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Fort Bliss is a diverse post that has a rich history of service to our nation. We pride ourselves on the many training and recreational opportunities available to soldiers and families.

Originally established in 1848 to protect American settlers from Indians and marauding bandits, Fort Bliss is one of the Army’s oldest posts. Over its distinguished history, it has been an infantry post and a Calvary post. Today it is the home of Air Defense Artillery and other organizations.

The Post’s most famous Soldier, Brigadier General (later General of the Armies) John J. Pershing, served here in 1914-1916 just prior to leading the US Expeditionary Force World War I. Another famous general Lieutenant (later general) George Patton served on General Pershing’s staff at Fort Bliss.

The Air Defense School at Fort bliss is Responsible for air defense artillery training of US soldiers and various allied nation soldiers. It is also the home of several of the Army’s premier war fighting units32nd, 11th, 35th, 31st and 108th Air Defense Artillery brigade and 978th Military Police Company.

Fort Bliss plays a vital role in the largest American city on a US international border. It contributes over $1 billion annually to the El Paso regional economy and routinely participates in a variety of community concerts given by the 62nd Army Band. The bond between Fort Bliss and El Paso has existed since the first soldiers arrived here in 1849 and remains strong today.

Fort Bliss and Biggs Army Airfield is host to annual events such as concerts, Amigo Airshow and Race for the Cure.

With 1.1 million acres, the post is larger than the state of Rhode Island and can accommodate every weapon system in the Army, Excellent ranges and training areas, coupled with the third longest run way in the nation make Fort Bliss a premier facility for training, mobilizing and deploying combat forces. With the 25-year renewal of McGregor Range, soldiers on Fort Bliss and DoD wide will have an opportunity to continue their weapons testing and field training exercises for many years to come.

In the southeast suburb of Ysleta, which is the oldest settlement in Texas, you’ll find one of the oldest Spanish missions in North America (859-9848).

Franciscan priests and the Tigua Indians who were driven out of the New Mexico in 1860 during Pueblo Revolt built it. Next to it is Ysleta del Sur Pueblo and Cultural Center, which in includes a small museum that deals with the Tigua history and has displays of pottery, clothing and jewelry. There are also gift shops and a café, Cacique, which means “chief.” There are traditional bread-baking demonstrations and the fresh bread, baked in hornos, is for sale. The pueblo is open from 8 to 4 pm Wednesday - Sunday, and admission is free. Dance performances take place on Saturday and Sunday at 11 - 1 pm and 3 pm. At the end of performances, the public is invited to participate in a round dance, an Indian friendship dance.

Beyond the Cultural Center is the reservation, which is a residential adobe community for the Tigua. Visitors are allowed to walk around, but are asked to bear in mind that these are private homes. If you plan to visit you may want to arrange your trip to coincide with the major celebration - the Feast of St. Anthony in June.

Another stop, Chapel San Elizario, is nearby on Socorro Road. The structure is on the site of the original mission, which was destroyed by the river. Rather than being built for the Indians it was intended as a fortified mission, or presidio, for the soldiers of the day.

Chamizal National Park is a joint park between the US and Mexico, located at the south end of the Cordova Bridge, celebrating the cultural and historical connection between Juarez and El Paso. This monument features informal gardens including replicas of several famous Mexican sites – Uxmal, Chichen Itza and Teotihuacan.

This park, spanning about 300 acres commemorates a treaty between the 2 nations involving a border dispute at the Rio Grande. On the El Paso side, there is a small museum that tells the story of the Chamizal. The Los Paisanos art gallery change exhibits every 2 months. Performances are given almost weekly at the museum’s theater. Some of the bigger attractions are the Border Folk Festival in September and the Siglo de Oro Drama Festival in March. Although the hike is a long one, if you’re up to it, explore the many acres of grassy land on the Mexican side as well as the museum, located at 800 S. San Marcial.