Located in Pine Bluff, Arkansas, the Pine Bluff Arsenal is one of only six army bases that store chemical weapons. The army base was opened in 1941 for the manufacture of bombs and grenades. It was originally called the Chemical Warfare Arsenal, but that name only lasted four months. Starting in World War 2, more time was spent on manufacture of chemical weapons. Later, from 1953 to 1969, Pine Bluff Arsenal created several strains of biological weapons, including Agent Orange. President Nixon listened to public outcry abotu chemical weapons and signed a treaty. By 1973, chemical agents that had been produced were destroyed.
Updated: February 16, 2015
Arkansas has three Army bases Fort Chaffee, Pine Bluff Arsenal, and Camp Joseph Robinson. There are currently no plans to erect a new base or close any of the existing bases in Arkansas.
This article provides information about the bases and what they offer in terms of education and jobs for army families.
Camp Joseph Robinson in located in North Little Rock, Arkansas. Army National Guard training takes place there. The camp provides facilities and storage for civilian and military organizations as well. The base, built in 1917, was first named Camp Pike after General Zebulon Pike. The history of the camp extends back to World War I.
Families can enroll their children in one of the five area schools. They include a preparatory academy for Grades Pre-K to first grade, an elementary school, middle school, high school, and a Catholic Academy for Grades K-8. Parents have given Full Counsel Preparatory Academy, Seventh Street Elementary, and the Little Rock Catholic Academy good reviews. NLR High School is reported to be the best school in the state.
There are nine employment agencies in North Little Rock. They include Snelling Personnel Services, Manpower, Employment Specialists, Kelly Services, Trucare Medical Staffing Agency, Care-All Staff Solutions and Elite Staffing. Others located in the area are Firm Foundation Temporary Services and Accustaff.
Fort Smith, Arkansas is the location of Fort Chaffee. Fort Smith is in the northern portion of the state. The National Guard and Army Reserve use the facilities for training installation. Occasionally, Fort Chaffee hosts active soldiers for short periods. As of November 27, 2014, there was no active troop inhabitation.
Five schools are in the area. Lavaca has an elementary, middle and high school. Each facility has an enrollment of less than 70 students. The high school received exceptionally high reviews; as did the other high school in the area, Greenwood High. The enrollment in Greenwood exceeds 800 students. The North Main Intermediate School in nearby Greenwood, also received positive reviews.
Three top industries have employment opportunities near Fort Chaffee. They are tourism, hospitality, and travel; healthcare; and transportation and warehousing. Companies offering the most jobs include Mercy, Crete Carrier, and Dentalworkers Classifieds. Employment opportunities are also available in nearby cities of Van Buren, Fort Smith and Poteau in Oklahoma.
Pine Bluff Arsenal, located close to the city bearing the same name, is in Jefferson County. Jefferson County is in central Arkansas. The Pine Bluff Arsenal has chemical weapon storage permission. Only a few facilities receive that permission. It is the lone northern hemisphere base having equipment that is proper and adequate to handle white phosphorous operations.
Five schools are in the area. Moody Elementary, Taylor Elementary, and Middle School B’s School Days have enrollments of less than 20 students. The highest rated of the three is Taylor Elementary. The White Hall junior high and high school each have enrollments of more than 200 students.
Employment opportunities are sparse in the immediate area. The state capital is 45 minutes away. Job opportunities are more plentiful in Little Rock than in the Army base vicinity. Contractors, working from the arsenal, offer jobs that range from administrative to engineering. Teens find few opportunities for employment in the community.