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CAMPAMENTO SANTIAGO
Salinas, Puerto Rico
PuertoRicoSTARCSSI.gif Image92nd Infantry Brigade.gif
Campamento Santiago
Type Military Reservation
Coordinates Latitude:
Longitude:
Built 1940
In use 1940 - present
Controlled by Puerto Rico National Guard
Garrison 92nd Maneuver Enhancement Brigade

Campamento Santiago (English: Camp Santiago) is a military training facility controlled by the Puerto Rico National Guard on 12,789 acres of land located in Salinas, Puerto Rico. This training facility was named posthumously after Medal of Honor recipient and Salinas, Puerto Rico native Specialist Four Héctor Santiago-Colón.

History[edit | edit source]

Soldiers of the 65th Infantry training in Salinas, Puerto Rico. August 1941.

In 1940, the Federal government of the United States leased this military camp, then known as Camp Salinas, from the Insular Government of Puerto Rico. In 1967, the U.S. Government licensed the camp to the Puerto Rico National Guard. Since that time the camp has grown from a tent city with very few permanent facilities to an installation of more than 300 buildings of approximately 715,680 square feet.

In 1941 the 65th Infantry Regiment 3rd Battalion was the first combat unit to train at this Southern Puerto Rico military camp before being sent to Panama to protect the Panama Canal during War World II.

The installation was renamed Campamento Santiago in 1975 in honor of Specialist Four Héctor Santiago-Colón, who received the Medal of Honor during the Vietnam War. Salinas, Puerto Rico was Specialist Hector Santiago's birthplace.

From 1990 to 1991, military units in Puerto Rico such as the 92nd Maneuver Enhancement Brigade reported to Camp Santiago for initial training in preparation before deployment to Operation Desert Storm in Kuwait. Camp Santiago also had a role in training National Guard and Reserve soldiers in Puerto Rico for Operation Enduring Freedom during the War in Afghanistan and the Global War on Terror. In 2006 more soldiers went back to Camp Santiago to prepare for the Iraq War during Operation Desert Shield.

The U.S. Navy had a radio station receiver site at Camp Santiago.

Camp Santiago also served as a sub-village for athletes for the 1993 Central American and Caribbean Games in Ponce and the 2010 Central American and Caribbean Games in Mayagüez.

Installation[edit | edit source]

Camp Santiago Joint Maneuver Training Center (CSJMTC) is located 51 miles south of San Juan, the capital of Puerto Rico. The main gate is located right off Puerto Rico Highway 52, and the camp is easily accessible from almost everywhere in Puerto Rico. Though it has no permanent residents, Camp Santiago can house thousands of troops on a temporarily basis. Some old barracks are being replaced with new barracks; Other facilities include the Sustainment Automation Support Management Office (SASMO), a Puerto Rico National Guard Museum, Theater, Dining Facilities, Base Chapel, Fire Station, a pool for recreation and water training exercises, a cyber café (computer classroom/laboratory), The Brig Gen. Victor J. Torres Fitness Center, a class six shoppette and AAFES has opened a new post exchange and gas station on base.

Training facilities at Camp Santiago include Virtual Convoy Operations Trainer (OCOT), Call For Fire Trainer (CFFT), Engage Similation Training (EST2000), Maneuver Area Training Equipment Site (MATES), 2HMMWV Engress Assistance Trainer (HEAT), FOB Compound Area, EID Path Zoo, a new Rapelling Tower, AWTs, Pre-mob Training Area and an urban assault course. Future proyects for the Camp Santiago Joint Maneuver Training Center (CSJMTC) includes a land navigation course, a live shooting house, and a military pistol qualification range.

Warriors Plaza was inaugurated on September 11, 2011, to commemorate the 10th anniversary of the September 11, 2001 9/11 tragedy and honor all the service members of the Puerto Rico National Guard who were mobilized to the New York area to respond to the search and rescue mission.

Current use[edit | edit source]

File:Prang.jpg

Puerto Rico Army National Guard soldiers present the colors at the 2012 annual training closing ceremonies at Camp Santiago, PR.

Camp Santiago is the primary training facility for the U.S. Army, Army National Guard, U.S. Army Reserve, Air National Guard in Puerto Rico for Annual Field Training Exercises (FTX) each summer and for monthly drills. Army National Guard and Army Reserve units from the Continental United States (CONUS) also come to Camp Santiago for their annual training camp. U.S. Marine Corps Reserve units in Puerto Rico conduct field training exercises and weapons qualifications at Camp Santiago. The Army ROTC and the Air Force ROTC hold their semester training exercises at Camp Santiago.

Camp Santiago is open to the general public for the annual Puerto Rico National Guard Family Day held each February.

The Puerto Rico Rifle and Pistol Association hold their state championship every year at Camp Santiago, with participants from the military, law enforcement agencies, and civilian organizations. Federal and state law enforcement agencies use Camp Santiago as a support facility for operations in southern Puerto Rico. The Civil Air Patrol and the United States Naval Sea Cadet Corps conduct Summer Encampment at Camp Santiago.

See also[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

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