Fort Dix

JB MDL Dix (Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst Dix), better known as Fort Dix, is a United States Army base located approximately 16.1 miles (25.9 km) south-southeast of Trenton, New Jersey. Dix is under the jurisdiction of the United States Army Reserve Command (USARC). It became part of Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst (JB MDL) on 1 October 2009.


The host unit at Dix is the United States Air Force 87th Air Base Wing (87 ABW). The 87 ABW provides installation management to all of JB MDL.

JB MDL Dix is under the jurisdiction of the United States Army Reserve Command (USARC). The facility originated in 1917 as Fort Dix, named in honor of Major General John Adams Dix, a veteran of the War of 1812 and the Civil War, and a former United States Senator, Secretary of the Treasury and Governor of New York.

Dix has a history of mobilizing, training and demobilizing Soldiers from as early as World War I through the present day. In 1978, the first female recruits entered basic training at Fort Dix. In 1991, Dix trained Kuwaiti civilians in basic military skills so they could take part in their country's liberation.

Dix ended its active Army training mission in 1988 due to Base Realignment and Closure Commission recommendations. It began a new mission of mobilizing, deploying and demobilizing Soldiers and providing training areas for Army Reserve and National Guard Soldiers.

Units assigned
  • Army Support Activity
  • Marine Aircraft Group 49
  • 72d Field Artillery Brigade
  • 99th Regional Support Command
  • 2d Brigade, 75th Division
  • USCG Atlantic Strike Team
  • U.S. Air Force Expeditionary Center
  • Military Entrance Processing Station
  • NCO Academy
  • Navy Operational Support Center
  • 174th Infantry Brigade
  • Fleet Logistics Squadron (VR-64)



Fort Dix is named for Major General John Adams Dix, a veteran of the War of 1812 and the Civil War. Construction began in June 1917. Camp Dix, as it was known at the time, was a training and staging ground for units during World War I. The camp became a demobilization center after the war. Between the World Wars, Camp Dix was a reception, training and discharge center for the Civilian Conservation Corps. Camp Dix became Fort Dix on March 8, 1939, and the installation became a permanent Army post. During and after World War II the fort served the same purpose as in the first World War. It served as a training and staging ground during the war and a demobilization center after the war.

On July 15, 1947, Fort Dix became a Basic Training Center and the home of the 9th Infantry Division. In 1954, the 9th moved out and the 69th Infantry Division made the fort home until it was deactivated on March 16, 1956. During the Vietnam War rapid expansion took place. A mock Vietnam village was constructed and soldiers received Vietnam-specific training before being deployed. Since Vietnam, Fort Dix has sent soldiers to Operation Desert Shield, Desert Storm, Bosnia, Afghanistan, and Iraq.

U.S. Coast Guard site

The Atlantic Strike Team (AST) of the U.S. Coast Guard is based at Fort Dix. As part of the Department of Homeland Security, the AST is responsible for responding to oil pollution and hazardous materials release incidents to protect public health and the environment.

Federal Correctional Institution

Fort Dix is also home to Fort Dix Federal Correctional Institution, the largest single federal prison in America. It is a low security installation for male inmates located within the military installation. As of November 19, 2009 it housed 4,310 inmates, and a minimum-security satellite camp housed an additional 426. Inmates use plastic pouches of mackerel as commodity money.

Mission realignment

Knowing that Fort Dix was on a base closure list The U.S. Air Force attempted to save the U.S. Army post during 1987. The U.S.A.F. moved the Security Police Air Base Ground Defence school from Camp Bullis Texas to Dix in the fall of 1987. It was eventually realized that it was not cost effective to put 50-100 S.P. trainees on a commercial flight from San Antonio Texas to Philadelphia Pennsylvania every couple of weeks so the school was later moved back to Camp Bullis Texas. Fort Dix was an early casualty of the first Base Realignment and Closure process in the early 1990s, losing the basic-training mission that had introduced new recruits to military life since 1917. But Fort Dix advocates attracted Army Reserve interest in keeping the 31,000 acre (130 km2) post as a training reservation. With the reserves, and millions for improvements, Fort Dix actually has grown again to employ 3,000. As many as 15,000 troops train there on weekends, and the post has been a major mobilization point for reserve and National Guard troops since the September 11, 2001 attacks on New York City and Washington, D.C.

Fort Dix has completed its realignment from an individual training center to a FORSCOM Power Projection Platform for the Northeastern United States under the command and control of the United States Army Reserve Command. Primary missions include being a center of excellence for training, mobilizing and deploying Army Reserve and National Guard units; providing regional base operations support to on-post and off-post active and reserve component units of all services; and providing a high-quality community environment, including 848 housing units for service members and their families. Fort Dix supported more than 1.1 million man-days of training in 1998. A daily average of more than 13,500 persons live or work within the garrison and its tenant organizations. Fort Dix subinstallations include the Charles E. Kelly Support Facility in Oakdale, Pennsylvania and the Devens Reserve Forces Training Area in Ayer, Massachusetts.

In 2005, the United States Department of Defense announced that Fort Dix would be affected by a Base Realignment and Closure. It will be merged with two neighboring military bases, McGuire Air Force Base and Naval Air Engineering Station Lakehurst, establishing Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, N.J. This will be the first base of its kind in the United States.

2005 Base Realignment and Closure proposal

The preliminary 2005 Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) list was released by the United States Department of Defense on May 13, 2005. The proposal recommends closing 33 major United States military bases and the "realignment" (either enlarging or shrinking) of 29 others. The justifications made are, in part:

The BRAC recommendations directly affecting Fort Dix are:

Attack plots

In 1970, the Weather Underground planned to detonate a nail bomb at a noncommissioned officers dance at the base to "bring the war home" and "give the United States and the rest of the world a sense that this country was going to be completely unlivable if the United States continued in Vietnam." The plot failed the morning of the dance when a bomb under construction exploded at the group's Greenwich Village, New York townhouse, killing three members of the group.


On May 8, 2007, six individuals, mostly ethnic Albanian Muslims, were arrested for plotting an attack against Fort Dix and the soldiers within. The men are believed to be Islamic radicals who may have been inspired by the ideologies of Al-Qaeda. The men allegedly planned to storm the fort with automatic weapons in an attempt to kill as many soldiers as possible. The men will face charges of conspiracy to kill U.S. Soldiers.

1969 stockade riot

On June 5, 1969, 250 men imprisoned in the military stockade for being AWOL, rioted in an effort to expose the unsanitary conditions.

"Ultimate Weapon" monument

In 1957, Specialist 4 Steven Goodman, assisted by PFC Stuart Scherr, made a small clay model of an infantryman during their leisure hours. Their tabletop model was spotted by a public relations officer who brought it to the attention of Deputy Post Commander Bruce Clarke, who suggested the construction of a larger statue to serve as a symbol of Fort Dix. Goodman and Scherr, who had studied industrial arts together in New York City and were classified by the Army as illustrators, undertook the project under the management of Sergeant Major Bill Wright. Operating on a limited budget, and using old railroad track and other available items, they created a 12-foot figure of a charging infantryman in full battle dress, representing no particular race or ethnicity.

By 1988, years of weather had taken a toll on the statue, and a restoration campaign raised over $100,000. Under the auspices of Goodman and the Fort Dix chapter of the Association of the United States Army, the statue was recast in bronze and its concrete base replaced by black granite.

The statue stands 25 feet tall at the entrance to Infantry Park. Its inscription reads


According to the United States Census Bureau, the CDP has a total area of 29.3 km2 (11.3 mi2). 29.1 km2 (11.2 mi2) of it is land and 0.2 km2 (0.1 mi2) of it (0.53%) is water.


As of the census of 2000, there were 7,464 people, 843 households, and 714 families residing in the CDP. The population density was 256.4/km2 (663.9/mi2). There were 1,106 housing units at an average density of 38.0/km2 (98.4/mi2). The racial makeup of the CDP was 58.4% White, 35.6% African American, 0.4% Native American, 1.3% Asian, 0.1% Pacific Islander, 2.5% from other races, and 1.7% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 22.8% of the population.

There were 843 households, of which 63.6% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 75.2% were married couples living together, 6.8% had a female householder with no husband present, and 15.3% were non-families. 14.7% of all households were made up of individuals and none had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 3.06 and the average family size was 3.39.

In the CDP the population was spread out with 13.6% under the age of 18, 8.1% from 18 to 24, 62.1% from 25 to 44, 15.1% from 45 to 64, and 1.1% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 34 years. For every 100 females there were 491.0 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 734.5 males.

The median income for a household in the CDP was $41,397, and the median income for a family was $41,705. Males had a median income of $31,657 versus $22,024 for females. The per capita income for the CDP was $10,543. About 2.5% of families and 3.2% of the population were below the poverty line, including 3.2% of those under age 18 and none of those age 65 or over.


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