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Camp Parks Reserve Forces Training Area Guide

Camp Parks Reserve Forces Training Area (PRFTA) is an Army Reserve training base in Dublin, California. Located near the East Bay, Camp Parks RFTA is part of a unique relationship with Fort Hunter Liggett. DoD literature describes this arrangement as “one garrison located on two installations” to support Army Reserve training.

Find information about Camp Parks, California, below, including check-in procedures, housing, base transportation, lodging for TDY and PSCing personnel, child care, and local schools.

Camp Parks Reserve Forces Training Area History

Camp Parks Reserve Forces Training Area opened in 1942 as a staging area for troops to use to prepare for a second tour of duty in the Pacific. At the time, the base was operated by the U.S. Navy, one of three such operations in the area. The other two were Camp Shoemaker and U.S. Naval Hospital Shoemaker,

As the war ended, the Camp hosted World War Two out processing or demobilization for Navy Seabees returning from the Pacific. Camp Parks suffered the fate of many installations opened during the war. It was deactivated and would not return to service until 1951 during the Korean conflict.

The Secretary of the Navy decommissioned all three Navy operations mentioned above. The Navy leased the land to the County of Alameda until 1951 when it was turned over to the United States Air Force.

Camp Parks was used by the Air Force but was a rare base because it had no flight line. Camp Parks was returned to the United States Army in 1959 when it was held in limbo until 1973, when it was designated as a Reserve Forces training base.

Camp Parks would be redesignated as a semi-active Army installation and began evolving into what we know it today: a Reserve Forces Training Area operated under the control of Fort Hunter Liggett.

Camp Parks Surrounding Area

Camp Parks is near Dublin in Alameda County. The Camp is 35 miles east of San Francisco and a little over 20 miles east of downtown Oakland.

The city of Dublin is named after its sister city in Ireland. Dublin is home to several corporate entities, such as Sybase, Inc., the discount clothing store chain Ross Stores, and Arlen Ness. This area is also known for its golf options; you can try the greens at Dublin Ranch Golf Course and the Bridges Golf Club.

California is a more expensive place to be assigned than many other parts of the country. Be sure to discuss the cost of living in California with your sponsor before you PCS or relocate to the area.

According to the Department of Defense, “Service members are highly encouraged to visit their local Army Community Service, Airmen & Family Readiness Center, or Fleet and Family Support and speak with a Personal Financial Readiness Counselor to develop a realistic budget plan to prepare for the PCS and relocation expenses.”

Camp Parks Mission and Units

Camp Parks Reserve Forces Training Area provides training support, security, administration, and related services for its tenant units and training missions.

The Camp features weekend inactive duty training throughout the year, and the Camp also supports annual training for units traveling to the Camp from elsewhere. This site may be the only local training facility for more than 11,000 Army Reserve Soldiers in the San Francisco Bay Area. Important missions and units at Camp Parks RFTA have included:

  • 91st Division
  • 104th Division
  • Equipment Concentration Site (ECS30) / Area Maintenance Support Activity (AMSA)
  • Western Army Reserve Intelligence Support Center (WARISC)
  • NMCB 18, Detachment 2718
  • Company B, 319th Signal Battalion
  • Company B, 1st Battalion, 184th Infantry Regiment (Air Assault)
  • Western Information Operations Center (WIOC)
  • 352nd Combat Support Hospital
  • 368th Military Intelligence Battalion

In-Processing and Check-In

Discuss your PCS or TDY check-in issues with your command support staff. If you are assigned to the Camp as a permanent party service member, contact your gaining unit for support.

Child Care

There is no Child Development Center at Camp Parks. According to the DoD, “Due to unavailability of Child and Youth Services, please contact Army Community Service for information on local child care centers in the area as well as applying for Child Care assistance.” Contact Army Community Service at 925-875-4678.

Housing

There is some on-post military housing available, but at the time this guide was written, the Department of Defense advises, “Commuting to PRFTA is the norm for the majority of personnel assigned and as one of the most heavily congested traffic areas, travel time, cost of fuel, and car maintenance should be included when budgeting for your relocation.”

The Camp Parks military housing project started in 2005, may provide some with on-post housing options, but much depends on demand and other variables. Contact the Villages at Camp Parks at (925) 556-2250 for help with the application process. Contact the Camp Parks Housing Management Office (HMO) if you need off-post housing. Call 925-875-4688.

Related: Basic Allowance for Housing Calculator

Commissary

There is no Commissary at Camp Parks Reserve Forces Training Area.

PCS and TDY Lodging

Camp Parks Lodging provides temporary lodging for military members, dependents, retirees, civilian employees on TDY orders, and “other authorized travelers.” During PCS and TDY season, your options may be more limited. Make reservations at 925-803-5326 or 866-649-8925.

Transportation

Due to unique traffic issues in this part of the country, it’s smart to coordinate your arrival with your gaining unit or sponsor. Tourist season, wildfires, rush hour, and other variables may complicate your journey from the airport to the base.

The closest major airport to Camp Parks RFTA is Oakland International, approximately 20 miles from Dublin, California. Mineta San Jose International Airport (SJC / KSJC), and San Francisco International Airport (SFO / KSFO) are also nearby, no more than 40 miles from Camp Parks.

Vehicle Registration And Driver’s License

The State of California has strict environmental standards for motor vehicles. You may be required to show proof of emissions testing in addition to other requirements for insurance, title and registration, etc.

All drivers at Camp Parks must comply with State of California rules, including insurance minimums, etc. All drivers must have current liability insurance, unexpired registration, and a valid Real ID Act-compliant driver’s license or other approved forms of ID.

When driving on Camp Parks RFTA, you are subject to 100% ID checks, searches, and other procedures.

Schools

There are no Department of Defense schools at Camp Parks; school-age children may attend school based on zip code, but due to overcrowding at some schools, there may be exceptions to this policy.

Contact the Dublin Unified School District at 925-828-2551 or learn more at the California Department of Education official site. Call the School Liaison Office at 925-875-4678 when you have PCS orders to Camp Parks to discuss school transfer and placement options.

Colleges and Universities

There is no Education Office at Camp Parks. Nearby colleges include, but may not be limited to:

  • Las Positas College
  • California State University, East Bay
  • Saint Mary’s College of California
  • University of California, Berkeley

Related: Ultimate GI Bill Guide

Camp Parks Address and Phone Number

Camp Parks Reserve Forces Training Area
620 6th Street
Dublin, CA 94568
(925) 875-4650

Camp Parks Contact Numbers

  • Childcare Army Assistance Program (925) 875-4678
  • Community Activity Center (925)875-4611
  • Fitness Center (925)875-4392
  • School Liaison Office at 925-875-4678
  • Dublin Unified School District 925-828-2551
  • Camp Parks TLF 925-803-5326

Related: Ultimate Military Benefits Guide

 

About the author

Editor-in-Chief

Editor-in-Chief Joe Wallace is a 13-year veteran of the United States Air Force and a former reporter/editor for Air Force Television News and the Pentagon Channel. His freelance work includes contract work for Motorola, VALoans.com, and Credit Karma. He is co-founder of Dim Art House in Springfield, Illinois, and spends his non-writing time as an abstract painter, independent publisher, and occasional filmmaker.