Fort Dix, the common name for the Army Support Activity located at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst
, is a United States Army
post. It is located about south-southeast of Trenton, New Jersey
. Fort Dix is under the jurisdiction of the Air Force Air Mobility Command. As of the 2010 United States Census
, Fort Dix census-designated place
(CDP) had a total population of 7,716,
[New Jersey: 2010 - Population and Housing Unit Counts - 2010 Census of Population and Housing (CPH-2-32)] of which 5,951 were in New Hanover Township, 1,765 were in Pemberton Township and none were in Springfield Township (though portions of the CDP are included there).
United States Census Bureau, p. III-5, August 2012. Accessed June 8, 2013.
Established in 1917, Fort Dix was in 2009 combined with adjoining U.S. Air Force and Navy facilities to become Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst (JB MDL) in 2009. However, it remains commonly known as "Fort Dix", "ASA Dix", or "Dix".
Since 2015, Colonel Shelley Balderson has commanded Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst. She is the first female commander of Fort Dix in the base's century-long history.
Fort Dix was established on 16 July 1917 as Camp Dix, named in honor of Major General John Adams Dix, a veteran of the War of 1812 and the American 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 April 2015, when Forts Bliss and Hood in Texas assumed full responsibility for that mission. 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 1991 due to Base Realignment and Closure Commission recommendations, which ended its command by a two-star general. Presently, it serves as a joint training site for all military components and all services.
In 2009 Fort Dix, and the adjacent Air Force and Naval facilities were consolidated into a single secure facility, Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst. The supporting component is the United States Air Force, and base operations are executed by the 87th Air Base Wing (87 ABW). The 87 ABW provides installation management to all of JBMDL while both the Navy and Army retain command and control of their mission, personnel, equipment and component-specific services. Neither the Navy nor the Army bases are subordinate to the Joint Base; each are simply supported by the joint base in base operations such as utilities, child care centers, gyms, and other services, but each report through their own service-specific command chains and have their own commanders (the Navy a Captain and the Army a Colonel). The commanders of both Fort Dix and Lakehurst serve also as a Deputy Joint Base Commanders.
* Marine Aircraft Group 49
* 99th Readiness Division
* 1st Brigade, Atlantic Training Division, 84th Training Command
* USCG Atlantic Strike Team
* United States Air Force Expeditionary Center
* Military Entrance Processing Station
* NCO Academy
* Navy Operational Support Center
* 174th Infantry Brigade
* Fleet Logistics Squadron (VR-64)
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. Though the camp was an embarkation camp for the New York Port of Embarkation it did not fall under the direct control of that command, with the War Department retaining direct jurisdiction. 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. 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.
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 USAF moved the Security Police Air Base Ground Defence school from Camp Bullis, Texas, to Dix in fall 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, after having lost its traditional basic-training mission. But Fort Dix advocates attracted Army Reserve interest in keeping the post as a training reservation. With the reserves, and millions of dollars for improvements, Fort Dix 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 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 Army's Installation Management Command. Primary missions include training and providing regional base operations support to on-post and off-post active component and U.S Army Reserve units, soldiers, families and retirees. 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. Devens Reserve Force Training Area, MA is a sub-installation of the ASA.
In 2005, the United States Department of Defense announced that Fort Dix would be affected by a Base Realignment and Closure. For base operations support, it became part of Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, N.J. It was the first base of its kind in the United States and is the Department of Defense's only tri-service joint base. ASA, Ft Dix occupies and supports all training across 31,000 of the joint base's 42,000 acres.
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 City 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 base with automatic weapons in an attempt to kill as many soldiers as possible. The men faced 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, during their leisure hours, Specialist 4 Steven Goodman, assisted by PFC Stuart Scherr, made a small clay model of a charging infantryman. 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, Bondo 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
::This monument is dedicated to
::the only indispensable instrument of war,
::The American Soldier—
::THE ULTIMATE WEAPON
::"If they are not there,
::you don't own it."
:::17 August 1990
According to the United States Census Bureau, Fort Dix had a total area of 10.389 square miles (26.909 km2), including 10.262 square miles (26.580 km2) of land and 0.127 square miles (0.329 km2) of water (1.22%).
[US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990](_blank)
United States Census Bureau. Accessed September 4, 2014.
The climate in this area is characterized by hot, humid summers and generally mild to cool winters. According to the Köppen Climate Classification system, Fort Dix has a humid subtropical climate, abbreviated "Cfa" on climate maps.
As of the 2000 United States Census
there were 7,464 people, 843 households, and 714 families residing in the CDP. The population density was 663.9 people per square mile (256.4/km2). There were 1,106 housing units at an average density of 98.4 homes per square mile (38.0/km2). 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. [DP-1 - Profile of General Demographic Characteristics: 2000 from the Census 2000 Summary File 1 (SF 1) 100-Percent Data for Fort Dix CDP, New Jersey]
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. Of all households, 14.7% 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.
, United States Census Bureau. Accessed June 8, 2013.
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.] [
New Jersey Route 68 links Fort Dix to U.S. Route 206 near the latter's interchanges with the New Jersey Turnpike, U.S. Route 130 and Interstate 295. New Jersey Transit provides service to and from Philadelphia on the 317 route.
Pop culture references
Fort Dix is the home base setting in Cinemaware's 1988 C64 and Nintendo video game ''Rocket Ranger''; the game is based on an alternate World War II scenario, wherein the Nazis discover lunarium, which could allow them to win the war unless a young American scientist stops them.
* Jay Berger (born 1966), tennis player who reached a highest world ranking of number 7.
* Jim Riggleman (born 1952), professional baseball player and manager.
[Newberry, Paul, via Associated Press]
"Braves make major splash; Riggleman hired as Mets bench coach"
''The Times-Tribune'', November 27, 2018. Accessed January 9, 2021, via Newspapers.com. "Jim Riggleman, a 66-year-old veteran of 13 seasons as a major league manager, was hired by the New York Mets as bench coach for Mickey Callaway.... Riggleman, a native of Fort Dix, New Jersey, also managed the Chicago Cubs (1995-99), Seattle (2008) and Washington (2009-11)."
* List of United States Army installations
* 1976 Swine Flu Outbreak
Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst
ASA - Dix
official website (U.S. Army Support Activity)
Army Support Activity–Dix (ASA-Dix) official website
IMCOM Atlantic Region
official website (U.S. Army Installation Management Command)
from the Fort Dix website
details of history, area, military units, etc.
Category:1917 establishments in New Jersey
Category:Census-designated places in Burlington County, New Jersey
Category:Civilian Conservation Corps camps
Category:Civilian Conservation Corps in New Jersey
Category:Military installations in New Jersey
Category:New Hanover Township, New Jersey
Category:Pemberton Township, New Jersey
Category:Pine Barrens (New Jersey)
Category:Populated places established in 1917
Category:Springfield Township, Burlington County, New Jersey
Category:Military installations established in 1917