Fort Buchanan is the one and only military base operated by the United States in Puerto Rico, in San Juan. Its purpose is simple. It doesn’t really act like a military base, but like a base trying to provide its inhabitants with a quality life. In other words, it aims to create a proper environment, just like its motto says – “Home Away From Home”. From all the US bases, this one seems to be the best to live and work in. It is controlled by the Installation Management Command, led by John D. Cushman.
The beginnings of this base date to its first official certification, after Christopher Columbus run into Puerto Rico. For almost 400 years, Puerto Rico was a small part of Spain. The first connection with the United States took place during the war with Spain. The American forces got to Puerto Rico in July, 1898. After a few months of intense fights, the Spanish troops had to leave the place in October, same year. The base was created in 1899, one year after Spain decided to give Puerto Rico to the United States. The initial fort was named after the first leader of the regiment, James A. Buchanan. The name was never changed since then.
Fort Buchanan gained some popularity during World War I. It was an important and strategic point on the map, as the only guardian of the Canal Zone. Until 1939, multiple training bases and buildings were raised for the staff to advance and become professional. During World War II, the fort was used to supply the US forces with ammunition. It was expanded to 4500 acres as well. It also dealt with the recruitment of local troops in an effective replacement system. As the war ended, the fort was reduced to a lower size. It only kept a few training fields and an operating center.
Ever since then, there are no major events in the life of the fort. Its control was constantly switched between the US Army and the US Navy, not to mention about the multiple units using it as a home over the years. These days, it is a peaceful post in a stand-by mode. Its most important role is the location. It is strategically posted as a key entrance to the potential operations in the Caribbean, Central and South America.
There are currently two units hosted at Fort Buchanan – the inspector general and the contracting agency. Although they deal and are operated by military personnel, they don’t really have any military objectives or purposes. They were generally created to maintain the post ready for any potential danger.
The housing system at Fort Buchanan is dealt with by the Buchanan MWR agency. The system is privatized, but still indirectly controlled by the army. Relocating here can be done through an application if your mission is about to be longterm. The short term guests can stay at a hotel or an inn.