Fort Bliss, Texas


Fort Bliss is a census-designated place and US Army post located in El Paso County, Texas. The Fort is named for Lieutenant Colonel William Bliss, who was a son-in-law of President Zachary Taylor and who was re-interred at Fort Bliss National Cemetery on post.

Fort Bliss was staffed in 1849 to guard El Paso. It was originally located along the banks of the Rio Grande, overlooking Mexico, but was later moved northeastward 10 miles (16 km) to its current location. To this day, the walls of the Fort Bliss Officers Club still contain adobe bricks from over a century ago, and the installation has survived, in contrast to Fort Selden, New Mexico (where Arthur MacArthur was posted, when Douglas MacArthur was a boy), 45 miles (72 km) to the northwest, which is crumbling back into desert.

There is a replica of the original Fort Bliss on the post simulating the adobe style of construction. The troops at Fort Bliss participated in John J. Pershing's expedition against Pancho Villa's raids on New Mexico; they were housed in buildings which still stand on the post. Other items of interest include the Buffalo Soldier memorial statue and a missile museum.

Fort Bliss is home to a large number of maintenance crews and supply units, and serves as one of the Army's premier bases for test driving tanks and other equipment. The fort also houses thousands of military vehicles, among them all the equipment needed to set up Patriot missile sites. Fort Bliss is the home of the United State Army Air Defense Center, and monitors missile launches conducted by White Sands Missile Range (which is located 70 miles (110 km) to the north, in New Mexico). The base is the size of Rhode Island, encompassing approximately 1,177,000 acres (4,760 km²).

In the post 9-11 era Fort Bliss has served as one of the major deployment centers for troops bound for Iraq and Afghanistan. Included on the fort is Biggs Army Airfield (formerly Biggs AFB), which was the site for the return of the 507th Maintenance Company, also based at Fort Bliss.

A large medical installation, William Beaumont Army Medical Center and a Veterans Administration center serve the military and retired-military population here, including Omar N. Bradley, in his last days.



Location of Fort Bliss, Texas

Fort Bliss is located at 31°48'7" North, 106°25'29" West (31.801847, -106.424608)Template:GR.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the portion of the base occupied by housing has a total area of 16.0 km² (6.2 mi²). 16.0 km² (6.2 mi²) of it is land and none of the area is covered with water.


As of the censusTemplate:GR of 2000, there are 8,264 people, 1,527 households, and 1,444 families residing in the installation. The population density is 517.1/km² (1,340.1/mi²). There are 2,309 housing units at an average density of 144.5/km² (374.4/mi²). The racial makeup of the installation is 58.11% White, 25.11% African American, 1.33% Native American, 2.35% Asian, 0.69% Pacific Islander, 8.93% from other races, and 3.48% from two or more races. 19.31% of the population are Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There are 1,527 households out of which 80.0% have children under the age of 18 living with them, 84.5% are married couples living together, 8.2% have a female householder with no husband present, and 5.4% are non-families. 4.9% of all households are made up of individuals and 0.0% have someone living alone who is 65 years of age or older. The average household size is 3.54 and the average family size is 3.62.

In the post the population is spread out with 29.3% under the age of 18, 33.6% from 18 to 24, 34.7% from 25 to 44, 2.3% from 45 to 64, and 0.1% who are 65 years of age or older. The median age is 22 years. For every 100 females there are 167.0 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there are 204.8 males.

The median income for a household in the installation is $35,970, and the median income for a family is $34,679. Males have a median income of $19,920 versus $17,227 for females. The per capita income for the installation is $13,201. 11.0% of the population and 9.5% of families are below the poverty line. Out of the total population, 12.5% of those under the age of 18 and 0.0% of those 65 and older are living below the poverty line.

External links


Further Reading

Metz, Leon C. Desert Army: Fort Bliss on the Texas Border Mangan Books ISBN 0-930208-36-6



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