Fort Drum is a prominent fiber in the fabric of the Northern New York community, with 37,000 soldiers and family members. The installation also provides employment for about 4,000 area residents and hundreds of millions of dollars in trade for local businesses. Soldiers and their family members receive medical care from local health care providers and enroll in local schools and colleges. Staunch community support by way of programs such as Project Strong Communities and Operation Yellow Ribbon further connect our military and civilian communities. The resulting economic and social impact benefits not only Northern New York, but New York State as a whole.
Today, Fort Drum consists of 107,265 acres. Its mission includes command of active component units assigned to the installation, provide administrative and logistical support to tenant units, support to tenant units, support to active and reserve units from all services in training at Fort Drum, and planning and support for the mobilization and training of almost 80,000 troops annually.
Fort Drum has been used as a military training site since 1908, however the Army’s presence in the North Country may be traced back to the early 1800′s.
In 1809 a company of infantry soldiers was stationed at Sacket’s Harbor to enforce the Embargo Act and control smuggling between northern New York and Canada. Following the outbreak of the War of 1812, Sackets Harbor became the center of United States Naval and military activity for the Upper St. Lawrence River Valley and Lake Ontario.
The post was designated Fort Drum in 1974 and a permanent garrison was assigned. In April 1980, B Company, 76th Engineer Battalion (Combat Heavy) was reassigned here from Fort Meade, Md. It was followed by the rest of the battalion, less Company D, three years later.