By Dave Chace, SWCS Public Affairs OfficeMay 4, 2012
The U.S. Army John F. Kennedy Special Warfare Center and School will formally name its cadre professional development center after a Special Forces hero during a dedication ceremony at 10 a.m. May 10 on Camp Mackall in Hoffman, N.C.
The Master Sgt. Lowell Stevens Cadre Professional Development Center will be used by special-operations instructors assigned to 1st Battalion, 1st Special Warfare Training Group (Airborne), which maintains training facilities on Camp Mackall used during the Special Forces Qualification Course.
The center, constructed in 2004 as part of the training facility's modernization plan, provides overnight sleep quarters for SFQC instructors and support personnel who do not have the time to travel home for a night's sleep between training events. Additionally, the 11,200-square-foot facility hosts a library, language lab and modest fitness used for cadre members' professional development.
Lowell W. Stevens, Sr., who passed away on Jan. 26, 2011, was known as the "unofficial, official" historian of Camp Mackall and its surrounding area. As a U.S. Army Special Forces noncommissioned officer, Stevens served a total of more than five years in Vietnam in the 1960s during three separate tours as a heavy-weapons sergeant, intelligence sergeant, Mobile Strike Force company commander, reconnaissance team leader and airborne controller.
Stevens retired from active-duty service in 1980 after serving as a special-operations instructor at Fort Bragg. In 1983, he began a 23-year career with Fort Bragg's Range Control department, where he managed training on Camp Mackall, including on its drop zone and airfield. Compiling both official military data and oral interviews with individuals familiar with Camp Mackall, he was working on a book about the training area's history when he passed away.
In an article for the Paraglide newspaper in 2010, he stated that "two things define who he is -- Vietnam and Camp Mackall -- and that he is very proud of both…" His military award include three Silver Stars, a Legion of Merit, six Bronze Stars including one with the "V" device, two Purple Hearts, and many more.
Depending on each SFQC students' designated specialty and language requirements, the course may take anywhere from 52 to 92 weeks to complete; several training phases including small-unit tactics and the Robin Sage unconventional warfare exercise are based out of Camp Mackall. Camp Mackall is considered a satellite training area of Fort Bragg, N.C., where SWCS is headquartered and SFQC classroom phases to include language, culture and medical training are conducted.
Lt. Col. George Bond, the 1st Bn., 1st SWTG(A) Commander, will speak during the ceremony. Throughout the SFQC, Bond's battalion is responsible for most military-occupational specialty training and survival skills training.
Media representatives are invited to attend and cover the dedication for the Master Sgt. Lowell Stevens Cadre Professional Development Center on Camp Mackall. Please contact the SWCS Public Affairs Office at (910) 396-9394 or firstname.lastname@example.org.