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‘This film explores the operation of the U.S. Army Combat Development Command Experimentation Command at Fort Ord, California. Footage reveals the creation and operation of a military field laboratory for the evaluation of new concepts in tactics, organization and equipment for the Army.’
Originally a public domain film from the National Archives, slightly cropped to remove uneven edges, with the aspect ratio corrected, and one-pass brightness-contrast-color correction & mild video noise reduction applied.
The soundtrack was also processed with volume normalization, noise reduction, clipping reduction, and/or equalization (the resulting sound, though not perfect, is far less noisy than the original).
Fort Ord is a former United States Army post on Monterey Bay of the Pacific Ocean coast in California, which closed in 1994 due to Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) action. Most of the fort’s land now makes up the Fort Ord National Monument, managed by the United States Bureau of Land Management as part of the National Conservation Lands, while a small portion remains an active military installation under Army control designated as the Ord Military Community.
Before construction and official designation as a fort in 1940, the land was used as a maneuver area and field-artillery target range during 1917. Fort Ord was considered one of the most attractive locations of any U.S. Army post, because of its proximity to the beach and California weather. The 7th Infantry Division was its main garrison for many years. When Fort Ord was converted to civilian use, space was set aside for the first nature reserve in the United States created for conservation of an insect, the endangered Smith’s blue butterfly. Additional endangered species are found on Fort Ord, including Contra Costa goldfields and the threatened California tiger salamander.
While much of the old military buildings and infrastructure remain abandoned, many structures have been torn down for anticipated development. California State University, Monterey Bay (CSUMB) and the Fort Ord Dunes State Park, along with some subdivisions, the Veterans Transition Center, a commercial strip mall, a tandem skydiving drop zone (Skydive Monterey Bay), military facilities and a nature preserve occupy the area today.
On April 20, 2012, President Barack Obama signed a proclamation designating a 14,651-acre (5,929 ha) portion of the former post as the Fort Ord National Monument. In his proclamation, the President stated that, “The protection of the Fort Ord area will maintain its historical and cultural significance, attract tourists and recreationalists from near and far, and enhance its unique natural resources, for the enjoyment of all Americans.”…
In 1947, Fort Ord became the home of the 4th Replacement Training Center. During the 1950s and 1960s, Fort Ord was a staging area for units departing for war in the Korean War and later peacetime/occupation duty in Japan, South Korea and the Philippines and Thailand. Then, when Southeast Asia became a war zone with Vietnam (and later involving, by the 1970s, Cambodia and Laos), the United States had, at one time, 50,000 troops on the installation. The 194th Armored Brigade was activated there under Combat Development Command in 1957, but departed for Fort Knox in Kentucky in 1960…
The post continued as a center for instruction of basic and advanced infantrymen until 1976, when the training area was deactivated and Fort Ord again became the home of the 7th Infantry Division, following their return from South Korea after twenty-five years on the DMZ (“demilitarized zone”).
In 1988, the “Base Realignment and Closure” (“BRAC”) legislation considering the post-Cold War era was passed by the Congress, under 41st President George H. W. Bush.
On July 14, 1989, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) proposed placement of Fort Ord on the National Priorities List (NPL)… NPL status was finalized on February 21, 1990.
The final basic training classes were held in 1990.
In 1991, the decision to close Fort Ord was made.
In 1994, Fort Ord was officially closed. The Fort was the largest U.S. military base to be closed at the time…