Sprawling over 280,000 acres (or 1,100 square kilometers) in a very ideal location near the historic city of Savannah, Fort Stewart is located in the small town of Hinesville along the Canoochee River (which is 108 miles in length which flows to the Atlantic Ocean) in Liberty County, Georgia USA. It is known to be the largest military installation in the Eastern United States, training over 50,000 reservists and housing occupying at least 17.1 square kilometers of its entire land.
The current population of Ft Stewart is currently at 11,500+ individuals with a make-up of more than 7,600 males and 3,800 females as of the July 2007 census. It currently has 1,849 households with over 1791 families.
Ft Stewart is currently being resided by the 3rd Infantry Division, nicknamed as the “Marne Division” (activated during the year 1996), which is under the United States Army Forces Command and the XVIII Airborne Corps.
Fort Stewart was originally a billeting space during World War II, housing approximately 2,705 United States military officers and over 37,000+ enlisted personnel. It is considered one of the largest military installation covering roughly 280,000 acres with the reservation measuring 19 miles and 39 miles north to south and east to west respectively. It stretches over five counties which include the Tattnall County, Long County, Liberty County, Bryan County and Evans County. It has seen a lot of the military war eras spanning from World War II, Korean War, the Cuban Missile Crisis, and the Vietnam War.
Ft Stewart was originally located just outside Hinesville as an Anti-Aircraft Artillery Center, which has slowly been expanded into the 280,000 acres that it is today during the 1940s. The same year, it was officially named after General Daniel Stewart as “Camp Stewart”, which was initially being used as firing ranges and for artillery practices for live-fire training. The large area provided the United States military with enough ample room to establish different training and practice exercises using live rounds for real combat training simulations, which was done early on using mock-ups made of wood. The following year slowly made progress to the camp with several upgrades to its mission, especially since the attack in Pearl Harbor during the year 1941, which kick-started the camp to what it was originally intended for with training held by the National Guard within its area. Soon however, the WASP’s, or the Women Airforce Service Pilots used the camp for live-fire exercises upon arriving. The camp was heavily relied upon to produce well-trained soldiers that would be deployed to various sites such as the Pacific, Europe as well as the Mediterranean territories.
Aside from being a staging area and also serving as site for a school (Cooks’ and Bakers’ School), the camp was also used as a temporary facility for staging the England D-Day invasion during 1944. It has also been effectively used as a Prisoner of War (POW) camp during the late 1943, ensuring that the facility was holding several prisoners that were mainly made up of Italian and German soldiers. Soon after however, the end of World War II seems to have rendered the camp useless, so the camp was held “inactive” with only a number of personnel and civilians delegated to maintain the site.
The 1950’s saw the need of the camp to be reopened and repaired, meanwhile being renamed as the 3rd Army Anti-Aircraft Artillery Training Center for the purpose of serving the United States military for the Korean War as training and preparation facility for soldiers to be deployed to avert the Korean crisis. This proved to have opened the eyes of the United States military, and helped them realize that the camp was definitely needed not only as a temporary facility for training purposes, but as a military installation that is always ready and functioning as a training and preparation ground for United States military personnel to be able to handle any form of military threat. Camp Stewart was then officially reopened and re-designated during the year 1956 as a permanent military training facility to handle world threats. The Camp saw another slew of re-designations as an Armor and Artillery Firing Center during 1959 and as a major role player during the Cuban Missile war on 1962. The Vietnam War also affected the mission of the camp as an active training camp during the 1960s, as well as actively being used by the 24th infantry Division during the majority of the 1970’s up until their deactivation during the 1990s. As of 1996, the 3rd Infantry Division was assigned to handle active duties in Fort Stewart Georgia.
Fort Stewart with the cooperation of Hunter Army Airfield is currently focused on a strict mission to provide for world-class military training that allows immediate and dynamic deployment all over the globe. Fort Stewart and Hunter Army combined manages the Stewart/Hunter Military Complex which is managed by the Garrison Command trains, educates, deploys and assigns soldiers for their complete mission-readiness as well as offer support education for civilians and personnel family members to ensure the well-being and overall safety of everyone in the Fort Stewart base.
The Current Command Groups managing the Stewart/Hunter Military Complex are: the 3rd Infantry Division Command Group; the Fort Stewart Garrison; the Hunter Army Airfield Command Group; and the Kelley Hill Command Group or the 3rd Heavy Brigade Combat Team.
The 3rd Infantry Division is primarily divided into the following: the 1st Brigade Combat Team (also known as “Raiders”); the 2nd Heavy Brigade Combat Team (also known as “Spartans”); the 3rd Brigade Combat Team (also known as “Sledgehammers”); the 4th Infantry Brigade Combat Team (also known as “Vanguard”); the 3rd Sustainment Brigade (with the ever positive name of “House of the Rock!”); and finally the Combat Aviation Brigade (also know by “Falcon”)
Fort Stewart housing is currently numbered at around 3,027 homes, with another 675 at HAA (Hunter Army Airfield). Housing is currently privatized, and applications are currently being determined by rank and by the number of family members. Fort Stewart lodging is easily accessible through Stewart Lodging, where soldiers with family members can easily avail of temporary lodging.