Fort Indiantown Gap
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Fort Indiantown Gap, also referred to as "The Gap" or "FTIG", is a census-designated place and U.S. Army post primarily located in Lebanon County, Pennsylvania. A portion of the installation is located in eastern Dauphin County. It is located adjacent to Interstate 81, 23 miles (37 km) northeast of Harrisburg, just north of the northern terminus of Pennsylvania Route 934 at I-81's Exit 85. The installation is an active National Guard Training Center and serves as headquarters for the Pennsylvania Department of Military and Veterans Affairs and the Pennsylvania National Guard. The fort surrounds Memorial Lake State Park. It is served by the Annville, Pennsylvania post office. As of the 2010 census the population was 143 residents.
The Fort Indiantown Gap Military Reservation is protected by a full-time police force, the Fort Indiantown Gap Police Department, which enforces traffic and other state laws. The post includes 18,000 acres (73 km2), with numerous ranges and training areas for the 28th Infantry Division, the 213th Area Support Group, and the Eastern Army National Guard Aviation Training Site (EAATS). The installation is also home to the Northeast Counterdrug Training Center (NCTC).
The history of Fort Indiantown Gap dates back to 1755, when resentment of the Susquehannock Indians toward white settlers forced the colonial government of Pennsylvania to establish a fortification in the area. The Susquehannock, who had been cultivating the land in that area of Pennsylvania for well over three thousand years, became willing allies against the colonists as the French and Indian War began. At the onset of the war, the Susquehannock attacked colonial frontier settlements using the passes that existed in Blue Mountain through Manada Gap, Indiantown Gap, and Swatara Gap. Because of these attacks, a chain of fortifications was established across the northern tier of Lebanon County, to include Fort Indiantown Gap.
The modern post was originally developed by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, on the recommendation of General Edward Martin, as a National Guard training site in 1931. Over the years, the installation has served as home to the Pennsylvania National Guard as well as active units of the United States Army. In 1941, the post was officially named Indiantown Gap Military Reservation (IGMR). Martin retired from military service and went on to serve as Governor of Pennsylvania and then State Senator. After his death, the Legislature of Pennsylvania renamed the installation the Edward Martin Military Reservation, a designation that Martin himself had rejected throughout his life. The new name was never fully accepted by the military personnel who served there. In 1975, the Secretary of the Army renamed the post Fort Indiantown Gap, in order to more closely align it with other Active Duty stations throughout the United States. Pennsylvania also reinstated the Indiantown Gap designation, which it retains today.