Camp Dodge is the state's only military training installation. Camp Dodge was built in 1907, with its largest expansion making it the 13th (of 16) cantonment for World War 1. Camp Dodge has a total size of approximately 4,300 acres; nearly 410 acres are taken up by the main post or cantonment area. Land use restrictions including sensitivity to natural and cultural resources and off-limits due to the shooting range safety fan leave about 3,400 acres available for training.
Along with Camp Dodge and the 50 armories throughout the State, 34 formal lease arrangements have been negotiated for use as weekend training sites to assist units in attaining tactical and technical proficiency. Some of the larger sites are: Pioneer Ridge (737 acres) State Property) located near Bloomfield, IA; Coralville Lake Area (1200 acres) (State Property); Timber Ridge Estates: (2100 acres) (Private Property) located near Mapleton; and Volga River: (5,460 acres) (State Property) located near Oelwein. There are several other Weekend Training sites around the state that range in size from 1 acre to 600 acres, which provide excellent areas for tactical training.
About 650 acres of Camp Dodge is leased for agricultural row crop, with most of this land within the range safety fan. Camp Dodge has many types of habitat, including upland forest, prairie, sand prairie, savanna, successional field, and wetlands. About one-third of Camp Dodge is hay fields used for open training areas.
The post is bordered on the north and west by residential areas and privately owned farmland, on the east by Saylorville Reservoir, and on the south by Hyperion Field Club and NW 70th Avenue. It is bisected from north to south by a two-mile section of Beaver Creek, an ancient river system rich in archaeological and geological research potential. The upland ridges of the river valley and the riparian lowlands provide abundant natural resources in the region.
The state of the art Iowa National Guard State Area Command (STARC) Armory Complex houses the Iowa National Guard Headquarters, eight Iowa Army National Guard Units, the State Of Iowa's Emergency Operations Center, a Department of Public Safety Communications Center, and the Iowa Communications Network Control Center.
Camp Dodge employs about 517 full time employees. In 1996, 112,000 people participated in organized military training exercises at Camp Dodge. The Iowa Army National Guard employs over 7,500 guard members throughout the State of Iowa. Nearly 1,600 of these are employed full time by the state or federal government.
Today at any given time over 2,000 male and female soldiers can be housed, fed and trained in modern comfortable facilities. Soldiers train at Camp Dodge on weekends and during annual training periods, making use of classrooms and ranges with computer controlled targets and over 2,000 acres of maneuver area. The Regional Training Site - Maintenance and the Equipment Maintenance Center - CONUS are state-of-the-art maintenance training facilities which attract national guard, army reserve and active army units from all over the nation. Civilian law enforcement officers also train at the Iowa Law Enforcement Academy located at Camp Dodge.
The Regional Training Site-Maintenance is located at Camp Dodge, Johnston, Iowa. The mission is to provide highly qualified and competent maintenance soldiers for America's Army. The RTS-M provides individual technical maintenance training using classroom, hands on, and distance learning methods in a first-class environment. The RTS-M was established in 1987 and has been accredited by the U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command since 1990.
On April 12, 1909, William McHarg and his wife Maggie McHarg signed a warranty deed which transferred 78.5 acres of land to the State of Iowa. This land transfer was the first of a series of purchases to obtain a state-owned training ground for the Iowa National Guard. A year later, on April 29, 1910, Iowa Adjutant General Guy E. Logan issued General Order No. 9 which named the campground in honor of Major General Grenville M. Dodge. General Dodge, who organized the first military company in Iowa at Council Bluffs on July 15, 1856, was at that time the only living department and army commander of the federal army in Iowa from the War of the Rebellion. The General Order also contained a detailed listing of the events in his military career.
Expansion of the campgrounds would continue periodically for the next nine years until the campgrounds was turned into one of sixteen national training centers for World War I. When the federal government took over Camp Dodge in 1918, it undertook a mammoth construction program, building barracks, store houses, headquarters and stables to house a full division of men. The camp extended north nearly three miles beyond the present cantonment area and, at its peak, was home to over 28,000 men. The 88th Division was formed and trained at Camp Dodge before it was shipped overseas to France. The 19th Division was in the process of being formed at Camp Dodge when the war ended and demobilization began. Camp Dodge became the demobilization station for the 88th Division and for a short time was the station for the regular army 4th Division. After the camp was returned to state ownership, the buildings were sold to the public and Camp Dodge again became the state training ground for the National Guard.
During the 1920's and 1930's many of the existing buildings were constructed, including the present barracks which were originally built as unit kitchens and mess halls.
When World War II broke out, the federal government exercised its option to reactivate Camp Dodge. This time however it was only to be used as an induction center for the armed services. For thousands of Iowans Camp Dodge was their first contact with the military where they were examined, tested, outfitted and shipped to training stations throughout the nation. Again at the close of the war, Camp Dodge became a state-owned training center, which it continues to be today.
The Iowa Army National Guard is responsible for many missions due to its multifaceted operations. Due to land acquisitions in the last 10 years, Camp Dodge has nearly doubled in size, which presented a challenge for quick and effective conversation from agricultural production to training area while preserving the local environment. Ground covers were tested on previous agricultural land to determine resistance to military maneuvers. In addition, the Environmental Office developed the Environmental Compliance Status Report to assist units with document preparation and compliance tracking. Through a combination of these and similar efforts and dedication of the entire organization, the Iowa Army National Guard has developed a progressive program to protect and preserve the environment. Team effort and individual innovation blend to create an atmosphere conducive to input from every level.
Located in the heart of Iowa is a place where troops and researchers have found common ground. Camp Dodge has become one of Iowa's premier research sites. A partnership between the military, scientists and the public has allowed the protection of sensitive natural and cultural resources. While military and law enforcement agencies conduct emergency response training, military maneuvers and troop development skills, researchers are making great strides in the awareness of natural resources at Camp Dodge.
In addition to environmental protection, the Iowa Army National Guard also strives to protect cultural and historical resources. Whether during training or constructing new facilities, Camp Dodge personnel ensure the protection of these sometimes overlooked resources. Historical and cultural resources can have environmental impacts and often reveals prior land use and other environmental conditions.
Camp Dodge has been the site of several cultural surveys that have led to greater awareness about the area's history. Camp Dodge was the 13th cantonment (of 16 total) during World War 1. At one time, Camp Dodge housed and trained 50,000 men preparing for battle. The town of Herrold responded to the Camp Dodge boom during the early 1900's.
National Maintenance Training Center (NMTC)
The National Maintenance Training Center (NMTC), formerly known as the Equipment Maintenance Center-CONUS, has been in operation since June 1992. It is the only facility of its kind designed to train direct support and general support maintenance companies throughout the Army (Army National Guard, United States Army Reserve and Active Army). The mission of the facility is to provide a training environment for direct support and general support maintenance units to train collectively on force modernization (FORCEMOD) equipment. This collective training is based on the unit's wartime mission. The National Maintenance Training Center also has the ability to provide command and control training for maintenance battalion, headquarters staff elements.
The concept behind the Center is to train, upgrade, and sustain the combat readiness of the direct and general support maintenance units and their soldiers. This is accomplished by providing training on the Army's most modern equipment, such as the M1 Main Battle Tank, the M2/3 Bradley Fighting Vehicle, the Heavy Equipment Mobile Transport Truck (HEMTT), and the High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicle (HMMWV).
The National Maintenance Training Center utilizes a 103,000 square foot maintenance facility for general support training and a 48,000 square foot facility for direct support training. Both facilities are equipped with the tools, test equipment, parts, FORCEMOD components and end items required for direct and general support maintenance operations. A fully functional Supply Support Activity supports repair parts supply for both NMTC shops and the 734th Maintenance Battalion, Iowa Army National Guard.
There are 32 full time Iowa Army National Guard and 24 Active Duty Army soldiers and officers assigned to the Center to facilitate the Center's training activities. The Center has the capacity to train 26 units each year which will bring up to 4000 soldiers and 60,000 man days of training to Camp Dodge.
State Area Command Armory
The Camp Dodge State Area Command Armory is the new location of the staff sections of the Headquarters, Iowa National Guard, the home of seven Iowa Army National Guard units, the State of Iowa Emergency Operations Center, the Department of Public Safety's primary communications center, and central hub of the Iowa Communications Network, and a survival of state government designed to backup the state's seven computer centers. The armory represents a significant change and departure from how government activities have been conducted. Few other agencies have as many consolidated activities in one structure.
The armory is located on an approximate 40 acre site northwest of Johnston, Iowa, leased by the National Guard from the Corps of Engineers. The Guard portion of the building was 100% federally funded. This land is part of a 870 acre parcel that was owned by the State of Iowa prior to 1965 when the land was transferred to the Corps of Engineers for the construction of the Saylorville Reservoir project.
The armory is designed on the tenets of the National Guard Bureau's "Armory of the Future" concept. The three majors elements of this concept design are 1) all assigned unit activities on one level to alleviate lifting and back injuries to soldiers, 2) an "openness" in the building so occupants don't feel "boxed-in", 3) incorporation of several smaller multipurpose assembly halls that can function as drill halls, training areas, and meeting rooms. Similarly, the armory includes vehicle storage buildings attached to the back side of the building and opening into the supply room areas.
The armory incorporates the most modern construction methods, and provides immediate energy conservation savings and long term facilities savings. The location of heating and cooling towers on the roof provides for better efficiency of the units, and makes better utilization of the space in the armory for operations, training, and supporting activities. The armory environmental system is controlled by a computer which maximizes heating, cooling, and ventilation requirements.
The armory is constructed to National Guard Bureau standards for space considerations and allowable facilities for the activities stationed in the armory.
It is designed to accommodate 850 soldiers and to allow the flexibility of assigning new units in the armory as the Iowa National Guard's force structure changes as part of "America's Army" total force. We have already seen the dynamics of this feature because one of the units originally scheduled to move to the armory is no longer in our force structure. All areas of the armory can be reconfigured through the extensive use of modular furniture to meet the changing demands of the units and organizations assigned in the armory.
The armory is essentially divided into three distinct parts.
The top floor is the Headquarters of the Iowa Army and Air National Guard to include the Inspector General and the Senior Army Advisor.
The ground level floor in the armory houses eight Iowa Army National Guard combat support and combat service support units. They are the Headquarters, State Area Command (STARC)(-); Headquarters, 67th Troop Command; Headquarters and Headquarters Detachment, 185th Support Battalion(Corps); 1088th Personnel Services Company; 135th Public Affairs Detachment; Company C (Medical), 334th Forward Support Battalion; 34th Transportation Detachment; and 186th Military Police Company. The armory is designed to accommodate 850 drill status soldiers.
Building space is provided for the units' administrative, supply, and training activities. Also on this level are two vehicle storage buildings to house the vehicles assigned to the units. A consolidated kitchen and dining room are also provided. The unit supply room areas contain caged areas to store section equipment of all elements of the companies. All supply rooms are equipped with a intrusion detection system-equipped weapons storage vault.
There are nine classrooms, five conference rooms, and an enhanced classroom to meet units' demands for modern classroom training environments. The enhanced classroom is a small auditorium which is connected to the fiber optics network, and contains state of the art audio-visual equipment.
Instructors and students will be able to draw on worldwide military and civilian training opportunities which can be transmitted into the classroom. It also contains video equipment capable of making it a production studio. It can seat 160 persons, and will be used for press conferences and briefings during emergency operations. The lower level of the armory contains the State Emergency Operations Center (SEOC), the Iowa National Guard Emergency Operations Center, and the Iowa Department of Public Safety Emergency Operations Center and Communications Center, the Iowa Communications Network central operations center, and the Disaster Recovery Backup Computer Center. In the event of the implementation of twenty-four hour operations, personnel would be put on duty to operate the kitchen and dispensary. People would survive in two 50-person housing areas with bunks moved in from Camp Dodge. The area is complete to include restroom and shower facilities.
The State's emergency operations center has been in the basement of the Hoover building. It was small, crowded, and inadequate for conducting twenty-four hour a day operations. The new SEOC is a state of the art facility that will rival the facilities that any state currently has.
The SEOC and the survival dormitories, currently converted to classrooms, will be used by the Emergency Management Division and other agencies of state government to teach classes normally conducted at local hotels.
The lower level also meets the Federal Emergency Management Agency's requirement for states to have provisions for continuity of government as the armory's lower level would become the alternate site of essential state government functions if the capitol complex were to become inoperative. The overhead construction incorporates a system of I-beams, concrete tubes, and concrete to form a 24" barrier to withstand natural disasters to the facility.
FEMA was very supportive of the concept because it directly connected the state's center for emergency operations to a system of 2,800 miles of buried cable which represents a highly survivable communications system.
The Disaster Recovery Computer Center provides a location for the state government's seven major computer centers to conduct operations if one were to become inoperative. The seven major computer centers are located at the three state universities, University Hospitals, General Services, Human Services, and the Department of Transportation. None have the capacity to back up another if one goes down. The backup computer center stores a second copy of all computer tapes on which state government runs, and is configured to provide all necessary connections to connect leased computers in order to bring the computer services back on line.
Collocation of the Iowa Communications Network provides easy access for the National Guard to connect its fiber optics network to the ICN system. The Iowa National Guard is installing interactive communications equipment into all of its armories, flight facilities, and air bases. This $10 million project will provide unlimited capabilities for training, as well as provide additional direct access communications to our several units during disaster operations.
The ICN is provided power by three sources of electric energy. 1) Normal electric power is directed through the ICN system's gel batteries to the computer systems. 2) Two diesel generators provide backup for the electric requirements for the lower level of the facility. 3) The ICN gel batteries will operate the statewide system for up to 72 hours without regeneration.
The fiber optic system was being planned at the same time as the armory. The SEOC had already been planned into the armory's construction. It seemed natural that all of these functions should be collocated. By doing so, FEMA funding was available to fund a portion of the lower level's construction.
Secretary of Defense Recommendation: Close the Recruiting Battalion Headquarters and Military Entrance Processing Station (MEPS) leased facilities in Des Moines and relocate units into a new Armed Forces Reserve Center and MEPS at Camp Dodge, IA. The new AFRC shall have the capability to accommodate units from the Army National Guard Readiness Center located at Camp Dodge, IA, if the state decides to relocate those National Guard units.
Additional Recommendations: In its 2005 BRAC Recommendations, DoD recommended to close the Recruiting Battalion Headquarters and Military Entrance Processing Station (MEPS) leased facilities in Des Moines and relocate units into a new Armed Forces Reserve Center and MEPS at Camp Dodge. The new AFRC would have the capability to accommodate units from the Army National Guard Readiness Center located at Camp Dodge, IA, if the state decides to relocate those National Guard units.
Secretary of Defense Justification: This recommendation transforms Reserve Component facilities throughout the State of Iowa. 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 state-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 closes three Army Reserve Centers, one Area Maintenance Support Activity, one Recruiting Battalion, and one Military Entrance Processing Station throughout the State of Iowa and constructs three multicomponent, multifunctional Armed Forces Reserve Centers, two Organizational Maintenance Facilities, and one MEPS capable of accommodating National Guard and Reserve units. This recommendation reduces military manpower and associated costs for maintaining existing facilities by collapsing eight geographically separated facilities into four modern Armed Forces Reserve Centers. This recommendation reduces the number of separate DoD installations by relocating to an existing base. The Department understands that the State of Iowa will close IAARNG Readiness Centers: Camp Dodge, IA, Burlington, IA, Muscatine, IA, and Cedar Rapids, IA. The Armed Forces Reserve Centers will have the capability to accommodate these units if the state decides to relocate the units from these closed facilities into the new AFRCs.
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 $20.5M 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: There were no formal expressions from the community.
Commission Findings: The Commission found no reason to disagree with the recommendation of the Secretary of Defense. In addition, the Commission notes that the Army's process was well thought-out and inclusive of the leadership of the Reserve Components and the State.
Commission Recommendations: The Commission found the Secretary's recommendation consistent with the final selection criteria and force structure plan. Therefore, the Commission approved the recommendation of the Secretary.
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