East of Austin, Camp Swift sits on 12 square miles in Bastrop County, Texas and is a Census Designated Place (CDP). Camp Swift is being used by the National Guard as a storage facility and training camp and currently hosts the Texas National Guard and the Federal Correctional Institution, Bastrop. The base is comprised of buildings ranging from warehouses to recreational spaces to artillery ranges, barracks and storage tank structures.
Construction to build Camp Swift began in 1941; the U.S. government wanted to develop 14 new installations across the country and when the bombing of Pearl Harbor occurred, construction began straightaway. Camp Swift opened its doors in 1942 and originally housed 44,000 troops but would expand to house approximately 90,000 military personnel at the height of its growth during the Second World War. Camp Swift was named after Major General Eben Swift who was a commander in World War I and would go on to become an author. Some of his works include Field Orders, Messages and Reports (1906), A Simplified War Game (1897) and A Tactical Ride (1906). Swift died in 1938 in Washington, D.C.
At the end of WWII, some of the original buildings constructed for Camp Swift were relocated while others were sold or repurposed. The base gym, which measures 200x132 feet was sold to the city of Whitney, TX for $1,340 even though it had cost $167,000 to build. The gym was purchased to help ease the overpopulation burden that plagued the local schools. In 1949, the city of Whitney had built a gym for its public schools featuring 4 classrooms but a twist of bad luck would burn the new building down on the second day of school; the Camp Swift gym would become a school gym which is still being used by the Whitney school district today.
In 1996, Camp Swift became a designated Texas Historical Marker and in 2007, Camp Swift welcomed the 136th Combat Arms Training Regiment. In 2015, this installation was part of a Joint Land Use Study (JLUS) conducted in conjunction with the City of Bastrop and the Office of Economic Adjustment, Department of Defense. To find out more about the Camp Swift JLUS and read the final reports, click here. In order to preserve the natural resources on and around Camp Swift, the training exercises conducted on site periodically undergo review to gauge the environmental impact.
Some of the training troops undergo on base includes tank maneuvers, weapons and small arms firing, personnel and cargo airdrops, combat skill building and practice and helicopter operations. The units stationed at Camp Swift during WWII included the 95th, 97th and 102nd Infantry Divisions, the 10th Mountain Division, the 5th Headquarters and the 116th and 120th Tank Destroyer Battalions. At one point during WWII, Camp Swift also held POW's including German and Russian forces. Today, 11 German graves can still be seen on the grounds. WWII also saw Camp Swift become a significant combat infantry training installation. To contact this installation, you can call (512) 321-4122, or visit "Camp Swift Training Center" on Facebook (@CampSwiftTC) for more information.
Housing & Lodging
There is no permanent housing on site; the temporary lodging at Camp Swift is for troops in training. You can find lodging near Camp Swift which includes hotels such as: the Bastrop Inn (512) 321-3949, a family-owned hotel featuring an outdoor pool and free Wi-Fi and the Holiday Inn Express & Suites Bastrop (512) 321-1900, a contemporary hotel with free Wi-Fi, free breakfast, an outdoor pool and a gym.
Austin Telco Federal Credit Union, (512) 302-5555.
A+ Federal Credit Union, (512) 302-6800.
Both credit unions are approximately 15 minutes away from Camp Swift.
Frontier Bank of Texas is a 12 minute drive from Camp Swift by car. You can call Frontier at (512) 303-5000.
Just past Frontier Bank, 15 minutes from Camp Swift, is a Wells Fargo that can be contacted at (512) 969-6750.
There are a couple of schools within a few miles of Camp Swift. They include: Lost Pines Elementary School (512) 772-7700, Bastrop Middle School (512) 772-7400 and Bastrop High School (512) 772-7200, all of which are part of the Bastrop Independent School District.
Places of Interest
Because of its proximity to Austin (45 minutes driving), Camp Swift offers lots of local and easily accessible attractions and places of interest. Voted number one on TripAdvisor, Bastrop's Main Street Historic District (512) 332-8990 offers shops, boutiques, art galleries, public art and various restaurants.
You can also visit the Museum and Visitor Center of Bastrop County Historical Society (512) 303-0904 where you can gather travel information, see relics representing the history of the area and get tips on what to do and see while you're in the area.
Lake Bastrop (512) 498-1922 offers canoe and kayak rentals in addition to outdoor recreation space for picnics, camping and more.