is active, or when artillery and mortars are firing. At all other times, airspace up to 4,000 feet is controlled, to permit small arms firing and nap-of-the-earth helicopter pilot proficiency training.
Primary Customers of the R3401 Atterbury Range air-to-ground complex include the 110FW (Battle Creek MI), 122 FW (Fort Wayne, IN), 123 AW (Louisville, KY), 127 FW (Selfridge, MI), 178 FW (Springfield, OH), 180 FW (Toledo, OH), 181 FW (Terre Haute, IN), 183 FW (Springfield, OH), 19 ASOS (Ft. Campbell, KY), IN National Guard.
In 1998 the INARNG decided to upgrade training areas and facilities at Camp Atterbury, Indiana. The proposed action is to construct and operate at Multi-Purpose Training Range (MPTR) that would support tanks, attack helicopters, Infantry Fighting Vehicles, and a dismounted infantry platoon battle course. Equipment would also be upgraded commensurate with troop training doctrine. The proposed action does not include development of maneuver corridors. These corridors, if proposed for addition in the future, will be the subject of a supplemental National Environmental Policy Act document. The MPTR will be located in the southwest sector of the installation and will be used for training by armor, attack helicopter, Infantry Fighting Vehicles, and dismounted infantry units. The MPTR would include a support area, firing area and a target area. The firing area would include stationary, moving and defilade firing positions. The target area would contain stationary and moving targets. Firing points would be oriented to provide northeasterly trajectories into the existing impact area. The MPTR itself would occupy approximately 80 hectares (200 acres) and, including the safety fan, the area involved would total 4,550 hectares (11,250 acres).
Camp Atterbury hosted the 2001 World Police and Fire Games. The Search and Rescue Academy of the The Indiana State Emergency Management Agency and Public Training Safety Training Institute hold a number of classes at Camp Atterbury. Many different types of training take place here, including confined space training, land navigation, and incident management. The facility has been under a constant state of improvement since construction began.
The 6,206 Atterbury Fish and Wildlife Area was purchased by the state from Camp Atterbury. In 1969, wildlife management efforts began on over 6000 acres. The remaining military area, a training facility for the National Guard and Army Reserve units, coordinates with Atterbury Fish and Wildlife Area to authorize limited hunting on military property when not in conflict with training operations. The Atterbury Fish and Wildlife Area is near the Hoosier National Forest. It used to be an army camp. The 35,000 acres next to the area still are in use by the National Guard. This 33,132 acre contiguous Training Center with Maneuver & Training Area surrounds a central range & Impact Area. Most flat or rolling lands, with some ravines along Sugar Creek, whic has a couple of canoe put-in points. There are some marshes and ponds/lakes; mostly grassland with some small areas (relatively--about 400 acres) of forest. Birdwatching is good here, especially from observation towers near the marshes.
Along with Camp Shelby, MS, Camp Atterbury, was one of only two Guard facilities activated, as of late July 2004, as mobilization centers for overseas deployment. The facility was activated in February 2003, its first activation since the Korean War.
Camp Atterbury was established as a U.S. Army camp in 1942, during the height of World War II. It was also a POW camp. Construction of the Camp started in February 1942 and ended a short seven months later with 1,780 buildings. Camp Atterbury began operation in June of 1942. The first of over 275,000 soldiers were brought in for training during World War II. From 1943-1945, Camp Atterbury and satellite camps in the area held 3,000 Italian prisoners of war.
Camp Atterbury was named after Hoosier William Wallace Atterbury. During World War I, Atterbury was commissioned as a Brigadier General. Atterbury reorganized the European Railroad network to create rapid movement of Allied Forces. He became the president of the Pennsylvania Railroad in 1925.
Beginning in 1955, Camp Atterbury reverted to an inactive status, waiting to serve once again and used only for occasional weekend training by the National Guard and Army Reserve units. In 1970, however, control of the southern three-fourths of the old camp was transferred to the Indiana National Guard.
Since 1978, World War II era wooden buildings have been gradually replaced by new masonry structures. Thirty-seven new barracks have been built so far - enough to house 3,300 troops. With 30 additional new administration, mess, and supply facilities, Camp Atterbury can easily support brigade-sized operations. For larger operations, 2,000 troops can be housed and supported in remaining wooden facilities.
North of Hospital Road, which extends west of Edinburgh to Nineveh, the Johnson County Park. Surrounding the park is the Atterbury Fish and Wildlife Area, run by the Indiana Department of Natural Resources. The Atterbury Job Corps Center lies to the west of Johnson County Park. The park includes large expanses of ground for picnicking, hiking, model airplanes, and other activities. There is a rifle range, and archery range, and campground. Atterbury also is the home of Hoosier Horse Park. This facility was constructed as a result of the 1987 Pam American Games, hosted by Indianapolis. The equestrian events were held there. Today, many equestrian events are scheduled during the summer and fall. There is a riding range and stables. Several rodeos have also been held at the facility.
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