Camp Mabry sits well inside the Austin city limits just west of downtown. Camp Mabry is the headquarters of the State Military Forces. The third oldest active military installation in Texas, Camp Mabry sits quietly on a hill overlooking the Colorado River, about three miles from the Texas State Capitol Building. The Texas National Guard Emergency Operations Center is at Camp Mabry.
The post houses the Texas Air National Guard Headquarters, and the Texas Military Forces Academy, which is the second state building constructed, opening on June 15, 1984. The educational facility conducts the Officer Candidate School, the (NCO) Noncommissioned Officer Academy, Medical Specialist Course and numerous other specialized schools. Also located on the post is the United States Property and Fiscal Office, one of two state Combined Support Maintenance Shops, the Texas National Guard Armory Board, the armory of the Headquarters of the 49th Armored Division, a troop medical clinic, a parachute packing and storehouse facility, plus numerous supply and warehouse facilities. The Adjutant General's office and 71st Troop Command are located in building #8.
Camp Mabry, in northwestern Austin, was established in the early 1890s as a summer encampment of the Texas Volunteer Guard, a forerunner of the Texas National Guard. The guardsmen chose to name the new camp in honor of Woodford Haywood Mabry, adjutant general of Texas from January 1891 to May 1898. In 1909 the size of the camp was greatly increased by the addition of 200 acres that the federal government purchased for the state for use in training the national guard. Other gifts brought the size of the encampment to 400 acres by 1911.
During World War I the United States Army used the camp as a training site and built several barracks and administration buildings. The army also used the camp as an engine-rebuilding station during World War II. The Ordnance Shop at Camp Mabry used both civilian (photo below) and military personnel to produce engines and power train assemblies which were sent to the troops abroad. Camp Mabry needed more room due to the Korean War.
In the mid-1980s the size of the Camp Mabry site was just over 375 acres, and the building space was 700,000 square feet. The various offices at Camp Mabry employed 800 people. The Texas Military Forces Museum has a number of excellent displays on the Texas National Guard and on Audie Murphy. The pavilion and picnic area at Camp Mabry is located west of the parade ground and jogging track.
The Parachute Packing and Maintenance Shop, manned by soldiers from Company G of the 49th Armored Division's 143rd Infantry Regiment and Long Range Surveillance Detachment, supports all types of airborne units, regardless of their location or branch of service. The facility, located at the Texas Guard's Camp Mabry headquarters in Austin, is the only military rigger shop in Texas.
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