Fort Bliss, a United States Army installation, is located in the metropolitan city of El Paso, Texas, and New Mexico. Fort Bliss was originally established in 1848. After being closed and relocated, Fort Bliss was officially named in 1854. It was named in honor of Lieutenant Colonel William Wallace Smith Bliss, who never actually stepped foot on Fort Bliss.
Fort Bliss is comprised of over 1.12 million acres of land, with its main post located in El Paso, Texas. 90% of Fort Bliss training grounds, as well as several base camps, are located in New Mexico. Fort Bliss is home of over 38,500 active duty military personnel, as over 39,000 of these soldier’s family members, and over 1,000 reservists. It is also the home of over 13,000 civilians.
Fort Bliss is home of the U.S. Army Air Defense Artillery Center, which is currently the U.S. Army’s largest center for educating and training Air Defense Artillery soldiers and units. Fort Bliss is also home of the 1st Brigade 1st Armored Division; 2nd Battalion, 3rd Field Artillery; 2nd, 3rd & 4th Brigade, 1st Armed Division; 212th Fires Brigade; 15th Sustainment Brigade; Brigade Modernization Command; United States Sergeants Major Academy; 402nd Field Artillery Brigade; and more.
Life on Fort Bliss
Fort Bliss has a very large commissary, a large exchange, 2 mini-malls, and 6 shoppettes. It has many shops and restaurants, as well as The Grande Theatre, which is a movie theatre with 10 screens and stadium seating. There are 3 financial institutions on Fort Bliss: Wells-Fargo, First Light Federal Credit Union, and Armed Forces Bank. Recreational options include a bowling alley, mini-golf, swimming facilities, a gym, golf courses, tennis courts, basketball courts, a library, and more.
There are 8 elementary schools, 3 middle schools, and 3 high schools in the immediate Fort Bliss area, as well as the New Mexico Military Institute, which is a 4-year military high school and junior college. Also in the area are El Paso Community College, New Mexico State University, and The University of Texas at El Paso, along with other higher learning institutions.
The Inn at Fort Bliss is the official on-post temporary housing unit. The Inn has 154 guest rooms, 104 of which include kitchenette units. Military personnel who plan to stay at the Inn at Fort Bliss are encouraged to call ahead and make arrangements, due to limited availability.
On post, there are over 3,000 family housing units, broken up into seventeen different distinctive neighborhoods. All Fort Bliss housing has recently undergone renovations and remodeling. Older homes are being torn down and rebuilt. There are 33 covered playgrounds in the housing communities. These neighborhoods are broken up and assigned to soldiers and their families based on rank.
Future Plans for Fort Bliss
The Army has budgeted approximately $5 billion to invest in construction and renovation of Fort Bliss. This is the largest renovation in Fort Bliss history, and is neccessary based on recent growth. The barracks and housing are being expanded, as well as child care services, recreational and shopping facilities, and medical and dental clinics, with the well-being of Fort Bliss soldiers and their families in mind.