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Camp Shelby in Mississippi: A Profile of the Army Training Base

Camp Shelby is located in Camp Shelby Mississippi just 12 miles south of the city of Hattiesburg. It is used by service members all over the United States for training. When people think of an Army Camp though they only think of training for the troops, but Camp Shelby offers more than that.

The Camp was originated in 1917 and was used as a training camp for solders ever since World War 1 and all the wars after that. It was named after Isaac Shelby who was a Revolutionary War Hero. He was also the first Governor of Kentucky.

Camp Shelby is located on more than 134,800 acres. It is the largest state owned and operated training site in the United States. Annually approximately 100,000 National Guardsman and Reservists go through the Camp. They specialize in training for Abrahams M1 Tank, Paladin Howitzers, and are also the home to the 3rd Brigade 87th Division Training Support of Mississippi. They train here because of the camp’s location for climate and terrain advantages during the summer months. The weather and climate is desert like. They want the troops to get use to the terrain and heat a little bit before they get deployed.

The Camp also just recently opened a new combat runway in 2007. It is 210 acres and is the second place in the world that is designed to have the Boeing C-17 Globemaster 111, which is an American strategic airlifter, short field landing operations. The airlifter delivers troops and cargo to bases and to areas of deployment. They also do medical operations and airdrop missions.

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Camp Shelby is where my husband spent 5 months of training before he was deployed overseas. He was there just as Hurricane Katrina was hitting Mississippi. They actually felt some of the effects there also. Buildings got ripped a part, trees fell down and so on.

The Camp has a lot of area for all different kinds of training techniques. They have a great shooting range area for the soldiers to practice their skills, timing and accuracy at. They have other firing areas also.

The also have there own boot camp area that is home to the Youth Challenge Program. So if your youngster is misbehaving all the time and getting into bad trouble, check out Camp Shelby. They have a great turn around rate. It teaches the child the respect, skills, and values they need to grow into a successful adult in the world today. I have heard it is an excellent program for children of all ages.

Camp Shelby is not only a training center; they are also home to the Armed Forces Museum near the Parade Field. The building is over 16,000 square feet and has a theater, gift shop, and many different displays throughout the area. This is a really neat place to see. They opened up the museum in October of 2001 and it is worth it to go check this place out.

The displays in there are interactive for the people walking through the place. You feel as if you are traveling back in history when you walk through this amazing place. There are displays dedicated to all service members, especially those that are from the Mississippi area that have received high honor and those that have trained in Mississippi during times of war. The displays tell personal stories about the heroes that have served for our country from the 1812 and on.

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It takes awhile to walk through the building because there is so much to look at and to read. The museum is for people of all ages and anyone can walk through there. Just make sure you bring an ID with you so you can get a pass to enter the base temporarily. Make sure you stop at the gift shop also. There are some really neat things in there also. I highly recommend going here is you love history, especially war history.

Camp Shelby is important to the people in the area also. They have employed more than 1000 people for full time jobs on the base and about 30 seasonal employees. It also brings the solders families into the area when they visiting their loved ones while they are stationed on the base. So that gives some tourism to the local area.