Fort Stewart is the largest US Army post in the Eastern United States. Located about 42m south-west of Savannah in Georgia, the base includes Hunter Army Airfield as a subordinate installation. Fort Stewart and Hunter Army Airfield are home to 3rd Infantry Division.
Fort Stewart is the most strategic training base east of the Mississippi. It occupies 279,270 acres of area and stretches into Liberty, Long, Tattnall, Evans and Bryan counties in southeast Georgia. Fort Stewart consists of drop zones, impact areas, field artillery, helicopter gunnery, tank and armoured fighting vehicle gunnery ranges, and small arms live-fire ranges.
Fort Stewart history
In June 1940 Congress authorised funding to acquire land in coastal Georgia for an anti-aircraft artillery training centre. The first 5,000 acres were purchased in July 1940 and eventually 280,000 acres were acquired for the firing ranges and impact areas.
The training centre was officially renamed as Camp Stewart in November 1940. The new designation was officially announced in January 1941. Camp Stewart was one of the prisoners of war (POW) camps for German and Italian soldiers captured during World War II.
Camp Stewart became a separation centre for redeployed soldiers after the war and subsequently closed in September 1945. The base was reopened in August 1950 and facilities were upgraded to train National Guard troops during the Korean War.
The base was redesignated as Fort Stewart in March 1956 and renamed the Armour and Artillery Firing Centre in 1959. In response to the Cuban missile crisis, the 1st Armoured Division was moved to Fort Stewart in October 1962 and base population raised from 3,500 to more than 30,000.
Hunter Air Force Base was transferred to the Army during the Vietnam conflict. The base provided helicopter flight training for Vietnamese pilots from 1970 to 1972.
The base facilities were upgraded and old wooden structures replaced with new buildings when the 1st Brigade of the 24th Infantry Division was activated in October 1974.
Fort Stewart hosted many National Guard and Reserve units during the invasion of Kuwait. The 3rd Infantry Division was activated at the base in April 1996.
Garrison facilities at Hunter Army Airfield
Fort Stewart / Hunter AAF houses approximately 21,000 active duty members, 29,500 family members and more than 3,500 personnel, including civilian employees and National Guard Soldiers. About 18,200 retired persons also live in the vicinity of the base.
The Stewart / Hunter Military Complex provides garrison support and services. The garrison command manages the daily operations of the installation. The major unit assigned to the base was the 3rd Infantry Division.
Other tenant units based at Fort Stewart are 188th Infantry Brigade, 75th Ranger Regiment, 15th Air Force Support Operations Squadron, 92nd Engineer Battalion and 117th Air Control Squadron.
The military housing units at Fort Stewart and Hunter Army Airfield are operated by Balfour Beatty Communities. Garrison facilities include a commissary, exchange, Morale, Welfare and Recreation (MWR) facilities, clubs, bowling centres and golf courses.
Hunter Army Airfield air facilities
Hunter Army Airfield at Savannah is spread over 5,400 acres. The airfield features a Truscott air deployment terminal and an 11,375ft long asphalt paved runway on the east coast. Hunter also features a 1.4 km² of aircraft parking area.
The airfield is home to CGAS Savannah, one of the largest helicopter units in the Coast Guard.
It provides yearlong search and rescue (SAR) coverage along the 450m coastal line from the northern border of South Carolina to Melbourne.
About 5,000 soldiers are currently stationed at the airfield.
The major divisional units assigned are the 3rd Aviation Brigade and 603rd Aviation Support Battalion.
The non-divisional units include 260th Quartermaster Battalion, 3rd Battalion, 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment and 224th Military Intelligence Battalion.
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