The National Training Center (NTC) at Fort Irwin is one of the leading combined-arms training centers for the U.S. Army. For many 24th ID Desert Storm vets, desert training at the NTC helped prepare them for the real world battles of the Gulf War (1991).
Located near Barstow in the Mojave desert of Southern California, the NTC offers about 1,000 square miles for combat training that enables the complexity of maneuver warfare across the full range of conflict for both ground and aviation forces. Each year, the U.S. Army rotates brigade size units and their enablers through NTC for training.
NTC PHOTO GALLERY
IN THE BOX: A Tour Through the Simulated Battlefields of the NTC
In the Box Tour: Battles in Fake Iraq
Rock-steady symbol unveiled at Painted Rocks
Being the Enemy – OPFOR at the NTC
Due to Hurricane Irma, the 24th Infantry Division Association is cancelling the reunion scheduled in Savannah, Georgia for September 11 - 15. Savannah is under a state of emergency and travel to and from the area is not recommended.
After Irma has passed, and a damage assessment has been completed, the Association will determine if we can reschedule for Savannah or need to go somewhere else. Those registered for the reunion should give consideration to future dates that you consider to be appropriate. November through early January would not be good due to normal holiday activities. Also think about other cities that we should consider if damage in Savannah is extensive.
The reunion coordinator, Mike Frederick, will contact the hotel and the other vendors with whom he has been working. The state of emergency gives him and the Association the ability to void the contracts much easier.
24th IDA members should contact Association president Don Maggio if you have any questions. Email - the24thidavp[at]aol.com.
NEWS FROM SAVANNAH ABOUT THE STORM -
Savannah preparations intensify as Hurricane Irma looms
A photo and biography of Pvt. 1st Class James H. Diamond is displayed at the James H. Diamond Elementary School during the facility's ribbon cutting ceremony at Fort Stewart, Georgia, Aug. 24, 2017. After a three-year-long building phase, the school officially opened for the 2017-2018 school year. (U.S. Army photo by Staff Sgt. Sierra A. Melendez.),
School Named in Honor of 24th ID MOH Recipient Officially Opens at New Facility
The new James H. Diamond Elementary School at Fort Stewart, Georgia officially opened to the public during the facility's ribbon cutting ceremony at Fort Stewart on Aug. 24, 2017.
The school was named after Pvt. 1st Class James H. Diamond, a 24th Infantry Division soldier who was killed in action while trying to save the lives of his comrades in the Philippines in 1945. Diamond was posthumously awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor for his valiant and intrepid actions. Originally called the Fort Stewart Elementary School, the school was renamed for Diamond in 1982.
Construction on the $40 million facility began in October of 2014 about 1.5 miles east of the existing facility. The original school, built in 1963, did not meet current Americans with Disabilities Act criteria or satisfy current design standards of the Department of Defense Education Activity. There are three schools located at Fort Stewart including Diamond, Kessler and Murray Elementary Schools.
The new school features an open layout with operable wall panels that slide open, promoting a collaborative educational environment. The two-story, 122,000 square foot facility also includes a kitchen and teachers' area for each quad of classrooms, an outside amphitheater with a stage, gymnasium, three playgrounds and an energy system that tracks electricity-saving efforts.
Diamond’s great niece, Kelly Strozier, and great nephews Scott Evers and Jarrod Gruber, were present for the ceremony and boasted on the warm welcome they were given by the 3rd Infantry Division which is currently garrisoned at Fort Stewart. Fort Stewart was the home of the 24th Infantry Division from 1975 to 1996.
“It’s great to see how the service continues to put family first,” said Evers. “He [Diamond] would absolutely be amazed by this facility. He continues to make an impact so long after his death, and it’s comforting to see he isn’t forgotten.”
James H. Diamond joined the Army from Gulfport, Mississippi in September 1943. He served as a Private First Class in Company D, 21st Infantry Regiment, 24th Infantry Division.
On May 8, 1945, and the following six days, at Mintal, Mindanao, the Philippines, Diamond repeatedly distinguished himself by his actions in battle and by volunteering for hazardous assignments, such as evacuating wounded and repairing a bridge under heavy fire. On May 14, Diamond was killed after running through intense hostile fire to reach an abandoned machine gun during a mission to evacuate wounded soldiers. For these actions, he was posthumously awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor on March 6, 1946. PFC Diamond, aged 20 at his death, is buried in Evergreen Cemetery, Gulfport, Mississippi.
Original Story and Photos by Staff Sgt. Sierra A. Melendez,
50th Public Affairs Detachment, 3rd Infantry Division Public Affairs.
(From left to right) Dr. Christy Huddleson, Department of Defense Education Activity Americas Southeast District Superintendent; Col. Jason A. Wolter, Fort Stewart garrison commander; Nathanial Aguilar, Diamond Elementary student; Ms. Kathleen Reiss, DoDEA Americas South Carolina/Fort Stewart community superintendent; Shalayah Dukes, Diamond Elementary student; Scott Evers, great nephew of Pvt. 1st Class James H. Diamond; Kelly Strozier, great niece of Pvt. 1st Class James H. Diamond; and Jarrod Gruber, great-great nephew of Pvt. 1st Class James H. Diamond, cut a ribbon formally celebrating the opening of the modern, state-of-the-art James H. Diamond Elementary School at Fort Stewart, Georgia, Aug. 24, 2017. After a three-year-long building phase, the school officially opened for the 2017-2018 school year. (U.S. Army photo by Staff Sgt. Sierra A. Melendez.)
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In the early morning hours of Monday, August 24, 1992, Hurricane Andrew roared ashore 25 miles south of Miami, Florida, hitting Homestead and other south Dade County communities. The hurricane cut a broad path of destruction 22-miles wide. 24th Infantry Division troops were part of hurricane recovery and clean up efforts.
Andrew caused major damage in the Bahamas and Louisiana, but the greatest impact was felt in South Florida, with sustained wind speeds as high as 165 mph. Passing directly through the city of Homestead in Dade County, it stripped many homes of all but their concrete foundations.
HELP NOW - Looking back at our past is always interesting, but we can't overlook the current disaster affecting the Gulf coast right now. The American Red Cross is helping the people affected by Hurricane Harvey in Texas and all across the Gulf coast. Shelters are open, truck loads of supplies are being distributed and volunteers are in place. If you can, please donate to the Red Cross and help the victims of Hurricane Harvey.
CLICK HERE TO HELP.
Hurricane Andrew was one of the worst natural disasters of the century, killing 65 people and leaving a quarter of a million people homeless. It was also the costliest hurricane to make landfall anywhere in the United States until it was surpassed by Katrina in 2005. In total, Andrew destroyed more than 63,500 houses, damaged more than 124,000 others, and caused $26.5 billion in damages.
24th ID troops helped in recovery efforts in the aftermath of Hurricane Andrew.
On August 27, 1992, the 18h Airborne Corps deployed more than 22,000 troops to aid in recovery efforts in the aftermath of Hurricane Andrew. It was one of the largest military rescue operation in U.S. history. The 24th ID sent units from Fort Stewart to help aid in the recovery efforts. 24th ID units involved included, the 724th Main Support Battalion, 24th Signal, 91st Chemical Company, and Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 24th ID.
The military’s mission was to provide immediate emergency relief including food, water, shelter and medical aid. During subsequent phases, the Corps conducted debris removal operations, repaired schools, established relief supply distribution centers and assisted the local government in establishing sustained recovery operations.
READ MORE ABOUT IT - HURRICANE ANDREW
Troops Arrive With Food for Florida's Storm Victims
Originally published August 29, 1992 in the New York Times.
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