Military


Wright Army Airfield

Wright Army Airfield is part of the Stewart/Hunter complex. Large aircraft land at Hunter because its runway is longer than Wright Army Airfield's runway at Fort Stewart. By late 1999 cracks cut through the pavement at one runway at Wright Army Airfield on Fort Stewart so it's closed to large airplanes. The runway lights were burned out on another, so airplanes can't land at night.

In 1984 more than 300 of the Georgia Air National Guard's 165th Tactical Airlift Group personnel deployed to Wright Army Airfield with seven C-130s, kitchen facilities and tents. The bare base operation was the first readiness exercise conducted by the C-130 unit. It was entitled Operation BLUE BOY.

The first two of the 3d Infantry Division's new 16 OH-58D Kiowa Warrior helicopters arrived 22 February 1997 at Wright Army Airfield, which is off Old Sunbury Road.

By the late 1990s the Army no longer deployed equipment or soldiers from Wright. The airfield is used for helicopters belonging to a medical evacuation team and 3rd Squadron, 7th Cavalry Regiment and for small airplanes that bring high-ranking generals or politicians to visit.

In 1999 the Army advertised for a contract for the furnishing of all plant, labor, materials, and equipment, and performing all work required in connection with lighting upgrade at Wright Army Airfield. Work includes, but is not necessarily restricted to: upgrading energy inefficient lighting in eighteen (18) buildings at Wright Army Airfield. This consists of replacing retrofitting or replacing T-12 fluorescent lamp fixtures with magnetic ballast with T-8 fluorescent lamp fixtures with energy efficient electronic ballast as well as the replacement of incandescent fixtures/lamps with compact fluorescent fixtures/lamps and relocation of lighting fixtures to provide even light distribution.

Liberty County and the city of Hinesville are in negotiations with Fort Stewart and the Department of Defense officials to make Fort Stewart's Wright Army Airfield into a joint-use airport serving the economic development needs of the city, the county, and the Economic Development Authority.

In 1996 Fort Stewart asked Liberty County officials if they would be interested in forming a partnership over the airfield. In 1999 Liberty County began a study for a better airport, one capable of landing jets and bringing more industry to the area. The study focused on whether to move civilian aviation to Wright or keep it at the county's airport. Fort Stewart offered the use of its facilities and two 5,000-foot runways. The Army offered about 300 acres near Wright Army Airfield, but the County needed about 1,000 acres. By late 2001 Fort Stewart and Liberty County were working on a deal to share Wright Army Airfield. The plans include an industrial park that sits on the Fort Stewart/Flemington border and a bypass that would connect the park with Ga. 84.

At the outset of World War II, Fort Stewart facilities were expanded and improved. Anti-aircraft artillery training was upgraded and soon a detachment of Women's Air Service Pilots (WASP's) arrived at the air facility on post, Liberty Field, to fly planes to tow targets for the live fire exercises. Eventually radio-controlled airplane targets came into use as a more effective and safer means of live-fire practice. Fewer than 1,000 women served as WASP's during WWII. Liberty Field is now Wright Army Airfield.



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