Saturday, April 17, 2010

Wrong, wrong, wrong.

CBS reported back in January about US bullion reserves. One of the many facts they got wrong is in this paragraph.
Few people have been inside Fort Knox, a highly classified bunker ringed by fences and multiple alarms and guarded by Apache helicopter gunships. When the U.S. finished building Fort Knox in 1937, the gold was shipped in on a special nine-car train manned by machine gunners and loaded onto Army trucks protected by a U.S. Cavalry brigade. And the fort has been pretty much off limits since then.
Wrong, wrong, wrong. Fort Knox is the home of the US Army Armor School, and has been for many years. Thousands of students traverse Fort Knox each year, both enlisted and commissioned. Adjacent to Fort Knox sits the US Bullion Depository. It's run by the Treasury Department and it's just about as secure as any installation in the world. When I was stationed at Fort Knox (Armor Officer Basic Course, then C-4/37th Armor, then 2nd Batallion 4th Brigade) I was on the grounds of the Bullion Depository exactly once, as part of a drill. As soon as we were briefed at the Depository, we were ordered off the grounds. I have rolled up to the gates of the Depository on more than one occasion, a column of tanks behind me. Again, drills. We conducted a lot of drills to make sure that the gold was as safe as possible.

But no, Fort Knox is not off-limits. It's the home of the Patton Museum, which welcomes all visitors and thousands of students come through the Armor School every year. The Bullion Depository and Fort Knox are two entirely separate installations that just happen to be adjacent to one another. The Bullion Depository is off limits. Fort Knox is fairly wide-open.

If CBS got this fact wrong, then they probably got everything wrong.


PresterSean said...

Is the Patton museum and the Armor school still moving to Benning?

Old NFO said...

Good point, I vaguely remembered there were separate installtions. Thanks for the history lesson :-)

Pawpaw said...

It looks as if the Armor School is moving to Benning, although I haven't seen anything that says the musuem is moving. Major parts of the move were supposed to be funded in FY08 and FY10. I haven't been to Knox since '86 for Armor Officers Advanced course. I'm just a retired old fart who remembers how things used to be. But, I still have my Distinguished Tank Gunnery Qualification patch (97.5% - Q1)