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AMERICA'S LEGACY IN PANAMA

PANAMA CANAL TREATY TRANSITION

END OF AN ERA

U.S. MILITARY IN PANAMA

U.S. MILITARY IN REGION-History

LIFE AFTER SOUTHCOM

SOUTHCOM TODAY

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FORT CLAYTON (1920-1999) (2,180 acres/Army/ Pacific side)

First infantry post constructed on Pacific side (1919-1920) to protect the Panama Canalís Miraflores and Pedro Miguel Locks. Subsequent construction periods there occurred 1933-1934 and 1940-1943 and 1968-69.  Fort Clayton served as Headquarters installation for infantry, coast artillery, artillery and cavalry units for six decades (1922-1974). The first unit at Clayton was the 33rd Infantry Regiment in the original Infantry quadrangle 1920-1941.  It also served as the headquarters for the Panama Mobile Force 1941-1946. In September 1979, Fort Clayton became the headquarters of the senior Army command in Panama -- the 193d Infantry Brigade (Panama) (with the Command Group in Building 95 ), which, in 1986, was reorganized as U.S. Army South, a major Army command.  Fort Clayton was transferred to Panama November 30, 1999.

FORT KOBBE (1929-1999) (5,196 acres/ Army/ Pacific side, including Cocoli Army housing area (146 acres).

Originally established as part of the 1928-1929 Canal defense augmentation program, Bruja Point Military Reservation (renamed Fort Kobbe in 1932) hosted two Coast Artillery batteries with four 16-inch rifles through World War II. From 1962, Fort Kobbe hosted the headquarters and some units of the 193d Infantry Brigade, the U.S. Army's major combat unit in Panama, with one of its three infantry battalions and engineer battalion at Kobbe. Fort Kobbe was transferred to Panama November 1, 1999.

ALBROOK AIR FORCE BASE/STATION (1922-1997) (769 acres/Air Force/Pacific side)

Originally called the Balboa Fill Landing Field, Albrook was opened in 1922. by which time the need for an airfield on the Pacific side of the Isthmus of Panama had become apparent to then Army Air Service and Panama Canal Department officials. It was formally established as an independent installation in 1924, the first installation on the Pacific side established specifically as an airfield. It was named in honor of First Lieutenant Frank P. Andrew, its first commander.  Albrook hosted the Panama Canal Air Force (PCAF) in 1940; the Caribbean Air Force in 1941; the Caribbean Air Command late 1948-1963; U.S. Air Forces Southern Command 1963-1976; U.S. Air Force Southern Air Division 1976-1989 (which moved from Albrook to Howard Air Force Base in 1978); and 830th Air Division 1989-1991. From 1940s until 1989, Albrook was the home of the Inter-American Air Forces Academy (IAAFA).  Albrook became an Air Force Base in 1948 until 1975 when it was downgraded to an Air Force Station.  The airstrip and adjacent hangars and buildings (Albrook Army Airfield) was transferred to Panama on October 1, 1979, along with the adjacent the PAD (Panama Air Depot) Area which was transferred in stages through 1982.  Albrook Air Force Station was transferred to Panama on October 1, 1997.

 

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Site developed, owned and maintained by  

William H. Ormsbee. Jr.  2005

 

Fort Clayton -- Building 95 and  Quadrangle in center of photo.  In far back- ground the Miraflores Locks of  the Panama Canal

Fort Clayton- History 

Clayton-New Uses

 

Fort Kobbe -- Building 812 (Headquarters of former 193d Infantry Brigade) in the foreground.

Fort Kobbe-           History 

Kobbe-New Uses

 

Albrook Air Force Station from front gate to hangars.

Albrook-History 

Albrook-New Uses