Fort Benning lies smack dab in the lap of the Chattahoochee Valley, embraced by a 10-county sprawl that includes Muscogee, Chattahoochee, Stewart, Taylor, Talbot, Harris, Troup and Marion in Georgia and Lee, Russell and Barbour in East Alabama.
According to the 2010 census, the population of the valley’s Columbus Metropolitan Area, which includes Fort Benning and Phenix City, is roughly 300,000. Columbus remains Georgia’s third largest city. The communities of Phenix City, Smiths Station and Fort Mitchell have grown quickly over the past two years, as more and more military families are taking advantage of the favorable tax rates in Alabama.
The Soldiers and families of Fort Benning, those who live on post and off, enjoy the support of their civilian neighbors, who appreciate the sacrifices made by the American Armed Forces and the fiscal contribution of an installation that pumps more than $100 million dollars into local economies each year.
The admiration is mutual. Army families consistently rank Fort Benning as one of the best PCS destinations due largely to Southern hospitality, the temperate climate and local attractions.
Those who need the occasional big city experience will find plenty to see and do in Atlanta and Birmingham, two and three hours away, respectively. The Gulf Coast is three and a half hours to the South, and the North Georgia mountains are two hours away.
But there’s plenty to do much closer to home.