Camp Dodge Joint Maneuver Training Center is a 4,300 acre military installation located in Johnston, Iowa. The camp serves as the official headquarters of the Iowa National Guard and is used by the U.S. army.
Camp Dodge is only 11 miles north from Des Moines, the capital of Iowa. The camp was chosen to house the Iowa National Guard due its close proximity to the capital city. The Des Moines International Airport is a short 30-minute drive from the base. DSM offers a wide variety of domestic flights to over 2,480,000 passengers a year.
When coming to Camp Dodge, be sure to bring swim wear and snow gear. Iowa is known for its hot summers and snowy winters. During the summer months, the humidity level is very high with temperatures reaching up to 100° F. The winter brings an average snowfall of around 35 inches and lows of 0° F. Autumn and spring are known for being mild and pleasant seasons.
The camp is named after Grenville M. Dodge. Dodge was a war hero during the Civil War and represented Iowa in the House of Representatives. In the state, Dodge is known for organizing the first Iowa National Guard in 1856.
The address to reach Camp Dodge is 7659 NW Beaver Dr, Johnston, IA 50131.
In the early 20th century, construction of Camp Dodge began in order to provide a training center for the Iowa National Guard. The base was soon transferred over to the national military in preparation for the U.S. entrance to World War I. The 163rd Depot Brigade was formed at the base during this time. The main goal of the brigade was to process new draftees and provide basic training.
During the war, Camp Dodge was home to approximately 40,000 people. A major construction program occurred during this time to advance the base. Headquarters buildings, fire stations, an auditorium, a hospital, and a library were built. Barracks were added to provide housing to over 150 men, which included mess and assembly halls.
Following World War I, Camp Dodge was returned to the Iowa National Guard. The base was returned to the federal government again as World War II emerged. However, it was not used to the extent it was used during World War I.
Today, the base is used for training of the State Police and Iowa National Guard. Camp Dodge is also home to Joint Forces Headquarters, Iowa's emergency operations center, a Military Entrance Processing Command installation, and the State Police academy.
Current Activities / Units
Camp Dodge is home to the 185th Regiment, a National Guard training school. The 185th Regment offers a wide variety of courses, including Officer Candidate School, Noncommissioned Officer Education System Courses, and Military Occupational Specialty Courses.
The Midwest Counterdrug Training Center, located on base, provides training to fight against drug trafficking and substance abuse across Iowa and the midwest region.
Camp Dodge is also home to the Army National Guard Sustainment Training Center. The STC’s main mission is to train, upgrade, and sustain the combat readiness of the support maintenance units and their soldiers.
Lodging / Things to Do (MWR)
Being miles from downtown San Antonio provides plenty of hotel options near Camp Dodge. Highly recommended options include the Stoney Creek Hotel & Conference Center, the Hilton Garden Inn, and the TownePlace Suites by Marriott.
The Iowa Gold Star Museum is situated on base. The museum's mission is to honor and depict the military experience of Iowa citizens. The museum collects and exhibits materials that illustrate the story of Iowa’s military past. Come visit Monday through Saturday. Admission is free!
The base has many amenities, including a fitness center. The Camp Dodge website has more information on what the base has to offer.