Fort Carson


Fort Carson

Infobox Military Structure
name=Fort Carson
location=Outside of Colorado Springs


caption=Shoulder sleeve insignia of units stationed at Fort Carson
built=January 31, 1942
used=1942-present
type=Army post
controlledby=United States
garrison=2nd, 3rd and 4th Brigades of the 4th Infantry Division
10th Special Forces Group
commanders=
battles=

Fort Carson is a United States Army installation located immediately south of Colorado Springs in El Paso County, Colorado, and 30 miles north of Pueblo, Colorado in Pueblo County. A portion of the installation located within El Paso County forms a census-designated place (CDP), which had a population of 10,566 at the 2000 census.GR|2 Fort Carson is the home of the 2nd, 3rd and 4th Brigade Combat Teams of the 4th Infantry Division, the 10th Special Forces Group, the 71st Ordnance Group (EOD), the 759th Military Police Battalion, the 10th Combat Support Hospital, and the 43rd Sustainment Brigade. The post also hosts units of the Army and Navy Reserves and Colorado Army National Guard.

The Colorado Springs Post Office (ZIP Codes 80902 and 80913) serves Fort Carson postal addresses.cite web | date = December 14 2006 | url = http://zip4.usps.com/zip4/citytown.jsp | title = ZIP Code Lookup| format = JavaScript/HTML | publisher = United States Postal Service | accessdate = December 14 | accessyear = 2006]

History

Fort Carson was established in 1942, following Japan's attack on Pearl Harbor. The city of Colorado Springs, Colorado purchased land south of the city and donated it to the War Department. Construction began immediately and the first building, the camp headquarters, was completed January 31, 1942. Camp Carson was named in honor of the legendary Army scout, Gen. Christopher "Kit" Carson, who explored much of the West in the 1800s.



left|thumb|200px|Training_on_a_37 mm anti-tank gun at Camp CarsonAt the construction's peak, nearly 11,500 workers were employed on various construction projects at the new camp. Facilities were provided for 35,173 enlisted men, 1,818 officers and 592 nurses. Nearly all of the buildings were of mobilization type construction, with wood sided exteriors. The hospital complex was constructed of concrete block, and considered to be semi-permanent, and had space for 1,726 beds, expandable to 2,000 beds. The 89th Infantry Division was the first major unit to be activated at Camp Carson. During World War II, over 100,000 soldiers trained at Camp Carson. Along with three other infantry divisions - the 71st Infantry Division, 104th Infantry Division and 10th Mountain Division - more than 125 units were activated at Camp Carson and more than 100 others were transferred to the Mountain post from other installations.

Nurses, cooks, mule packers, tank battalions, a Greek infantry battalion, and an Italian ordnance company - literally soldiers of every variety - trained at Camp Carson during the war years. Camp Carson was also home to nearly 9,000 Axis prisoners of war - mostly Italians and Germans. The internment camp at Camp Carson opened on the first day of 1943. These POWs alleviated the manpower shortage in Colorado by doing general farm work, canning tomatoes, cutting corn, and aiding in logging operations on Colorado's Western Slope.

Between 1942 and 1956, pack mules were a common sight at Camp Carson. The first shipment arrived by train from Nebraska in July 1942. The mules were used by Field artillery (Pack) battalions to carry equipment, weapons and supplies over mountainous terrain. The most famous of these animals was Hambone, the pride of the 4th Field Artillery Regiment. For 13 years, he carried First Sergeants up Ute Pass to Camp Hale. Camp Hale, located near Leadville, Colorado, was where the Army conducted cold weather and mountain warfare training. Hambone died in March 1971, and was buried with full military honors.

Activity at Camp Carson was greatly reduced following the end of World War II. By April 1946, the military strength at the Mountain Post had dropped to around 600. It appeared that Camp Carson would be closed. With the onset of the Korean War, however, activity once again increased. Many Reserve and National Guard units were called to active duty and stationed at Camp Carson during this time.

Camp Carson became "Fort Carson" in 1954. In the 1960s, mechanized units were assigned to the Mountain Post. At that time additional training land was purchased, bringing the post to its current size of 137,000 acres (570 km²). Throughout its history Fort Carson has been home to nine divisions. An additional training area, comprising 235,000 acres (959 km²), was purchased in September 1983. Named the Piñon Canyon Maneuver Site, this training area is located approximately convert|150|mi|km road miles to the southeast, and is used for large force-on-force maneuver training. Comprehensive maneuver and live fire training also occurs downrange at Fort Carson.

Exercises and deployments continually hone the skills of Fort Carson Soldiers. When not deployed, Soldiers train annually at Piñon Canyon Maneuver Site and the National Training Center near Barstow, California. Additionally, units participate in joint exercises around the world, including Central and South Africa, Europe, and Southwest Asia. In 2003, most Fort Carson units were deployed in support of Operations Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom. Troops were also sent in support of the guard mission at Guantanamo Bay Naval Base, Cuba. President George W. Bush addressed Soldiers and family members at the post on November 24, 2003, in praise of the Soldiers' determination and the sacrifices their families have made. Fort Carson's beautiful scenery has made it one of the most requested duty stations in the U.S. Army.

Fort Carson was named the "Best Hometown in the Army" in 2007.

Fort Carson has undergone a construction boom in 2007 and 2008 in preparation for the arrival of the 4th Infantry Division (4ID) from Fort Hood, Texas. The 4ID will set up headquarters at Fort Carson after returning from their 2008 deployment to Operation Iraqi Freedom. Arrival of the 4ID (headquarters and a heavy brigade) will bring with it approximately 5,000 additional Soldiers to Fort Carson.

Geography

Fort Carson is located at 38°44'45" North, 104°47'6" West (38.745744, -104.784907).GR|1 It is located in Pueblo County, El Paso County, and Fremont County.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the CDP has a total area of 9.4 square miles (24.3 km²), all land.

Demographics

As of the censusGR|2 of 2000, there were 10,566 people, 1,679 households, and 1,620 families residing on the post. The population density was 1,126.8 people per square mile (434.9/km²). There were 2,664 housing units at an average density of 196.8/sq mi (75.9/km²). The racial makeup of the base was 62.75% White, 20.01% African American, 2.14% Asian, 1.67% Native American, 0.75% Pacific Islander, 7.94% from other races, and 3.75% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 15.39% of the population.

There were 1,679 households out of which 84.9% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 85.4% were married couples living together, 9.7% had a female householder with no husband present, and 3.5% were non-families. 3.2% of all households were made up of individuals, none of whom were 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 3.70 and the average family size was 3.74.

On the post the population was spread out with 27.5% under the age of 18, 37.1% from 18 to 24, 34.2% from 25 to 44, 1.2% from 45 to 64, and 0.1% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 22 years. For every 100 females there were 195.0 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 251.7 males.

The median income for a household on the post was $34,883, and the median income for a family was $34,385. Males had a median income of $19,865 versus $17,582 for females. The per capita income for the base was $12,772. About 7.8% of families and 9.4% of the population were below the poverty line, including 12.1% of those under the age of 18 and none of those 65 and older.

Piñon Canyon Expansion Proposal

On 2007-02-14 the U.S. Army announced it was moving forward with a plan to expand the Piñon Canyon Maneuver Site in southeastern Colorado. [http://www.denverpost.com/ci_5225670] If expanded, Piñon Canyon would be the Army's largest training ground in the nation, tripling the size of the site by adding convert|418000|acre|km2 of private ranch land. [ [http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/21617003/ "Army site expansion angers ranchers"] , MSNBC. Nov 4, 2007 [http://www.msnbc.msn.com/?search=MSNBC&q=%22pinon+canyon%22&id=11881780&FORM=AE&os=0&gs=1&p=1] ] At 650,000 acres (2630 km²), it would be larger than the state of Rhode Island. Much of the local civilian population is opposed to this plan, because much of the land in the rural area to be taken into the Fort Carson base is civilian owned ranch land; and many of the locals are unwilling to be supplanted, even with compensation. The "Pinon Canyon Expansion Opposition Coalition", an activist group opposing the plans, says that maps it has obtained from the army show a "Future Expansion area" that includes more than two million acres (8000 km²), most of the area south of La Junta and east of Interstate 25 [ [http://www.pinoncanyon.com Pinon Canyon Expansion Opposition Coalition] ] . The army position is that the expansion is essential for preparing soldiers for battle in evergrowing theaters such as Afghanistan and the Middle East.

References

External links

* [http://www.carson.army.mil/ Fort Carson] "The Official Site"
* [http://public.carson.army.mil/sites/pao/mountaineer/archives/Forms/current%20edition.aspx/ Current Fort Carson "Mountaineer"]
* [http://www.carson.army.mil/pao/History%20Book/History%20Book.pdf/ Fort Carson Post History]
* [http://www.carson.army.mil/Post%20Guide/2005%20Post%20Guide.pdf/ Fort Carson Phone Directory]
* [http://www.ffc8.org/ffchs/ Fountain-Fort Carson High School]
* [http://www.war-letters.com/0004/ 1943 Letters from Fort Carson] " from two soldiers to Marget Krumpleman. Includes micro news from the camp, including platoon numbers, postings, equipment suppplies" See [http://www.war-letters.com/0004/0015.html 18] [http://www.war-letters.com/0004/0018.html 18] [http://www.war-letters.com/0004/0059.html 59] [http://www.war-letters.com/0004/0060.html 60]


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