Military


Fort Sam Houston
Charles Kelly Heliport

Fort Sam Houston [called "Fort Sam" by locals] is located on the northeast side of San Antonio, Texas. It is accessible from Interstate-Loop 410, Interstate-35 and US 281. The post is surrounded by San Antonio, the 10th largest city in the United States. Some interesting places to visit are the Alamo, the Riverwalk, the Missions, the Alamodome, Seaworld of San Antonio and Fiesta Texas Theme Park. San Antonio is known as "Military City USA" because it has the extreme good fortune of having five military installations located in its perimeter and the city shares a wonderful rapport with members of the military community.

The primary mission at Fort Sam Houston is medical training and support post. The post is the home of the HQ U.S. 5th Army, U.S. Army 5th Recruiting Brigade, Brooke Army Medical Center, Institute of Surgical Research, U.S. Army Medical Department Center and School, U.S. Army Center Brigade, and U.S. Army Medical Command. Population assigned-served: 110,403 -- Active Duty Officers & Enlisted - 6,950 Family Members - 70,710 Retiree - 14,687 Civilian Employees - 7,230 Reserve Components - 3,136 National Guard - 1,256 Student Personnel - 4,790 Other Services - 1,644.

Fifth U.S. Army is the headquartered in the historic Quadrangle at Fort Sam Houston, Texas, in San Antonio, with the majority of its people forward deployed throughout its 21-state area of responsibility. The command's mission is to assist, evaluate and synchronize all training support activities of Reserve Component (RC) units west of the Mississippi (excluding Minnesota). Fifth Army also directs mobilization and deployment planning, and, on order, executes mobilization operations. The command also plans for and coordinates Military Support to Civil Authorities (MSCA).

The U.S. Army 5th Recruiting Brigade's mission is to recruit with integrity the high quality men and women necessary to meet the needs of the United States Army and Army Reserve, including AMEDD, Chaplains, Officer Candidates, Warrant Officer Flight Candidates, and Technical Warrant Officers (USAR).

Brooke Army Medical Center has a regional mission as one of only five Army Medical Centers providing regional integration, specialty supervision and army command and control of health care operations. BAMC oversees the Great Plains Health Care Support area which encompasses 14 states and Panama. The BAMC Commander is responsible for the command and control of nine medical treatment facilities in this area. He also manages and coordinates activities related to the medical readiness of active Army, National Guard and Army Reserve medical units.

Occupying more than 300 buildings in its complex at Fort Sam Houston, the U.S. Army Medical Department Center and School [AMEDDC&S] is the largest health care training center in the world. The primary mission is to train and educate Army medical department officers and enlisted personnel.

The U.S. Army Medical Command (MEDCOM) took over the buildings and personnel of the 21-year-old U.S. Army Health Services Command (HSC), which was deactivated. The new MEDCOM gives the Surgeon General direct command authority, for the first time, over all Army medical activities and operations in the U.S. and Europe, except field medical units. The MEDCOM comprises more than 80 medical activities, and eight Army Medical Centers (MEDCENs) in the U.S., including Brooke Army Medical Center, with its world-famous burn center, and a ninth in Landstuhl, Germany. There are 28 installation Medical Department Activities (MEDDACs), including Heidelberg and Wuerzburg in Germany.

The USAG missions include command and support of assigned and attached FORSCOM activities, sub-units and sub-installations, such as Camp Bullis. Plan, coordinate and prepare for the mobilization and deployment of Reserve Component Units. Support the deployment of active component and mobilized Reserve Component Units. Provide base operation support and other support (e.g. information systems, security programs, motor pool, contracting, legal services, civilian personnel services) to Department of the Army, Department of Defense and other government activities which are tenants on, supported by, or satellites of the installation. Develop, establish and conduct Morale Support Activities programs.

In mid-2002 the Army recommended that Fort Sam Houston be the new home of US Army South, a headquarters that would bring up to 700 jobs to San Antonio. The Army had studied 11 communities in the Midwest and South over the previous 18 months, and narrowed the site list to Fort Sam Houston and Fort McPherson, GA. Fort Sam eventually won out in part because of its vacant old Brooke Army Medical Center building. The availability of a high quality and easily remodeled facility, the low cost of living and off-post housing, and the availability of existing barracks and family housing were all factors that contributed to the decision to propose Fort Sam Houston as the preferred location.

On 16 September 2002 San Antonio landed the coveted U.S. Army South command. The Pentagon's decision to move Army South to Fort Sam Houston from its present location at Fort Buchanan, Puerto Rico, could mean as many as 500 new military and civilian jobs for the city. Local officials said the move will help protect Fort Sam Houston in the next round of base closures, scheduled for 2005. The headquarters will be 100 to 200 people smaller when it arrives. Army South has about 1,275 military and civilian personnel, and it pumps $160 million into Puerto Rico's economy. It will leave behind behind 650 mostly civilian workers.

Fort Sam Houston was founded in 1845 and named for General Sam Houston, hero of the battle of San Jacinto and first president of the Republic of Texas. As the Indian wars wound down in the late 1800s, the United States Army began consolidation of the many small posts on the western frontier. In 1882 the Post at San Antonio (now Fort Sam Houston) was selected to be one of the larger garrison sites. The Post at San Antonio was renamed Fort Sam Houston in 1890. The Spanish-American War resulted in the further expansion of the fort to brigade status and the beginning of a construction program that made the fort the largest army post in the United States. Events beginning in 1916, when Francisco (Pancho) Villaqv crossed the United States border, and extending on into 1917 and World War I, greatly accelerated the build-up of facilities at Fort Sam Houston.

Fort Sam Houston is unique among Army posts. On one hand, it is a major, active military installation and plays a vital role in the defense of the United States. On the other hand, it contains some of the oldest structures on any Army installation. This blend of old and new gives today's soldiers a share of the post's history which dates back more than 150 years. The Pershing House is named for General John J. Pershing (1860-1948), one of its most famous residents. The only soldier to have the rank "General of the Armies," General Pershing commanded the American expeditionary forces during World War I. He occupied the quarters that now bear his name. The Pershing House continues to be the home of the senior Army officer at Fort Sam Houston. The Quadrangle is an enclosed park-like area that houses the clock tower, offices, and blacksmith shop. Deer and fowl roam freely as visitors wander through the enclosure. It is listed in the National Register of Historical Sites and bears a Texas state historical building landmark.

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.

BRAC 2005

In its 2005 BRAC Recommendations, DoD recommended to close Fort McPherson; as a result, it recommended relocating the Army Contracting Agency Southern Region Headquarters from Ft. McPherson to Fort Sam Houston, TX. DoD claimed that its recommendation would enhance the Army’s military value, would be consistent with the Army’s Force Structure Plan, and would help to maintain adequate surge capabilities to address future unforeseen requirements. The ACA Southern Region HQs would move to Fort Sam Houston where it would be recommended to consolidate with the ACA Southern Hemisphere Region HQs, and where it would co-locate with other Army service providing organizations.

When moving from Fort McPherson to Fort Sam Houston, DoD estimated that the following local capability would be improved: Cost of Living. The following local area capabilities would not be as robust: Employment, Medical and Safety. Several environmental concerns associated with this recommendation were acknowledged by DoD. A new source review would be required at Fort Sam Houston. Significant mitigation measures to limit releases to impaired waterways might be required at Fort Sam Houston to reduce impacts to water quality and achieve US EPA water quality standards. This recommendation would not otherwise impact the costs of environmental restoration, waste management, and environmental compliance activities.

DoD also recommended to relocate the Naval Undersea Medical Institute Groton, CT from the Naval Submarine Base New London (recommended for closure by DoD) to both the Naval Air Station Pensacola, FL, and Fort Sam Houston. As a result of the relocation, DoD considered potential environmental impacts. Fort Sam Houston was in Attainment. There would also be potential impacts to cultural, archeological, tribal resources; threatened and endangered species; and water resources, which would need to be dealt with.

In another recommendation, DoD would realign Fort Sam Houston, TX, and Randolph AFB, TX, by relocating the installation management functions to Lackland AFB, TX.

All installations employed military, civilian, and contractor personnel to perform common functions in support of installation facilities and personnel. All installations executed these functions using similar or near similar processes. Because these installations shared a common boundary with minimal distance between the major facilities or are in near proximity, there was significant opportunity to reduce duplication of efforts with resulting reduction of overall manpower and facilities requirements capable of generating savings, which would be realized by paring unnecessary management personnel and achieving greater efficiencies through economies of scale. Intangible savings would be expected to result from opportunities to consolidate and optimize existing and future service contract requirements. Additional opportunities for savings would also be expected to result from establishment of a single space management authority capable of generating greater overall utilization of facilities and infrastructure. Further savings would be expected to result from opportunities to reduce and correctly size both owned and contracted commercial fleets of base support vehicles and equipment consistent with the size of the combined facilities and supported populations. Regional efficiencies achieved as a result of Service regionalization of installation management would provide additional opportunities for overall savings as the designated installations are consolidated under regional management structures. The quantitative military value score validated by military judgment was the primary basis for determining which installation was designated as the receiving location. Assuming no economic recovery, this recommendation could result in a maximum potential reduction of 382 jobs (189 direct jobs and 193 indirect jobs) over the 2006-2011 period in the San Antonio, TX Metropolitan Statistical Area (less than 0.1 percent).

In another recommendation, DoD would realign the Zachary Taylor Building, a leased installation in Arlington, VA, by relocating the Army Installation Management Agency headquarters to Fort Sam Houston, TX. DoD would also realign Rock Island Arsenal, Illinois, as follows: relocate the Army Installation Management Agency Northwest Region headquarters to Fort Sam Houston, TX, and consolidate it with the Army Installation Management Agency Southwest Region headquarters to form the Army Installation Management Agency Western Region; and relocate the Army Network Enterprise Technology Command Northwest Region headquarters to Fort Sam Houston, TX, and consolidate it with the Army Network Enterprise Technology Command Southwest Region headquarters to form the Army Network Enterprise Technology Command Western Region.Realign Skyline Six, a leased installation in Falls Church, VA, by relocating the Army Contracting Agency headquarters to Fort Sam Houston, TX. In the same recommendation, DoD recommended to realign Aberdeen Proving Ground, MD, by relocating the Army Environmental Center to Fort Sam Houston, TX.

This recommendation would relocate several Army Service Provider headquarters and regional offices in order to create operating efficiencies via co-location and/or consolidation. A new Installation Management Agency (IMA) Western Region office would be created at Fort Sam Houston by relocating the IMA Northwest Region headquarters from Rock Island Arsenal. It would collocate the IMA Headquarters with the IMA Western Region. Implementation would reduce the Department's reliance on leased space which had historically higher overall costs than government-owned space and generally did not meet Anti-terrorism Force Protection standards as prescribed in UFC 04-010-01. The Army Contracting Agency (ACA) would relocate the ACA Southern Region office to Fort Sam Houston where it would consolidate with the ACA Southern Hemisphere Region office that is relocating from Fort Buchanan. The ACA Headquarters and ACA E-Commerce Region would collocate with the ACA Southern Region at Fort Sam Houston. This recommendation would relocate several Army Service Provider headquarters and regional offices in order to create operating efficiencies via co-location and/or consolidation. A new Installation Management Agency (IMA) Western Region office would be created at Fort Sam Houston by relocating the IMA Northwest Region headquarters from Rock Island Arsenal. It would collocate the IMA Headquarters with the IMA Western Region. Environmentally, this recommendation would impact air quality at Fort Sam Houston. New Source Review permitting would be required. Additional operations might further impact threatened/endangered species at Fort Sam Houston leading to restrictions on training or operations. Significant mitigation measures to limit releases at Fort Sam Houston might be required to reduce impacts to water quality and achieve US EPA water quality standards.

 



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