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Fort Leonard Wood

Fort Leonard Wood and the U.S. Army Maneuver Support Center (MANSCEN) is the home of the U.S. Army Engineer, Military Police and Chemical Corps Schools, the Third Basic Combat Training Brigade, and Joint Training Detachments from the U.S. Marine Corps, Navy and Air Force.

Fort Leonard Wood leads the way in producing competent, well-trained leaders and service members. In 1989, the Engineer School moved here, making Fort Leonard Wood the training center for Army Engineers. In 1994, the Engineer Center acquired the inter-service training mission for civil/construction engineers for all service. Now with the 1999 addition of the Chemical and Military Police Schools and the activation of MANSCEN, Fort Leonard Wood has grown to become one of the Army's premier training centers, poised for the Army's Transformation.

Fort Leonard Wood is situated in the heart of the Ozarks, and is an ideal place to work, train, and raise a family. The installation is comprised of 63,000 acres of land which is approximately 98 square miles adjacent to the Mark Twain National Forest. Fort Leonard Wood is an inter-service training center and trains soldiers, sailors, airmen, marines and international students.

The Fort is named after Major General Leonard Wood. Born on 9 October 1860, Wood was instrumental in transforming the U.S. Army into a modern fighting force. After graduating from Harvard Medical School in 1883, and entering the army in 1885 as a contract physician, he participated in the last campaign against Geronimo and received a Medal of Honor in 1898 for his gallantry and service as a medical and line officer. He later took part in the war with Spain, commanding the 1st Volunteer cavalry, later to be known as the "Rough Riders", with the former Assistant Secretary of Navy, Theodore Roosevelt, as his second in command. He held the post of Military Governor to Cuba from 1900 to 1902 before eventually becoming Chief of Staff of the Army in 1910. From that position, he strengthened the General Staff and firmly established the Chief of Staff as the senior officer of the Army. He also reduced the influence of the old bureau system which had hindered military reforms. He was instrumental in developing the Maneuver Division and the Mobile Army concept. As a result, the Army formed its first truly combined arms divisions. This allowed the American Army to fight as a force in the battles and campaigns of the Great War, WWI.

Following his tenure as Chief of Staff, he returned to the Department of the East, sponsoring the Plattsburg training camps which gave young men their first orientation to military life, advocating military training in colleges and universities and lauing the foundation for the Reserve Officer Training Corps. When the nation was drawn into the First World War, General Wood trained the 89th and 10th Infantry Divisions for service in Europe. Following the war, General Wood was a candidate for the Republican nomination for President. However, the Republican Convention deadlocked and chose instead Warren Harding, who went on to win the election in 1920. Following his retirement in 1921, General Wood accepted the post of Governor General of the Philippines. He held this position from 1921 to 1927, before dying in Boston, Massachusetts on 7 August 1927 following unsuccessful surgery for a brain tumor.

While the thought of the Base Realignment and Closure Commission (BRAC) can bring shivers down the spine of a military community, it is affecting great change at Fort Leonard Wood. The installation has long been home to the engineers of the Army, and now military police and chemical specialists joined their ranks. Both schools moved from Fort McClellan, Ala. as part of BRAC 95 changes. Construction on the BRAC facilities began in June 1997, with the vast majority scheduled for completion by June 1999. With the changes, the Fort Leonard Wood community expected an increase of almost 3,000 trainees, nearly 400 Department of the Army civilian employees, over 1,200 permanent party personnel and approximately 2,500 dependents.

The entire BRAC construction program cost approximately $220 million. Almost one million square feet of floor space was added to the installation when all the construction was completed. There were 65 buildings being construction on 26 separate sites across the fort. One of the major elements of the BRAC move is the creation of a maneuver support center (MANSCEN). It consolidated the engineer, military police, and chemical schools to establish a framework for integrated training. The MANSCEN created a synergy among key combat arms and combat support branches, promoting both interagency and joint service training while maintaining branch proponency. No other installation brings together the subject matter experts, training and battle lab facilities as well as Fort Leonard Wood.

Fort Leonard Wood has also been approved as the center of excellence for Homeland defense by the Chief of Staff of the Army. One reason the post has earned this distinction is because of the 7th Rapid Assessment and Initial Detection (RAID) Team being located there. The 7th RAID is a 22-person team consisting of full-time Missouri National Guard members. The purpose of the RAID team is to operate in direct support of civilian first responders, according to Vosler. Two of the major additions to the post are the Chemical Defense Training Facility (CDTF) and the Military Police Village. The CDTF provide s realistic training, instill confidence and credibility in chemical specialists, demonstrate chemical protective equipment and promote chemical defense readiness and awareness. The facility has worked hard to meet all safety and environmental concerns. Some of the features include a completely automated facility, a negative pressure air system, on-site liquid and solid waste treatment and analysis, and an earthquake and tornado proof design. The Military Police Village is a state-of-the-art facility designed to give military policemen the best training possible. There are mock houses, stores, theatres and credit unions built in the village to give the trainees the most realistic training available. These are the premier law enforcement training facilities in the U.S. and include the MP Village, Tactical Clearing Center, Special Reaction Team Complex and two driving courses.

The direct economic impact of the BRAC changes is estimated to be $100 million. With $77 million in indirect impact of things like new jobs created. More than 900 new jobs will be created off post due to the realignment.

Missouri National Guard (MONG) Training Site, Fort Leonard Wood (FLW) is located in Pulaski County in the 4th Congressional District, within Fort Leonard Wood. The nearest urban area is St. Robert, Mo. with a population of 1,730, 1 mile distant. Commercial air service, bus terminal, taxi service and car rental service is available on post, in Waynesville, Mo. and Rolla, Mo. Rolla is 25 miles distant (east) of FLW, Mo. The training site is located on the southeast corner of Iowa and Alabama Avenues within FLW. Waynesville Regional Airport at Forney Field is located within FLW, half mile distant.

MONG Training Site, FLW consists of three parcels of land at this time containing a total of 65 acres and 49 buildings which is commonly referred to as the 1200 Area. The parcels are divided as follows: (1) 29 acres with 48 buildings, (2) 11 acres with a modern Armory facility (Bldg 986), home to the 35th Engineer Brigade, and (3) a 25 acre training site and compound located in VIC WB 755/751 for the purpose of a training site and military vehicle storage compound and POV lot. The terrain consists of mostly flat terrain with some gently rolling hills, with property sloping to the north. The property lies approximately 1150 feet above mean sea level. The 1200 Area is developed with barracks, classrooms, offices, dining facilities, storage buildings and parking areas. The facilities available at Fort Leonard Wood are billeting, dining, administrative, Army Aviation, medical, classroom, physical fitness, public hospital, and post facilities. Billeting: twenty-one barracks are available to house a total of 868 troops with another 160 bed capacity to be added.

BRAC 2005

Secretary of Defense Recommendation: Realign Fort Benning, GA, and Fort Leonard Wood, MO, by relocating the Drill Sergeant School at each location to Fort Jackson, SC.

Another recommendation would realign Fort Belvoir, VA, by relocating Army Prime Power School training to Fort Leonard Wood, MO.

Secretary of Defense Justification: This recommendation consolidates Drill Sergeant's Training from three locations (Fort Benning, Fort Jackson, and Fort Leonard Wood) to one location (Fort Jackson), which fosters consistency, standardization and training proficiency. It enhances military value, supports the Army's Force Structure Plan, and maintains sufficient surge capability to address unforeseen requirements. This recommendation supports Army Transformation by collocating institutional training, MTOE units, RDTE organizations and other TDA units in large numbers on single installations to support force stabilization and engage training. It improves training capabilities while eliminating excess capacity at institutional training installations and provides the same or better level of service at a reduced cost.

The Commission found that while the recommendation to relocate the Army Prime Power School has a small net savings, it successfully achieves the purpose of consolidating engineering courses at one location. In addition, the new facilities would significantly improve safety and training. The Commission's review and analysis identified one issue involving a loss of the close relationship between the school and the 249th Engineer Battalion (Prime Power), the only prime power battalion in the Army. The Army is reviewing the battalion's location and has the authority and the means to move the battalion outside the BRAC process.

Community Concerns: There were no formal expressions from the community.

Commission Findings: The Commission found DoD's proposal to consolidate drill sergeant training at one site to be consistent with the final selection criteria and the Force Structure Plan. Fort Jackson has adequate facilities for consolidation of all three existing drill sergeant schools when augmented with proposed construction. Savings occur rapidly, reflecting the efficiencies of collocation. The Commission views the consolidation as desirable so long as the ability to foster consistency and proficiency in this critical Army asset is not affected during implementation.

The Commission found that while the recommendation to relocate the Army Prime Power School has a small net savings, it successfully achieves the purpose of consolidating engineering courses at one location. In addition, the new facilities would significantly improve safety and training. The Commission's review and analysis identified one issue involving a loss of the close relationship between the school and the 249th Engineer Battalion (Prime Power), the only prime power battalion in the Army. The Army is reviewing the battalion's location and has the authority and the means to move the battalion outside the BRAC process.

Commission Recommendation: 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 Commission finds the Secretary's recommendation in regards to the Army Prime Power School consistent with the final selection criteria and the Force Structure Plan. Therefore, the Commission approves the recommendation of the Secretary.



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