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Business as usual at Fort Jackson

Fort Jackson, the Army's largest training center, continued normal operations Thursday afternoon after a shooting rampage at a Texas Army post left a dozen dead.

Fort Hood, Texas, home of two combat divisions, was locked down moments after the incident. At Fort Jackson, a spokesman said the gates remained open.

"The details are very sketchy," said Fort Jackson spokesman Pat Jones. "For us to do anything right now would be very premature."

Locking down Fort Jackson basically would require stopping anyone from leaving the post, Jones said.

Nearly 4,000 active-duty soldiers and their 14,000 family members are assigned to Fort Jackson and have access to the installation. In addition, the post employs 5,200 civilians and provides services to 36,000 military retirees, who can drive on and off the base.

More than 50,000 soldiers undergo basic and advance training annually at the post.

Access to Fort Jackson is tightly controlled. Vehicles must have a Defense Department sticker, and drivers and their adult passengers must have ID cards with their pictures.

Those motorists whose cars are not registered with the Defense Department, have to proceed to a checkpoint and present a valid driver's license, insurance card and registration. All license plate numbers are recorded.

Public events, such as basic combat training graduation, still were scheduled to be held today .

- Chuck Crumbo

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