Introduction

Located in western Arkansas and near the city of Fort Smith, Fort Chaffee has been installed by Army National Guard. The base was setup in the year 1941 under the name of Camp Chaffee which was later renamed as Fort Chaffee by the year 1956. The army base has been used for varied reasons by the US army which includes training camps, refugee camps, and prisoner of war camps. However, in the year 1995 the Base was closed and till today it is only used by Arkansas National Guard as the training facility. It is spread over 66,000 acres where the State of Arkansas has control over 6000 acres. Approximately half of the entire 6000 acres got redeveloped by the year 2014. Some of the primary concerns for people in this area in regards to the environment are the asbestos which have been released during several fires.

Besides hosting reserve soldiers the place is occasionally used by the active soldiers as well. Presently, the base does not have any active troops who are a part of the entire facility. Speaking about its location it is placed in between the Fort Smith, Interstate 40 and Arkansas River.

Cost of living: 84.30% less than US

Telephone attendant number: C-479-484-3170, DSN-312-962-3170

Base population: 86,209

City/area population: 2.966 million

Child Development Centers: Fort Chaffee doesn’t have any child development centers but in order to find a good center people would need to travel to Arkansas City.

Youth Programs: The primary youth program offered by the Center is the military training which is provided at the Fort Chaffee Military training Camp.

Employment: It is among the fastest developing cities which is undergoing transformation and presents employment opportunities in varied business industries. However, the primary opportunities include jobs at Army National Guard.

Base Services: The main base services here include Fort Smith Regional Airport, Arkansas Air National Guard and PRN medical staffing

Medical Services: Fort Chaffee advanced health care system which is at par with most of the other cities in US.

History

The construction of the camp started in the year 1991 and it took a couple of months for it to start operating. The primary need for building this camp was to meet the immediate requirements of US government for adding more troops during the World War II. Initially known as Camp Chaffee, the camp was renamed to Fort Chaffee in the year 1956. This was the year when US government decided to make it permanent base for its army.

During the initial years, the base camp not only served as a place to train the soldiers, but was also to accommodate the prisoners of war as well as refugees. If the available data is to be quoted, it is believed that at one time the base had over 3000 German prisoners of war. The camp has been named on Adna R. Chaffee Jr. who is known for his amazing and effective decisions during the World War I. Another coincidence associated with the base is the fact that it was the very day when Pearl Harbour was attacked when the 1st group of soldiers moved to this base. Once the war was over, the place was hosted by the 5th Armoured Division till the year 1957.

The famous Elvis Presley had spent a few days here and got his 1st military haircut here. The base played a critical role at the time of Vietnam & Cambodian wars as it hosted over 50,000 refugees during the period of 1975 to 1980. It had also been used as a Cuban refugee camp for over 23,000 people after Cuban government had allowed the US government to pick refugees from different local points. Recently in the year 2005 when the shores Louisiana had been hit by the hurricane Katrina, the base served a great purpose for the relief efforts and rehabilitation.

Units

Fort Chaffee has an active military presence which has been there ever since it had been developed. There has been a considerable decline in the number of active military personnel but it has the Fort Chaffee Maneuver Training Center which is operated by Arkansas National Guard along with 188th Wing of Arkansas Air National Guard.

Housing

Fort Chaffee has a similar housing system like the cities in US. The facility allows new soldiers staying at any hotel until they have decided what they would like to do. After this they have the option of getting in touch with a local property agents and choosing if they would like to rent or buy a place depending on families as well as responsibilities. The place has enough space and there are very few occasions when one would see the active soldiers. In terms of infrastructure, the base is largely varied and is equipped to fulfil almost all needs of its inhabitants. There used to be 6 chapels at the camp but presently only 3 are active. Two of the old chapels have been converted into a tennis court and a place for different recreational activities. Fort Chaffee has a number of bars, pubs, clubs and an advanced health care system. It even has its very own media publication.

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