Located in both New Mexico and Texas, Fort Bliss was first established in 1878. It was occupied by some of the 18th Infantry Division in October of 1893. Over the years, it was home to many different divisions of the US Army. Fort Bliss played a large role in both of the World Wars. During World War One, General Pershing commanded many troops who were stationed there. In World War Two, focus shifted to AAA - anti-aircraft artillery battalions. After that war, it became home to many scientists who participated in Operation Paperclip.
More recently, the base was scheduled to be closed. After the attacks of 9/11, however, the base became a major staging ground for deployment of troops to both Iraq and Afghanistan. Today, the army base continues to serve as training grounds for anti-aircraft and missile defense capabilities. Also, many live fire exercises are conducted on the army installation. Missile launches from White Sands Missile Range are watched from Fort Bliss army base. Because it is still so active and vital for the role of the defense of the United States, Fort Bliss helps support a large part of the local economy.