Campamento Santiago or Camp Santiago is named Hector Santiago-Colon. A Specialist Fourth Class that died at the age of 25 by sacrificing his life to save his fellow soldier during the Vietnam War. A positive symbol for many, he becomes the second Puerto Rican to have a camp named after him. Camp Santiago is the home of Puerto Rico National Guard. Today, Camp Santiago is the host of annual training exercises every February. It may be a part of the Shield Program but it still provide the proper training a soldier need to have. Just like its namesake, Camp Santiago that unity and selflessness are more important than anything else.

Cost of Living: 65% less than average (US average)

Automated Telephone Attendant number: NA

Base Population: 10,62

City/Area Population: 31,078

Child Development Center: 1

 

·         Hartnell College – Child Development Center

Address: 156 Homestead Avenue, Salinas, Puerto Rico 93901

Telephone number: 831-755-6945

 Airman and Family Readiness Center: 1

 

·         National Guard Family Program

Address: 100 General Esteves Street, San Juan, Puerto Rico

Telephone number: 787-289-1400

Employment: 12.60% (unemployed)

Base Services: 2

 

·         Metropolitan Detention Center

Address: MDC Guaynabo Metropolitan Detention Center, 652 Pr-28, Guaynabo, Puerto Rico 00969

Telephone number: 787-749-4480

 

·         Correctional Health Service Corp.

Address: Suite 400, 18 Calle 1, Guanabo, Puerto Rico 00968

Telephone number: 787-774-3344

 

Medical Services:

·         Puerto Rico Addiction Medical Services

Address: Carretera 21 S3 2 segundo Piso Urbanization Las Lomas Rio Pierdras, Puerto Rico 00921

Telephone number: 787-782-4405

 

History

In the year 1940, US government chartered a location named Camp Salinas to be used as the training ground of the 65th Infantry Regiment 3rd Battalion. The training of the troop happened throughout 1941 and was sent to Panama where protection for the Panama Canal is troop’s primary focus as they have been training for almost a year.

As the World War II ends, the camp was given back to the Puerto Rico government. And in 1973, Puerto Rico National Guard became the licensed owner of the camp, the camp then experienced changes as the original tent camp that has almost nothing permanent buildings grew into a huge installation ranging up to 715, 680 square feet and has built 300 buildings. These rapid changes create a good impact for the soldiers.

Campamento Santiago was the name given in exchange to its former name of Camp Salinas. The camp was named to a Puerto Rican Medal of Honor Awardee who bravely sacrificed his own life to save many during Vietnam War. After that, Camp Santiago has become a very significant asset to the numerous modern training and operations maneuvers.

In 2000, five hundreds troops from many different countries like Granada, Antigua, Dominica, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Vincent, Belize, Bahamas, Guyana and Tobago, Trinidad and the Grenadines participated in the training exercise that was named Operation Tradewinds. This 8-day exercise is meant to test the maintenance of order and assistance in times of disaster, US and UK also participated in this training exercise that began at Camp Santiago. This exercise was sponsored by the CARICOM, the Caribbean defense system. And in the year 2006, the additional soldier was stationed at the Camp Santiago in preparation for Iraq War.

Units

Army Reserve Unit and Army National Guard go for their annual field training exercises and monthly exercises that are being held at Camp Santiago. US Marine Corps Reserve Units also use the facilities for weapons qualifications and field training.  In accordance for the Army National Guard, US Army Reserve Units to fulfill their monthly and annual training, Camp Santiago has become their field of choice. Every February the gate of the installation is opened for the annual training exercises that are being hosted by the Puerto Rico National Guard.

Housing

Camp Santiago does not provide military housing for their officer and enlisted personnel. Camp Santiago knew the importance of having your home that is why many broker or sales agent was being tolerated for much military personnel are able to find their home near the base. Camp Santiago offers barracks for enlisted personnel for temporary lodging for everyone. As lodging is not available inside the Camp, almost many of the enlisted personnel chooses to rent or buy a house that is just near the camp.

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