On Feb. 11, the Army announced they had reached a decision as to which of the 31 original bases under consideration would become home to the senior-level command that will be activated and headquartered by this fall. In the end, it was Fort Knox that won out over the other two finalist, Fort Benning in Georgia and Fort Drum in New York, landing the V (Fifth) Corps.
Secretary of the Army Ryan McCarthy approved the activation of V Corps at Fort Knox, which will be comprised of approximately 635 soldiers, 200 of whom will man an operational command post in Europe on a rotating basis, according to a U.S. Army press release. The command will be led by a 3-star general.
“Fort Knox is excited to have been selected as the home of V Corps,” said Major General John Evans, Jr., U.S. Army Cadet Command and Fort Knox commanding general. “We have the capability and capacity to host this new headquarters and we are working closely with the Army on timelines for the establishment of V Corps at Fort Knox.”
The V Corps was originally activated in 1918 during WWI, seeing combat in France. In WWII, the Corps was part of the D-Day Invasion and liberation of Europe. After playing a role in Afghanistan and Iraq, V Corps was inactivated in 2013. The command also has historical ties with Fort Knox, as some of its units trained here throughout the 1920s and 30s.
The command will be primarily located in the Lt.Gen. Timothy J. Maude Complex, alongside the U.S. Army Human Resources Command already housed there. The V Corps commander will be senior-ranking General officer, but the commander of U.S. Army Cadet Command will remain dual-hatted in retaining senior command responsibilities for the installation.
“Combatant commanders know they can count on highly trained and ready Army forces as they implement the National Defense Strategy around the world,” said Gen. James McConville, Chief if Staff of the Army. “The activation of an additional Corps headquarters provides the needed level of command and control focused on synchronizing U.S. Army, allied and partner nation tactical formations operating in Europe. It will enhance U.S. Army European Command as they work alongside allies and partners to promote regional stability and security.”
There are currently only three U.S. Army Corps: I Corps, located at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Washington; III Corps located at Fort Hood, Texas; and XVIII Airborne Corps, located at Fort Bragg, North Carolina.
“Fort Knox has proven itself as a leader in our nation’s armed forces time and time again, and I’m delighted to announce Secretary McCarthy and General McConville answered my call to station V Corps headquarters in Kentucky,” Senator Mitch McConnel said. “As the Army continues modernizing it’s force structure to counter evolving global threats, Fort Knox is the best choice to meet our urgent national defense needs. With its unmatched level of community support, Fort Knox will offer V Corps a warm welcome.”
Congressman Brett Guthrie added, “Fort Knox and the surrounding communities have the assets and the attitude to host these new soldiers and their families. Kentucky is a great place to be a soldier…”
The economic impact in both Meade County and neighboring Hardin County that these soldiers and their families promise to have positive effects on everything from local businesses, housing and increased civilian employment opportunities at the army base itself. Fort Knox is already Kentucky’s largest employer in one location.
“Anytime there are new units, or new missions, or new soldiers coming to the installation, it has a tremendous economic impact on the entire region actually,” stated Beth Avey, Vice President of the Knox Regional Development Alliance.