Ft. Bragg/Pope AFB
In 1918, Congress established Camp Bragg, an Army field artillery site named for the Confederate General Braxton Bragg. An aviation landing field named after 1st Lt. Harley H. Pope, whose JN-4 Jenny crashed in the Cape Fear River, was added a year later. After five years, Camp Bragg became a permanent Army post renamed Fort Bragg. Today, Fort Bragg and Pope Air Force Base comprise one of the world's largest military installations.
Fort Bragg - An "open" Army installation, allows visitors to pass freely through the base without military affiliation. Your visit should begin with the Fort Bragg Welcome Center, open 24 hours a day, seven days a week. It is located in the Soldier Support Center, Building 4-2843 and Normandy Drive. Additional information: 907-2026. Fort Bragg Community Relations: 910-396-8015 or 910-396-5401.
"Camp Bragg" was established in 1918 when the Army needed to expand its field artillery training facilities in preparation for World War I. They chose this location because it met the following criteria: a climate suitable for year-round training and close proximity to a port and rail transportation. Named for Confederate General Braxton Bragg, a former artillery officer from North Carolina, the camp became Fort Bragg in 1922 after Congress decided all artillery sites east of the Mississippi River should become permanent posts.
Fort Bragg's rich "airborne" history and tradition was launched in 1934 with the first military parachute jump, which used artillery observation balloons as platforms. However, it wasn't until two decades later that the post became an airborne training site.
Today, Fort Bragg is the world's largest airborne facility with more than 45,000 military personnel. Widely known as the "home of the airborne," Fort Bragg houses the 82nd Airborne Division, assigned here in 1946 after returning from Europe, and the XVIII Airborne Corps, reactivated here in 1951. The U.S. Army Parachute Team (the Golden Knights) also calls Fort Bragg home.
The Psychological Warfare Center - now the U.S. Army Special Operations Command - was established here in 1952 and Fort Bragg units include the 1st Corps Support Command, 44th Medical Brigade, XVIII Airborne Corps Artillery, 18th Aviation Brigade, 35th Signal Brigade, and more. Fort Bragg and neighboring Pope Air Force Base form one of the largest military complexes in the world.
Pope Air Force Base - A closed base that welcomes military or Department of Defense identification card holders and their guests. It is home to the 43rd Airlift Wing and two tenant units: the 23rd Fighter Group and the 18th Air Support Operations Group. Motor coach and private tours are available with a reservation. Pope AFB Public Affairs: 910-394-4183.
Pope Air Force Base has played a leading role in the development of U.S. tactics and air-power throughout history. Missions at Pope range from providing airlift and close air support to American armed forces, to humanitarian missions flown all over the world.
The War Department officially established "Pope Field" in 1919, and it ranks as one of the oldest installations in the Air Force. It is named after First Lieutenant Harley Halbert Pope who was killed on January 7, 1919, when the JN-4 Jenny he was flying crashed into the Cape Fear River. Original operations included photographing terrain for mapping, carrying the mail, and spotting for artillery and forest fires.
Today, Pope supports the Air Force under the Air Mobility Command with Rapid Global Mobility. C-130 Hercules aircraft fly people, equipment, and supplies all over the world to support the far-reaching military obligations of the United States. Personnel and aircraft of Pope Air Force Base have been involved in humanitarian disaster relief, presidential directed combat actions like Operations URGENT FURY in Grenada, JUST CAUSE in Panama, DESERT SHIELD/DESERT STORM in Southwest Asia, as well as supporting Fort Bragg's Airborne and Special Operations paratroopers.
Pope is also home to the 23rd Fighter Group, an Air Combat Command unit, flying A/OA-10 Thunderbolt II close air support aircraft. Personnel and aircraft from the 23rd fly missions supporting contingencies - wartime and peacetime - at home and abroad in areas such as Bosnia and Southwest Asia.
Pope AFB, with its unique mission, equipment, and dedicated personnel, is a valuable component of the Air Force's "Global Engagement: A Vision for the Twenty-First Century Air Force."