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NEWS | July 30, 2018

Fort Eustis celebrates centennial with community

By Staff Sgt. Areca T. Bell 633rd Air Base Wing Public Affairs

Fort Eustis celebrated its 100th anniversary by hosting a weekend of public activities, including a Legacy Fighting Alliance live broadcast, a carnival-style open house and a concert featuring Daughtry, July 27-28.

“This weekend was all about commemorating Fort Eustis' 100 years of service to our nation, and being able to invite local community members and partners to celebrate with us," said U.S. Army Col. Jennifer S. Walkawicz, 733rd Mission Support Group commander. “Fort Eustis has such a rich history in defense of our nation — this was our opportunity to showcase our installation with the people we work to protect every day.”

The celebration began Friday night with a live broadcast of LFA mixed martial arts fights, concluding with the welterweight world title fight between James Nakashima, LFA welterweight title holder, and contender Kyle "Gunz Up" Stewart, former U.S. Marine Corps gunner.

“I think it’s awesome being here, listening to everybody get loud and rowdy,” Stewart said. “It really reminds me of when I was in (the U.S. Marine Corp); the roars and everything is almost emotional and motivating. I enjoy being around these types of people.”

Saturday’s Open House featured a variety of activities, including base tours, a performance by the U.S. Army Special Operations Command Black Daggers Parachute Demonstration Team, carnival rides and more.

Fort Eustis concluded the celebration Saturday night with a concert headlined by Daughtry, featuring Flashback Heart Attack and the Masaharu Effect as openers.

Fort Eustis has celebrated its centennial throughout the year with several events, including Fort Eustis Night with the Norfolk Tides; an anniversary gala; a rededication ceremony for Seay Plaza; a time capsule ceremony and the anniversary Army Ball.

Fort Eustis has a history dating back thousands of years as Mulberry Island, which was home to Native Americans before the English came and settled the area in 1618. First established in 1918 as Camp Eustis, the installation has served a number of purposes, including as a U.S. Army training facility for artillery and artillery observation during World War I, a prison and a work camp.

Since the World War II era, Fort Eustis’ primary mission has been Army transportation: training, research and development, engineering and operations, including aviation and marine-shipping activities. It supports more than 6,300 service members, 2,600 Department of Defense civilian employees, and 10,900 military family members. The installation encompasses more than 7,800 acres with nearly 25 miles of railway and one active military seaport. Fort Eustis is also home to the Army’s Training and Doctrine Command.