Introduction

Camp Blanding Joint Training Center plays a crucial role to the military in Florida, and it's the primary military reservation and training base for the Florida National Guard. The base is located just eight miles from Stake, and about 30 miles to Jacksonville, FL. The base trains both the Florida Army National Guard and the Florida Air National Guard, making it a joint training center.

Camp Blanding is also used to train several Florida law enforcement groups, and NROTC groups from Jacksonville University and the University of South Florida train at this base for one week every year.

Cost of Living: Camp Blanding is located in Clay County, where the cost of living is 4% less than the national average.

Automated Telephone Attendant Number: 904-682-3381 or DSN 312-822-3381

Base Population: The current base population is unknown, however during war in the 40s the base had the population of the fourth largest city in FL.

City/Area Population: The current population for Clay County, FL as of 2013 is 196,399.

Child Development Centers: Camp Blanding Child Care has recently closed. Fort Blanding does not offer a child development center or other service for child care. Children will have to receive child care elsewhere in Clay County, FL.

Youth Programs: There aren't any youth centers or other you programs located within Camp Blanding. Children can enjoy youth programs located in the nearby city of Stake.

Military and Family Readiness Center: 904-682-3462

Employment: Depending on how far you're willing to drive, you will want to seek employment in either Starke or Jacksonville, FL. The median income for a household in Clay County, FL is $48,854, with about 5-6% of the population falling below the poverty line.

Base Services

  • Exchange: Shoppette - 904-682-3513
  • Base Police: 904-682-3566
  • Recreation: Outdoor recreation and swimming are the main activities within the camp. However, Walk Disney World is only thee hours away and its common for families to take trips there.

 

Medical Services: 904-682-3911

History

Camp Blanding was originally designated as a Naval Air Station in the 1930s, when it was located on Lake Kingsley. However, the Navy really wanted the station on St. James River in Jacksonville, but they weren't able to do so because the National Guard was already located there. Therefore, the two engaged in talks and negotiated a land-swap, making both organizations happy.

When this happened, the Florida National Guard thought it would be a good idea to name the camp in honor of Lieutenant General Albert H. Blanding, who was a Florida native. General Albert H. Blanding was the commander of the 2nd Florida Brigade during the Mexican Border War in 1916-1917.

It wasn't until 1940 that the United States Army decided to lease Camp Blanding as a training center, and it became an induction center for soldiers for a short time. It was also responsible for holding German prisoners of war, and at once point there were 2000 Germans located on the base.

During World War II, the base's population grew so much that it was equal to the 4th largest city in Florida and one of the largest training centers in the entire country. When the war finally ended, homes were moved off the base and the land was given back to Florida to use for a National Guard training site. There wasn't much going on at the base after the war, until 1970 when they began the process of giving the base upgrades.

The camp was designated a Class A military installation by the Department of Defense in 1981, and  Camp Blanding has continued to grow since then.

Housing

Since Camp Blanding is used as a temporary training facility, the units are accommodated with tents and barracks type buildings. Troops eat at a chow hall and all the post exchange services are done online. It's a true field experience and you won't be buying a home on this particular military base. However, you can make a reservation with Finnegan Lodge to rent a room in the area, their phone number is 904-682-3381 and it is a base hotel.

Get directions

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