Clipped From The Post-Standard
Fort Drum Cited In Army Survey Special to The Post - Standard. WASHINGTON - Ft. Drum ranks first for capability to handle infantry units among all installations under the Army Forces Command, according to a new survey of installations conducted by the Army. In that survey, Drum places third for capabilities to handle mechanieed units, behind Fort Irwin. Calif., first, and Fort Bliss, Tex., second. Another ranking included in the survey, which considers the age and condition of post facilities, places Drum sixth for infantry training and eighth for mechanized unit training. The survey says it would cost only about $24 to provide permanent, adequate facilities for the assigned mission and necessary troops at Drum. The North Country military post "has an id*al training maneuver area for an armored or mechanized infantry unit on its western side," the survey states, adding "the hilly, heavily - forested eastern portion of the installation offers terrain that is best suited for infantry, ranger or special forces units."' The survey report also notes that the climate at Drum - approximates that found in Northern Europe and provides for training in nearly conditions." "Other than funding," there are no current or anticipated energy problems in accommodating a brigade or division - size force. Likewise, no environmental problems were found to hinder training and maneuvers, although the report observed that the Army will relocate the tank range this summer to the northeast corner of the 107,000 acre military reservation because of a complaint from a civilian living near the base. "Some range and maneuver area limitations" will be cleared up with the installation's range improvement plan, which will make another 7,400 acres available for range use. The limitations include blocking concurrent use of several firing ranges because of tank - firing safety fans that overlap other firing positions. Also, maneuver space is reportedly limited by small arms ranges and impact areas within the prime maneuver area. The study also notes that there appears to be no problem with firing missiles "organic to an armored or infantry division," even though artillery impact areas cannot be expanded because of heavy timber stands. It also notes that maximum visibility from ground artillery observation posts is less than what the Army usually requires to train forward observers. The post can house 16,380 enlisted men and 1,998 officers in temporary facilities, but it is those temporary, 35 year - old facilities that are the major problem at Drum. Exceptions to inadequate facilities are an enlisted - man barracks now under construction, the new telephone exchange, family housing units and some maintenance facilities. Cited as deficient facilities are the World War libera medical facility, with only six heated wings; warehouse floors which are not strong enough for modern loads; and access streets which are too narrow for modern tractor trailer vehicles. In general, however, the Army report confirms a recent report by staff investigators of the House Appropriations Committee, which indicated that by the Army's own standards, Drum would be an excellent location for at least a regular Army brigade and, with some improvement and construction, a division.