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Fort Sill

Fort Sill was the home of the US Army Field Artillery Center, including the Army Field Artillery School and III Corps Artillery, and the Army's Center for Fires, but the BRAC 2005 Commission has recommended that the Air Defense Artillery (ADA) unit be sent to Fort Sill. This supports the establishment of the Net Fires Center, combining the Artillery and ADA schools which provides a force stabilization opportunity for soldiers in this unit. This expanding role is supported by Fort Sill's 94,000 acres of land and 20,000 permanent party and civilian personnel. Additionally, the fort's starship constructed basic training site enables it to train nearly 20,000 new soldiers annually. Currently, almost $75 million of new construction is under way. Fort Sill's dedication to continuous infrastructure improvements and business operations makes it one of the premier training and force projection posts in the Army.

Fort Sill is a major U.S. Army installation located in southwest Oklahoma, the heart of "Oklahoma's Great Plains" country--a region of wide, open spaces and clear blue skies. It is 90 miles southwest of Oklahoma City, the state capital, and 50 miles north of Wichita Falls, Texas on Interstate 44. The post is adjacent to and just north of the city of Lawton. Entry to the post is through three main gates: Key Gate from the west, Sheridan Road Gate from the north, and Fort Sill Gate, also from the north. All field artillery soldiers and Marines receive their training here, as well as many international students from allied nations.

Fort Sill's mission is to train artillery soldiers and train them well. To do that, they are trained day and night to put "steel on target." Fort Sill's three-pronged approach to training and preparedness makes it one of the best training posts in the Army. It is comprised of the Field Artillery School, the primary training facility for field artillery soldiers and Marines worldwide; the Field Artillery Training Center, home of basic combat, one-station unit training, and advanced individual training; and IIId Armored Corps Artillery, the largest field artillery complex in the free world. To help accomplish the mission, Fort Sill's military population is about 18,000; the civilian employee population totals 6,261. Within 100 miles of Fort Sill, there are 10,256 retirees. Family members total 36,445.

The United States Army Field Artillery Training Center (FATC) is the Army's single training organization responsible for all skill level entry training of cannoneers and missile crewmen to meet field artillery needs on a worldwide basis. The 17th Field Artillery Brigade is composed of three battalions: 1st Battalion, 12th Field Artillery; 3rd Battalion, 18th Field Artillery, and 5th Battalion, 3rd Field Artillery. The 75th Field Artillery Brigade is composed of three battalions; 1st Battalion, 17th Field Artillery; 1st Battalion, 77th Field Artillery; and 6th Battalion, 27th Field Artillery. The 212th Field Artillery Brigade is composed of three battalions: 2d Battalion, 5th Field Artillery; 2d Battalion, 18th Field Artillery; and 6th Battalion, 32d Field Artillery. The 214th Field Artillery Brigade is composed of 2d Battalion, 4th Field Artillery (MLRS); 1st Battalion, 14th Field Artillery (MLRS); 3rd Battalion, 13th Field Artillery; and 19th Maintenance Battalion.

On January 8, 1869, MG Philip H. Sheridan staked out the site that would become Fort Sill. Sheridan was leading a campaign into Indian Territory to stop hostile tribes from raiding border settlements in Texas and Kansas. His massive winter campaign involved six cavalry regiments accompanied by frontier scouts "Buffalo Bill" Cody, "Wild Bill" Hickock, Ben Clark, and Jack Stillwell. Troops from the 10th Cavalry, a distinguished unit of black "Buffalo Soldiers" who constructed many of the stone buildings still surrounding the Old Post Quadrangle, camped at the new fort. In June 1874, the Comanches, Kiowas, and Southern Cheyennes went on the warpath, and the South Plains reverberated with the hoofbeats of Indian raiders. The resulting Red River Campaign, which lasted a year, was mainly a war of attrition with the military in relentless pursuit of the Indians. Without a chance to graze their livestock and faced with the disappearance of the great buffalo herds, the hostile tribes eventually surrendered. Quannah Parker and his Quohada Comanches were the last to abandon the struggle, and their arrival at Fort Sill's Quartermaster Corral in June 1875 marked the end of Plains Indian warfare on the Southern Plains.

In July 1901, 29,000 homesteaders registered for the land lottery at Fort Sill. On August 6, the town of Lawton sprang up and quickly grew to become the third largest city in Oklahoma.

The School of Fire for the Field Artillery. was founded at Fort Sill in 1911 and continues to operate today as the world renowned U.S. Army Field Artillery School. At various times Fort Sill has also served as home to the Infantry school of Musketry, the School for Aerial Observers, the Air Service Flying School, and the Army Aviation School. Today as the U.S. Army Field Artillery Center, Fort Sill remains the only active Army installation of all the forts on the South Plains built during the Indian wars. It serves as a nation historic landmark and home of the Field Artillery for the free world.

As Home of the Field Artillery, Fort Sill is not only at the forefront of tremendous technological advances, but it is also steeped in natural, living history. And, as the only active Army installation of all the forts on the South Plains built during the Indian wars, Fort Sill is also a National History Landmark.

Fort Sill's 94,000 acres have provided some of the best military training in the world to generations of "redlegs." However, Fort Sill has its limitations.limitations imposed by the land.limitations which become more evident as our military equipment becomes larger and heavier and our tactics include more maneuver training. Some land is too rugged for maneuver, and many areas have either shallow or highly erodible soils. Vegetation recovers slowly following damage. Lands that can support tactical maneuver are limited.

Fort Sill depends on quality training lands. Good stewardship equates to good operational security. Excessive maneuver and training damage provides a signature that a unit leaves in the field, providing valuable information to enemy forces. Additionally, trash and supplies left in the field provides valuable clues to enemy forces such as the morale, tactics used, unit size, and type of unit that increases soldier vulnerability during conflicts. While this may not have a direct impact today, when units are deployed anywhere in the world for a conflict tomorrow, it is absolutely critical to train as you fight. Being aware of and practicing simple procedures like policing training areas and avoiding unnecessary maneuver damage is a component of sound stewardship.

Rehabilitation through rest offers an inexpensive means to repair Fort Sill's damaged training lands. Currently there are 10 training areas designated as 'Closed' for training exercises on Fort Sill. These training areas are not to be scheduled and are off limits to training activities. Other training areas contain limitations on the type of training that occurs, such as, foot traffic only or other limited type uses.

As part of a government initiative, Fort Sill needs to upgrade their current rail operation to provide an all rail capability to rapidly load and deploy contingency task force units from the Fort Sill Power Projection Platform. Fort Sill must maintain sufficient capability to simultaneously receive, store, load and shop for unit deployment to meet port delivery requirements. This includes providing a secure, paved area for the weighing, inspections, and staging of up to a battalion-sized unit. Fort Sill's new facility will nearly double current out-load capabilities. The project was completed by mid 2002.

BRAC 2005

Secretary of Defense Recommendations: Realign Fort Bliss, TX, by relocating air defense artillery units to Fort Sill and relocating 1st Armored Division and various echelons above division units from Germany and Korea to Fort Bliss, TX. Realign Fort Sill by relocating an artillery (Fires) brigade to Fort Bliss.

Relocating an Air Defense Artillery (ADA) unit to Fort Sill would support the establishment of the Net Fires Center, combining the Artillery and ADA schools at Fort Sill and provides a force stabilization opportunity for soldiers in this unit. Relocating the Artillery (Fires) Brigade to Fort Bliss would collocate the artillery with the maneuver units at Fort Bliss and would vacate space at Fort Sill for the ADA unit. When moving activities from Fort Bliss to Fort Sill, DoD estimated that two attributes would improve (Cost of Living, and Employment) and six (Housing, Education, Medical Health, Safety Population Center and Utilities) would not be as robust. Added operations at Sill might impact threatened and endangered species and could result in further restrictions. Development of a Programmatic Agreement, tribal consultations, and evaluations to determine significance of cultural and historical resources would be required at Fort Sill. Further analysis would be required to determine the extent of new noise impacts at Sill. Significant mitigation measures to limit releases might be required at Fort Sill to reduce impacts to water quality and achieve USEPA Water Quality Standards.

DoD also recommended to close the Major General Harry Twaddle United States Armed Forces Reserve Center, Oklahoma City, OK, and relocate the 95th DIV (IT) to Fort Sill, OK. This recommendation would improve operational effectiveness by putting the Training Division at the major training site in its region (Fort Sill). Assuming no economic recovery, this recommendation could result in a maximum potential reduction of 109 jobs (53 direct and 56 indirect jobs) over the 2006 - 2011 period in the Oklahoma City, OK Metropolitan Statistical Area, which would be less than 0.1 percent of economic area employment. Numerous archeological and historic resources, coupled with regional tribal interest, existing restrictions and a lack of a Programmatic Agreement, might result in increased time delays and negotiated restrictions at Fort Sill. Significant mitigation measures to limit releases might be required at Fort Sill to reduce impacts to water quality.

In another recommendation, DoD would realign Fort Bliss, TX, by relocating the Air Defense Artillery (ADA) Center & School to Fort Sill, OK. This would consolidate the Air Defense Artillery Center & School with the Field Artillery Center & School at Fort Sill to establish a Net Fires Center. This recommendation would consolidate Net Fires training and doctrine development at a single location. The moves would advance the Maneuver Support Center (MANSCEN) model, currently in place at Ft. Leonard Wood, which consolidated the Military Police, Engineer, and Chemical Centers and Schools. This recommendation would improve the MANSCEN concept by consolidating functionally related Branch Centers & Schools, which would foster consistency, standardization, and training proficiency. It would also facilitate task force stabilization, by combining operational forces with institutional training. In addition, it would consolidate both ADA and Field Artillery skill level I courses at one location, which would allow the Army to reduce the total number of Military Occupational Skills training locations (reducing the TRADOC footprint). Environmentally, development of a Programmatic Agreement would be necessary at Fort Sill to formalize mitigation measures and restrictions and evaluations to determine significance of cultural and historical resources. Tribal/government-to-government consultations might be required. A Noise Analysis and continuous monitoring efforts would likely be required at Fort Sill. Additional operations at Fort Sill might impact the Black-capped Vireo, possibly leading to restrictions on operations. Significant mitigation measures to limit releases might be required at Fort Sill to reduce impacts to water quality and achieve US EPA Water Quality Standards.

Additionally, DoD recommended to close the Major General Harry Twaddle United States Armed Forces Reserve Center, Oklahoma City, OK, and relocate the 95th DIV (IT) to Fort Sill, OK.

Secretary of Defense Justification: This proposal ensures the Army has sufficient infrastructure, training land and ranges to meet the requirements to transform the Operational Army as identified in the Twenty Year Force Structure Plan. It also ensures the Army maintains adequate surge capacity. As part of the modular force transformation, the Army is activating 10 new combat arms brigades for a total of 43 active component brigade combat teams (BCTs). Including the results of the Integrated Global Presence and Basing Strategy (IGPBS), the number of BCTs stationed in the United States will rise from twenty-six to forty. Relocating the units listed in this recommendation to Fort Bliss, Fort Riley, and Fort Sill takes advantage of available infrastructure and training land. Fort Bliss and Fort Riley are installations capable of training modular formations, both mounted and dismounted, at home station with sufficient land and facilities to test, simulate, or fire all organic weapon systems. This recommendation enhances home station training and readiness of the units at all installations.

Relocating an Air Defense Artillery (ADA) unit to Fort Sill supports the establishment of the Net Fires Center, combining the Artillery and ADA schools at Fort Sill and provides a force stabilization opportunity for soldiers in this unit. Relocating the Artillery (Fires) Brigade to Fort Bliss collocates the artillery with the maneuver units at Fort Bliss and vacates space at Fort Sill for the ADA unit.

While this recommendation does not in BRAC terms save money, the costs are mitigated by the non-BRAC savings that will accrue to the Department from the closure or realignment of the overseas locations from which these units come. Those non-BRAC savings amount to $4,400M during the 6-year period and approximately $20,000M of 20-year net present value savings.

Regarding the relocation of the 95th DIV (IT) to Fort Sill, DoD claims this recommendation transforms Reserve Component facilities and command and control structure throughout the Southeast Region of the United States. The implementation of this recommendation will enhance military value, improve
homeland defense capability, greatly improve training and deployment capability, create significant efficiencies and cost
savings, and is consistent with the Army’s force structure plans and Army transformational objectives.

Community Concerns: Fort Bliss, TX was the only installation to express community issues to the Commission concerning the relocation of an operational air defense artillery (ADA) brigade to Fort Sill, OK. The Fort Bliss community argued relocating an operational ADA brigade to Fort Sill does not sufficiently consider the brigade's strategic deployment and training requirements. The community also believed that the certified data undervalued the airspace capacity at Fort Bliss. They urged the Commission to retain the ADA missile brigade at Fort Bliss and reject this DoD recommendation.

Commission Findings: The Commission found that realignments associated with this recommendation were consistent with the DoD justification.

The Commission conducted an independent and in-depth review of the requirements for training systems. Fort Sill has 42,000 maneuver acres compared with 992,000 maneuver acres at Fort cannot support live fire, and they are not compatible with tank or mechanized infantry unit maneuver compatible with the movement and positioning of artillery units. Field artillery units have trained years, and the air defense artillery brigade will be able to accomplish its maneuver training Commission's analysis confirmed that ADA units at Fort Sill will have to deploy to Fort Bliss to requirement is to live-fire one missile per platoon every six months. Therefore, this will require deployments to Fort Bliss to meet the requirement. However, the Patriot system live-fire requirement missile launch per battery every other year, and only if missiles are available. This can be satisfied deployments to Fort Bliss in conjunction with other joint exercises, to include Roving Sands.

The Commission found that relocating this brigade was not optimal, but it was suitable and did not rise to the level of a substantial deviation. It enabled the Net Fires center and concepts at Fort Sill through the collocation of an operational ADA brigade with an institutional ADA brigade, thus creating synergies and force stabilization opportunities between the units.

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.

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Page last modified: 05-07-2011 02:48:22 ZULU