Fort Dix is a US military installation located in Burlington County, New Jersey, US. Established in 1917, it was made a permanent garrison and named Fort Dix in 1939. The primary mission of the fort is to mobilise, train and deploy army troops. It also provides financial, administrative and logical support. It is a major training centre for the Reserve Component Soldiers and includes the Army Reserve and National Guard.
Fort Dix is part of Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst (JB MDL), an installation made up of McGuire Air Force Base and Naval Air Engineering Station Lakehurst.
Spread over 32,000 acres, the fort incorporates several built-up areas including cantonment, housing and hospitals.
During World War I, the fort was used mainly as a training and staging ground before it became the largest military installation in the north-east. After the war, the camp became a demobilisation centre. During World War II, several army divisions and smaller units were trained at the base. After the war, the base operated as a separation centre.
During the Vietnam War, Fort Dix underwent rapid expansion, including the construction of a mock Vietnam village. The base became part of the US Army Training and Doctrine Command in July 1973. The Base Realignment and Closure Commission (BRAC) recommendations of 1988 resulted in the end of active army training at the fort.
In December 1995 the fort deployed troops for peace missions in Bosnia. In October 1997 Fort Dix was transferred to the United States Army Reserve Command from Forces Command.
The 2005 BRAC recommendations prompted changes at the fort, including the establishment of a Northeast Regional Readiness Command Headquarters, a Sustainment Brigade and the relocation of the headquarters of the 78th Division. The 244th Aviation Brigade was also relocated to the base.
The construction of the base started in June 1917 and was completed within a year. On 21 May 2010 it was announced that the fort will receive $10.1m in federal funds to improve a key training facility at the base. The construction will include a multi-purpose machine gun range. The funds are expected to be released in September 2010.
The fort is home to the 72nd Field Artillery Brigade, the 2nd Brigade, 75th Division and the 99th Regional Support Command. The fort also features the USCG Atlantic Strike Team, the US Air Force Expeditionary Center, the Military Entrance Processing Station and the NCO Academy.
Around 13,500 people either live or work at the garrison each day. More than 15,000 troops are trained at the base during weekends.
The US Coast Guard’s Atlantic Strike Team (AST) is based at the fort. The AST is a part of the Department of Homeland Security.
The fort also features other sub-installations including the Charles E Kelly Support Facility in Oakdale, Pennsylvania, and the Devens Reserve Forces Training Area in Ayer, Massachusetts.
The Fort Dix Federal Correctional Institution (FCI) is a prison located inside the camp. It is a low-security installation for male inmates and the single largest federal prison in the US. The FCI houses 4,310 inmates. Another minimum security satellite camp houses an additional 426 inmates.
United Communities manages the community housing. There are 848 houses for McGuire Air Force Base and Fort Dix. The facilities also include a community centre.