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|Fort Ord National Monument|
|Monterey Bay area, California|
|Controlled by||United States Army|
|Website||Fort Ord National Monument|
|None; post closed in 1994|
Fort Ord is a former United States Army post on Monterey Bay of the Pacific Ocean coast in California, which closed in 1994 due to Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) action. Most of the fort's land now makes up the Fort Ord National Monument, managed by the United States Bureau of Land Management as part of the National Conservation Lands, while a small portion remains an active military installation under Army control designated as the Ord Military Community.
Before construction and official designation as a fort in 1940, the land was used as a maneuver area and field-artillery target range during 1917. Fort Ord was considered one of the most attractive locations of any U.S. Army post, because of its proximity to the beach and California weather. The 7th Infantry Division was its main garrison for many years. When Fort Ord was converted to civilian use, space was set aside for the first nature reserve in the United States created for conservation of an insect, the endangered Smith's blue butterfly. Additional endangered species are found on Fort Ord, including Contra Costa goldfields and the threatened California tiger salamander.
While much of the old military buildings and infrastructure remain abandoned, many structures have been torn down for anticipated development. California State University, Monterey Bay (CSUMB) and the Fort Ord Dunes State Park, along with some subdivisions, the Veterans Transition Center, a commercial strip mall, a tandem skydiving drop zone, military facilities and a nature preserve occupy the area today.
On April 20, 2012, President Barack Obama signed a proclamation designating a 14,651-acre (5,929 ha) portion of the former post as the Fort Ord National Monument. In his proclamation, the President stated that, "The protection of the Fort Ord area will maintain its historical and cultural significance, attract tourists and recreationalists from near and far, and enhance its unique natural resources, for the enjoyment of all Americans."
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After the American entry into World War I, land was purchased just north of the city of Monterey along Monterey Bay for use as an artillery training field for the United States Army by the U.S. Department of War. The area was known as the Gigling Reservation, U.S. Field Artillery Area, Presidio of Monterey and Gigling Field Artillery Range. Although military development and construction was just beginning, the War only lasted for another year and a half until the armistice in November 11, 1918.
Despite a great demobilization of the U.S. Armed Forces during the inter-war years of the 1920s and 1930s, by 1933, the artillery field became Camp Ord, named in honor of Union Army Maj. Gen. Edward Otho Cresap Ord, (1818–1883). Primarily, horse cavalry units trained on the camp until the military began to mechanize and train mobile combat units such as tanks, armored personnel carriers and movable artillery.
By 1940, the 23-year-old Camp Ord was expanded to 2,000 acres (810 ha), with the realization that the two-year-old conflict of World War II could soon cross the Atlantic Ocean to involve America. In August 1940, it was re-designated Fort Ord and the 7th Infantry Division was reactivated, becoming the first major unit to occupy the post. Sub camp were built around the Fort to support the new training of Troop, Camp Clayton. Camp Clayton was built near CA Highway 1, the South Dakota National Guard 147th Artillery were the first unit to train at the new camp.
In 1941, Camp Ord became Fort Ord. But soon the first threat came from the west as the Imperial Japanese Navy struck the island of Oahu, Hawaii at Pearl Harbor near Honolulu in a sneak air attack, Sunday, December 7, 1941. In a few days the other Axis powers of dictators Adolf Hitler's Nazi Germany, along with Fascist Italy of Benito Mussolini, declared and spread their war in Europe against Great Britain and France and the Low Countries to the U.S.
With the end of the war with the surrenders of Germany in May and Japan in September 1945, the soon onset of a Cold War against the Soviet Union continued for the next forty some years to the early 1990s. In 1947, Fort Ord became the home of the 4th Replacement Training Center. During the 1950s and 1960s, Fort Ord was a staging area for units departing for war in the Korean War and later peacetime/occupation duty in Japan, South Korea and the Philippines and Thailand. Then, when Southeast Asia became a war zone with Vietnam (and later involving, by the 1970s, Cambodia and Laos), the United States had, at one time, 50,000 troops on the installation. The 194th Armored Brigade was activated there under Combat Development Command in 1957, but departed for Fort Knox in Kentucky in 1960.
Between 1952 and 1954 the Del E. Webb Construction Company was hired to construct some 42 new permanent buildings to make Fort Ord a permanent Army post. The total cost of construction was more than $20,000,000. The first buildings completed were dormitories followed by a guard house and stockade. Additional buildings constructed as part of the plan were an administrative headquarters building, quartermaster warehouses, and an improved water storage system. There were a total of 31 dormitory buildings that could house 7,000 men.
In 1957, land on the eastern side of the post was used to create the Laguna Seca Raceway which served to replace the Pebble Beach road racing course that ceased operations for safety reasons in that same year.
The post continued as a center for instruction of basic and advanced infantrymen until 1976, when the training area was deactivated and Fort Ord again became the home of the 7th Infantry Division, following their return from South Korea after twenty-five years on the DMZ ("demilitarized zone").
On July 14, 1989, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) proposed placement of Fort Ord on the National Priorities List (NPL). The site contained leaking underground petroleum storage tanks, a 150-acre (61 ha) landfill that was primarily used to dispose of residential waste and small amounts of commercial waste generated by the base, a former fire drill area, motor pool maintenance areas, small dump sites, small arms target ranges, an 8,000-acre (3,200 ha) firing range, and other limited areas that posed threats from unexploded ordnance. NPL status was finalized on February 21, 1990.
The final basic training classes were held in 1976.
In 1991, the decision to close Fort Ord was made. The "Base Realignment and Closure" ("BRAC") legislation considering the post-Cold War era was passed by the Congress under 41st President George H. W. Bush.
In 1994, Fort Ord was officially closed. The Fort was the largest U.S. military base to be closed at the time.
The Base Realignment and Closure Commission of 1991 recommended closing the post and moving the units stationed at Fort Ord to Fort Lewis, Washington. On May 2, 1992, Army elements from Fort Ord along with Marines from Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton participated in quelling the 1992 Los Angeles riots. In 1994, Fort Ord was finally closed. Most of the land was returned to the State of California for further public use and became the home of CSUMB. The remainder was given to University of California, Santa Cruz to be developed into the "UC MBEST" (Monterey Bay Education, Science and Technology) Center. The MBEST Center is a regional economic development effort focused on developing collaborative research-business opportunities in the Monterey Bay region.
The Fort Ord Reuse Authority (FORA) is responsible for the oversight of Monterey Bay area economic recovery from the closure of and reuse planning of the former Fort Ord. The military base was located on the California coastline near the Monterey Peninsula, consisting of 28,000 acres (44 sq mi; 11,000 ha) of land. FORA implements this legislatively mandated mission by overseeing replacement land use; assuring compliance with adopted measures; removing physical barriers to reuse; financing and constructing major components of the required infrastructure and basewide demands; and protecting identified environmental reserves. FORA exercises its planning, financing, and monitoring responsibilities under state law authority to meet these objectives in the best interest of the northern Monterey Bay community.
FORA is small multi-governmental body, composed of elected officials at the local, state, and federal levels, as well as representatives from the United States Armed Forces and educational bodies such as CSUMB at the primary, secondary, and university levels.Voting members are made up of representatives from the cities of Carmel-by-the-Sea, Del Rey Oaks, Marina, Sand City, Monterey, Pacific Grove, Salinas, and Seaside as well as two representatives from the County of Monterey Ex-officio members are composed of representatives from the Monterey Peninsula Community College District, the Monterey Peninsula Unified School District, California's 17th congressional district, California's 15th State Senate district, California's 27th State Assembly district, the United States Army, the Chancellor of the California State University, the President of the University of California, the Monterey County Water Resources Agency, and the Transportation Agency of Monterey County.
This legislatively mandated mission is directed by FORA's 1997 Fort Ord Base Reuse Plan (Reuse Plan). In 2012, FORA performed a comprehensive Reuse Plan Reassessment to assess remaining work.
The Army's environmental cleanup of the former Fort Ord has been underway since the base was closed and is separated into two programs — the Soil and Groundwater Contamination Cleanup Program, and the Munitions and Explosives of Concern (MEC) Program. A Federal Facility Agreement was signed by the Army, EPA, California Department of Toxic Substances Control and the California Regional Water Quality Control Board Central Coast Region in 1990. Additionally, the Army provides oversight on FORA's cleanup program, called the Environmental Services Cooperative Agreement (see below).
In May 2007, the Fort Ord Reuse Authority voluntarily entered into an Administrative Order on Consent with EPA and the California Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC) for the cleanup of 3,484 acres (1,410 ha) of Fort Ord land. The Army and EPA provide the necessary oversight on the project, referred to as FORA's Environmental Services Cooperative Agreement (ESCA). Under this privatized cleanup scheme, FORA received these properties through early transfer and is responsible for the cleanup of these specific areas of Fort Ord. The Administrative Order on Consent requires FORA to clean up the parcels to an extent that would protect human health and environment.
Fort Ord's former military golf courses, Bayonet and Black Horse, are, as of January 16, 1997,public golf courses. They have hosted PGA golf events and were recently renovated.
California State University, Monterey Bay opened on the Fort's former ground shortly after Fort Ord's closing in 1994 as part of 42nd President Bill Clinton's "peace dividends" program. The University has currently enrolled more than 7,500 students. The Leon Panetta Institute (named for the former U.S. Representative and Secretary of Defense) is located on its campus. Schoonover, Frederick and Frederick II are housing developments located in the former Fort Ord created for students and families who are associated with CSUMB, Monterey Peninsula Unified School District and local school districts. All three parks are accessible off of Abrams Drive.
The Veterans Transition Center (VTC) is located on the site of the former Fort Ord. Since its inception it has served 4,155 single veterans and 351 veterans with families. As of 2009 [update] the center is looking to expand by adding more housing units and a non-profit store (to be run by partner company, Vocational Rehabilitation Specialists Inc.) with the express purpose of employing as many veterans as possible.
In 2009, a coastal strip overlooking Monterey Bay became California's newest state park, Fort Ord Dunes State Park. 83 miles (134 km) of recreational trails available. They are used by the trail communities on foot, on bicycles, and on horseback. All open trails are available to all non-motorized trail user groups. A small number of trails are fenced along their edges because of possible unexploded ordnance.At the end of Gigling Road, where the DOD Building is located, is one of many entrances to the Fort Ord National Monument; the land underwent comprehensive remediation that involved an extensive munitions clean-up. There are more than
On January 13, 2012, United States Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar visited Fort Ord, addressed a crowd of 200 supporters and announced that he was proposing to President Obama that Fort Ord be elevated to national monument status. On April 20, 2012, Barack Obama signed a Presidential Proclamation establishing Fort Ord National Monument.
Fort Ord National Monument refers to that land on the former Fort Ord that is administered by the Bureau of Land Management and is open to the general public. The BLM currently manages 7,200 acres and will manage 14,650 acres after the U.S. Army finishes environmental restoration on the remaining parcel.
As of May 2018, Fort Ord National Monument has extended its trail system to add bypass and spur trails to popular areas.
A small portion of the former Fort Ord still remains under U.S. Army control, originally called the Presidio of Monterey (POM) Annex. It is now called the Ord Military Community (described below).
The military is still present at Fort Ord, in the form of several California Army National Guard units, facilities administered by the Presidio of Monterey, the Defense Manpower Data Center, and the continued operation of the base Army and Air Force Exchange Service PX and a Commissary catering to the active duty military stationed in the Monterey area as well as reservists, national guardsmen, and military retirees who chose to settle in the area and are entitled to shop at such facilities. Management of the military housing has been outsourced to private firms, but the homes are still occupied by personnel stationed at the Presidio of Monterey, the Naval Postgraduate School and retired military members.
The nearby city of Marina is developing[ when? ] a large parcel of land from the former Fort Ord within its city limits, building more than 1,000 new homes. A large commercial strip mall along Highway 1 at the former 12th Street Gate entrance to Fort Ord opened in late 2007, and houses popular retail stores. The City of Marina is planning a 13-mile recreation trail to run through Fort Ord to the Fort Ord National Monument, the Salinas River, and through Fort Ord Dunes State Park.
As of December 2014, some of the land for a proposed development project (Monterey Downs) will not be officially clear of unexploded ordnance until at least late 2017.
The Fort Ord Station Veterinary Hospital at the Marina Equestrian Center Park in Marina was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2014, by the Friends of the Fort Ord Warhorse. This is the first such designation on Fort Ord. The history is detailed at.The Fort Ord SVH was built for the Army Veterinary Corps as an equine veterinary hospital in 1941 to serve the 1400 horses of the 76th Field Artillery Regiment, cavalry, and quartermaster mule-train units. This is the only remaining example of a major World War II-construction medical facility for warhorses. Twelve of the original twenty-one World War II stables for the horses and mules were about 200 yards away, on Fourth Avenue and Gen Jim Moore Boulevard, but were demolished by CSUMB in 2011.
Monterey County, officially the County of Monterey, is a county located on the Pacific coast of the U.S. state of California. As of the 2010 census, the population was 415,057. The county seat and largest city is Salinas.
Marina is a city in Monterey County, California, United States. The United States Census Bureau estimated its 2019 population at 22,781. Marina is located along the central coast of California, 8 miles (13 km) west of Salinas, and 8 miles (13 km) north of Monterey. Marina is on California State Route 1 between Monterey and Santa Cruz. Marina is at an elevation of 43 feet. Marina was incorporated in 1975 and is the newest city on the Monterey Peninsula. The city includes part of the California State University, Monterey Bay campus, UC Santa Cruz UC MBEST center, and the Veterans Transition Center (VTC). In 2012, Marina was named one of the 100 Best Communities for Young People by America's Promise Alliance. The Fort Ord Station Veterinary Hospital, built in 1941 to provide healthcare for U.S. Army horses and mules, was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2014.
Seaside, formerly East Monterey, is a city in Monterey County, California, United States, with a population of 33,025 as of the 2010 census. Seaside is located 2.25 miles (3.6 km) east-northeast of Monterey, at an elevation of 33 feet (10 m), and is the home of California State University, Monterey Bay (CSUMB) and the Monterey College of Law, which are located on the site of the former military base Fort Ord. Also on the site are the Bayonet and Black Horse golf courses, now open to the public and host to PGA Tour events, including the 2012 PGA Professional National Championship. Seaside is also the gateway to the Fort Ord National Monument Park, created on April 20, 2012.
The Central Coast is an area of California, United States, roughly spanning the coastal region between Point Mugu and Monterey Bay. It lies northwest of Los Angeles County and south of San Mateo and Santa Clara counties, and includes the rugged, undeveloped stretch of coastline known as Big Sur. From south to north, there are six counties that make up the Central Coast: Ventura, Santa Barbara, San Luis Obispo, Monterey, San Benito, and Santa Cruz.
Edward Otho Cresap Ord was an American engineer and United States Army officer who saw action in the Seminole War, the Indian Wars, and the American Civil War. He commanded an army during the final days of the Civil War, and was instrumental in forcing the surrender of Confederate General Robert E. Lee. He also designed Fort Sam Houston. He died in Havana, Cuba of yellow fever.
California State University, Monterey Bay is a public university in Monterey County, California. Its main campus is located on the site of the former military base Fort Ord, straddling the cities of Seaside and Marina, about one mile inland from Monterey Bay along the Central Coast of California. CSUMB also has locations in the cities of Monterey and Salinas. Founded in 1994, CSUMB is part of the California State University system and is accredited by the WASC Senior College and University Commission. The university is a Hispanic-serving institution.
The Presidio of Monterey (POM), located in Monterey, California, is an active US Army installation with historic ties to the Spanish colonial era. Currently, it is the home of the Defense Language Institute Foreign Language Center (DLI-FLC). It is the last and only Presidio in California to have an active military installation.
Fort Monroe, preserved as the Fort Monroe National Monument, is a decommissioned military installation in Hampton, Virginia, at Old Point Comfort, the southern tip of the Virginia Peninsula, United States. Along with Fort Wool, Fort Monroe originally guarded the navigation channel between the Chesapeake Bay and Hampton Roads—the natural roadstead at the confluence of the Elizabeth, the Nansemond and the James rivers. Until disarmament in 1946, the areas protected by the fort were the entire Chesapeake Bay and Potomac River regions, including the water approaches to the cities of Washington, D.C. and Baltimore, Maryland, along with important shipyards and naval bases in the Hampton Roads area. Surrounded by a moat, the six-sided bastion fort is the largest fort by area ever built in the United States.
Central California is generally thought of as the middle third of the state, north of Southern California, which includes Los Angeles, and south of Northern California, which includes San Francisco. It includes the northern portion of the San Joaquin Valley, part of the Central Coast, the central hills of the California Coast Ranges and the foothills and mountain areas of the central Sierra Nevada.
The Golden Gate National Recreation Area (GGNRA) is a U.S. National Recreation Area protecting 82,027 acres (33,195 ha) of ecologically and historically significant landscapes surrounding the San Francisco Bay Area. Much of the park is land formerly used by the United States Army. GGNRA is managed by the National Park Service and is the most visited unit of the National Park system in the United States, with more than 15 million visitors a year. It is also one of the largest urban parks in the world, with a size two-and-a-half times that of the consolidated city and county of San Francisco.
Fort Ord Dunes State Park is a state park in California, United States, along 4 miles (6.4 km) of coastline on Monterey Bay and created from part of the closed Fort Ord. The park includes a boardwalk, a path to the beach, a 4-mile (6.4 km) road for walking and biking, and interpretive exhibits describing its former use as a military training area. As the dunes are a nesting area for sensitive species, public access is limited to the paths and trails.
Fort MacArthur is a former United States Army installation in San Pedro, Los Angeles, California. A small section remains in military use by the United States Air Force as a housing and administrative annex of Los Angeles Air Force Base. The fort is named after Lieutenant General Arthur MacArthur. His son, Douglas MacArthur, would later command American forces in the Pacific during World War II.
Fort Baker is one of the components of California's Golden Gate National Recreation Area. The Fort, which borders the City of Sausalito in Marin County and is connected to San Francisco by the Golden Gate Bridge, served as an Army post until the mid-1990s, when the headquarters of the 91st Division moved to Parks Reserve Forces Training Area. It is located opposite Fort Point at the entrance to the San Francisco Bay.
Monterey College of Law (MCL) is a private, non-profit law school founded in 1972 in Monterey, California. The school is accredited by the Committee of Bar Examiners of the State Bar of California but not the American Bar Association. As a result, while graduates of MCL can sit for the California Bar Exam, and upon passing, be licensed to practice law in California, they are generally not able to sit for the bar exam or practice in other states without at least passing the California bar exam first. MCL has part-time evening J.D., Master of Legal Studies (M.L.S.), and LL.M. degree programs.
Fort Hunter Liggett, named after General Hunter Liggett in 1941, is a United States Army fort in southern Monterey County, California, about 250 miles (400 km) north of Los Angeles and 150 miles (240 km) south of San Francisco. The fort is primarily used as a training facility, where activities such as field maneuvers and live fire exercises are performed. It is roughly 25 miles northwest of Camp Roberts, California.
The Fort Miley Military Reservation, in San Francisco, California, sits on Point Lobos, one of the outer headlands on the southern side of the Golden Gate. Much of the site is part of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area, while the grounds and buildings that were converted into the San Francisco VA Medical Center are administered by the Veterans Health Administration of the US Department of Veterans Affairs.
The Veterans Transition Center (VTC) is a non-profit 501(c)(3) rehabilitation center and shelter for veterans, founded in 1998, in Monterey County, California. The VTC is located at the site of the former Fort Ord near Marina, California. While the program is funded partly by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and United States Department of Veterans Affairs, it largely relies on donations from the public. The VTC seeks a holistic approach to helping homeless veterans that includes community service, life skills classes, sobriety requirements, counseling, and transitional housing. According to the U.S. Army Monterey Presidio Public Affairs bureau:
In general, the mission of the Veterans Transition Center is to provide services for Monterey County's homeless veterans and their families ... by providing veterans with transitional housing, emergency services and case-management programs, veterans will once again become employable and productive members of the community.
Dave Potter is a California politician, having served at the state, county, and city levels.
Fort Ord Station Veterinary Hospital is a former equestrian veterinary complex at Fort Ord in Marina, California, United States. It was built in 1941 on the assumption that horses and mules would continue playing an important role in the United States Army for cavalry, field artillery, and supply packing units during World War II. The Station Veterinary Hospital (SVH) was converted to other purposes when mounted soldiers were discontinued in 1942. A 1.8-acre (0.73 ha) complex of 16 contributing properties was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2014 for having local significance in military history. The complex is of the nation's last constructed and last surviving equestrian veterinary hospitals of the U.S. Army, symbolizing the final years of horse-dependent warfare. Five of the buildings are now managed by the city of Marina as the Marina Equestrian Center, while the former barracks is vacant and owned by the Marina Coast Water District.
Fort Ord Army Airfield, later renamed South Parade Ground Army Airfield is a former United States Army Air Force airfield built for World War II, located at Fort Ord. Fort Ord was an Army Base founded in 1917 on Monterey Bay of the Pacific Ocean coast in California. Fort Ord closed in 1994 by the Base Realignment and Closure act and is now the Fort Ord National Monument. In 1940 a 1,500-foot hard-surface runway was built at the Fort, just south of the main base. The single wide runway ran west/east and was later also used as a Parade Ground. In 1958 a new and larger Army airfield was built to support Fort Ord, the Fritzsche AAF. Fritzsche AAF was located northeast of Fort Ord Army Airfield. When Fritzsche AAF opened, the Fort Ord Army Airfield was renamed South Parade Ground Army Airfield. Fritzsche AAF replaced Fort Ord Army Airfield and Fort Ord Army Airfield was closed and abandoned in 1964. Fritzsche AAF later became the Marina Municipal Airport in 1994. When the South Parade Ground Army Airfield closed in 1964 it became the South Parade Ground. The South Parade Ground hangers became the base's motor pool. The motor pool/hangers were removed in 2006 and the site is now California State University, Monterey Bay softball field and parking lot. The runways was located just west of General Jim Moore Boulevard and just north of Lightfighter Drive in Seaside, California, just south of Marina, California. Just to the east of Fort Ord Army Airfield was Camp Pacific a camp for Works Progress Administration construction crews from 1938 to 1942.
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