In honor of Veterans Day, learn about the communities TDS serves that are home to the U.S. Military
Did you know the airport in Madison, Wis. was at one time an Air Force Base? From 1942 to 1945, it was the Madison Army Airfield. It closed in 1945 and reopened as Truax Air Force Base in 1952. Then, from 1955 to 1968, it became the Air Defense base for much of the Midwest. Today, the airport is shared between Dane County and the Wisconsin Air National Guard. While Wisconsin’s Air National Guard’s 115th Fighter Wing is considerably smaller than the Air Force presence once seen in Madison, combined with the F-16s often seen flying overhead, they are good reminders of Madison’s past.
St. Marys, Georgia, another community served by TDS, is home to the Naval Submarine Base Kings Bay. This base started as an Army post in 1954 to ship ammunition, should there be a national emergency. By 1959 it was realized there was no real need for this base, and it was moved to inactive status. Then, in 1976, Kings Bay was selected to be a submarine base, and the first submarines arrived in port in 1978. A year later, Kings Bay was selected as the preferred site for the Ohio Class Trident submarines. This was the biggest construction project the Navy has ever undertaken during peacetime; it was completed with the commissioning of the USS Louisiana in 1997.
Moving west is Elgin, Okla., another community TDS serves. It sits just outside of Fort Sill, home of the Fort Sill National Cemetery. Built in 1869, during the Indian Wars, it is the sole surviving active Army post of that era in the Southern Plains and is a designated National Historic Monument. In 1907, Fort Sill’s mission of protecting the frontier with cavalry came to an end with the departure of the last cavalry regiment. The U.S. Army Field Artillery School opened at Ft. Sill in 1911 and is still in operation today. Ft. Sill is considered the home of Army Artillery and birthplace of U.S. Army Aviation, with Post Field being the oldest continually operated Army airfield.
In New York, Cape Vincent and Chaumont sit about 30 miles away from Ft. Drum, which started as Pine Camp in 1908. At the outbreak of WWII, Pine Camp was vastly enlarged; over 800 buildings were put up, including 240 barracks, 84 mess halls, 58 warehouses, 27 officers’ quarters, 22 headquarter buildings, and 99 recreational buildings as well as guardhouses and a hospital. After the war, Pine Camp was renamed Camp Drum after Lt. General Hugh A. Drum, chief of staff of the First Army during WWI. In 1974, a permanent g military post was assigned to Camp Drum, and it was renamed Ft. Drum. Today, Ft. Drum is home of the 10th Mountain Division (Light Infantry).
As you head out west, be sure to visit Holloman Air Force Base, six miles southwest of Alamogordo, N.M. The base was named in honor of Col. George V. Holloman, a pioneer in guided missile research. The base is home to the 49th Wing of the Air Combat Command. This past summer, two training squadrons of F-16 Fighting Falcons were brought to the Holloman Air Force Base. The economic impact of bringing these squadrons to the community could be in the billions. Both Holloman Air Force Base and Alamogordo are served by TDS.
Head northeast into Colorado and you’ll find that the TDS market of Fort Carson is home to a United States Army installation. The 137,000-acre installation is located in El Paso, County, Colo., near Colorado Springs. Camp Carson was established in 1942, following Japan’s attack on Pearl Harbor. Colorado Springs purchased the land south of the city and donated it to the War Department. Construction began almost immediately, and the first building was completed in 1942. Camp Carson was named in honor of the legendary Army scout, General Christopher “Kit” Carson, who explored much of the West in the 1800s.