Wednesday, July 18, 2007


I was doing a little research the other day on Camp Shelby, and discovered this...

Today marks the 90th anniversary of Camp Shelby, which is located just south of Hattiesburg, Mississippi on Highway 49 South. Camp Shelby is the largest state-owned and operated field training site in the nation. It was carced out of a pine forest (760,000 acres of land) in parts of Forrest and Perry counties just three months after the U.S. Congress declared war on Germany on April 6, 1917. It was built in the summer of 1917 as a World War I training post.

In 1917 after Congress declared war on Germany soldiers began to arive for training and in 1918 at the war's end the camp was deactivated and most buildings were demolished.

In 1939 a second global conflict erupted in Europe and Camp Shelby was reactivated.

In the 1940's Camp Shelby was described as Mississippi's second-largest city. During six years of wartime operation, it was the training grounds for an estimated three-quarters to one million troops, it had 28 chapels, 486 mess halls and a 3,390 bed hospital. During World War II it was the second-largest military training base in the country after Fort Bening, in both troop capacity and geographic size.

Camp Shelby was deactiveted in 1946 and eight years later it was designated a field training camp for approximately 6,000 ground troops of the Mississippi National Guard units.

In 1956 it was designated a permanent Army training site, and in 1958 Congress funded construction of the cinder block barracks to replace tent housing for troops used in the 1950's.

From 1990 to 1991 approximately 4,300 troops trained at the camp for Operation Desert Storn and it remained primarily a Mississippi National Guard training base until its activation in 2004 as Mobilazation Center Shelby to prepare troops for the War on Terrorism.

In 2004 Camp Shelby became one of only two National Guard Installations in the country to be named mobilization centers for the First U.S. Army. Over 40,000 Army troops have trained and deployed at Camp Shelby for the Global War on Terrorism.

An estimated 100,000 Army National Guard and Reserve Soldiers come through Camp Shelby each year for annual training and to attend its full-time school for military personnel.

The most recent addition to Camp Shelby include a new airstrip for the Boeing C-17 Globemaster, which is the Air Force's newest cargo aircraft. The Mississippi Air National Guard uses the C-17 to deliver troops, equipment and supplies into combat zones and medevac out injured soldiers.

As of this date, more than 600 Mississippi National Guard Soldiers and Airmen are supporting military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan.


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Aleksandr V. Ivantsov