Editor’s note: This is the first in a series of articles looking back at the news stories covered in the Fort Leavenworth Lamp over the past decade and will wrap up with a look back at 2020.
Katie Peterson | Staff Writer
According to Fort Leavenworth Lamp archives, the military police units on post saw major changes in 2010 beginning with the return of Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 705th Military Police Internment and Resettlement Battalion — now the 705th MP Battalion (Detention) — from a yearlong deployment to Iraq on Aug. 12. This return from deployment was just one of many over the course of the upcoming decade for the MPs, with units deploying to Kuwait, Afghanistan, Iraq and Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.
Two weeks later, the battalion gained two more companies — HHC, Joint Regional Correctional Facility, and the 165th MP Company — when they were officially activated on Aug. 26. The newly formed extended battalion became the operators of the newly opened Midwest Joint Regional Correctional Facility.
One month later, the 15th MP Brigade was activated on Sept. 28 under Army Corrections Command. That same day, the road leading up to the new JRCF — Sabalu Road — was dedicated in memory of former Fort Leavenworth corrections specialist Master Sgt. Wilberto Sabalu Jr., who was killed in Afghanistan in 2007.
In 2010, post saw the opening of several facilities and programs, the most significant being Frontier Chapel in July with its official dedication taking place Oct. 18. The $15.5 million chapel was built in 2008-2010 just north of the Pioneer Chapel, formerly Main Post Chapel. Construction of the new chapel was prompted after St. Ignatius Chapel, a solely Catholic facility, was destroyed by fire in 2001, and chapel space was needed for all the congregations.
Other openings that year included the Schools of Knowledge, Inspiration, Exploration and Skills (SKIES) Unlimited in January, and the 12th Brick Grille in February.
An extensive renovation of the Grant Hall clock tower, a post landmark, began in 2010. The tower’s 13,000-pound copper dome, which was installed in 1907, was removed in September and later replaced. In February 2016, the clock went through a digital conversion when two of the clock faces stopped working because of worn out brass gears.
The Fort Leavenworth Fire Department was joined by other area fire departments conducting live fire training Feb. 15-27 in 16 housing units that were set to be demolished in the cul-de-sacs on Dodge and Swift streets.
Trophy Lounge in the Lewis and Clark Center was renamed in honor of Kansas Senator Pat Roberts Aug. 20. Roberts, a former Marine, was chosen because of his support of the Lewis and Clark Center as the new home of the Command and General Staff College.
On Nov. 10, retired Maj. Gen. Robert L. Shirkey, former Alamo Scout Team leader, donated an oral history and multiple written works about special reconnaissance units to the Combined Arms Research Library.
In 2011, post saw more significant facility openings.
The Resiliency Center at 600 Thomas Ave. opened June 9, providing a central location for several services including Army Community Service, the Directorate of Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation, the Equal Opportunity and Equal Employment Opportunity offices, the Army Substance Abuse Program and more.
The Osage Child Development Center opened Dec. 2, providing 60 more slots for child care and six new employee opportunities, as well as a new home for School-Age Services programs.
The MP units had more accomplishments and changes in 2011.
On April 25, HHC, 705th, was awarded the Brigadier General J.P. Holland Award, naming the unit as the top company in the Army and the first HHC to ever receive the award.
On July 19, the 15th MP Detachment was officially activated under the 15th MP Brigade. The detachment was activated to provide command and control of the brigade staff.
Several renovations that began in 2010 were completed in 2011. One of the largest was Gruber Fitness Center. The yearlong renovation project included a new heating and cooling ventilation system, the purchase of new equipment, the addition of another women’s locker room and restroom, renovated showers, expanded cardio exercise and core stretching areas and a new check-in counter. Gruber received more new equipment in January 2018 when the basketball court was transformed into a functional fitness area with treadmills, ellipticals, squat racks and more.
Renovations at Harney Sports Complex were completed in April after several months of work. Updates included a new HVAC system, window and lighting replacements, a room in the pool area for pool parties and classes, a renovated pool and a restructured lobby creating one entry point for gym users. More renovations came to Harney this past September when the east gym was turned into a functional fitness area.
A wet spring led to flooding at Sherman Army Airfield as Missouri River waters rose. On June 29, the water level reached 29 feet and the flood waters breached the levee on the north end of the airfield. Cleanup began in August and the airfield reopened in November.
On Aug. 29, while renovations were being made in the old U.S. Disciplinary Barracks Complex, a portion of a wall collapsed, trapping a contract worker, who sustained non-life-threatening injuries and was rescued by emergency responders. Members of Fort Leavenworth Fire and Emergency Services were later honored with a Department of the Army Heroism Award for their efforts.
In April, SAS earned their four-year reaccreditation through the Council on Accreditation following a six-month evaluation process. In April 2016, SAS closed doors at Patch Community Center and moved to the Osage CDC because of smaller enrollment and the need for renovations at Patch.
In December, MAHC’s Behavioral Health and Preventive Medicine Services moved out of Hoge Barracks into the newly remodeled Gentry Clinic north of the MAHC complex.
Several facilities opened in 2011, including the Auto Craft Center in May, the Installation Dining Facility in September, which expanded to include serving enlisted family members in April 2012, and the Frontier Conference Center Solarium buffet in October.
Additionally, the School of Advanced Military Studies opened up new classrooms in Muir Hall, the old stables south of Gruber in September.
On Aug. 20, Survivor Outreach Services conducted a Run for the Fallen, which has since become an annual event to honor fallen service members.
Following a year of construction, Santa Fe Child Development Center opened Oct. 2. It was opened strictly to accommodate children from infant to kindergarten age.
March 5-9, the American Corrections Association sent representatives to the USDB and the JRCF to evaluate the facilities on 500 different standards, including health standards and staff training. The visit ended in both facilities earning 100 percent scores and accreditation. Both facilities earned 100 percent scores again and were reaccredited in March 2015.
ACS also received reaccreditation in October 2012, following a month of evaluations. Several programs were noted as best practices by evaluators including the Exceptional Family Member Program’s barrier-free playground that opened April 26. The playground, behind Post Theater, was built to accommodate children with disabilities.
While military working dogs were already part of military police operations on post, the activation of the 67th MP Detachment (Military Working Dog), Special Troops Battalion, on Oct. 24 led to more dogs and handlers in the program. In 2013, the Training and Doctrine Command MWD Certification Authority certified all eight dogs in the unit following a weeklong evaluation May 6-9.
In January, Flint Hall opened to accommodate SAMS classes following renovations that included eight classrooms similar to those in Muir Hall and the Lewis and Clark Center. During Flint Hall’s dedication ceremony on Jan. 12, an exercise room was also dedicated in honor of SAMS fellow Col. Tom Felts, who was killed in Iraq 2006.
On May 23, the All-Hazards Training Center opened near the 15th MP Brigade’s internment and resettlement training facility. The facility was intended to help firefighters fulfill required training such as venting a fire, search and rescue, learning to work together as a team and more. For police, the facility can be used for active shooter training, and search and rescue.