Category talk:Military installations of the United States in Panama

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
WikiProject Military history (Rated Category-Class)
MILHIST This category is within the scope of the Military history WikiProject. If you would like to participate, please visit the project page, where you can join the project and see a list of open tasks. To use this banner, please see the full instructions.
Cat Categories do not require a rating on the quality assessment scale.

You have forgotten several major facilities in the former Panama Canal Zone.

Bases located on the Caribbean or northern side of the isthmus of Panama.[edit]

Fort Gulick In May 1962, the advance party from Company D, 7th Special Forces Group, Fort Bragg, NC, departed for Fort Gulick, Panama, in the Canal Zone, to establish the 8th Special Forces Group. The 8th was the US Army's only full Special Action Force. In addition to line Special Forces companies, the SAF included a Military Intelligence detachment, a Medical detachment, a Military Police detachment, an Engineer detachment, a Security Agency detachment, and a Psychological Operations battalion. 8th Group was deactivated in 1972 and the unit reverted back as the 3rd Battalion, 7th Special Forces Group. The Bn. was later moved to Fort Davis, then to Puerto Rico, and is now at Fort Bragg, NC. Plans now exist for the entire 7th Group to move the Hurlburt Field in Florida in support of the Southern Command. The School of the Americas also operated a campus at this base until 1984. That building is now a Hotel Melia. The fort was ceded to Panama in the early 80's and became Ft. Espinar. That forced the move of the SF Bn. After the 1989 invasion of Panama the fort was reactivated by the US as Fort Gulick/Espinar but was disestablished in September 1995.

Fort Davis In the 1970's was the home of the 4/10th Mech Inf Bn and later became the home of the 3/7th SFG(A) with the ceding of Fort Gulick in the early 80's back to the Republic of Panama as the result of the Torrijos-Carter Treaties. Between October 1998 and July 1999, U.S. Army South began to move its headquarters and operations to Fort Buchanan, in San Juan, Puerto Rico, in October 1998 and lowered the flag at Fort Clayton 30 July 1999. As did the 3/7th SFG(A).

Fort Sherman Construction of Fort Sherman began in January 1912 as a phase of the original 1910 defensive plans. Fort Sherman was named by War Department General Order No. 153 dated November 24, 1911, in honor of General William Tecumseh Sherman.

Bases located on the Pacific or southern side of the isthmus.[edit]

Fort Amador For many years Building 1 of Fort Amador was the Headquarters of the 193rd Infantry Brigade until it was ceded back to the Republic of Panama and became the PDF HQ. The HQ for the 193rd moved to Fort Clayton in the late 70’s after the Torrijos-Carter Treaties. U.S. Army South moved its headquarters to Fort Buchanan, in San Juan, Puerto Rico, between October 1998 and July 1999. The largest U.S. Army unit based in the Canal Zone was the 193rd Infantry Brigade (Light), a mixed parachute-infantry/air-assault-capable light infantry unit. It was disbanded in 1994 during the Clinton Administration.

Howard AFB In 1937 the necessity for an additional air field in the Canal Zone arose and the most suitable site was in the Venado River Valley, a part of Fort Kobbe. An airstrip, known as Bruja Point Air Base, was built and later redesignated as Howard Field. Henry H. "Hap" Arnold, chose what is now Howard AFB and even suggested the name Howard Field, in honor of Major Charles H. Howard, who died in an air crash on Oct. 25, 1936. On Oct. 1, 1963 the Air Force officially reclaimed Howard from the Army and the base has played the central role in US military operations in Latin America ever since, largely due to its 8500-foot runway and its status as the only jet capable US air field south of the Rio Grande. DoD elements began to drawn down at the beginning of 1999 and by 01 November 1999, the 24th Wing was inactivated and all air assets were removed from the base. Control of the canal changed hands 31 December 1999, from the United States to Panama.

Fort Kobbe was adjacent to Howard AFB. Originally named Fort Bruja it was redesignated as Fort Kobbe on 15 April 1932 to honor Major General William A. Kobbe, an artillery officer who played a prominent role with the U.S. Forces during the Philippine Insurrection. The 193rd Infantry Brigade was activated on 8 August 1962 at Fort Kobbe, Canal Zone as a mobile force for swift intervention in case of trouble in Latin America. The brigade initially included three infantry battalions, one of which was an airborne unit, the 3rd Bn. 508th Infantry. On 26 JUNE 1968 the airborne battalion was replaced by the 3rd of the 5th Infantry Battalion with A Company, the lone Airborne Company. After 1968 the brigade consisted of three infantry battalions and a Special Forces Group which was reduced to a Bn. Brigade headquarters were at Fort Clayton, Panama.

Rodman Naval Station “Built in 1943, the 600-acre U.S. Naval Station Panama Canal (Rodman Naval Station) provided fuel, provisions and other support to military ships passing through the Panama Canal. Until its March 11, 1999 handover to Panama, Rodman was staffed by over 200 military and civilian personnel. The naval station included a port facility with three docks, 87 housing units, warehouses, industrial areas, an office building, and other facilities.1 Rodman hosted the Southern Detachment of the Atlantic Fleet (CINCLANTFLT Detachment South), the naval component of the U.S. Southern Command (Southcom). CINCLANTFLT takes the lead in Southcom naval exercises, such as UNITAS. With the closure of Rodman, naval activities in the hemisphere are now coordinated from Atlantic Fleet headquarters at Norfolk, Virginia. Rodman also hosted the Navy Small Craft Instruction and Technical Training School (NAVSCIATTS), which offers Spanish-language training to naval and coast guard personnel from throughout the region. The NAVSCIATTS has moved north, and now offers courses at two U.S. locations: Camp LeJeune Marine Corps Base, North Carolina, and the Naval Special Warfare Command at Stennis Space Center in Gulfport, Mississippi.2 The Mobil oil company will reportedly invest $25 million to convert Rodman and the nearby Arraiján tank farm into a fuel bunkering terminal. Part of the naval station may also become a third lane of locks for the Panama Canal.“


The government of Panama benefited from the closure of military facilities. The former Albrook Air Force Station became the country's largest municipal airport, while the housing there was sold to individual buyers. On 29 July 1999, a contractor hired by the Panamanian government took over the Howard golf course. Howard Air Force Base, along with the neighboring Fort Kobbe and the Farfan residential zone, were turned over to the Panamanian government in late 1999 as part of a treaty that transfered all canal operations to the Central American country. Howard Air Force Base, constructed in 1928, contained urban zones with hundreds of small buildings valued at $315 million.

Jogershok (talk) 15:35, 29 February 2008 (UTC)