Arnold Air Force Base

On Sunday we took a drive to Arnold Air Force Base. Never have we been anywhere near an Air Force base and not stopped. Must be that retired Air Force in Joe that he just cannot pass one. Well, we found out that the history is much more exciting than anything else there. The base is a closed base, only military who work there are allowed in, except for the base stores, which are just inside the gate. They also do offer a FamCamp and other recreational facilities, but nothing that really thrilled us.

As you drive on the base through the public access road, you see all these concrete foundations that looks as if buildings had been there. You also see many roads that have been blocked off and not used in a while. Joe wondered if it was a thriving community at one time. Well, as we found out, it was during WWII. Back then it was Camp Forrest, named for the famous Confederate Calvary leader of Tennessee, Nathanial Bedford Forrest. This camp held detainees at the beginning of the war, but were then replaced with German POWs. I found this wonderful Tennessee history site that told the tale. There is also a lot of information at this site. Don’t you just love it when a drive turns into a fun educational adventure?

UPDATE: Since a comment was just posted and I’ve seen the website, perhaps it is a bit more exciting that originally posted. If we can take a tour, I’m sure there will be a nice post about it! (Yeah, more educational fun stuff!)

Also, since we’re talking military, don’t forget to check out CatholicMil.org and send a soldier a care package.

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One Response to “Arnold Air Force Base”

  1. Joel Fortner Says:

    Hello. I work in Public Affairs at Arnold. I’m glad your visit to the base was educational but I’m sorry it wasn’t as exciting as you had hoped. The exciting stuff is inside the gate, which, yes access is limited to base ID holders and retirees. If you’re interested in touring our test facilities, we’d love to have you. We’ve toured thousands of people over many years and the feedback has been consistently positive. I think you’ll be amazed at what’s behind the trees. If you’re interested, contact me at 931-454-4206, and I’ll put you in touch with our tour coordinator, or visit our Web site at http://www.arnold.af.mil. Hope to hear from you.

    Joel

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