Fort Drum

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This article is about the U.S. Army base in New York State. For the neighborhood in Richmond, Virginia, see Pine Camp, Richmond. For other places with a similar name, see Fort Drum (disambiguation).
Fort Drum
Watertown, New York
Rifle range fort drum, new york.jpg
Marksmanship training at Fort Drum
Type Army post
Site information
Controlled by U.S. Army
Site history
Built 1908
In use 1908-present
Garrison information
Garrison 10th Mountain Division
Fort Drum, New York
CDP
Fort Drum, New York is located in New York
Fort Drum, New York
Fort Drum, New York
Location within the state of New York
Coordinates: 44°2′17″N 75°45′29″W / 44.03806°N 75.75806°W / 44.03806; -75.75806Coordinates: 44°2′17″N 75°45′29″W / 44.03806°N 75.75806°W / 44.03806; -75.75806[1]
Country United States
State New York
County Jefferson
Area
 • Total 25.4 sq mi (66 km2)
 • Land 25.3 sq mi (66 km2)
 • Water 0.1 sq mi (0.3 km2)
Population (2010)
 • Total 12,955
 • Density 510/sq mi (200/km2)
Time zone Eastern (EST) (UTC-5)
 • Summer (DST) EDT (UTC-4)
ZIP codes 13602-13603
Area code(s) 315
FIPS code 36-26759

Fort Drum is a census-designated place and U.S. Army military reservation in Jefferson County, New York, United States. The population was 12,955 at the 2010 census. It is home to the 10th Mountain Division.

Fort Drum consists of 107,265 acres (434 km²).[2] Its mission includes command of active component units assigned to the installation, provide administrative and logistical support to tenant units, support to tenant units, support to active and reserve units from all services in training at Fort Drum, and planning and support for the mobilization and training of almost 80,000 troops annually.

History[edit]

This section of the article incorporates text taken from a public-domain document prepared by the US military.[3]

A portion of the present Fort Drum was purchased for use as a military training site since 1908, when it was named Pine Camp. However, the army's presence in the North Country may be traced back to the early 19th century.

In 1809 a company of infantry soldiers was stationed at Sackett's Harbor to enforce the Embargo Act and control smuggling between northern New York and Canada. Following the outbreak of the War of 1812, Sackett's Harbor became the center of United States naval and military activity for the Upper St. Lawrence River valley and Lake Ontario.

During the 1830s and 1840s, the Lower Canada Rebellion in Canada prompted a new round of military preparations and Madison Barracks became the home of artillery units.

Beginning in 1959 testing of agent orange, on over 1000 acres, began at Fort Drum.[4] Several U.S. communities at or near Agent Orange manufacturing or storage sites continue to report dioxin levels above recommended safety standards, including Fort Drum. [5]

Pine Camp[edit]

In 1908, Major General Frederick Dent Grant was sent to the Pine Camp region to train with 2,000 regulars and 8,000 militia. Grant, the son of former US president and Civil War general Ulysses S. Grant, found Pine Plains to be ideal for military exercises. In 1909 the military allocated funds to purchase land to form Pine Camp, and summer training continued here through the years.

The camp's first introduction to the national spotlight came in 1935 when the largest peacetime maneuvers were held on Pine Plains and surrounding farm lands. Approximately 36,500 soldiers came from throughout the Northeast to take part in the exercise. Some soldiers traveled by trains which arrived in town every 15 minutes, coming from as far away as Buffalo, New York and New York City. For 36 hours, young men from offices, factories, and farms marched, attacked and defended in tactical exercises on the 100 miles (160 km) the army had leased for its war games. The maneuvers were judged to be most successful and the War Department purchased another 9,000 acres (36 km²) of land.

LeRay Mansion[edit]

Main article: LeRay Mansion

The LeRay Mansion, built in the early 19th century, was named after James LeRay de Chaumont. Throughout the years the mansion served as a post commander's quarters, visiting dignitaries' quarters and a location for formal military receptions. Today the mansion is used to house high ranking visitors, which has encouraged the continued upkeep of the mansion. The LeRay Mansion is registered with the National Register of Historic Places.[6]

World War II expansion[edit]

With the outbreak of World War II, Pine Camp was selected for a major expansion. An additional 75,000 acres (304 km²) of land was purchased, displacing 525 local families. Five entire villages were eliminated, while others were reduced from one-third to one-half their size.

By Labor Day, 1941, 100 tracts of land were taken over. Three thousand buildings, including 24 schools, 6 churches and a post office were abandoned. Contractors then went to work, and in a period of 10 months at a cost of $20 million, an entire city was built to house the divisions scheduled to train here.

Eight hundred buildings were constructed; 240 barracks, 84 mess halls, 86 storehouses, 58 warehouses, 27 officers' quarters, 22 headquarters buildings, and 99 recreational buildings as well as guardhouses and a hospital. Construction workers paid the price, as the winter of 1941-42 was one of the coldest in North Country history.

The three divisions to train at Pine Camp included the 4th Armored Division (Gen. Creighton Abrams was a battalion commander there at the time), the 45th Infantry Division (United States) and the 5th Armored Division.

The post also served as a prisoner of war camp for captured Italian and German troops. Of prisoners who died here, one Italian and six Germans are buried in the Sheepfold Cemetery near Remington Pond.

Pine Camp became Camp Drum in 1951, named after Lieutenant General Hugh A. Drum who was chief of staff of the First United States Army during World War I. During and after the Korean War a number of units were stationed and trained here to take advantage of the terrain and climate.

Formation of Fort Drum[edit]

In 1974, a permanent garrison was assigned and Camp Drum was renamed Fort Drum. In April 1980, B Company, 76th Engineer Battalion (Combat Heavy) was reassigned from Fort Meade, Maryland. It was followed by the rest of the battalion, with the exception of D Company, three years later.

On September 11, 1984, the announcement was made that Fort Drum would be the new home of the 10th Light Infantry Division. Its mission is to be manned and trained to deploy rapidly by air, sea, and land anywhere in the world, prepared to fight upon arrival and win. The first of the division's troops arrived at Fort Drum on December 3, 1984 and the unit was officially activated on February 13, 1985. The name was changed to the 10th Mountain Division (Light Infantry) at that time. The division reached full strength in 1989.

Between 1986 and 1992, 130 new buildings, 35 miles (56 km) of roads, and 4,272 sets of family quarters were built at a cost of $1.3 billion.

On June 4, 1985, the identity of a roundout brigade was announced that would be composed of Army National Guard battalions. Units from the New York Army National Guard from central and northern New York under the 27th Infantry Brigade made the roundout brigade.

On June 28, 1985, the 76th Engineer Battalion was inactivated.

Fort Drum is currently being looked at as the location of a proposed Eastern United States missile defense site.[7]

Current units[edit]

2nd Battalion, 87th Infantry Regiment
1st Battalion, 32nd Infantry Regiment
3-71 Cavalry
3rd Brigade Special Troops Battalion
4-25 Field Artillery
710th Brigade Support Battalion

Geography[edit]

According to the United States Census Bureau, the CDP has a total area of 25.4 square miles (65.7 km²), of which, 25.3 square miles (65.4 km²) of it is land and 0.1 square miles (0.2 km²) of it (0.35%) is water.

The military reservation occupies a large tract in the eastern part of Jefferson County, including parts of the Towns of Antwerp, Leray, Philadelphia, and Wilna. Several villages in the county are on the border of Fort Drum: Antwerp, Black River, Carthage, Evans Mills, and Philadelphia. The nearest city is Watertown, New York which is the service and shopping destination for the fort's personnel.

The Indian and Black Rivers flow along part of the reservation boundary.

Demographics[edit]

As of the census[8] of 2000, there were 12,123 people, 2,253 households, and 2,203 families residing in the CDP. The population density was 479.8 per square mile (185.2/km²). There were 2,280 housing units at an average density of 90.2/sq mi (34.8/km²). The racial makeup of the CDP was 64.2% White, 19.8% African American, 0.8% Native American, 2.4% Asian, 0.7% Pacific Islander, 7.6% from other races, and 4.5% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 13.3% of the population.

There were 2,253 households of which 75.3% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 91.9% were married couples living together, 4.3% had a female householder with no husband present, and 2.2% were non-families. Of all households, 2.0% were made up of individuals and none had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 3.33 and the average family size was 3.36.

In the CDP the population was spread out with 24.9% under the age of 18, 37.5% from 18 to 24, 36.0% from 25 to 44, 1.5% from 45 to 64, and 0.1% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 22 years. For every 100 females there were 186.9 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 235.4 males.

The median income for a household in the CDP was $31,699, and the median income for a family was $31,202. Males had a median income of $19,779 versus $19,401 for females. The per capita income for the CDP was $13,395. About 6.3% of families and 6.2% of the population were below the poverty line, including 6.8% of those under age 18 and none of those age 65 or over.

Employment[edit]

Fort Drum is made up of 107,265 acres with both on post and off post jobs and housing. Some job opportunities include day care providers, school teachers, nurses and custodial workers. There is also a Teen-In-Hire program that helps teens in school obtain jobs. Housing is more difficult to obtain on post because of rapid number of families moving to the North country. When families are unable to get a house they are sent to stay at the Fort Drum Inn, cottages, guest house, cabins or the LeRay Mansion. These facilities are under the care of Fort Drum Lodging.

Entertainment[edit]

The 10th Mountain Division band plays in local concerts year round.

References[edit]

External links[edit]