Fort Bliss Army Base in El Paso, TX

Last Updated: Jul 31, 2017

Fort Bliss is located in El Paso, Texas and sits on over 1.12 million acres of land. Originally established in 1849 as Post Opposite El Paso del Norte, Fort Bliss was closed, moved and resettled as Post of El Paso before finally being named after Lieutenant Colonel William Wallace Smith Bliss, a veteran of the Mexican War, in 1854.

Quick Facts
Coordinates32° 07' 11.28" N 106° 03' 50.66" W
CityEl Paso, TX 79916
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History of Fort Bill U.S. Military Base

While the main post is in El Paso, TX, most of the training grounds are located in New Mexico. Fort Bliss is home to more than 38,500 active duty military personnel, over 39,000 military families, 1,000 reservists and 13,000+ civilians. Fort Bliss was the home of the U.S. Army Air Defense Artillery Center until June 2009 when the Center was moved to Fort Sill in Oklahoma. Fort Bliss is also home to the headquarters for the El Paso Intelligence Center and Biggs Field military airport. Up until General Robert E. Lee’s surrender to Ulysses S. Grant, Fort Bliss was used as a Confederate garrison.

Fort Bliss has the Army’s largest maneuver area at 992,000 acres and the largest airspace in the continental United States at 1,500 sq. miles. Fort Bliss National Cemetery is also located onsite. During World War I, commander John J. Pershing trained forces at Fort Bliss that would become the WWI National Army. During World War II, Fort Bliss was used for anti-aircraft artillery battalion training and was also used to hold POW’s. Fort Bliss also housed thousands of U.S. Soldiers through their training during the Cold War era. Post 9/11, Fort Bliss became a major deployment station for Iraq- and Afghanistan-bound troops. In 2001, Afghan security forces began receiving training on base. Fort Bliss sees approximately 30,000 troops (a majority of which are National Guard and Reserves) come through its facilities every year as they undergo training before deployment.

In 2005, the Pentagon decided to make Fort Bliss a heavy armor training post. It was estimated that this decision would create 20,196 new jobs including 9,000 civilian jobs as a result of the population growth in the area. The German Air Force has an Air Defense Center at Fort Bliss that it plans to use until 2020, with a possibility of extending their stay. Although the German Air Force deactivated its command in 2013, they host a competition each year in which American forces on base compete to earn the German Armed Forces Badge in Military Proficiency. Forty-eight soldiers were awarded the badge in the 2017 competition. Per the FAA, Fort Bliss is a No Drone Zone, a ruling that the Military Police enforce. Major General Robert P. White, 1st Armored Division, is the Commanding General at Fort Bliss.

Because Fort Bliss is so large, various training exercises and activities occur frequently including:

  • Anti-aircraft and missile defense monitoring
  • Training via live fire exercises (LFX) in which almost every kind of military weapon is used
  • Training exercises with other U.S. and foreign forces
  • Housing troops, supplies, maintenance crews, civilians and more
  • Acting as a premier base for testing weaponry, tanks and other equipment
  • Monitoring missile launches
  • Hosting a drone airfield that has its own runway and hangar

Major Units

  • 1st Armored Division
  • 15th Sustainment Brigade
  • 402nd Field Artillery Brigade
  • 5th Armored Brigade
  • 32nd Army Air and Missile Defense Command
  • 11th Air Defense Artillery Brigade
  • 86th Expeditionary Signal Battalion
  • Joint Task Force North

Housing & Lodging

Fort Bliss Housing Service Office building T-0070 on the corner of Pleasonton Rd and Carter Rd:

  • (915) 568-4731
  • Monday – Friday: 7:30a-Noon, 1p-4p
  • Closed every third Thursday of the month from noon-4p

Fort Bliss Family Homes on 1991 Marshall Rd

  • (915) 565-7777


Four elementary schools and 1 high school are located on post at Fort Bliss:

4 Elementary Schools

  • Bliss Elementary School, (915) 236-5150
  • Milam Elementary School, (915) 587-2520
  • Logan Elementary School, (915) 236-5750
  • E-14 Modular Westside Elementary School, (915) 230-2000

1 High School

  • Captain John L. Chapin High School, (915) 236-4400

Bus transportation provided for students who live more than two miles away from their assigned school. For questions contact El Paso Independent School District: (915) 230-2000 or the Fort Bliss School Liaison Officer: (915) 569-5064.

Colleges / Universities

  • Park University, (915) 562-8450
  • Webster University, (915) 562-4400
  • Vista College El Paso, (915) 779-8031
  • Southwest University, (915) 778-4001
  • El Paso Community College (various campuses)
  • Western Technical College, (915) 566-9621
  • Roger Bacon College, (915) 565-2921
  • Howard Payne University, (915) 533-8500
  • St. Anthony’s Seminary, (915) 566-2261
  • Vantage College, (915) 593-1515

Banks/Credit Unions

  • Armed Forces Bank, (915) 562-7778
  • Wells Fargo, (915) 521-4069
  • Firstlight Federal Credit Union, (915) 562-1172
  • Bank of America, (915) 774-3900
  • Chase Bank, (915) 771-5661
  • Navy Federal Credit Union, (888) 842-6328

Things To Do & See/Places of Interest

  • Old Fort Bliss Replica Museum on Pershing Rd (depicting the Fort’s history from 1848-1948)
    • For general information: (915) 568-4518
    • Tuesday – Friday: 10a-5p
    • Saturday: by appointment
    • Closed Sundays and Federal holidays
  • Fort Bliss and Old Ironsides Museum at Building 1735 on Marshall Rd (next to the commissary)
    • For general information: (915) 568-5412
    • Monday – Friday: 9a-4p
    • Saturday: 10a-3p
    • Closed on Federal holidays
  • Fort Bliss Commissary on 1620 Marshall Rd
    • (915) 568-6688
  • Fort Bliss Welcome Center on 505 Pershing Rd
    • (915) 568-3035
  • The Grand 10 – Fort Bliss movie theatre on 1619 Pleasonton Rd
    • (915) 615-0621
  • Freedom Crossing at Fort Bliss on 1611 Haan Rd
    • The first open air shopping center on a U.S. military installation
    • General information: (915) 564-5311
    • Monday – Friday: 9a-9p
    • Saturday: 9a-10p
    • Sunday: 9a-7p
  • Mickelsen Community Library on 2 Sheridan Rd
    • (915) 568-6156
  • William Beaumont Army Medical Center on 5005 N Piedras St
    • (915) 742-2273
  • Fort Bliss Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation (MWR)
    • Various sports and fitness programs are available including aquatics classes, group fitness, a golf complex and gym facilities


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