Fort Ord / Presidio of Monterey (POM) annex
Fort Ord operated as a permanent installation of Headquarters, Department of the Army, Forces Command. The primary mission of Fort Ord was to train troops. It provided command, administration, and logistical support and other functions necessary to operate and maintain facilities at Fort Ord and its subinstallations, the Presidio of Monterey and Fort Hunter Liggett.
Fort Ord is near Monterey Bay in Monterey County, California, approximately 80 miles south of San Francisco. The base consists of about 28,000 acres near the cities Seaside, Sand City, Monterey, Del Rey Oaks, and Marina. Laguna Seca Recreation Area and Toro Regional Park border Fort Ord to the south and southeast, respectively. Land use east of Fort Ord is primarily agricultural.
Fort Ord was established in 1917, originally as Camp Gigling, as a military training base for infantry troops. In 1917, the US Army bought the present day East Garrison and nearby lands on the east side of Fort Ord to use as a maneuver and training ground for field artillery and cavalry troops stationed at the Presidio of Monterey. Before the Army's use of the property, the area was agricultural, as is much of the surrounding land today. No permanent improvements were made until the late 1930s, when administrative buildings, barracks, mess halls, tent pads, and a sewage treatment plant were constructed.
This facility was designated as Camp Ord in 1939 and became Fort Ord in 1940. In 1938, additional agricultural property was purchased for the development of the Main Garrison. At the same time, the beachfront property was donated to the Army. The Main Garrison was constructed between 1940 and the 1960s, starting in the northwest corner of the base and expanding southward and eastward.
From 1947 to 1975, Fort Ord was a basic training center. After 1975, the 7th Infantry Division (Light) occupied Fort Ord. Light infantry troops operated without heavy tanks, armor, or artillery.
In 1990, the US Secretary of Defense announced that the military would begin a process to reduce the number of nationwide military installations and Fort Ord was one of the bases named for closure. In 1991, it was formally announced that Fort Ord would be downsized to a small enclose (closed). The 1991 Defense Base Realignment and Closure Commission (BRAC91) recommended that Fort Ord be closed and troops of the 7th Infantry Division (Light) be relocated to Fort Lewis, Washington.
Although Fort Ord was closed in September 1994, the Army retained approximately 5 percent of the property for a Presidio of Monterey (POM) annex and reserve center. The POM annex is on a 785-acre parcel near Gigling and North-South Roads. The Army retained a 12-acre parcel near Imjin Gate at Reservation Road for continued use as an Army reserve center. The Defense Language Institute is located on the Presidio of Monterey (POM), about eight miles from the Presidio of Monterey Annex, where the majority of students and permanent party assigned to the Institute live in military housing on a portion of what used to be Fort Ord. Also located on the Annex are the commissary, post exchange, main chapel, the Youth Services Center, Army Community Service, AAFES gas station, the Thrift Shop, the library, a Child Development Center, a grammar school and a middle school.
A local Community Task Force was formed to address the impacts of this announcement and prepare a strategy report. This report helped set direction for many activities that were to follow. Following completion of the report, the Task Force disbanded and a new group was formed to develop a Base Reuse Plan. The new group, called the Fort Ord Reuse Group (FORG) was formed. The Base Reuse Plan was in initial preparation stages when special State legislation was passed changing FORG into a governing body known as the Fort Ord Reuse Authority (FORA). FORA became responsible for planning, financing, implementing, and regulating a base reuse plan to receive former Fort Ord property from the U.S. Department of the Army for development by the local communities.
A Multi-Range Area (MRA) is located in the south-central portion of Fort Ord. Lands within the boundaries of the MRA are expected to have the highest density of ordnance and explosives (OE), with specific target areas having the highest densities. OE is defined as bombs and warheads; guided and ballistic missiles; artillery and mortar; containerized and uncontainerized explosives and propellants; and all similar and related items and components explosive in nature or otherwise designed to cause damage to personnel or material; soils with explosives constituents sufficient to be reactive and present an imminent safety hazard. Known OE sites are posted with warning signs and are off-limits to unauthorized people.
The area's climate is characterized by warm, dry summers and cool, rainy winters. The Pacific Ocean is the principal influence on the climate at Fort Ord, causing fog and onshore winds that moderate temperature extremes. Daily ambient air temperatures typically range from 40 to 70 degrees Fahrenheit, but temperatures in the low 100s have occurred. Fog is common in the morning throughout the year. Winds are generally from the west.
The average annual rainfall of 14 inches occurs almost entirely between November and April. Because the predominant soil is permeable sand, runoff is limited and streamflow only occurs intermittently and within the very steep canyons in the eastern portion of Fort Ord.
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