Fort Pickett is located about an hour southwest of Richmond in Blackstone, Virginia and functions as a Virginia Army National Guard installation. The facility mainly serves as a training site for military personnel. Secondarily, the site is used by non-military organizations, such as the United States Marshals Service, FBI, ATF, the Virginia Wing, Civil Air Patrol, Virginia State Police, and local law enforcement agencies.
Fort Pickett was an Army Garrison until 1997, but since the garrison's reassignment to the post of the Virginia National Guard, there have been no regular Army personnel designated to the base. The facility spans 42,000 acres and offers training facilities such as a live fire range, a forward operation base training, urban assault training, and training villages.
Fort Pickett was established in 1941 when a former Civilian Conservation Corps Camp in Blackstone, Virginia was recognized as a potential post for training multiple infantry divisions. Because of its convenient railroad access and adequate supply of land, water, and other resources, Army surveyors agreed that the site would be appropriate for conditioning grounds. The name of the fort commemorates Confederate general George Pickett.
Immediately after construction, the fort was rapidly pulled into America's cause in the wake of World War II. Two rail spurs were erected for logistical efficiency of troop movement, and aircraft were tested on runway. By late 1942, less than a year after the site's formation, over 1,400 buildings had been constructed at the fort. Even in its early years, Fort Pickett had a vibrant atmosphere with four movie theaters, a field house/gym, enlisted clubs, main post exchange, and multiple satellite PXs. Later, 300 more buildings were constructed, which included a female barracks and two facilities capable of housing prisoner of war.
Leading up to the 1960s, there were numerous attempts to close the fort. Guard/Reserve commands and Navy/Marine personnel were assigned to the site to better utilize the facility.
Fort Pickett is most famously home to the Army National Guard Maneuver Training Center. The goal of the Maneuver Training Center is to provide realistic and challenging training to soldiers. The fort also supports safety-focused range control initiatives.
More recently, the facility added several additional buildings geared toward community safety, including a new firehouse, multiple renovations, and a community center. Fort Pickett has markedly shifted its focus toward the community. The base welcomes local elderly citizens, Boy and Girl Scouts, and he wider community to appreciate the nature surrounding the base. Several open-to-the-public holiday celebrations are held at the facility. These initiatives attracted in a number of nearby civilians and retired staff to the area for recreation purposes.
The fort has also creating jobs on the base in order to build the community. Current opportunities include:
- Contracting Specialist, DoA
- Supervisory Contract Specialist, DoA
- 89B Ammunition Specialist, National Guard
There are also several civilian job opportunities available nearby, with social work being in high demand.
If you wish to pay a visit to the fort, there are several options able to accommodate your needs.
The Wedgewood Inn is a favorite for guests in the area, but you may browse other options, including cottages and suites in the area.
If you wish to contact the base by phone, call the Fort Pickett Information Line at (434) 292-8621 and press O (zero) for operator.
Fort Pickett's mailing address is Maneuver Training Center, Building 472, Fort Pickett, Blackstone, VA 23824.
Do you have a GPS? Enter 472 Military Road FORT PICKETT, Blackstone, VA 23824 to reach the base.