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Fort Knox

Fort Knox was a U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command installation with the primary mission of training soldiers for the Armor Force. The Armor School is the rock on which the Armor Center mission is built. Its staff sections, directorates, and units provide the personnel, equipment, and guidance needed to train in the development of its doctrine. It is also home to the U.S. Army Recruiting Command and the 2d Region ROTC and Readiness Group Knox. The most well-known landmark at Fort Knox is the U.S. Bullion Depository, better known as the Gold Vault. When you come to Fort Knox, you may stand outside the Depository gate and take pictures, but you may not enter the gate or tour the Depository. Fort Knox is a certified Kentucky city, covering 109,054 acres or about 170.4 square miles. It is the seventh largest urban community in the Commonwealth, with a day-time population of about 33,000. Fort Knox is adjacent to the city of Radcliff, 15 miles north of Elizabethtown, and approximately 45 miles south of Louisville.

The Fort Knox reservation is a 44,595-ha U.S. Army installation in north central Kentucky, covering parts of Bullitt, Hardin, and Meade counties. The reservation adjoins the Ohio River, and is drained by the Salt River and its tributary, the Rolling Fork. Many smaller streams are present in the hilly terrain. Most of Fort Knox is second-growth deciduous forest. Non-forested areas include the cantonment area of the base, and the towns of Radcliff, Muldraugh, and West Point, KY, are also within or adjacent to the reservation. The western third of the reservation has good road accessibility, but there is only limited gravel road access to the northern and southern training areas.

There are 18 training areas just inside the perimeter of Fort Knox where the Army conducts both vehicle-based and on-foot training. Half of the reservation, about 21,332 ha, is an impact area for ordnance where only Army personnel are permitted. Almost all of the floodplains surrounding the Salt River and Rolling Fork lie within this central impact area.

Hardin County is one of the oldest counties in the Commonwealth of Kentucky, dating from the establishment of Kentucky as a state in 1792. In the Mill Creek area at the south end of post, Abraham Lincoln's father, Thomas Lincoln, once owned a small farm, and the 16th President was born in Hodgenville, south of Fort Knox. The Louisville and Nashville Turnpike, one of the only major roads through Kentucky, followed the trace of what is the post's Wilson Road today.

American soldiers occupied the Fort Knox area as early as the Civil War. In 1862 the 6th Michigan Infantry constructed fortifications and bridges north of the present reservation boundaries. Fort Duffield, overlooking the town of West Point, was the site of one of these positions. Both the Union and Confederate armies operated in this area during the war. Union troops from the commands of Gen. Don Carlos Buell and Gen. William Tecumseh Sherman occupied Louisville and the hills overlooking the Ohio River. The brilliant Confederate cavalry leader from Lexington, John Hunt Morgan, raided the area with the 2nd Kentucky Cavalry in 1862, capturing several hundred federal troops. At present day Brandenburg in Meade County, west of Fort Knox, Morgan and his troops crossed river for his famous raid into Indiana and Ohio.

The government had considered this area as a site for a military post as early as 1903. The Army, that same year, held large-scale maneuvers in the area, particularly in and around the small agricultural village on Stithton. What was once the center of Stithton is today the area around the traffic circle on Chaffee Ave. The Main Post Chapel, the oldest building on post, was built as the village's St. Patrick's Catholic Church.

Despite this early interest in the area, it was not until the United States entered World War I that the government acted. Congress initially leased 10,000 acres in the vicinity of Stithton and, in January 1918, established a field artillery training center. The camp was named for Maj. Gen. Henry Knox, chief of Artillery for the Continental Army during the American Revolution and later the nation's first Secretary of War. On June 25, 1918, Congress allocated $1.6 million to purchase 40,000 acres. Construction of the camp facilities began in July 1918, but was subsequently curtailed first by the Armistice in November 1918, then by Army strength reductions in 1921-1922. The post was closed as a permanent installation in 1922, but continued to serve until 1932 as a training center for the V Corps area, for reserve officer training, Citizens Military Training Camps, and for the National Guard.

In 1925, the post received the designation "Camp Henry Knox National Forest," which it kept until 1928, when two infantry companies were assigned to the post.

In 1936 the U.S. Treasury Department began construction of the U.S. Bullion Depository. The Gold Vault opened in January 1937, and was just receiving its first shipments of the nation's gold reserves when the 7th Cavalry Brigade (Mechanized) rode to the aid of the beleaguered city of Louisville, struck by a major flood from the Ohio River. Fort Knox troops patrolled the city and established several refugee centers for residents of Louisville and several other flooded communities along the Ohio River between the city and the post.

During the war the U.S. Bullion Depository continued to operate at Fort Knox, receiving more and more shipments of the country's gold reserves. The Gold Vault was also used to store and to safeguard the English crown jewels and the Magna Carta, along with the gold reserves of several of the countries of occupied Europe. On DEC 26, 1941, the Gold Vault also received the original documents of the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, and the Declaration of Independence for safekeeping. These historic documents left Fort Knox on Oct 1, 1944, and were returned to Washington DC for public display.

Fort Knox - the Home of Mounted Warfare - has served as a US military reservation since 1918. During this time it has played a key role in the development of military tactics, doctrine, and equipment, and has been an integral part of the training establishment for the active Army and Army Reserve.

Every soldier in the armor force has served here at least once during his term of service, whether in the permanent garrison or in the initial entry training, in one of the noncommissioned officer courses or in one of the armor officer training courses. The post also hosts nearly 400,000 visitors annually at the showcase of the armor force and Fort Knox history - the Patton Museum of Cavalry and Armor.

The museum, established in 1949 and named for the famous Armor leader, displays equipment, vehicles and artifacts chronicling the history of armor and cavalry, including equipment from America's allies and foes over the years, and an original section of the Berlin Wall on permanent display. The museum also preserves historical documents, books and other materials relating to armor and cavalry.

The Army Regimental System, in which the lineages of the Army's historical units are now perpetuated, has brought the colors of several of the Army's famous armor and cavalry regiments home to Fort Knox. The flags of the 13th Armored, 15th Cavalry, 16th Cavalry and the 81st Armored now wave proudly above the heads of the soldiers in the 1st Armored Training Brigade (Soldiers of Steel).

The Department of the Army has prepared a Draft Environmental Impact Statement to assess the potential impacts of the proposed construction and operation of the Northern Training Complex on approximately 2,945 acres (2,303 forested acres, 642 open acres) of Fort Knox, Kentucky (west of the Salt River in Bullitt County). The Draft Environmental Impact Statement document has been prepared pursuant to the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969.

The purpose of the proposed Northern Training Complex is to construct and operate a multi-purpose digital training range and a series of maneuver areas, drop zones and landing zones. These facilities would provide a multi-functional war-fighting capability to meet the Army's training needs for soldiers in urban and restricted combat scenarios. Construction of these facilities would upgrade existing substandard range facilities and expand the installation's training capacity to train armor soldiers in a realistic training environment for urban and restricted terrain combat. Current facilities do not meet modern tank gunnery standards and are inadequate to support training for regional conflicts in urban and restricted areas.

A public scoping meeting in connection with the Notice of Intent for this Environmental Impact Statement was held in Bullitt County, Shepherdsville, Kentucky on June 8, 2000. This meeting provided an opportunity for the public to become aware of the Environmental Impact Statement and for the Army to gather public input regarding the scope of the study and reasonable alternatives. Those unable to attend the scheduled scoping meeting were provided the opportunity to submit written comments regarding the scope of the Environmental Impact Statement through June 2000.

The primary issues analyzed in this Draft Environmental Impact Statement include: noise (aircraft/range firing), impacts to wetlands and riparian areas, removal of approximately 2,945 acres of forests, soil erosion, water quality, endangered species, air quality and cultural resources.

BRAC 2005

Secretary of Defense Recommendations: Realign Fort Knox, KY, by relocating the Armor Center and School to Fort Benning, GA, to accommodate the activation of an Infantry Brigade Combat Team (BCT) at Fort Knox, KY, and the relocation of engineer, military police, and combat service support units from Europe and Korea. Realign Fort McCoy, WI, by relocating the 84th Army Reserve Regional Training Center to Fort Knox, KY.

DoD also recommended to close Fort Monroe, VA, and relocate the US Army Accessions Command and US Army Cadet Command to Fort Knox.

This recommendation would support the consolidation of the Armor and Infantry Centers and Schools at Fort Benning and would create a Maneuver Center of Excellence for ground forces training and doctrine development. It would consolidate both Infantry and Armor One Station Unit Training (OSUT), which would allow the Army to reduce the total number of Basic Combat Training locations from five to four. This recommendation also would relocate the 84th ARRTC to Fort Knox and would support another recommendation which relocates Army Reserve Command and Control units to Fort McCoy. These relocations would enhance command and control within the Army Reserve, and promote interaction between the Active and Reserve Components. DoD claimed that this recommendation would directly support the Army's operational unit stationing and training requirements by using available facilities, ranges, training land at Fort Knox, KY (vacated by the Armor Center and School) to effectively and would efficiently relocate various Combat Support and Combat Service Support units returning from overseas, and as the installation platform for the activation of a new Infantry BCT. These units would be a combination of the relocation of Integrated Global Presence and Basing Strategy (IGPBS) - related units returning from overseas and the activation of units as part of the Army's modular force transformation.

The total estimated one-time cost to the Department of Defense to implement this recommendation would be $773.1M. The net of all costs and savings to DoD during the implementation period would be a cost of $244.1M. Annual recurring savings to DoD after implementation would be $123.3M with a payback expected in 5 years. The net present value of the costs and savings to the Department over 20 years would be a savings of $948.1M. This recommendation could result in a maximum potential reduction of 8,521 jobs (6,100 direct and 2,421 indirect jobs) over the 2006 - 2011 period in the Elizabethtown, KY Metropolitan Statistical Area, which would be 12.9 percent of economic area employment.

DoD's review of community infrastructure attributes revealed no significant issues regarding the ability of the infrastructure of the communities to support missions, forces, and personnel. When moving activities from Fort McCoy to Fort Knox, DoD estimated that five would improve (Child Care, Cost of Living, Education, Population Center and Transportation) and one (Employment) would not be as robust. When moving from Fort Knox to Fort Benning,DoD estimated that the following local area capabilities would improve: Employment, Population Center, and Transportation; and the following local area capabilities would not be as robust: Cost of Living, Education, and Safety. This recommendation would also have environmental effects for the Fort. Tribal consultations might be necessary at Fort Knox. Noise analysis and monitoring would be required at Fort Knox to determine the extent of new noise impacts. Fort Knox range was located over the recharge zone of a solesource aquifer, which might result in future regulatory limitations on training activities. This recommendation would require spending approximately $1.3M for environmental compliance costs. These costs were included payback calculation.

Another Recommendation made by DoD was to close Louisville United States Army Reserve Center and relocate the 100th DIV(IT) headquarters to Fort Knox. According to DoD, the relocation of the 100th Division (Institutional Training) to Fort Knox would support the re-engineering and streamlining of support delivered by Army Reserve training base units in order to significantly enhance training in support of mobilization and deployment. In order to preserve historic and archeological resources at Fort Knox, additional training restrictions might be imposed and increased construction delays and costs would be possible. Tribal consultations might be required at Fort Knox.

In its 2005 BRAC Recommendations, DoD recommended that the Army Research Institute, Fort Knox, KY be realigned by relocating Human Systems Research to Aberdeen Proving Ground, MD. As part of a larger realignment surrounding the closure of Ft. Monmouth, NJ, DoD's recommendation would establish a Land C4ISR Lifecycle Management Command (LCMC) to focus technical activity and accelerate transition. Research, Development and Acquisition (RDA), Test and Evaluation (T&E) of Army Land C4ISR technologies and systems were split among several sites including Fort Knox. Consolidation of RDA at fewer sites would achieve efficiency and synergy at a lower cost than would be required for multiple sites. Assuming no economic recovery, this recommendation could result in a maximum potential reduction of 20 jobs (11 direct and 9 indirect jobs) over the 2006 – 2011 periods in the Elizabethtown, KY Metropolitan Division, which would be 0.03 percent of economic area employment. The aggregate economic impact of all recommended actions on these economic regions of influence was considered and can be found in Appendix B of Volume I of DoD's 2005 BRAC Recommendations.

DoD also recommended to realign Birmingham Armed Forces Reserve Center, AL, by disestablishing the 81st Regional Readiness Command and establishing the Army Reserve Southeast Regional Readiness Command in a new Armed Forces Reserve Center on Fort Jackson, SC. Close Louisville United States Army Reserve Center and relocate the 100th DIV(IT) headquarters to Fort Knox, KY.

Secretary of Defense Justification: This recommendation enhances military value, improves training and deployment capabilities, better utilizes training resources, and creates significant efficiencies and cost savings while maintaining sufficient surge capability to address unforeseen requirements. It properly locates Operational Army units in support of the Army's Force Structure Plans and modular force transformation. This recommendation supports the consolidation of the Armor and Infantry Centers and Schools at Fort Benning and creates a Maneuver Center of Excellence for ground forces training and doctrine development. It consolidates both Infantry and Armor One Station Unit Training (OSUT), which allows the Army to reduce the total number of Basic Combat Training locations from five to four. This recommendation also relocates the 84th ARRTC to Fort Knox and supports another recommendation that relocates Army Reserve Command and Control units to Fort McCoy. These relocations enhance command and control within the Army Reserve and promote interaction between the Active and Reserve Components. This recommendation directly supports the Army's operational unit stationing and training requirements by using available facilities, ranges, training land at Fort Knox, KY, (vacated by the Armor Center and School) to effectively and efficiently relocate various Combat Support and Combat Service Support units returning from overseas, and as the installation platform for the activation of a new Infantry BCT. These units are a combination of the relocation of Integrated Global Presence and Basing Strategy (IGPBS)-related units returning from overseas and the activation of units as part of the Army's modular force transformation.

The relocation of the 100th (DIV(IT) headquarters to Fort Knox, KY, recommendation transforms Reserve Component facilities and command and control structure throughout the Southeast Region of the United States. The implementation of this recommendation will enhance military value, improve homeland defense capability, greatly improve training and deployment capability, create significant efficiencies and cost savings, and is consistent with the Army's force structure plans and Army transformational objectives.

This recommendation is the result of a nation-wide analysis of Reserve Component installations and facilities conducted by a team of functional experts from Headquarters, Department of the Army, the Office of the State Adjutant General, and the Army Reserve Regional Readiness Command.

This recommendation supports the Army Reserve's Command and Control restructuring initiative to reduce Regional Readiness Commands from ten to four. This recommendation transforms Army Reserve command and control by relocating one major headquarters from inadequate facilities in Birmingham, AL, to Fort Jackson, SC. This supports the initiative to consolidate command structure and responsibilities on Active Army installations, which will in turn increase the support capabilities of the Army Reserve to the Active Army while establishing a new operational capability for the Army Reserve. The relocation of the 100th Division (Institutional Training) to Fort Knox, KY, supports the re-engineering and streamlining of support delivered by Army Reserve training base units in order to significantly enhance training in support of mobilization and deployment.

This recommendation reduces military manpower and associated costs for maintaining existing facilities by closing one Armed Forces Reserve Center, and moving two major commands onto Active Army installations, thus significantly reducing operating costs and creating improved business processes.

This recommendation considered feasible locations within the demographic and geographic areas of the closing facilities and affected units. The sites selected were determined as the best locations because they optimize the Reserve Components' ability to recruit and retain Reserve Component soldiers and to train and mobilize units affected by this recommendation.

This recommendation provides the opportunity for other Local, State, or Federal organizations to partner with the Reserve Components to enhance homeland security and homeland defense at a reduced cost to those agencies.

Although not captured in the COBRA analysis, this recommendation avoids an estimated $13.1M in mission facility renovation costs and procurement avoidances associated with meeting AT/FP construction standards and altering existing facilities to meet unit training and communications requirements. Consideration of these avoided costs would reduce costs and increase the net savings to the Department of Defense in the 6-year BRAC implementation period and in the 20-year period used to calculate NPV.

Community Concerns: The Fort Knox, KY, community reluctantly supported the loss of Ft. Knox's Armor Center and School and the related armor tradition because of offsetting gains at Fork Knox from other DoD BRAC recommendations. However, it questioned whether the same quality of Armor training could be reconstituted at Fort Benning due to its concern that insufficient training land and facilities are available at Fort Benning. Both Fort Knox and Fort Benning communities requested clarification of which Armor Center and School-related activities will relocate to Fort Benning. Fort Knox wanted to retain a museum to preserve its Armor legacy. The Columbus, GA, and Fort Benning community welcomed the relocation of the Armor Center and School, and indicated full support for this portion of DoD's recommendation. However, the Fort Benning community was concerned that an additional brigade combat team (BCT), previously planned for Fort Benning, is instead now identified in this recommendation for stationing at Fort Knox. The Fort Benning community felt the Army ought to station additional units at Fort Benning to more fully use its available capacity.

There were no formal expressions from the community regarding the latter of DoD recommendations.

Commission Findings: Although the Fort Benning community was concerned that the Army BRAC proposal revised a pre-BRAC plan to activate a brigade at Fort Benning but did not identify substitute units to be based at Fort Benning, the Commission found that the Army does not currently plan to add major units to Fort Benning as part of BRAC but may do so outside of BRAC. Both the Fort Benning and Fort Knox communities requested clarification from the Army about which specific units would relocate under BRAC from Fort Knox to Fort Benning, and the Commission obtained the needed Army clarification. Last, the Fort Knox community expressed concern that the Armor Center and School functions might not be readily accommodated at Fort Benning, but the Commission found the Army would implement the transfer only as the moves are fully supportable and that Armor student training will not be degraded by BRAC moves. The Commission found that Army BRAC plans relocate the museum portion on the Armor school manning document, and remaining museum issue resolutions can be addressed during implementation.

The Commission found no reason to disagree with the recommendation of the Secretary of Defense regarding the closure of the Louisville United States Army Reserve Center and the relocatation of the 100th DIV(IT) headquarters to Fort Knox, KY.

Commission Recommendations: The Commission found the Secretary's recommendations consistent with the final selection criteria and force structure plan. Therefore, the Commission approved the recommendations of the Secretary.


as of 31 December 2001

1. SIZE OF POST 109,054 Acres
(170.4 Sq Miles)
2. ACQUISITION COST OF LAND AND IMPROVEMENTS $803,303,600
3. AUTHORIZED STRENGTHS (0201/0202 TDAs) MILITARY CIVILIAN TOTAL
HQ USAARMC (DBOS A76 = 396 civilians not included) 439 864 1303
1st Armor Training Brigade 1717 169 1886
USAARMS (Incl Obs/Contr) 191 123 314
16th Cavalry Regiment 1654 112 1766
113th Band 40 0 40
NCO Academy 155 5 160
MTOE Units 367 0 367
Partners in Excellence (Assigned as of 31 DEC 01) 1546 1332 2868
TOTAL 6109 2595 8704
4. AVERAGE DAILY TRAINING LOADS (OCT - DEC) PROGRAM ACTUAL
BT 1694 1439
OSUT 1445 1769
AIT 506 267
USMC AIT 66 21
USAARMS 827 539
5. RESERVE COMPONENTS & EXTERNAL UNITS TRAINING INPUT (OCT - DEC) 13,393
6. ON-POST POPULATION - 31 DEC 01 22,884
Active Duty (Less Students/Trainees) 6386
    Armor Center/School (includes 113th Band) 3929
    Partners in Excellence 1546
    Others Under Command (MTOE, PCF, RCF, holdovers/holdunders, etc.) 911
Civilians 5486
   Armor Center/School Civil Service 1366
   Armor Center Non-Civil Service 1408
   Partners in Excellence 1322
   Contractors 1390
Students/Trainees 3736
Military Family Members 7276
7. OFF-POST POPULATION - 31 DEC 01 143,326
Military Family Members of Active Army and Retirees (Est) 83,874
Retired Military (Includes Widows/Widowers) 54,692
Reserve Personnel (100th Div, 81st ARCOM) 4760
8. TOTAL POPULATION SERVED - 30 DEC 01 166,210
9. FY 01 TRADOC OMA (DIRECT - INSTALLATION ONLY) $138,005,000
FY 01 TRADOC OMA (REIMB - INSTALLATION ONLY) $28,598,000
FY 01 FBH/CADET CMD/RCE (OMA DIRECT) $931,567
FY 01 FORSCOM OMA/OMARNG (OMA DIRECT) $747,000
FY 01 AFH (DIRECT/REIMB) $147,600
FF 01 OSD (DIRECT - INSTALLATION ONLY) $6,290,000
FF 01 OSD (DIRECT - MEDDAC ONLY) $66,804,000
10. AVERAGE MONTHLY PAY OF PERSONNEL 
Military Entitlements (Net) $27,272,878
Civil Pay (Installation Only) $5,767,460
11. PROCUREMENT OF SUPPLIES AND CONTRACTUAL SERVICE (OCT - DEC) $95,354,944
12. HOUSING:
Family Quarters 3480 units
Barracks (spaces available) 11,355 spaces
BEQs & SOQs 92 spaces
Transient Lodging (spaces available) 612
VISITORS (OCT -DEC)
VIPs 352
Patton Museum 21,030
Others 1233
FORT KNOX COMMUNITY SCHOOL STUDENTS (ENROLLMENT) 3105
RELIGIOUS ACTIVITIES (AVERAGE ATTENDANCE PER WEEK)
Church Attendance 2141
Religious Education 264
YOUTH ACTIVITIES AND NUMBER OF PARTICIPANTS
Boy Scouts (7 troops) 460
Girl Scouts (16 troops) 208



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