San Antonio, Texas
With a population 130 military personnel, the mission of Camp Bullis is to train security police in ground combat skills. Camp Bullis, a United States Army camp, occupies 12,000 acres on Interstate Highway 10 and Harry Wurzbach Road seventeen miles northwest of San Antonio in Bexar County.
Camp Bullis and Camp Stanley make up the Leon Springs Military Reservation. In 1990 the Leon Springs Military Reservation consisted of Camp Stanley, largely used for ammunition storage and testing, and Camp Bullis, utilized for firing ranges, maneuver areas for army, air force, and marine combat units, and for field training of the various medical units from Brooke Army Medical Centerqv at Fort Sam Houston.
Camp Bullis was established in 1917 to train troops in preparation for the growing threat of war in Europe. It was named for Brig. Gen. John Lapham Bullis, who as a lieutenant led the Seminole-Negro scoutsqv during the Indian Wars. During World War Iqv Camp Bullis provided maneuver areas and small arms and rifle ranges for troops from Fort Sam Houston. No units were stationed at the camp. During the 1920s and 1930s Camp Bullis provided facilities for training the Civilian Military Training Corps, the Civilian Conservation Corps, the Reserve Officer Training Corps, and the Officer Reserve Corps. From January 1942 through November 1943 the Second, Ninety-fifth, and Eighty-eighth Infantry divisions used Camp Bullis. Smaller units continued to use the camp until 1944. After the war 500,000 soldiers were processed out through the separation centers at Fort Sam Houston and Camp Bullis. A mock Vietnam village was constructed at Camp Bullis to help prepare soldiers for service in Vietnam. In 1965 the air force was conducting weapons training for trainees, air police, and the security service at Camp Bullis.
In 1977 an Air Force Security Police Training Site, known as Victor Base, was constructed to accommodate the Air Force Security Police Academy. The air force was subsequently the largest single user of Camp Bullis until 1987. The army began emergency deployment readiness exercises at Camp Bullis in 1973, when elements of the 101st Airborne Division from Fort Hood were air-dropped at Camp Bullis. Other exercises were conducted by the 101st and the Eighty-second Airborne in 1980 and 1981. In 1985 the 307th Medical Battalion and a French army medical unit were air-dropped on Camp Bullis. A combat assault landing strip was constructed in 1983. The First Marine Amphibious Force conducted landing operations at the strip in 1986 and 1989.
In mid-2001 it was reported that an old chemical weapons dump on the installation may pose a threat to the underground Edwards and Trinity aquifers. In 1938 soldiers from the 2nd Infantry Division at Fort Sam Houston buried hundreds of sealed-glass vials containing mustard gas and other chemical weapons in trenches at Camp Bullis. The weapons dump was used in the 1950's, when it was common for the military to bury chemical weapons, after denaturalizing them with Trichloroethene, or TCE. That TCE has contaminated some monitoring wells at Camp Bullis and could potentially contaminate the aquifers. The landfill was discovered in 1995 when digging equipment at the post unearthed 33 bottles of mustard gas, phosgene, chloropicrin and other incapacitating gases. Recovered Chemical Warfare materiel included 25 Chemical Agent Identification Set (CAIS).
Camp Bullis was the first of four installations to demonstrate guidelines for Tactical Concealment Areas (TCA). Fort Hood, Texas; Camp Guernsey, Wyo.; and Camp Ripley, Minn., followed in demonstrations scheduled through December 1999. In 1996 Camp Bullis faced a not-so-unusual challenge: create more usable training area to meet increasing mission needs. The Texas installation needed to provide "movement to contact" corridors for Army National Guard mechanized units, create a simulated airfield for the Air Force's Ground Combat Skills School, and expand training space for Fort Sam Houston medical units to set up bivouac and field hospitals. It also had to enhance habitat for two endangered species (the golden-checked warbler and the black-capped vireo) and protect archeological sites and other unique land features. The spread of brush juniper compounded the problem by rendering some areas unsuitable for the types of training necessary to fulfill the current mission. The US Army Construction Engineering Research Laboratories (CERL), a creator of the tactical concealment concept, developed the guidelines with direct user input from the demonstration sites, other installations and major commands.
Top Dollar is a deployment exercise at Camp Bullis that tests each team's ability to conduct comptroller and contracting operations in a wartime or contingency environment. Teams were evaluated on marksmanship, self-aid and buddy care skills, and a confidence course. Also, teams were evaluated on more than 120 scenarios including trips into downtown "Kikis, Greece," the simulated deployment site for the exercise, to purchase needed supplies from local merchants.
Air Education and Training Command security forces gathered at Camp Bullis in August 1999 to compete in Defender Challenge, an annual competition that tests the combat skills readiness and physical fitness of some of the best cops in the command. The main events are the M-16 combat rifle, 9mm handgun, obstacle course and the Warrior Challenge, which combines land navigation, combat patrolling and innovative tactics.
In May 2001 the Department of the Army announced the availability of the Fort Sam Houston, Camp Bullis, and Canyon Lake Recreation Area Master Plan Draft Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement. The Draft Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement assesses the potential impacts of adopting revisions to the installation's Real Property Master Plan. The Draft Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement has been prepared in accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), Public Law 91-190 (42 U.S.C. 4341). The Draft Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement study period covers 1998 to 2008. The analytical results are expected to enhance management of the land and infrastructure at Fort Sam Houston and Camp Bullis, and support current and future missions while sustaining good stewardship of the natural and cultural resources. The document looks at potential impacts of land use and visual resources, transportation, utilities, earth resources, air quality, water resources, biological resources (including listed threatened and endangered species), cultural resources, socioeconomics, environmental justice, noise, hazardous materials and items of special concern. The findings indicate that potential environmental impacts to cultural resources from the alternatives may result.
The Fort Sam Houston and Camp Bullis Master Plan Draft Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement (DPEIS), which assesses the potential environmental impacts of implementing three master planning alternatives. Alternative 1 (No Action Alternative) includes the continuation of: The currently identified stationed population reductions, as reflected in the Army Stationing and Installation Plan; the projected reductions in the Real Property Maintenance Activity budget program for facility maintenance and repair; the ``zero investment'' maintenance expenditures for vacant historical facilities, and the projected reductions in the Base Operations budget program for utilities and other engineering services. Alternative 2 (Reuse of Facilities and Property by Federal Users) would result in an adaptive reuse of currently vacant historical facilities using the existing appropriated funds process. This maybe accomplished by bringing to Fort Sam Houston: Additional military missions through individual stationing decisions that take advantage of the capabilities of Fort Sam Houston; and/or additional federal missions through individual stationing decisions that take advantage of the capabilities of Fort Sam Houston. Alternative 3 (Reduction of Underutilized/Unutilized Property through Lease, Sale, or Removal) would result in the reduction of underutilized/unutilized facilities and property on Fort Sam Houston and Camp Bullis, in addition to changes in the Land Use Plan. The reduction in underutilized/unutilized property may be accomplished through: Outgrant leases to the city, county, state, private citizens, businesses, or investors; sale to the city, county, state, private citizens, businesses, or investors; removal from the site; or demolition. The Army may select any one alternative or a combination of alternatives for future activities and planning at Fort Sam Houston.
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