Fayetteville/Fort Bragg/ Sandhills NC

VOL6 ISS2 2016

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THE ORIGINAL RELOCATION GUIDE — FAYETTEVILLE | FORT BRAGG | SANDHILLS REGION VOLUME 6 — ISSUE 2 32 FORT BRAGG BY STUART JAMES Fort Bragg, North Carolina is home to one of the largest and busiest military complexes in the world. More than 55,000 military service members and over 12,000 civilian personnel work at Fort Bragg, with about 25,000 family members also in residence. It is perhaps best known as being home-base to over 10 percent of the Army's active forces with America's Airborne and Special Operations Forces and the Army's largest support command, Forces Command, all rolled in to an installation that covers about 161,000 acres, or 251 square miles, stretching into six counties. Since its beginning in 1918, the climate in this region of the state was perfect for the Army's needs plus it had an added bonus of an adequate water supply and rail facilities. The 82d Airborne Division was assigned to Fort Bragg in 1946 upon its return from WWII, but it wasn't until 1951 that the camp became widely known as the "home of the airborne" when the XVIII Airborne Corps was reactivated. The America's Contingency Corps is a strategic crisis response force ready to deploy rapidly by air, sea, and land anywhere in the world at a moment's notice and is also in residence on the base. By population Fort Bragg is the largest US Army base housing not only the XVIII Airborne Corps, the 82nd Airborne Division, the U.S. Army Special Operations Command and 1st Corps Support Command, but also the U.S. Army Parachute Team (the Golden Knights), the 44th Medical Command, XVIII Airborne Corps Artillery, 18th Aviation Brigade, 35th Signal Brigade, and more. Of course Fort Bragg is more than just military response. The troops also answer calls to natural catastrophes throughout the world, bringing supplies and relief to assist victims of earthquakes, floods or other large-scale disasters. But even "everything military" doesn't last forever as the base saw the last of the 440th Airlift Wing C-130H leave Fort Bragg this past summer as the Air Force decided to close the North Carolina based unit marking an end to an era for many. "This airplane, when it leaves here, is the end of the legacy for the 440th here at Pope," said Lt. Col. John Gorse, 440th Operations Group commander. "We're all going to miss it. We want to go out of here with honor, because right now we carry the flag of the 440th and all the Airmen that have worked here." On June 29th, the 440th Airlift Wing's final C-130 Hercules aircraft departed Pope Army Airfield during a small sendoff ceremony, signifying a major step towards the historic unit's inactivation. The decision to close the FORT BRAGG 440th Airlift Wing will make it necessary for Fort Bragg paratrooper units to now use outside air crews for their airborne training. There's still plenty to see and do at Fort Bragg. The 82nd Airborne Division War Memorial Museum tells the history of the 82nd from WWI to today. The museum offers free admission, a main exhibit gallery, a four-story tall theater, video theater and a motion simulator ride. It is located in Historic Downtown Fayetteville on the corner of Bragg Boulevard and Hay Street, adjacent to the city's Freedom Memorial Park and the new North Carolina Veteran's Park. The main gallery is a self- guided tour through the history of the airborne and special operations soldiers from 1940 to the present. Anytime is a great time to visit the museum. If you have a real history buff in the family you can't pass up the JFK Special Warfare Museum with a history of the Special Forces and psychological operations. The museum collection is comprised of many one-of-a-kind items acquired by teams in Vietnam, Africa and Burma. The Museum also has an extensive World War I and II propaganda poster collection. You'll find displays on such diverse units as the U.S. Army Indian Scouts in the 19th Century, the Office of Strategic Services, 1st Special Service Force to Merrill's Marauders in World War II. It also showcases the Airborne Ranger Companies, the United Nations Partisan Infantry Force and PsyWar units' involvement in Korea as well as Special Forces actions in Laos and Vietnam. >> historic, patriotic, community-spirited

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