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.
Overview of Camp Shelby Joint Forces Training Center
Camp Shelby is a Joint Forces Training Center chartered by the National Guard Bureau. Camp Shelby’s mission is to expand and operate as a separate installation in support of the U.S. Army’s Command mobilization requirements. In preparation for Pre-MOB and MOB training, Camp Shelby has undergone many renovations and upgrades to allow Camp Shelby to provide the most up-to-date training experience for troops in support of training needs.
Camp Shelby, Mississippi, the largest state-owned mobilization station in the nation, has a long history of serving the country and has been referred to by many as “a national treasure.” Camp Shelby Joint Forces Training Center, covers 134,000 acres (525 square kilometers), can support heavy maneuver and collective gunnery tables, multiple battalion Field Artillery Firing and a wide range of training and logistical support facilities.
Camp Shelby serves as the Annual Training location for National Guard and Reserve units located in Mississippi, Alabama and Tennessee. However, units from across the country use CSJFTC's valuable assets to support a variety of missions.
Camp Shelby, having been designated as a Mobilization Force Generation Installation, is tasked to receive, mobilize, train, and support Reserve Component (RC) units required to expand the Active Army Component (AC) to meet emergency requirements.
Post tenants include: 154th Regimental Regional Training Institute, 177th Armor Brigade, 158th Infantry Brigade, Maneuver Area Training Equipment Site (MATES), Combined Support Maintenance Shop (CSMS), Readiness Sustainment Maintenance Site (RSMS), Surface Maintenance Readiness Branch (SMRB), DOL-MSARNG Warehouse, NGMS-DOL Consolidated Class IX Activity,
United States Property and Fiscal Office (USPFO), and the Youth Challenge Academy (YCA).
CSJFTC is located in portions of Perry and Forrest Counties with a small portion in Greene County in South Mississippi. The training site 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.
Camp Shelby serves as a training ground for the latest equipment and technology in the U.S. Army arsenal serving as home to two AC training support brigades; 177th Armor Brigade (Operations Support) and 158th Infantry Brigade (Training Support).
Daily population at CSJFTC averages over 1,150 personnel that commute to support training activities on post. During recent mobilization support missions, the post has experienced a daily population of over 10,000 personnel consisting of over 3,000 commuting and over 7,500 on-post mobilized personnel.
CSJFTC has a dedicated impact area consisting of approximately 17 square kilometers of gently rolling grassland, used for the firing of small and large caliber weapons including M1A1 tanks, Bradley Fighting Vehicles, self-propelled and towed artillery (to include Multiple Launch Rocket System firing and Reduced Range Practice Rocket), mortars, laser-guided weapons, and small arms. The Impact Area is utilized year-round and averages in excess of 190 firing days each year.
CSJFTC has a C-17 assault landing strip and a C-130 capable air field, a railhead with turnaround spur, loading docks with spurs and a large industrial base of logistical support facilities for equipment storage, maintenance, and warehousing.
Shelby Training Resources
Requests for all facilities, including ranges, training areas, Training Aids Devices Simulators Systems (TADSS) and buildings should be submitted to the Camp Shelby Director of Plans, Training, Mobilization and Security (DPTMS) no later than 90 days prior to the desired training period. Units should call or write, CSJFTC -DPTMS 1001 Lee Ave. Camp Shelby, MS 39407, for a copy of the Camp Shelby Range Regulation, which provides facilities information and request forms.
Maneuver and Training Areas Camp Shelby is comprised of 134,000 acres of which 120,000 are dedicated to training.The 120,000 acres are divided into 64 numbered training areas. Track maneuver can now be conducted in five of these training areas with additional heavy track maneuver in specified DOD blocks. Tank and Bradley Fighting Vehicle (BFV) maneuver can be accomplished concurrently when conducting live fire on Camp Shelby’s four Tank and BFV ranges.
Camp Shelby has over 27 direct fire ranges of different type and capability. For individual and crew served weapons qualification there are three Modified Record Fire (MRF) ranges, one Combat Pistol Qualification Course and one multi-purpose machine gun range (all computer operated and scored) available with supporting 25 and 10 meter ranges.
Camp Shelby has the range capability to support all tables of tank/ BFV/ truck gunneries in accordance with FM 3-20.21 Heavy Brigade Combat Team Gunnery. A newly constructed Urban Assault Course (UAC) contains a live fire shoot house, M203 grenadier range and three non-live fire training facilities. Range capabilities also include squad live fire, base defense live fire, helicopter door gunnery tables and convoy live fire.
There are also 115 Artillery Firing Points with direct fire on 14A, 15 Mortar Firing Points, direct lay on range 13D and 60MM direct lay on 12C and 6 Multiple Launch Rocket System – Reduced Range Practice Rocket (MLRS-RRPR) Firing Points.
Training Aids Devices Systems (TADSS)
The following simulation and virtual training devices are available:
Reconfigurable Vehicle Tactical Trainer (RVTT), MRAP Virtual Vehicle Trainer (M-VVT), Mobile Counter IED Trainer (MCIT), Virtual Clearance Training Suite (VCTS), Virtual Battle Space 2 (VBS2), HEAT, MRAP Egress Trainer (MET), MRAP Common Driver Trainer (CDT), FLEXTRAIN 3.0, CFFT 1:30, COFT XXI and EST 2000.
The Combined Arms Collective Training Facility (CACTF) was introduced into the Camp Shelby training arsenal in August 2012. Contingency Operating Locations (COL) contains hard structure buildings with grid power. Camp Shelby’s three Counter Improvised Explosive Device Home Station Training Lanes (CIED-HSTL) have been restructured to villages available for training.
Air to Ground Complex Areas
The Air to Ground ranges are located within restricted airspace area designated R-4401. Camp Shelby has two Air to Ground ranges, 202 East and 201 West. 202 East is a modified conventional range with tactical targets available, as well as standard strafe, rocket and bombing targets. Tactical deliveries may be accomplished on all targets. 201 West is a modified conventional range. Strafe scoring is by acoustical scoring system. This area has numerous targets consisting of tanks, armor personnel carriers and connex boxes. Live munitions must be coordinated at least 45 days prior with CRTC range Control Officer.
Provide command, administrative, and managerial control over all training site functions through primary staff directorates, special staff sections and tenant organization commanders and supervisors while maintaining close interaction with community and civic leaders and activities. HHD, CSJFTC-Shelby Headquarters and Headquarters Detachment is a customer service organization, which provides services to Soldiers and their families to include: command and control, administrative control, training requirements, food service assistance, unit supply assistance, annual training assistance, and Inactive Duty Training assistance for CSJFTC Soldiers.
Directorate of Personnel and Community Activities (DPCA) The Directorate of Personnel and Community Activities (DPCA) serves as Human Resources Coordinator/Administrator for Camp Shelby Joint Forces Training Center (CSJFTC). Specific areas of responsibility involve management of personnel systems to include DEERS/RAPIDS. In support of CSJFTC mobilization and demobilization operations, the DPCA is the executive manager for the administrative portion of the Soldier Readiness Process (SRP) and has primary responsibility for Orders, Release from Active Duty (REFRAD) actions, Personnel Asset Inventory (PAI) and various other Personnel Actions as required. The DPCA verifies that mobilizing and demobilization units meet all personnel validation criteria for deployment including verification and validation of Soldiers for REFRAD upon redeployment. The DPCA is the administrator responsible for implementing procedures and systems to provide community support services to Soldiers, Family Members, Civilian Employees, and Retirees.
These services include a Family Assistance Center (FAC), Military & Family Life Consultants (MFLAC), an Education Center, Army Career and Alumni Program (ACAP), a Veterans Affairs (VA) representative, and a Sexual Harassment/Assault Response and Prevention (SHARP) Counselor. Resources and information coordinated and available through the assets listed above include financial counseling, exceptional family member, moving, deployment, employment, family matters, emergency relief, and survivor outreach.
DPCA Education Center
During the current mobilization mission, the Camp Shelby Education Center is a fully operational Army Continuing Education System (ACES) site and offers a full range of education programs and services. Academic and vocational counseling services are provided to Soldiers, family and community members on a walk-in or appointment basis. College programs and tuition assistance is provided through GoArmyEd, “The Army’s Virtual Gateway to Education – Anytime, Anywhere.” Soldiers and family members are provided with assistance in making application for all chapters of their GI BILL Benefits. Soldiers serving at Camp Shelby are provided with the full range of Army Personnel Testing (APT) to include Defense Language Proficiency Testing (DLPT), College credit testing is offered through the Defense Activity for Non-traditional Education Service (DANTES), Testing services offer Interest Inventory testing for our Soldiers and Family Members to assist in the career decision making process. Soldiers requiring assistance with mathematics and language components have access to online services. Soldiers demobilizing are briefed on education benefits and services. Mobilizing Soldiers are provided the opportunity to establish and education recor through “GoArmyEd” in the event deployed mission requirements allow online college class participation. Deployed Soldiers are provided with a Camp Shelby Education Center POC for assistance with any GoArmyEd issues during deployment.
Directorate of Plans, Training, Mobilization and Security (DPTMS)
The DPTMS is the gatekeeper for all scheduling, ARNGTS-Shelby unit orders processing and tracking to training activities of all units on Camp Shelby. DPTMS provides ranges and training areas to meet the requirements of training Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Marines. DPTMS supports commanders by providing the institutional knowledge necessary to assist unit planners in planning and executing required training. DPTMS also provides Anti-Terrorism and Force Protection support utilizing a combination of a dedicated Provost Marshal’s Office and a Security office to provide 24/7 security and control of forces at Camp Shelby.
Directorate of Logistics (DOL)
The Directorate of Logistics (DOL) is a customer service organization, which provides and coordinates a variety of services to include: ammunition, food service assistance, fuel, general supply assistance, maintenance support, subsistence, transportation, and annual training and IDT planning assistance and support. We stand ready to assist in meeting your logistical needs.
Camp Shelby DOL also supports Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Marines training at Camp Shelby to deploy overseas, as a primary National Guard and Reserve Mobilization Station. We provide mobilizing units with all installation level logistics support. We provide transportation support for personnel and equipment to deploy overseas, attend schools, as well as, local-in-and-around ground transportation. The Camp Shelby DOL provides and coordinates for the maintenance support of Unit Provided Training Equipment (UPTE) and Pre-deployment Training Package Equipment (PDTE). We also validate the maintenance readiness of deploying equipment. The Supply and Services Division of Camp Shelby DOL is the key provider of all supply activities and primary services required to sustain Soldiers while mobilizing through Camp Shelby.
Directorate of Public Works (DPW)
DPW provides garrison/facility general engineering, primarily maintenance, minor construction and utilities support to all permanent party, transient units and tenant activities conducting operations and training for Federal and State missions.
DPW provides overall responsibility for housing and billeting, 24/7 emergency services fire protection and prevention. DPW provides limited environmental engineering services in coordination with the Environmental Officer. DPW is responsible for reporting, investigating, and overseeing the cleanup of both fire and hazardous material incidents. DPW operates primarily with funding from the MSARNG facilities program (CFMO).
Directorate of Information Management (DOIM)
The DOIM at Camp Shelby provides information technology support in the areas of automation, networking and telecommunications to tenant activities and units training at Camp Shelby. The DOIM works with Command and DPW to plan and support necessary automation infrastructure upgrades as required.
Directorate of Resource Management (DRM)
DRM’s responsibility is to provide resource management and finance support operations to CSJFTC to support the mobilization mission. DRM also oversees the Camp Shelby Finance Office that provides military pay support to Mobilizing and Demobilizing Units and Garrison personnel at CSJFTC. We provide funding for home station expenses for units that mobilize to train at Camp Shelby and units demobilizing at Camp Shelby. We are governed by FORMDEPS, Camp Shelby mobilization plans, SOPs, DFAS regulations, policies and local policies.
The finance office was established to support the mobilization effort at CSJFTC. The Camp Shelby Finance Office has trained military pay technicians and contractors who provide pay support and advice to all service members as needed. Military pay support activities are governed by the Defense Military Pay Office ( DMPO) and DFAS military pay policies and regulations and local pay office SOPs. Some of the areas that we provide assistance with are the SRP/RSRP/SRC process, Eagle Cash Stored Value Card and Travel Vouchers. DRM is located in Bldg 1001, RM 246, CML 601-558-2691 and Camp Shelby Finance Office is located in Bldg 1441, CML 601-558-2553.
Public Affairs Office
The CSJFTC Public Affairs Office provides media support and training to all Camp Shelby directorates and tenant units through print and video media outlets. We take pride and honor in publishing the Soldier’s story as they mobilize through CSJFTC.
We provide media training to all mobilizing units as well as coordinate community relations events and cover Camp Shelby’s involvement with the community. CSJFTC PAO published Media Advisories, Press Releases and Hometown News Releases for various events and ceremonies that take place at Camp Shelby.
D.A. Photo Lab
The D.A. Photo Lab at CSJFTC is located at building 6519. To schedule an appointment, please visit the following website, http://www.vios.army.mil/ or you may contact the studio directly for additional information.
The CSJFTC Religious Support Team assists all commanders and their staffs in matters relating to religion, morals, ethics, morale and their impact on command programs, personnel, policies and procedures. Our team takes pride to develop, coordinate, and monitor those aspects of the CSJFTC overall mission which impacts the religious and moral needs of CSJFTC personnel. We continue to provide religious support to authorized personnel and families through chapel services, reintegration training, suicide prevention training, and memorial services as needed.
The mission of the CSJFTC Safety Office is to provide technical advice to the CSJFTC command and tenant units as needed in all safety related matters while managing the operation of the Safety Office and its programs. This includes ensuring distribution of safety related Army Regulations, Department of Defense Instructions, Department of the Army Pamphlets and corresponding National Guard publications are adhered to and executed as required. The safety office is responsible for the inspections of all buildings and facilities in accordance with current regulations and standards. The Safety Office ensures the compliance of Risk Assessments while monitoring and collecting accident and incident information to detect trends within post activities. The Safety mission continues through teaching safety by conducting mobilization and emobilization briefings and conducting Safety information presentations know as “Safety Thursday”. These presentations are normally scheduled on the last Thursday of every month and resourced with local and national safety professionals. The Safety Office conducts a Motorcycle Basic Rider and Experienced Rider safety course, offered monthly to assist Soldiers in meeting the DOD motorcycle rider requirements.
Joint Visitors Bureau
Camp Shelby’s Joint Visitors Bureau (JVB) has full responsibility for the total spectrum of planning, reception, billeting, transportation and subsistence arrangements and coordination of Distinguished Visitors (DVs) ranging from local, state and federal officials to four star general officers of all US Joint Forces (including Allied Forces) and foreign dignitaries as well. The JVB serves as the Special Staff advisor and consultant on all protocol matters to the CSJFTC Commander and Senior Staff. We provide technical, administrative, guidance and assistance to Installation Directors, Special Staff, subordinate commands and tenant organizations to assist the commanders in fulfilling protocol/DV mission requirements. Also advises the commander and staff on military customs, courtesies, US Army organizations, missions, history, and policies.
The mission of the Environmental Office is to accomplish the military mission while conserving, protecting, and preserving our natural and cultural resources. Proper environmental management and stewardship are not only necessary to comply with federal, state and local regulations, but by integrating environmental considerations into all activities, allocating resources and training, and minimizing waste generation, they serve as a first line defense for the future of the mission training.
Joint Force Headquarters Mississippi National Guard-J4
Provide those functions of a G4 and Directorate of Logistics for all units and activities of the MSARNG concerning supply, services, transportation, and maintenance functions. Provide supervisory oversight to all round maintenance shops of the state, i.e. MATES and RSMS, CONSOLIDATED CLASS IX ACTIVITY.
Provide Class IX support (ground) to all units and maintenance activities of the MS Army National Guard. Class IX support is exclusive of an 840 line Authorized Stockage List (ASL), Integrated Sustainment Maintenance (ISM) support, Class IX Turn-in, Class IX status, and Class IX reconciliation support as authorized by the Adjutant General.
177th Armored Brigade
The 177th Armored Brigade mobilizes, trains, validates, deploys and demobilizes Reserve Component units IAW Combatant Commander, Department of the Army, Forces Command, First Army, and Division East directives at Camp Shelby Joint Forces Training Center in order to support overseas contingency operations. When directed, provides training to Joint, Interagency, Combined, and Active Army Forces.
The 177th Armored Brigade is an Operations Brigade in First Army Division East. Our role in the training process is similar to that of the Operations Groups at our maneuver Combat Training Centers (NTC, JRTC, and JMRC). We plan, coordinate and synchronize the mobilization and training plan that units will conduct both prior to arrival at the mobilization training center and after. Along with 158th Infantry Brigade, our sister unit here at Camp Shelby, and other training formations we assist the unit in completing all deployment training requirements. During execution, our key responsibilities are battle command training and culminating training events. Upon completion of training but before deployment, we validate the mobilized unit's training status and readiness against the Army or DOD standard. Finally, we synchronize and supervise the demobilization process when reserve component units return home from deployment.
All in-processing is conducted at Camp Shelby, Building 632, Monday thru Friday between 0900-1700 hours. Finance in-processing is conducted on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 1300 hours. Soldiers should hand-carry their 201 file, finance packet, medical/dental records (to include family member records) when reporting to Building 632. Soldiers should have an updated DA photo, ID card, physical, and military driver’s license taken prior to their departing their current duty station. Personnel and Finance service support is provided by Ft. Rucker, AL. The nearest military facility is Keesler Air Force Base located 90 miles south in Biloxi, MS.
Contact the Brigade S-1office at 1-800-704-3175 ext. 3044 for additional information. For reporting Soldiers needing housing assistance, there is a government leased housing program available in the local area with a limited number of quarters. Upon receipt of PCS orders, Soldiers can contract the Brigade Housing Representative, at 601-558-2119 or 601-297-3602 to obtain additional information. Soldiers are free to buy, rent, or lease on their own, but must contact BDE housing before entering into any purchase or lease contract. Hattiesburg is experiencing great growth and housing prices are reasonable. Rental property is limited due to the large university student population and may be difficult to find during school months. Since there are no Military Treatment Facilities (MTF) in the immediate area, most families enroll in TRICARE Prime and use the network in Hattiesburg.
There is no cost for enrollment by Active Duty family members, but co-pays for each visit apply. The Brigade has one of the best networks in the country established in Hattiesburg and you will save time and money if you learn the rules that apply. If in TRICARE Prime already, do NOT un-enroll. Once you arrive, in-process through the Brigade Medical Advisor, to transfer to this region. Also, TRICARE Prime Remote covers all active military stationed and living more than 50 miles outside the nearest MTF in much the same way as family members. There are no co-pays for active military; however, you must follow Prime rules. Contact the BDE medical advisor at 1-800-704-3175, ext. 3047 for additional information.
158th Infantry Brigade
The Mission of the 158th Infantry Brigade, Training Support Battalion is to mobilize, train, validate and deploy Reserved Component (RC) and National Guard (NG) units IAW Combatant Commanders, HQDA, FORSCOM, 1st Army, and 1st Army Division East directives at Camp Shelby Joint Forces Training Center in order to prepare units for combat operations. When directed by 1st Army Division East, provides training over-sight and support to enhance USARNG and Reserve units’ readiness for wartime requirements.
The Brigade and the headquarters detachment is a multi-component organization with approximately 1,100 personnel made up of more than 600 full time Soldiers, 400 Reserve Soldiers and 13 Department of the Army Civilians. The chain of command is Col. Christopher S. Forbes, Brigade Commander and Sgt. Maj. Robert G. Todd, Brigade Sergeant Major. “One Standard"
UNITS: 158th Infantry Brigade is comprised of nine subordinate battalions:
- 1-305th Armored Battalion
- 2-305th Field Artillery Battalion
- 3-315th Engineer Battalion
- 2-351st Infantry Battalion
- 2-346th Combat Service Support
- 3-346th Combat Service Support
- 3-347th Combat Service Support
- 2-348th Combat Service Support
- 3-348th Combat Service Support
The Mississippi National Guard Youth Challenge Academy
The Mississippi National Guard Youth Challenge Academy is a 17-month program, which offers at-risk adolescents and community involvement projects are stressed through an opportunity to change their future in many ways, culminating with the opportunity to obtain a GED and possibly an adult high school diploma. The initial program consists of a 22-week residential phase, during which cadets learn self-discipline, leadership and responsibility. Participants live and work in a controlled military environment, which encourages teamwork and personal growth.
A second 12-month post-residential phase consists of helping enroll students in continued education, a technical school program, an entry-level job, or a branch of the military. Students are matched with a volunteer mentor from the community and a Challenge-trained individual during the post residential phase.
Students who are 16-18 years of age and who have dropped out of school are eligible to apply. Qualified applicants must be a resident of Mississippi, free from drugs, have no felony convictions, and most importantly, have a desire to complete the rigorous program. The Challenge Academy is entirely voluntary and no one is court-ordered to attend.
Students who are accepted are called “cadets” and are enrolled in the Challenge Academy. The curriculum combines classroom work, community service, physical training, and challenging individual and team activities into one unique experience, which revolves around the academy’s eight-core components. Life-coping skills, educational excellence, job skills and training, responsible citizenship, leadership/follower skills, health, hygiene, physical fitness, and community involvement projects are stressed through-out the program to encourage personal growth and development.
Successful graduates of the academy earn a certificate of attendance, and in addition may earn a high school equivalency diploma (GED) and an adult high school diploma. Additionally, selected cadets earn college credits through William Carey University or national certification in trades areas such as electrical, welding, carpentry, masonry, or plumbing. Selected cadets also earn various computer certifications through Microsoft. Other skilled trades areas are also being considered for future classes.”
The 22-week residential phase takes place at Camp Shelby. Students live in military barracks and have access to a variety of classroom and training resources. Students are supervised at all times and must remain at the Challenge Academy unless participating in an authorized off-post activity. All personal needs such as meals, bedding, and uniforms are provided at no cost to the participants.
Although there is no cost to participants or their families for this program, students who are accepted are required to furnish toiletries as well as specific personal clothing items.
The Mississippi National Guard Challenge Program is managed and supervised by trained National Guard and retired military personnel and employs Mississippi-licensed teachers and counselors/social workers. A teacher/student ratio of 1 to 19 or less is maintained in the classroom.
Additional support staff includes medical personnel, administrative staff, placement counselors and volunteers.
Housing & Billeting
Two of the many missions of CSJFTC are to manage the base billeting operations and offer a variety of programs to meet your recreational and leisure time needs. The base billeting operation has 400 maid service bed spaces in nine different areas and our goal is to provide you clean, quality quarters during your stay.
Camp Shelby has troop billets capable of housing over 9,000 personnel during training events, mobilization and demobilization of The scale of training activities on Camp Shelby, your length of stay and the timeliness of your request for quarters dictates if quarters Camp Shelby does not have family housing or BOQ/BEQ facilities for permanent party personnel. Please contact the Billeting Office personnel for more information.
All Ranks Club
The All Ranks Club is overlooking beautiful Lake Walker. The CSJFTC All Ranks Club is open to the public and all soldiers and civilians are welcome to dine with us. The dining is open Monday through Friday from 11:00 a.m. until 1:30 p.m. Full service dining is available to include soup and salad bar, burgers, sandwiches and daily specials. Kilroy’s Bunker Bar and Grill located inside the All Ranks Club is open Monday through Friday 4:00 p.m. - 11:00 p.m. (extended days during Annual Training season), the kitchen hours are 4:00 p.m. - 11:00 p.m. featuring appetizers, burgers, salads, sandwiches, and plate dinners. Kilroy’s has large screen TV’s and a game room. The All Ranks Club offers a variety of services for conferences, receptions, socials, meetings and formal dinners. Contact the club manager for special event information 601-558-2749.
Getting Here - Driving
Camp Shelby is approximately 12 miles south of Hattiesburg, Mississippi. Directions and distances are noted below:
* Gulfport, MS (the MS Gulf Coast) - approximately 60 miles. Take Hwy. 49 North to the Camp Shelby exits.
* Jackson, MS - approximately 108 miles. Take Hwy. 49 South to the Camp Shelby exits.
* New Orleans, LA - approximately 124 miles. Take I-10 East to I-59 North (follow signs for Hattiesburg); then take Hwy. 98 East exit (Mobile Exit); finally, take Hwy. 49 South to Camp Shelby exits.
* Mobile, AL - approximately 78 miles. Take Hwy. 98 East to Hwy. 49; take Hwy. 49 South to the Camp Shelby exits.
* Birmingham, AL - approximately 253 miles. Take I-20 West then take I-59 South. Take the Hwy. 98 exit East (towards Mobile) then take Hwy. 49 South to the Camp Shelby exits.
Mileages (except the mileage to the City limits) used 1001 Lee Ave., Camp Shelby as the Camp Shelby location.
Flying - Airports
Hattiesburg-Laurel Regional Airport
(Just north of Hattiesburg off I-59) Southern Mississippi’s gateway to the world, the Hattiesburg-Laurel Regional Airport (PIB) serves a ten-county region from its convenient location off I-59, just 12 miles from Hattiesburg. The Airport’s 6,500 - foot lighted runway can easily handle small private aircraft and also aircraft as large as a Boeing 757 and most military transports.1102 Terminal Dr., Moselle, MS 39459, www.flypib.com/, 601-545-3111. Flight Arrival/Baggage Info: 601-544-0604, U.S. Aviation, 601-544-0951
Bobby L. Chain Municipal Airport www.flyhbg.com/ 601-544-8661.
Other nearby airports:
- Birmingham-Shuttlesworth International Airport (BHM) - www.bhamintlairport.com/
- Gulfport-Biloxi International Airport (GPT) - www.flygpt.com/
- Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport (MSY) - www.flymsy.com
- Jackson-Evers International Airport (JAN) - http://www.jmaa.com/
- Mobile Regional Airport, (MOB) - www.mobairport.com/