Camp Blanding Joint Training Center is the primary military reservation and training base for the Florida National Guard, both the Florida Army National Guard and certain non-flying activities of the Florida Air National Guard. The installation is located in Clay County, Florida near the city of Starke. The site measures approximately 73,000 acres (300 km²) and includes Kingsley Lake. It also hosts other Reserve, Army National Guard, Air National Guard, and some Active Component training for the U.S. Armed Forces.
Additionally, Camp Blanding serves as a training center for many ROTC units, both Army and Naval. Jacksonville University and University of South Florida NROTC Battalions continue to conduct their week-long orientation at Camp Blanding each August before the college semester starts. Camp Blanding also hosts the Audie Murphy field training exercise where Army ROTC units from more than a dozen Florida, Georgia, and Puerto Rican universities gather to conduct a five-day field problem focusing on small-unit tactics, land navigation, and leadership development every April.
Camp Blanding is the primary training site for most of the Florida National Guard's military units and the main combat arms brigade, the 53rd Infantry Brigade of the Florida Army National Guard. It is also home to the headquarters and support companies of the 3-20th Special Forces Group, the 211th Infantry Regiment, and the 2-111th Airfield Operations Battalion (AOB) Aviation Regiment.
Camp Blanding also houses several non-flying units of the Florida Air National Guard, including the 202nd RED HORSE Squadron, 159th Weather Flight, 131st Training Flight(TRF), and the joint Army/Air Force 44th Civil Support Team. The base is also a training location for several counter-drug units and law enforcement agencies in Florida and functions as the alternate Emergency Operations Center (EOC) for the state of Florida.
Weapons ranges at Camp Blanding include: - 50 live fire ranges capable of handling all weapons systems organic to a Light Infantry Brigade including Mortars and Artillery; - 5 Automated Ranges for small arms and handgun qualification; - a Crew Combat Range; - 4 Platoon/Squad Movement to Contact ranges (400 by 800 meters)
Training Areas include three Major Maneuver Areas with a total of 55,000 acres (220 km2) plus of varied topography—planted pine plantations, swamps, oak hammocks, desert like terrain—with minimal environmental restrictions, with the ability to support a Light Infantry Brigade plus one Battalion of aggressors. The Military Operations in Urban Terrain (MOUT) Collective Training Facility consists of 16 Buildings and a Bridge and Tunnel Trainer.
In 2008 Camp Blanding became host to the Army's latest Air Assault course in response to the growing need for Air Assault trained individuals for the continuing operations in Iraq and Afghanistan. There is also a bombing and strafing target for military aircraft, primarily used by the Navy, Marine Corps and Air Force, located on the southern portion of the post.
On base billeting facilities can accommodate 3000 personnel, i.e., one standard Army Brigade consisting of four Battalion Areas. Each Battalion area has company dining facilities, orderly rooms, Officer/Enlisted barracks, a supply building, and a Battalion HQ building.
Camp Blanding is home to the Multijurisdictional Counterdrug Task Force Training (MCTFT)The MCTFT provides unique, tuition-free military and counterdrug training for local, state, federal, and military criminal justice professionals as well as awareness training for community leaders.
Camp Blanding is also home to the Combating Transnational Organized Crime (CTOC) Center of Excellence (COE). The CTOC COE provides unique, tuition-free CTOC training in support of Department of Defense strategies. The CTOC COE has campuses on Camp Blanding, at St. Petersburg College in St. Petersburg, Florida, and on Camp Murray near Tacoma, Washington.