Camp Blanding Joint Training Center is the National Guard’s premier training site in North-Central Florida.
Facilities and capabilities: Camp Blanding Joint Training Center serves a wide range of customers, including – but not limited to – all components of the U.S. military, international forces, federal and state law enforcement agencies and others. Camp Blanding is committed to and capable of supporting both federal and state missions. Utilizing state and federal funds, the post continually searches for new ways to improve existing facilities, create new ranges and construct buildings to better support the needs of its customers.
As a result of the increase in training there has been a need for new facilities as well as upgrading excising facilities. Having quality facilities is important to Camp Blanding being able to provide quality training opportunities for these units and individuals.
On base billeting facilities can accommodate 3,000 personnel (i.e., one standard Army brigade consisting of four battalion areas). Each battalion area has company dining facilities, orderly rooms, officer/enlisted barracks, a supply building and a battalion headquarters building.
Training Areas include three major maneuver areas with a total of 55,000 acres of varied topography—planted pine plantations, swamps, oak hammocks, desert-like terrain—with the ability to support a Light Infantry Brigade plus one Battalion of aggressors. The Military Operations in Urban Terrain (MOUT) Collective Training Facility consists of 16 Buildings and a Bridge and Tunnel Trainer.
Ranges: Since 2001 several new ranges have been added to Camp Blanding’s range complex. These include two 32-lane, one 16-lane, and one 10-lane 25-meter zero range, two 10-lane and one 8-lane 10-meter zero range. Also added was an infantry platoon battle course consisting of four villages and a 13-mile live fire course; a modular shoot house for conducting live fire close quarter combat training and an automated combat pistol/MP firearms qualification course. Upgrades were also made to some to existing ranges to give them more capabilities. These include an upgrade to the targetry for M16 record fire range, automated multipurpose machine gun range and crew combat range.
Weapons ranges at Camp Blanding include: 50 live fire ranges capable of handling all weapons systems organic to a Light Infantry Brigade to include Mortars and Artillery; 5 Automated Ranges for small arms and handgun qualification; a Crew Combat Range; four Platoon/Squad Movement to Contact ranges (400 by 800 meters)
Virtual training and simulations: As the U.S. Army looks to augment its training by increasing the use of virtual training systems, Camp Blanding is greatly expanding its virtual training capabilities with the addition of several new facilities as well as upgrades to existing systems. Camp Blanding installed two Warrior Skills Trainers with the combat-redi system, a trainer which uses a virtual world where Soldiers man vehicles and weapons to interact with each other to prepare for overseas deployment. There is also a vehicle combat operation trainer which provides Soldiers a virtual way of operating in a convoy and using their weapons to engage hostile forces at the same time. Along with the two above system was an upgrade to the engagement skills trainer to the EST 2000. This is a virtual weapons trainer that can help a Soldier improve marksmanship skills.
Two additional training simulators at Blanding are the Hummvee egress assistance trainer and the MRAP egress trainer. Both of these trainers help Soldiers learn how to get out of a turned over vehicle. They use actual vehicle bodies mounted on a device where they can be rolled on their sides or upside down. Soldiers are given a class on how to exit an overturned vehicle and then are given the opportunity to practice what they learned.
Additional facilities: Other facilities that have been constructed since Sept. 11, 2001, to improve security and add additional capabilities to Blanding to assist in the training mission are: security building main gate; welcome center; physical fitness ½ mile track; physical fitness center; new ammunition supply point; new telephone office; new fiber optic lines; new physical exam station; troop medical clinic remodel; upgrade to power transmission system; upgrade to fencing at main gate; and air conditioning in all barracks and administrative buildings.