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Fort Bragg
Cumberland / Hoke / Moore / Harnett counties,
near Fayetteville, North Carolina
Bragg gate.066.jpg
One of the signs at an entrance to the post
Type Military base
Site information
Controlled by United States
Site history
Built 1918
In use 1918–present
Garrison information
Current
commander
Colonel Scott Pence
Garrison XVIII Airborne Corps CSIB.svg XVIII Airborne Corps
For tenant units, See below
Fort Bragg is located in North Carolina
Fort Bragg
Fort Bragg
Location in North Carolina
Fort Bragg is located in the United States
Fort Bragg
Fort Bragg
Location in the United States
Country United States
State North Carolina
County Cumberland
Area
 • Total 251.0 sq mi (650.2 km2)
 • Land 249.7 sq mi (646.8 km2)
 • Water 1.3 sq mi (3.4 km2)
Population
 (2010)
 • Total 39,457
 • Density 158.02/sq mi (61.01/km2)
Time zone UTC-5 (Eastern (EST))
 • Summer (DST) UTC-4 (EDT)
ZIP codes
28307, 28310
Area code(s) 910
FIPS code 37-24260

Fort Bragg, North Carolina, is a military installation of the United States Army in North Carolina, and is one of the largest military installations in the world, with around 54,000 military personnel. It is located within Cumberland, Hoke, Harnett, and Moore counties and borders the towns of Fayetteville, Spring Lake, and Southern Pines. It was also a census-designated place in the 2000 census, during which a residential population of 29,183 was identified. It is named for native North Carolinian Confederate General Braxton Bragg, who had previously served in the United States Army in the Mexican-American War. Fort Bragg is one of ten United States Army installations named for officers who led military units of the Confederacy in the American Civil War.

Fort Bragg covers over 251 square miles (650 km2). It is the home of the Army's XVIII Airborne Corps and is the headquarters of the United States Army Special Operations Command, which oversees the U.S. Army 1st Special Forces Command (Airborne) and 75th Ranger Regiment. It is also home to the U.S. Army Forces Command, U.S. Army Reserve Command, and Womack Army Medical Center. Fort Bragg maintains two airfields: Pope Field, where the United States Air Force stations global airlift and special operations assets as well as the Air Force Combat Control School, and Simmons Army Airfield, where Army aviation units support the needs of airborne and special operations forces on post.

It is one of the U.S. Army installations named for Confederate soldiers to be renamed by The Naming Commission.

History

Bragg gate.066
One of the signs at an entrance to the post
Fort Bragg, North Carolina
Fort Bragg is located in North Carolina
Fort Bragg
Fort Bragg
Location in North Carolina
Country United States
State North Carolina
County Cumberland
Area
 • Total 251.0 sq mi (650.2 km2)
 • Land 249.7 sq mi (646.8 km2)
 • Water 1.3 sq mi (3.4 km2)
Population
 (2010)
 • Total 39,457
 • Density 1,540.0/sq mi (594.6/km2)
Time zone UTC-5 (Eastern (EST))
 • Summer (DST) UTC-4 (EDT)
ZIP codes
28307, 28310
Area code(s) 910
FIPS code 37-24260

World War I

Camp Bragg was established in 1918 as an artillery training ground. The Chief of Field Artillery, General William J. Snow, was seeking an area having suitable terrain, adequate water, rail facilities and a climate for year-round training, and he decided that the area now known as Fort Bragg met all of the desired criteria. Camp Bragg was named to honor a native North Carolinian, Braxton Bragg, who commanded Confederate States Army forces in the Civil War.

The aim was for six artillery brigades to be stationed there and $6,000,000 was spent on the land and cantonments. There was an airfield on the camp used by aircraft and balloons for artillery spotters. The airfield was named Pope Field on April 1, 1919, in honor of First Lieutenant Harley H. Pope, an airman who was killed while flying nearby. The work on the camp was finished on November 1, 1919.

The original plan for six brigades was abandoned after World War I ended and once demobilization had started. The artillery men, their equipment and material from Camp McClellan, Alabama, were moved over to Fort Bragg and testing began on long-range weapons that were a product of the war. The six artillery brigades were reduced to two cantonments and a garrison was to be built for Army troops as well as a National Guard training center. In early 1921 two field artillery units, the 13th and 17th Field Artillery Brigades, began training at Camp Bragg. The same year, the Long Street Church and six acres of property were acquired for the reservation. The church was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1974.

Due to the post-war cutbacks, the camp was nearly closed for good when the War department issued orders to close the camp on August 7, 1921. General Albert J. Bowley was commander at the camp and after much campaigning, and getting the Secretary of War to visit the camp, the closing order was cancelled on September 16, 1921. The Field Artillery Board was transferred to Fort Bragg on February 1, 1922.

Camp Bragg was renamed Fort Bragg, to signify becoming a permanent Army post, on September 30, 1922. From 1923 to 1924 permanent structures were constructed on Fort Bragg, including four barracks.

World War II

By 1940, during World War II, the population of Fort Bragg had reached 5,400; however, in the following year, that number ballooned to 67,000. Various units trained at Fort Bragg during World War II, including the 9th Infantry Division, 2nd Armored Division, 82nd Airborne Division, 100th Infantry Division, and various field artillery groups. The population reached a peak of 159,000 during the war years.

Cold War

Following World War II, the 82nd Airborne Division was permanently stationed at Fort Bragg, the only large unit there for some time. In July 1951, the XVIII Airborne Corps was reactivated at Fort Bragg. Fort Bragg became a center for unconventional warfare, with the creation of the Psychological Warfare Center in April 1952, followed by the 10th Special Forces Group.

In 1961, the 5th Special Forces Group (Airborne) was activated at Fort Bragg, with the mission of training counter-insurgency forces in Southeast Asia. Also in 1961, the "Iron Mike" statue, a tribute to all Airborne soldiers, past, present and future, was dedicated. More than 200,000 young men underwent basic combat training here during the period 1966–70. At the peak of the Vietnam War in 1968, Fort Bragg's military population rose to 57,840. In June 1972, the 1st Corps Support Command arrived at Fort Bragg.

In the 1980s, there was a series of deployments of tenant units to the Caribbean, first to Grenada in 1983, Honduras in 1988, and to Panama in 1989. The 5th Special Forces Group departed Fort Bragg in the late 1980s.

Middle East wars

Fort Bragg
Soldiers of the 82nd Airborne Division training on Fort Bragg, December 2005

In 1990, the XVIII Airborne Corps and the 82nd Airborne Division deployed to Saudi Arabia in support of Operation Desert Shield and Operation Desert Storm. In the mid- and late 1990s, there was increased modernization of the facilities in Fort Bragg. The World War II wooden barracks were largely removed, a new main post exchange was built, and Devers Elementary School was opened, along with several other projects.

As a result of campaigns in Afghanistan and Iraq, the units on Fort Bragg have seen a sizeable increase to their operations tempo (OPTEMPO), with units conducting two, three, or even four or more deployments to combat zones. As directed by law, and in accordance with the recommendations of the 2005 Base Realignment and Closure Commission, Fort McPherson, Georgia, closed and U.S. Army Forces Command and U.S. Army Reserve Command relocated to Fort Bragg, North Carolina. A new FORSCOM/U.S. Army Reserve Command Headquarters facility completed construction at Fort Bragg in June 2011. Forces Command hosted June 24, 2011 an Army "casing of colors ceremony" on Fort McPherson and an "uncasing of colors ceremony" on August 1, 2011, at Fort Bragg. On March 1, 2011, Pope Field, the former Pope Air Force Base, was absorbed into Fort Bragg.

Tenant units

Hover the cursor over the top right infobox insignias to see the selected unit name. Or navigate using the Fort Bragg template at the [[The major commands at the installation are the United States Army Forces Command, the United States Army Reserve Command, and the United States Army Special Operations Command. Several airborne and special operations units of the United States Army are stationed at Fort Bragg, notably the 82nd Airborne Division, the 3rd Special Forces Group (Airborne), and the Delta Force. The latter is controlled by the Joint Special Operations Command, based at Pope Field within Fort Bragg.
Fort Bragg 1st Brigade barracks
Barracks of the 1st Brigade, 82nd Airborne Division at Fort Bragg
US Army paratroopers Fort Bragg
Paratroopers in training at Fort Bragg
  • XVIII Airborne Corps:
    • Headquarters, XVIII Airborne Corps
    • 82nd Airborne Division
      • DIvision Headquarters and Headquarters Battalion, 82nd Airborne Division
      • 1st Infantry Brigade Combat Team
      • 2nd Infantry Brigade Combat Team
      • 3rd Infantry Brigade Combat Team
      • 82nd Airborne Division Artillery
      • 82nd Airborne Division Sustainment Brigade
    • 18th Field Artillery Brigade
    • 20th Engineer Brigade
  • United States Army Special Operations Command:
    • United States Army Special Forces Command (Special Forces)
    • United States Army Special Operations Aviation Command
    • 4th Military Information Support Group (Airborne)
    • 95th Civil Affairs Brigade (Airborne)
    • 528th Sustainment Brigade (Airborne)
    • John F. Kennedy Special Warfare Center and School
  • Other Army units on base:
    • 1st Theater Sustainment Command
    • 525th Military Intelligence Brigade
    • 16th Military Police Brigade
    • 44th Medical Brigade
    • 108th Air Defense Artillery Brigade
    • 1st Battalion, 313th Regiment (Logistics Support Battalion)
    • 407th Brigade Support Battalion
    • 127th Brigade Engineer Battalion
    • B Company, 249th Engineer Battalion (Prime Power)
    • 50th Expeditionary Signal Battalion
  • Army units at Simmons Army Airfield:
    • 82nd Airborne Division
      • Combat Aviation Brigade
  • Army units at Pope Field:
    • 18th Air Support Operations Group
  • Air Force units at Pope Field:
    • 11th Intelligence Squadron
    • 14th Air Support Operations Squadron
    • 24th Special Tactics Squadron
    • 43d Air Mobility Operations Group
  • Other units at Pope Field:
    • Joint Special Operations Command
      • Special Forces Operational Detachment-Delta

Geography and ecology

Fort Bragg is at 35°8'21" North, 78°59'57" West (35.139064, −78.999143).

According to the United States Census Bureau, the post has a total area of 19.0 square miles (49.2 km²), of which, 19.0 square miles (49.1 km²) of it is land and 0.1 square miles (0.2 km²) of it is water. The total area is 0.32% water.

International security website Globalsecurity.org reports that Fort Bragg occupies approximately 160,700 acres (650 km2) [1]

Ft. Bragg is the only locality where the endangered Saint Francis' Satyr butterfly (Neonympha mitchellii francisci) is known to occur. St. Francis’ satyr is found in wetland habitat dominated by graminoids and sedges such as abandoned beaver dams or along streams with active beaver complexes.

Fort Bragg fever, a bacterial zoonotic disease, has been named after it, in reference to an outbreak in 1942.

In 1990, the endangered red-cockaded woodpecker came under the protection of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. This caused a tremendous problem for Fort Bragg, where many of these birds lived. Training stopped, ranges were closed, and troops were temporarily moved to other installations for training.

The Army and the conservationists eventually came to an agreement, which put in place training restrictions around the woodpeckers' habitat. White stripes were painted on trees to indicate the location of the habitats, and restrictions limited the scope and duration of training that could take place within 200 feet of these locations.

Today, the clusters of woodpeckers has more than doubled in size (200 to 493), and many of the training restrictions have been lifted.

Demographics

Historical population
Census Pop.
1970 46,995
1980 37,834 −19.5%
1990 34,744 −8.2%
2000 29,183 −16.0%
source:

As of the census of 2000, there were 29,183 people, 4,315 households, and 4,215 families residing on the base. The population density was 1,540.0 inhabitants per square mile (594.6/km2). There were 4,420 housing units at an average density of 233.3 per square mile (90.1/km2). Fort Bragg was not recorded as a census-designated place for the 2010 census.

Racial makeup

In 2000, the racial makeup of the base was 58.1% Caucasian, 25.3% African-American, 1.2% Native American, 1.8% Asian, 0.9% Pacific Islander, 8.3% from other races, and 4.4% from two or more races. 15.8% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

Households

In 2000, there were 4,315 households, out of which 85.3% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 88.9% were married couples living together, 7.2% had a female householder with no husband present, and 2.3% were non-families. 2.1% of all households were made up of individuals, and 0.0% were someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 3.72, and the average family size was 3.74.

Ages

The age distribution in 2000 was 25.8% under the age of 18, 40.9% from 18 to 24, 32.3% from 25 to 44, 1.1% 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 217.1 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 293.5 males. All of these statistics are typical for military bases.

Income

The median income for a household on the base at the 2000 census was $30,106, and the median income for a family was $29,836. 10.0% of the population and 9.6% of families were below the poverty line. Out of the total population, 11.4% of those under the age of 18 and 0.0% of those 65 and older were living below the poverty line.

Housing

Corvias-managed housing under IMCOM is attracting national attention because of reports of lead contamination, black mold, and asbestos from base residents.

Notable events

  • In January 1942, Mickey Rooney visited Fort Bragg to entertain the soldiers. Two years later, he was drafted and served in the Army until the end of World War II.
  • On October 12, 1961, President John F. Kennedy visits Ft. Bragg and the US Army Special Warfare Center and officializes the wear of the Green Beret.
  • On May 10, 1987, President Ronald Reagan visits during a USO show with Bob Hope and other celebrities.
  • On July 1, 1987, a C-130 crashes during a public demonstration at the Sicily Drop Zone. Four airmen and one soldier die.
  • On March 23, 1994, twenty-four members of Fort Bragg's 82nd Airborne Division were killed and over 100 others injured while preparing for a routine airborne training operation during the Green Ramp disaster at neighboring Pope Air Force base. It was the worst peacetime loss of life suffered by the division since the end of World War II.
  • On June 28, 2005, President George W. Bush gave a nationally televised speech at Fort Bragg to reaffirm the United States' mission in Iraq.
  • On December 13, 2011, WWE hosted its annual Tribute to the Troops for Fort Bragg at the Fayetteville Crown Coliseum with special guest stars Robin Williams, Nickelback, and Mary J. Blige.
  • On December 14, 2011, President Barack Obama gave a nationally televised speech thanking soldiers for their service in Operation Iraqi Freedom.
  • On June 28, 2012, Specialist Ricky G. Elder shot and killed Lieutenant Colonel Roy L. Tisdale of the 525th Battlefield Surveillance Brigade during a safety brief. The soldier also shot himself and injured two other fellow soldiers. He later died of his injuries.
  • On March 8, 2016, Major League Baseball announced that the Atlanta Braves and Miami Marlins would play a special neutral-site game, the Fort Bragg Game, at the newly constructed Fort Bragg Stadium, on July 3, 2016. It was the first time that an active military installation has hosted a regular-season game of a professional sports league. The game was attended primarily by military members. In addition, the game was the first Major League Baseball regular season game ever held in the state of North Carolina. The ballpark was built on a disused golf course and sat 12,500 fans for the game, a 5–2 Marlins win televised live on ESPN. Following the conclusion of the game, the grandstands and other facilities were removed, and the field became a multi-use sporting ground.

Burials

Actress Martha Raye is buried on Fort Bragg in commemoration of her work with the USO during World War II and Vietnam.

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