Fort Buchanan, Puerto Rico
|UNITED STATES ARMY GARRISON FORT BUCHANAN, PUERTO RICO|
|Guaynabo, Puerto Rico|
|Type||U.S. Army Garrison|
|Controlled by||United States Army|
|Colonel Michael T. Harvey|
|Garrison||1st Mission Support Command|
United States Army Garrison Fort Buchanan, Puerto Rico is a U.S. Army military installation in Puerto Rico. Located in the Metropolitan area of San Juan. Its mission is “to provide Soldiers, Civilians and their Families with a quality of life commensurate with the quality of their service.” Its vision statement “Home Away From Home” is to be the most desired Military Community in which to live, work and play.
On November 19, 1493, Christopher Columbus discovered Puerto Rico during his second voyage to the New World. For four centuries, Puerto Rico was part of the Spanish Empire. There is a link between the history of Fort Buchanan and the history of the U.S. Army in Puerto Rico that dates back to the 19th century during the Spanish–American War. On July 25, 1898, U.S. forces landed in Guánica. On October 18, 1898 the last Spanish unit left the island and the Department of Puerto Rico was established. Upon the signing of the Treaty of Paris on December 10, 1898, Spain ceded Puerto Rico to the United States and the island became an unincorporated territory of the U.S.
The Puerto Rico Regiment
On July 1, 1899, “The Puerto Rico Regiment of Infantry, United States Army” was created. On July 1, 1901 Lieutenant Colonel James Anderson Buchanan commanded the regiment. He was later promoted to Colonel on July 21, 1902 and to Brigadier General in 1905. Buchanan served in Puerto Rico from 1898 to 1903. The military installation, Fort Buchanan, was named after Brigadier General James A. Buchanan, the first commander of the Puerto Rico Regiment
The Puerto Rico Regiment approved by Congress on May 27, 1908 was officially designated as the 65th Infantry Regiment in 1920, after defending the Canal Zone during World War I. A tract of 300 acres approximately six miles on the south shore of San Juan Bay was acquired to provide the regiment with a training area. The site was established in 1923 as Camp Buchanan. It served as a target range and maneuver area for Army and National Guard troops from 1923 to 1939. The 1st Battalion 51st Coast Artillery Regiment was also assigned to Camp Buchanan in 1939.
In May 1940 the location was designated as Fort Buchanan and expanded initially to 1,514 and later to 4,500 acres. During World War II, Fort Buchanan housed a depot supplying the Army Antilles Department. It also processed local troops through its replacement center. The industrial complex included pier facilities, ammunition storage areas and an extensive railroad network connecting the military installation to the San Juan Bay.
Puerto Rican soldiers were deployed for World War II and the Korean War from the train station located where the Golf Club is presently located, to the rail-connected Army terminal by the San Juan Bay. At the time, Fort Buchanan served as a citizens training camp and soldier processing station.
After WW II the post was gradually reduced to its current 746 acres. Fort Buchanan remained a command depot with post facilities, a personnel center, and a special training center until closure as an Army post in 1966.
On December 31, 1966, with the deactivation of the Antilles Command, Fort Buchanan passed to the control of the United States Navy.
On December 7, 1971 the Army took back Fort Buchanan under the control of Third U.S. Army. On July 1, 1973 Fort Buchanan came under direct control of Forces Command (FORSCOM).
Following the Department of Defense Unified Command Plan, Fort Buchanan came under control of U.S. Southern Command (SOUTHCOM), and on August 13, 1999 became the home of U.S. Army South (USARSO), which subsequently departed in 2003.
On October 1, 2002 Fort Buchanan became part of the Southeast Regional Office of the Installation Management Agency (IMA). On October 1, 2003, Fort Buchanan became an IMA Reserve installation. Later, on October 1, 2006 Fort Buchanan became a Garrison under Installation Management Command, Southeast Region (IMCOM-SE).
On October 1, 2008 the Commanding General of the 81st Regional Readiness Command became Fort Buchanan’s Senior Mission Commander under the United States Army Reserve Command (USARC). Based on the December 2008 Unified Command Plan, Fort Buchanan currently falls under the U.S. Northern Command (USNORTHCOM) area of operations, under the direct control of the United States Army Installation Management Command, Atlantic Region (IMCOM-Atlantic).
On October 23, 2009 an explosion at the nearby Caribbean Petroleum Corporation two people suffered minor injuries at Fort Buchanan, and four other people sought help for respiratory problems. The explosion caused minor damages in some facilities of the military installation.
USAG Fort Buchanan consists of 746.16 acres between the municipalities of Bayamón and Guaynabo, Puerto Rico with a real estate value estimated at $560 million. Fort Buchanan serves a population of approximately 130,000 combined between military personnel and their dependents, retirees, veterans and the civilian work force.
Fort Buchanan is host to a number of tenant activities, most of them branches of the United States Armed Forces Reserve Component such as the U.S. Army Reserve 1st Mission Support Command, the U.S. Navy Reserve and the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve. The Puerto Rico National Guard also has presence on base. The Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) held leadership labs and other activities at Fort Buchanan. The Army and Air Force Exchange Service (AAFES), Defense Commissary Agency (DECA), Rodriguez Army Health Clinic (RAHC), Veterinary Treatment Facility, Defense Military Pay Office (DMPO), Defense Contracting Audit Agency, are some of the DoD service agencies at the base.
Fort Buchanan also hosts a number of non-DoD organizations that provide valuable services to Soldiers, their dependants and community members, such as: Pentagon Federal Credit Union, Banco Popular de Puerto Rico, U.S. Postal Service and AAFES Concessionaires. Fort Buchanan also provides support to United States Department of Homeland Security agencies such as the U.S. Customs and Border Protection.
As directed by the Chief of the Army Reserve, Fort Buchanan's island-wide support mission consists of providing real property management and base operations support for all Army Reserve assets in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Also, on a reimbursable basis, when requested, the garrison provides support to the Puerto Rico National Guard and other reserve components of other services.
Fort Buchanan supports readiness and mission execution, providing quality services and facilities, optimizing resources, sustaining the environment and enhancing the well-being of the community. It conducts its mission sustained by seven directorates – Human Resources; Family, Morale, Welfare and Recreation (FMWR), Training, Mobilization and Security; Emergency Services, Logistics, Public Works and Information Management; seven support offices – Legal, Public Affairs, Religious Support, Equal Employment Opportunity, Safety, Internal Review and Contracting; and three management and control offices – Resource Management; Plans, Analysis and Integration; and the Administrative Office.
Among the factors that make U.S. Army Garrison Fort Buchanan unique are: its key and strategic location providing fast and cost-effective support to missions in the Caribbean, Central and South America area of responsibility; its Hispanic cultural ties with Latin America; and its significant role as host of “joint” sister services’ from the Reserve Component of the United States Armed forces represented in Puerto Rico.
The base contains support facilities such as:
- 3 Department of Defense Education Activity Schools
- Antilles Elementary School
- Antilles Middle School
- Antilles High School
- 2 Military Family Housing Areas
- Coconut Grove - Enlisted and Company Grade Officer Housing
- Las Colinas - Senior Officer Housing
- Coqui Gardens
- Army and Air Force Exchange Service (AAFES)
- Post Exchange (PX)
- PXtra/Class Six
- Gas Station
- Exchange Food Court
- Burger King
- Charle"s Grilled Subs
- Pizza Hut
- Popeye's Fried Chicken
- Starbucks (Coming soon)
- Taco Bell
- Barber Shop
- Beauty Shop
- Don Rey Cigar
- Flower Shop
- Exchange Mobile Center
- Hertz Car Rental
- H&R Block
- Los Unidos Laundry/Alterations
- Exchange New Car Sales
- Optical Shop
- Optometry Clinic
- Souvenir Shop
- Banco Popular
- Base Chapel
- Base Library
- Borinquen Lounge & Patio
- Bowling Center
- Cabana Picnic Area
- Café 151
- Civilian Personnel Advisory Center (CPAC)
- Child Development Center
- Community Based Warrior Transition Unit (CBWTU)
- Community Club & Conference Center
- DeCA Commissary
- Defense Military Pay Office (DMPO)
- El Caney Lodge
- Fire Station
- Fort Buchanan Golf Course Complex
- Fort Buchanan Welcome Center
- Maxie Williams Jr Field
- Mc Arthur Field
- Navy Operational Support Center Puerto Rico (NOSC Puerto Rico)
- Network Enterprise Center (NEC)
- Pentagon Federal Credit Union
- Post Office
- Ramos Hall
- Rodriguez Army Health Clinic (RACH)
- Skate Park
- Sports & Fitness Center
- Training Support Center
- Veterinary Services
- Water Spout Aquatics Center
- Youth Center
Adjacent to Fort Buchanan:
- United States Military Entrance Processing Station (MEPS).
- United States Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) San Juan Regional Benefit Office.
Armed Forces Reserve Center
The Armed Forces Reserve Center (AFRC) at Fort Buchanan accommodates the U.S. Army Reserve Headquarters and Headquarters Detachment (HHD) of the 339th Battalion, (the 393rd) and a Retention Office. The Puerto Rico Army National Guard Recruiting and Retention Division (R&R Div), the 480th Military Police Company and the Medical Section Cell C59 . The United States Marine Corps Reserve relocated the Detachment 1, Landing Support Company, Combat Logistics Regiment-45, 4th Marine Logistics Group into this facility. The Fort Buchanan Armed Forces Reserve Center will serves about 400 personnel on a rotating basis, with a maximum of 250 members per weekend. This facility was named after senior civilian aide to the secretary of the Army for Puerto Rico Major General (Ret) Felix A. Santoni.
Puerto Rico National Guard Readiness Center
A $33.5 million Readiness Center for the Puerto Rico Army National Guard at Fort Buchanan has been completed. This National Guard Readiness Center at Fort Buchanan will include a Metal Storage Building/Maintenance Training Bay, Simulation Center/Physical Training, Emergency Generator and Tank, Vehicle Wash Platform and a Helipad. The Puerto Rico National Guard will posthumously name this Readiness Center at Fort Buchanan after Korean War Veteran and former member of the 65th Infantry Regiment and Medal of Honor recipient Master Sergeant Juan E. Negrón.
- Cesar Rodriguez - United States Air Force officer and combat pilot from 1981 to 2006, graduated from Antilles High School at Fort Buchanan.
- Eurípides Rubio - United States Army officer and Medal of Honor recipient entered the Army at Fort Buchanan.
- Frances M. Vega - The first female soldier of Puerto Rican descent to have died in combat in the Iraq War went to Antilles High School on post. Fort Buchannan Gate #1 was named the SPC Frances M. Vega gate in her honor.
|Climate data for Ft. Buchanan, Puerto Rico|
|Average high °F (°C)||79
|Average low °F (°C)||66
|Average precipitation inches (mm)||4.76
|Ft. Buchanan Images|
- Explosion rocks Gulf facility on Puerto Rico on MSNBC; Associated Press (10/23/2009)
- "Weatherbase: Historical Weather for Guantanamo Bay, Cuba". Weatherbase. 2011. Retrieved on 24 November 2011.
- Fort Buchanan Home Page
- Fort Buchanan MWR Page
- Rodriguez Army Health Clinic
- Fort Buchanan at GlobalSecurity.org