Fort Hunter Liggett
Fort Hunter Liggett (US Army Garrison, Fort Hunter Liggett (USAG, FHL)), 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.

The Salinas Valley is the fort's northern border, the Santa Lucia Mountains bound it on the east, Los Padres National Forest on the west and the Monterey and San Luis Obispo County line on the south. The fort originally comprised 200,000 acres (800 km²), but even at its present size of 165,000 acres (668 km²), it is the largest United States Army Reserve command post. Some of the land, 52 acres (210,000 m 2), was given to Mission San Antonio de Padua, bringing its size to 85 acres (340,000 m 2). Additionally, land has been traded between the United States Forest Service, which owns the adjacent Los Padres National Forest, and the Army. Junipero Serra Peak or Pimkolam (native American name), formerly called Santa Lucia Peak, is to the north. The fort also contains the headwaters of the Nacimiento River. There is an historic hotel on the Post known as The Hacienda (Milpitas Ranchhouse) which serves the general public and can be used as guest housing by military personnel. A short distance past the old main gate, there is a road to the southwest which goes to what is known as the "Primitive Campgrounds". There are some camper trailers there, and some water spigots around the site. There is also a central restroom on the site and a store. Near that area is a lot that has several used FEMA trailers stored.

There are only 250 permanent civil and military residents at the fort. However, the population can swell up to 4,000 when a rotation of personnel comes for training.

Land for the fort was purchased in 1940 from William Randolph Hearst ( Hearst Castle is down the coast), and from adjacent landowners. This surrounded the small unincorporated town of Jolon, which remains today in a significantly diminished form from its heyday. Fort Hunter Liggett was under the authority of Camp Roberts, California, to the southeast, until 1952, when it became a sub-installation of Fort Ord on the Monterey Peninsula. From the 1970s through the early 1990s, the base served two purposes: as a training area for the 7th Light Infantry Division (based at Fort Ord), and as the home for the USACDEC (usually abbreviated as CDEC and later as TEC, the Training and Experimentation Command). The mission of CDEC was to evaluate new Army and Marine Corps weapons systems by providing a simulated Soviet Mechanized Rifle Company to act as the "OPFOR", or opposing forces. By this method, the Sergeant York Air Defense Gun was found to have serious flaws, while the Marine's LAV vehicle was validated. In 1993, in preparation of the closure of Fort Ord due to BRAC 1991, Hunter Liggett was transferred to the Army Reserves, which in turn made it a sub-installation of Fort McCoy, Wisconsin in 1995. Since 2003 FHL has managed Camp Parks and Army units and housing that remain at former NAS Moffett Field.

BRAC 2005
In its 2005 Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) recommendations, the Department of Defense recommended relocating the 91st Division from Parks Reserve Forces Training Area to Hunter Liggett. A new US Army Reserve Center was constructed and the 91st Division move into their new Headquarter's building in May 2009. On September 11, 2010 the new HQs was designated as the Master Sergeant Robb G. Needham Army Reserve Center after the first 91st Division combat casualty since WWII.

Filming location
Fort Hunter Liggett was used to film parts of the movie We Were Soldiers . The base was also used in the filming of Clear and Present Danger, starring Harrison Ford.

The fort covers hundreds of acres of grassland, chaparral and oak woodland. There are several vernal pools, a rare habitat type. The entire world population of the rare Santa Lucia mint ( Pogogyne clareana) occurs on Fort Hunter Liggett grounds.

Building Activity

  • removed a media
    about 6 years ago via