Camp Shelby Joint Forces Training Center
- Last Updated: Friday, 31 July 2015 23:39
Camp Shelby Joint Forces Training Center (CSJFTC) is primarily located in portions of Perry and Forrest Counties with a small portion in Greene County, in south Mississippi. The training center was established in 1917 in support of mobilization during World War I and it has served almost continuously since then as a training site, not only for the Reserve Components of the Army, but also for the Active Components of the Army, Navy, Marine Corps, and Air Force. The training site consists of a mix of State, Department of Defense, and U.S. Forest Service lands in the DeSoto National Forest.
100 Years of Service
Encompassing more than 134,820 acres (546 km2), Camp Shelby, Mississippi is the largest state-owned and operated field training center in the United States. It is a training ground for the Abrams M1 Tank, Paladin Howitzers and home to the 3rd Brigade 87th Division Training Support. Camp Shelby serves as a training site for National Guardsmen and Reservists from throughout the country hosting as many as 100,000 personnel annually.
Camp Shelby was established in 1917. The post was named in honor of Isaac Shelby, Indian fighter, Revolutionary War hero and 1st Governor of Kentucky, by the first troops to train here, the 38th Division. In 1934, the State of Mississippi acquired the site for use as a summer camp by the National Guard. Because of Camp Shelby's natural advantages of climate, terrain and location, it was reopened in 1940 as a federal installation. Some of the divisions that have trained in Mississippi include the 31st, 37th, 38th, 43rd, 63rd, 65th, 69th, 85th, 94th, and the 99th Divisions.
The famous Japanese-American 442nd Regimental Combat Team and the 100th Battalion trained here in preparation for World War II. Women's Army Corps (WAC) units also trained here. The post contained a large convalescent hospital and had a prisoner of war camp which housed soldiers of the German Afrika Corps.
The post closed shortly after the end of World War II. During the Korean War, Camp Shelby was established as an emergency railhead facility.
In the summer of 1954, non-divisional National Guard units trained at Camp Shelby and in 1956, it was designated a permanent training site by Continental Army Command (now FORSCOM). Over 5,000 troops were processed through Camp Shelby during Desert Storm operations.
The 199th Light Infantry Brigade trained at Camp Shelby from September to November 1966 in preparation for deployment to Vietnam from Fort Benning Georgia. The 199th was the only combat unit to train at Camp Shelby during the Vietnam War.
Camp Shelby was federalized as a FORSCOM Mobilization Center on June 6, 2004. Since then, several Regimental or Brigade Combat Teams have mobilized through Camp Shelby including the 278th Armored Cavalry Regiment (Tennessee Army National Guard); the 155th Heavy Brigade Combat Team (MS ARNG); the 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 28th Infantry Division (PA ARNG); the 56th Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 28th Infantry Division (PA ARNG) ; the 53rd Brigade Combat Team (FL ARNG); the 1st Brigade Combat Team, 34th Infantry Division (MN ARNG); the 41st Brigade Combat Team (OR ARNG); the 256th Infantry Brigade Combat Team (LA ARNG); the 116th Cavalry Brigade Combat Team (ID ARNG), the 27th Infantry Brigade Combat Team (NY ARNG), and the 48th Infantry Brigade Combat Team (GA ARNG).
U.S. Navy Seabee units homeported or mobilized from the Naval Construction Battalion Center in Gulfport, Mississippi utilize Camp Shelby as the site for their Field Training Exercises (FTX).
Camp Shelby is also home to the Youth Challenge Academy (a military structured GED and State High School diploma program established in 1994 to aid Mississippi High school dropouts, ages 16 to 18, designed and operated by the National Guard Bureau) and the Mississippi Armed Forces Museum.
In mid-2007, the Air National Guard opened a new combat training runway at Camp Shelby. The 210-acre (0.8 km2) Shelby Auxiliary Field 1 is one of only two facilities in the world designed for C-17 Globemaster III short-field landing operations. It was constructed to meet Air Force C-17 training requirements.
Contingency Operating Location 3 at Camp Shelby is used for Air Force Reserve Officer Training Corps field training.
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