Fort Lee at the Turn of the Century
As Vietnam – “America’s longest war” – wound down in the early- to mid-1970s, the Army went through a period of reorganization, also introduced new doctrine, weapons and equipment, and unveiled new training and leader development techniques. In 1973, the Continental Army Command (CONARC) headquarters at Fort Monroe was replaced by the U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command (TRADOC). Here at Fort Lee the U.S. Army Logistics Center was created to serve as an “integrating center” for the Quartermaster, Transportation, Ordnance, and Missile and Munitions centers and schools – the traditional combat service support branches. There was a post reorganization and realignment in 1990. The Logistics Center, which heretofore had been a tenant activity, was redesignated the U.S. Army Combined Arms Support Command (CASCOM), and the CASCOM Commander became the Installation Commander as well.
Since World War II Fort Lee installation has played host to a growing number of tenant activities, such as: the Army Logistics Management Center (ALMC), Readiness Group Lee, Materiel Systems Analysis Activity, Gerow U.S. Army Reserve Center, Defense Commissary Agency (DECA), USAR 80th Division, and several other Department of Army and Department of Defense activities. During the 1990s the Enlisted Supply and Subsistence and Food Service departments moved into modern training facilities. New petroleum and water field training cites were constructed. A whole new three-story wing was added to ALMC. Also the Quartermaster NCO Academy and barracks complex was completed, as well new on-post child care and physical fitness centers. Throughout this period the Quartermaster School routinely graduated 20-25,000 students annually, and ALMC another 10-12,000.
Two other QM School academic departments – Petroleum and Water, and Aerial Delivery and Field Services – each received all new, state-of-the-art headquarters and training facilities after 2000. In May 2001, the Army Women’s Museum also opened at Fort Lee, with more than 13,000 feet of gallery space and thousands of artifacts used to tell the long, proud history of women in the Army.
Two historical forces in particular left their mark on the shape and direction of Fort Lee at the dawn of the 21st Century: first, the Army’s increased involvement in contingency type operations at home and abroad; and second, events surrounding the aftermath of 9/11, the 2001 terrorist attacks on the Pentagon and New York’s World Trade Center. Fort Lee has frequently been the site of tailored logistics training, immediate processing and rapid deployment of specialized logistics units and personnel – for operations such Just Cause, Desert Storm, Restore Hope, and many others. That process continues to the present with operations Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom.
Also, in the wake of 9/11, Fort Lee, like all other military installations across the country, has had to institute new policies and procedures to help protect against any future terrorist attacks. A new fence was erected to completely enclose the fort. The main gates can no longer go unmanned. Protective barriers have been placed around key buildings. And now all newly constructed facilities must abide by DOD and Homeland Security rules and regulations aimed at averting another 9/11 type disaster.