Camp Gruber Training Center
Camp Gruber Training Center is committed to providing world-class ranges and facilities exceeding multi-echelon tactical training excellence and professional leadership mission requirements by providing an environment that continually challenges every soldier who trains here. To be recognized as the premier training center for Homeland Security and Weapons of Mass Destruction and specialty tactical training conducted by all DoD military, law enforcement, and federal agencies. Dedicated to providing state of the art Ranges and facilities for support of the National Guard and Deployment of all Brigade Combat Teams.
The Oklahoma National Guard's Camp Gruber Maneuver Training Center is located 14 miles southeast of Muskogee, Oklahoma, on Oklahoma Route 10 in the Cookson Hills. The site covers more than 33,000 acres. It is located in the heart of Oklahoma's Green Country, which offers recreational opportunities such as fishing, boating, and river float trips at several state and federal parks. Camp Gruber is conveniently located to several nearby cities and Army installations. It is 60 miles from Tulsa; 70 miles from Ft. Chaffee, Arkansas; 160 miles from Oklahoma City and Tinker Air Force Base; and 225 miles from Ft. Sill.
In 1949, slightly less than half of the acquired acreage was deeded to the State of Oklahoma. Since that time the property has been used as a wildlife management area. The Oklahoma Wildlife Department and the Oklahoma National Guard have held joint licenses on the 32,000 acres in eastern Muskogee County. Members of the public wishing to enter the CGTC Training Areas for any reason, are required to receive an annual unexploded ordnance (UXO) safety briefing and permit.
Today, Camp Gruber hosts Government agencies, Law Enforcement, and Joint Service forces in a variety of challenging training environments ranging from European-styled MOUT facilities, collapsed structure situations to new life-fire ranges. The cantonment area, a 2,250 acre complex, presently accommodates 2,000 officers and troops in modern facilities. Construction approved by National Guard Bureau, will provide complete facilities for more than 3,000 soldiers. Camp Gruber’s diverse training areas feature low-lying swamps and lake shores along Greenleaf Lake, open prairie, steep hills and an adequate road network for theater of operations training. The terrain, very similar to Western Europe, provides maneuver areas for infantry, engineer, medical, transportation, aviation and other units.
We believe the training opportunities offered at Camp Gruber are truly unique. We hope your stay here will be beneficial and productive. The staff is ready to assist you with whatever needs you have.
Camp Gruber History
In 1935 and 1936, the U.S. Department of Agriculture had acquired nearly thirty thousand acres of farm land in eastern Oklahoma, of which 27,322.23 acres were already under federal stewardship. More land was acquired through condemnation. Farmers who had owned or worked the property were relocated by the Resettlement Administration.
In 1942, the entire area came under War Department control. The Cookson Hills Project was designed to provide an infantry training center for the U.S. Army's Eighth Service Command. The camp ultimately encompassed between sixty thousand and seventy thousand acres, or approximately 109 square miles of land lying east of the Arkansas River and State Highway 10 in Muskogee and Cherokee counties. The closest community was Braggs, in Muskogee County; the nearest small metropolitan area was Muskogee, site of Hatbox Field and other defense facilities. Construction on the Cookson Hills facility began in early January 1942 when men of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Southwestern Division were transferred from Enid Air Field to establish a general headquarters in Muskogee and a field headquarters in Braggs. Soon engineers arrived and began the task of building a thirty-five thousand-troop facility.
In February 1942 the camp was named "Gruber," after Brig. Gen. Edmund L. Gruber, long-time artillery officer at Fort Sill, Oklahoma. Manhattan-Long Construction Company presented the winning bid. The contract called for the construction of 1,731 frame buildings, including barracks, hospitals, administration buildings, a bakery, chapels, a laundry, mess halls, recreation buildings, storage warehouses, theaters, guard houses, motor repair shops, officers' quarters, and miscellaneous buildings. A supply system would bring water from Greenleaf Lake to a storage reservoir adjacent to the camp; sewer, gas, and electrical systems and roads, grading, and drainage were built. The contractor also relocated State Highway 10 around the base.
The army used preexisting buildings within the reservation boundary; a ranch house complex served as the post commander's billet. Construction proceeded through May 1942, and the first general order was issued on May 21. The cantonment consisted of north-south and east-west streets in a U.S. Army modified triangular division layout. This part of the facility served as an area for barracks, for general administration, for engineer, ordnance, maintenance, and chemical warfare operations, and for medical and hospital services. North of the cantonment were grenade courts, bayonet courts, and obstacle courses, one of which strongly resembled the roads, fields, fences, and hedgerows that troops would later see in Europe. North of these were small-arms firing ranges. An area lying north and east of the training fields were armor and tank destroyer driving ranges and field, antiaircraft, and coastal artillery firing ranges. On the western shore of Greenleaf Lake lay a third use area with various training and recreation facilities, including Greenleaf Lodge, used as one of the cantonment's two officers' clubs.
During the course of World War II Camp Gruber provided training to infantry, field artillery, and tank destroyer units that went on to fight in Europe. Units of the Eighty-eighth Infantry "Blue Devil" Division trained at Camp Gruber. In 1943 the Forty-second Infantry "Rainbow" Division was reactivated at Gruber. In 1945 the Eighty-sixth Infantry "Blackhawk" Division was stationed there pending deactivation at the end
of the war. Ultimately, more than 44,868 troops either served at or trained at the camp, which also employed four thousand civilian workers and incarcerated three thousand German prisoners of war.
On June 3, 1947, Camp Gruber was deactivated and soon became surplus property, with 63,920 acres placed under the authority of the War Assets Administration (WAA). In 1952 the General Services Administration assumed authority over 31,294.62 acres from the WAA, and between 1948 and 1952 the U.S. Army regained control of 32,626 acres. By 1953 virtually the entire 1942 reservation was in federal hands. During the 1950s and 1960s most of Camp Gruber's original buildings and facilities were removed or destroyed. In 1967 the Oklahoma Military Department, Oklahoma Army National Guard (OKARNG), acquired 23,515 acres to establish Camp Gruber as a state-operated training area under a twenty-five year federal license from the Tulsa District of the U.S. Corps of Engineers.
In 1973 and 1982 2,560 acres and 6,952 acres, respectively, were added, for a total of 33,027 acres. The present camp covers eighty-seven square miles. The cantonment area covers 620 acres, and ranges occupy 460 acres. At the end of the twentieth century, Camp Gruber still served OKARNG as a training base for summer field exercises and for weekend training. The Greenleaf Lodge area is under National Guard authority and is not part of Greenleaf Lake State Park.