Camp Gruber Training Center
Camp Gruber Maneuver Training Center-Light (CGMTC-L) is located 14 miles southeast of Muskogee, Oklahoma, on Oklahoma Route 10 in the Cookson Hills. The site covers more than 33,000 acres. It is located in the heart of Oklahoma's Green Country which offers recreational opportunities such as fishing, boating, and river float trips at several state and federal parks. Camp Gruber is conveniently located to several nearby cities and Army installations. It is 60 miles from Tulsa; 70 miles from Ft. Chaffee, Arkansas; 160 miles from Oklahoma City and Tinker Air Force Base; and 225 miles from Ft. Sill.
Camp Gruber reopened in 1977 for reserve and active unit training. In 1988, the National Guard Air Assault School was opened. From 1988-1994, the only Air Assault School training facility for the National Guard was based here. The school was the only air assault training facility for the National Guard, and was rated number one of all air assault schools in the nation. As the active Army declined in numbers, the use of reserve troops in missions such as policing in Bosnia and military operations in Desert Storm went up. That's meant more training at Camp Gruber.
In 1949, the United States of America deeded 31,284 acres, more or less, to the State of Oklahoma. Cherokee National Wildlife Area or Gruber Public Hunting Area (north half), and Gruber Refuge (south half) were formerly a portion of Camp Gruber Military Reservation. Department of Defense use began in 1942 when the United States of America acquired land to be used as Camp Gruber Military Reservation.
Camp Gruber was an Army training camp between 1944 and 1949. In 1942 and 1944, the United states of America acquired 65,650 acres of land in Muskogee County and Cherokee County, Oklahoma. The US Army used the property as a military reservation known as Camp Gruber. Camp Gruber was named after Brigadier General Edmund L. Gruber, the composer of "The Caisson Song." Construction of Camp Gruber began in February 1942 and completed in May 1942. At that time, Camp Gruber consisted of approximately 2,250 buildings including a 1600-bed hospital, 479 barracks, 12 chapels, 4 theaters, and various other buildings. Colonel H.C. Luck was the first post commander. The 88th Infantry Division was reactivated at Camp Gruber in July 1942. In 1943, the 42d Infantry Division was reactivated here. In July 1945, the 86th Infantry Division was relocated to Camp Gruber to retrain for war in the Pacific theater. Camp Gruber was also used as a prisoner-of-war camp until May 1946. Camp Gruber was closed at the end of WWII.
In 1949, slightly less than half of the acquired acreage was deeded to the state of Oklahoma. Since that time the property has been used as a wildlife management area. The Wildlife Department and the National Guard have held joint licenses on the 32,000 acres in eastern Muskogee County. Members of the public wishing to enter the CGMTC-L Training Areas for any reason, are required to receive an annual unexploded ordnance (UXO) safety briefing and permit. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers decided not to renew the state Department of Wildlife Conservation's license for game management at Camp Gruber when it expired 31 December 2001.
Temperatures range from 0 degrees in winter to 105 degrees in summer. The average maximum temperature is 75 degrees and the average minimum temperature is 42 degrees. The average annual rainfall is 42 inches. The average annual snowfall is 7 inches.
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