Fort Campbell was spared from massive cuts after the Budget Control Act of 2011 sequester, but two brigade-sized elements about 6,000 soldiers were removed from the division's highest strength of more than 35,000 soldiers. Since 2014, Fort Campbell lost the 4th Brigade Combat Team, the 159th Combat Aviation Brigade and 363 other soldiers from various units. In 2013, more than 31,000 soldiers lived and worked in and around the post. By 2017, about 26,500 soldiers live on base.
Fort Campbell is located between Clarkesville, TN and Hopkinsville, KY [aka Hoptown], Exit 86 off I-24. The nearest large city is Nashville, TN, 55 miles and Louisville, KY 190 miles. Fort Campbell supports the 3rd largest military population in the Army and the 7th largest in the Department of Defense. Active duty officers-1,884; active duty enlisted- 20,511; family members-40,491; retirees-112,629; civilian employees-3,921. Army Reserve & National Guard 18,166. At 164 square miles (105,068 Acres), the installation is one of the largest in the world.
Fort Campbell is a city within itself. There are 4,000 homes on the installation, providing housing for officers, enlisted soldiers, and their families. It has seven schools (including a high school), a major hospital, child care facilities, numerous chapels, banks, restaurants, post exchanges, service stations, campgrounds, five swimming pools, and most other facilities a civilian city of that size would have.
Fort Campbell's primary mission is to advance the combat readiness of the 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) and the non-divisional units posted at the installation through training, mobilization, and deployment.
Deployment capabilities include combat equipped soldiers, tactical vehicles, weapons and ammunition, and logistical equipment to sustain thousands of soldiers in a tactical environment for an extended period of time. The installation serves as a Premier Power Projection Platform for the Division and for major Special Operations Command units.
To fulfill its mission, Fort Campbell maintains 48 live fire ranges, three high impact areas, 51 training areas, five drop zones, 200 artillery firing points, 51 maneuver areas, a special operations training center, and two airfields. Campbell Army Airfield is the Army's largest, spanning 2,500 acres and serving as a secondary landing site for the National Aeronautics & Space Administration and the space shuttle.
Fort Campbell routinely conducts various levels of field training exercises. In FY99, five Brigade Task Force-sized field training exercises were conducted, with each including over 6,000 soldiers and hundreds of vehicles and helicopters. Alert Areas usually are sites where extensive pilot training or other unusual activity occurs. There is one Alert Area -- A-371 -- that encompasses Fort Campbell. This airspace is in continuous use from the surface up to 2,000 feet.
Fort Campbell, home of the Screaming Eagles, of the 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault). The major command is the 18TH AIRBORNE CORPS & FORSCOM. Fort Campbell is also home to 5th Special Forces Group (ABN), 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment (SOAR), 31st Military Police Detachment, 58th Aviation Regiment, 1st Battalion, 61st Engineer Battalion, 95th Maintenance Company, 101st Support Group (Corps), 249th Engineer Battalion, and 902nd Military Intelligence Group. The Air Force has two units at Campbell Army Airfield: 19th Air Support Operation Squadron and 621st Air Mobility Operations Group.
Fort Campbell's newly-constructed Sabalauski Air Assault School conducts sixty classes annually for over 8,000 soldiers. The school teaches rappelling and slingload skills required for Air Assault Operations. The Air Assault School provides training on rappelling to more than 8,000 soldiers each year. The AIR ASSAULT COURSE taught at Fort Campbell's, the SABALAUSKI AIR ASSAULT SCHOOL, has been called the ten toughest days in the Army. The grueling course is designed to train soldiers in all facets of air assault operations unique to the world's only air assault division. The school is also responsible for the rappelmaster course, ropemaster course, and a slingmaster/heavy pick up zone course, basic airborne, refresher course and jump master refresher course. Additionally, the school has the mission of training the Division's prospective ranger students through the newly implemented pre-ranger program. Enrollment for each course is on a quota basis. Prior to arrival the soldiers must meet the height/weight standards of AR 600-9 and have successfully completed the Army Physical Fitness Test for their age group within 30 days of the class starting date and be recommended by the unit.
The mission of the 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) is to deploy in 18 hours worldwide, to destroy enemy armed forces and to control land area, including populations and resources by employing the unique capabilities of the air assault division. The air assault capabilities and aviation assets greater enhance the divisions world-wide mission. Primary weapon systems are the Air Assault qualified infantry soldier, Apache helicopter, Hellfire Missile System, Mk 19 Grenade Launcher, 105mm Howitzer Avenger.
Fort Campbell, Ky., is named in honor of Brig. Gen. William Bowen Campbell, the last Whig Governor of Tennessee. He was elected Colonel of the First Tennessee Volunteers, the "Bloody First," and is remembered in history as he led his regiment in the storming of Monterey in 1846 with the cry, "Boys, Follow Me!"
The site was selected on July 16, 1941, with construction beginning Feb. 4, 1942. Within a year, the reservation designated as Camp Campbell was developed to accommodate one armored division and various support troops or a total of 23,000 men. Early in the summer of 1942, the post's initial cadre, one officer and 19 enlisted men, arrived from Fort Knox, Ky. From that time until the end of World War II, Camp Campbell was the training ground for the 12th, 14th and 20th Armored divisions, Headquarters IV Armored Corps and the 26th Infantry Division.
In the spring of 1949, the 11th Airborne Division arrived at Campbell following occupation duty in Japan. The 11th was in residence there until early 1956. In April 1950, the post became a permanent installation and was redesignated Fort Campbell.
On Sept. 21, 1956, Secretary of the Army Wilbur M. Bruckner and the Army Chief of Staff, Gen. Maxwell D. Taylor, presented the colors of the 101st Airborne Division to Maj. Gen. T.L. Sherbourne, the first commander of the new ROTAD airborne division. This was the official ceremony reactivating the famed "Screaming Eagles" of World War II.
On May 2, 1966, Third Army General Order 161 directed the activation of a Basic Combat Training Center at Fort Campbell. On July 6, barely two months after its activation, Fort Campbell's Army Training Center received its first 220 newly inducted soldiers. Basic Combat Training began on schedule July 11 with a full complement of 1,100 trainees.
The 1st Brigade was sent for duty in Vietnam in July 1965. After the war escalated, the rest of the division joined the "Always First Brigade." The 6th Infantry Division was reactivated at Fort Campbell on Nov. 24, 1966, and inactivated July 25, 1968.
On Aug. 18, 1969, the U.S. Army Training Center and headquarters, Fort Campbell, was combined. The 173rd Airborne Brigade got its official homecoming ceremonies Sept. 2, 1971, welcomed by Secretary of Defense Melvin Laird. The 1734d was redesignated as the 3rd Brigade, 101st Airborne Division (Airmobile). On April 6, 1972, the 101st Airborne Division (Airmobile) was officially welcomed back to its home station in ceremonies attended by Vice President Spiro T. Agnew and Gen. William C. Westmoreland, Army Chief of Staff. On April 15, 1972, the U.S. Army Training Center was inactivated.
Fort Campbell's 105,068-acre installation is located in southwestern Kentucky and north central Tennessee in portions of four counties and two states. It is adjacent to Clarksville, Tennessee, and is approximately seventeen miles south of Hopkinsville, Kentucky. Farm and woodlands account for approximately 50% of surrounding lands. Being located in this particular area makes Fort Campbell unique for the following two reasons.
First, because Fort Campbell exists in two states and has Solid Waste Management Units (SWMUs) in each, its cleanup program must comply with environmental regulations in both states. Though this is a difficult challenge, it is a primary reason for one of Fort Campbell's most successful program management strategies--an Installation Action Plan (IAP) that is developed at an annual workshop attended by all stakeholders, including Restoration Advisory Board (RAB) members, U.S. Forces Command (FORSCOM) representatives, Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) representatives, and Kentucky and Tennessee regulators. Over the last two years, this coordinated IAP has reduced Fort Campbell's cost to complete by $46,565,000.
Second, the area covered by Fort Campbell is a unique geologic region called karst terrain. This terrain is caused by dissolving rock in the subsurface and presents extraordinary challenges in tracking the flow of contaminants in the groundwater. Fort Campbell has instituted several unique strategies for overcoming this problem, including an annual Karst Groundwater Symposium and a Groundwater Characterization Program.
Because of activities conducted at the installation since World War II, Fort Campbell faces petroleum-related contamination in numerous areas throughout the installation. Most of the areas are former vehicle parking and maintenance areas where motor pool/maintenance facilities existed. By 1998, Fort Campbell had identified more than 300 SWMUs to investigate, including one at Campbell Army Airfield. Contamination from the airfield was migrating off post and the Commonwealth of Kentucky became concerned. Fort Campbell immediately began characterizing and remediating this site to address the public's concerns and prevent closure of the airfield. Continuing remedial actions without disrupting the military mission at the airfield has been an ongoing challenge.
Secretary of Defense Recommendation: Realign Fort Campbell, KY, by relocating an attack aviation battalion to Fort Riley, KS.
Additional Recommendations: In its 2005 BRAC Recommendations, DoD recommended relocate the 52nd Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) Group to Fort Campbell. The Unit's former home, Fort Gillem, was recommended for closure by DoD. DoD claimed that the closure of Fort Gillem also would enable the stationing of its tenant units at locations that would increase their ability to associate with like units and promote coordination of efforts. Both the 52nd EOD Group had regional missions in the Southeastern United States. The 52nd EOD Group would be co-located with operational forces at Fort Campbell to provide training opportunities. When moving from Fort Gillem to Fort Campbell, DoD estimated that the following local attributes would be improved: Cost of Living and Population. The following capabilities would not be not as robust: Housing, Education, Employment, Medical, Safety and Transportation. Significant mitigation measures to limit releases to impaired waterways might be required Fort Campbell to reduce impacts to water quality and achieve USEPA Water Quality Standards. Air Conformity determination and New Source Review and permitting effort and consultations with tribes regarding cultural resources would be required at Fort Campbell. This recommendation would have the potential to impact noise and threatened and endangered species or critical habitat at Fort Campbell.
The relocation of an attack aviation battalion from Fort Campbell to Fort Riley would support the formation of a multifunctional aviation brigade at Fort Riley. Assuming no economic recovery, this recommendation could result in a maximum potential reduction of 748 jobs (434 direct and 314 indirect jobs) over the 2006 – 2011 period in the Clarksville, TN-KY Metropolitan Statistical Area, which would be 0.6 percent of economic region of influence employment. When moving activities from Fort Campbell to Fort Riley, DoD estimated that three attributes would improve (Housing, Employment, and Safety) and two (Child Care and Population Center) would not be as robust.
Secretary of Defense Justification: The relocation of an attack aviation battalion from Fort Campbell to Fort Riley supports the formation of a multifunctional aviation brigade at Fort Riley.
Community Concerns: There were no formal expressions from the community regarding the relocation of an attack aviation battalion to Fort Riley, KS.
Commission Findings: The Commission found that realignments associated with this recommendation were consistent with the DoD justification.
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.
The reorganization of the existing Army force structure is referred to as the Army Modular Force (AMF), and the program to return troops from Europe and Korea to the United States is referred to as the Integrated Global Presence and Basing Strategy (IGPBS). The AMF and IGPBS actions are independent of base realignment and closure (BRAC).
As a result of reorganizations directed by the Army Modular Force and the Integrated Global Presence and Basing Strategy actions [independent of Base Realignment and Closure], additional combat and supporting forces have been assigned to Fort Campbell. Specifically, the Army has stationed the 2nd Brigade Combat Team (BCT) and 159th Combat Aviation Brigade (CAB) at Fort Campbell. The 2nd BCT is housed in modular facilities that were not designed for, nor are they adequate for, providing permanent support for the operational requirements of unit. The 159th CAB is currently located in other permanent facilities that were temporarily vacated by deployed units of the 101st Airborne Division. When the deployed units of the 101st return to Fort Campbell, the 159th CAB will be displaced and no other permanent facilities are adequate for this unit; therefore, new facilities must be constructed.
By building facilities and relocating the 159th CAB Complex adjacent to the 2nd BCT Complex in the Clarksville Base portion of Fort Campbell, the two units will be able to share community services facilities, thus eliminating the need to provide separate facilities. Relocating to Clarksville Base also will increase the efficiency of operation of the 159th CAB, as it would be closer to its designated training area, the Sabre Heliport. At present, members of the 159th CAB must travel across the cantonment area from their location on the north side of Fort Campbell near Campbell Army Airfield to the heliport, which is south of Clarksville Base. The proposed relocation will reduce traffic in the cantonment area and save resources and time currently spent in travel.
The 2nd BCT Complex and the 159th CAB Complex would each contain barracks, dining facilities, motor pools, headquarters and operations facilities, and supporting infrastructure and utilities. Each complex would contain approximately 2,500,000 square feet of facilities, but the footprint would be less due to use of multi-story buildings where possible. Community Services Facilities, comprising a multi-purpose fitness center, chapel center, and recreational area of four athletic fields with a concession stand, would be located between the two units and would be shared by the 2nd BCT and 159th CAB.