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Fort Indiantown Gap (also known as The Gap or FITG) is a self-governing entity within the Pennsylvanian survivor state in Reading, Pennsylvania. It is used by the Reading National Guard and the Gettysburg Armed Forces as a training ground. Other Pennsylvanian survivor states, including the Commonwealth of Susquehanna have sent soldiers to train with other military forces.
Fort Indiantown Gap dates back to at least 1755, when resentment of Susquehannock Indians against white settlers forced the colonial government of Pennsylvania to establish a fortification in the area. The Susquehannock would later become willing allies against the colonists during the French and Indian War.
The modern fort was originally developed as a National Guard training on the recommendation of General Edward Martin. Over the years, the site became home to the Pennsylvania National Guard as well as active units of the United States Army. In 1941, the post was officially named Indiantown Gap Military Reservation. After Martin's death, the Pennsylvania legislature renamed the installation Edward Martin Military Reservation, which Martin actually rejected while he was alive. In 1975, the Secretary of the Army renamed the post Fort Indiantown Gap to align it with the other Active Duty stations throughout the United States. Pennsylvania also reinstated the Indiantown Gap designation.
Indiantown Gap also has a history of being a refugee camp. Before Doomsday, it was used for this purpose two times. In 1975, it served as a refugee camp for Southeast Asians escaping the disastrous aftermath of the Vietnam War. More than 32,000 Vietnamese and Cambodians were resettled through the installation. In 1980, the Gap became a refugee camp once again, this time for the 19,000 Cubans brought there for processing and sponsorship after the Mariel boatlift. Some of these Marielitos were criminals and detained by US authorities, while others were sent back to Cuba. The last of the Marielitos did not leave the gap until late 1981.
Harrisburg, the state capital of Pennsylvania, which was just some distance away from Fort Indiantown Gap, was struck by Soviet nuclear missiles on 26 September 1983. The cities of Philadelphia and Pittsburgh were also hit by multiple nuclear warheads.
The Gap itself was not struck by nukes, but the National Guard was told to expect a massive wave of refugees fleeing the nuclear devastation of Doomsday. The stunned soldiers began to set up an emergency shelter in the various warehouses and empty facilities that had, until late 1981, housed Cuban refugees.
Immediately after Doomsday, the soldiers on station began to attempt to regain contact with other units, and the United States government. The only contact made was sporadically with Harrisburg Air National Guard Base, which had survived, although all of the EC-130E electronic warfare aircraft were crippled by the three EMP blasts that had detonated, and sustained some light blast damage.
Food, water, fuel, and defense were the primary concern for the soldiers. The commander, Harold J. Lavell, seeing most of the medium and all of the long range communications were severed, realized having an entire company of communication soldiers and technicians was useless. Twenty soldiers were left on duty, attempting contact with any surviving government officials.
The rest were put under the infantry forces command, and were given quick additional training on top of their basic training. Some survivors from the Harrisburg blast managed to get to the facility, but most had fled northwest with the remaining state government to State College (This was unknown at the time).
By late October, the radiation interference in the atmosphere cleared enough that weak transmissions were picked up from the Virginia area. They were garbled and the only words picked up were: Reagan, Australia, Evacuate, Mexico, and Refugees. From this the soldiers assumed that the president had survived, and was headed towards Mexico or Australia with refugees.
Not long after that, the facility ran out of fuel and the generators clicked off. Soldiers scavenging for food reported a similar situation as around the globe. Mutated plants, or everything was stripped bare. Luckily the nuclear winter never happened, but an unusually hot summer the following year caused some crops to fail, and strict rationing to remain in place.
By the end of 1985, the population had spiked to just over 1,000 people and soldiers on the base. This was a heavy toll on local surviving wildlife as people hunted for food, sanitation, medical supplies, and water.
Unfortunately, with this toll, many did not live to see the turn of the decade. By the late 80's, the population had dwindled to around 500. Approximately 200 were soldiers, the rest civilians. The untrained civilians were put to work on tending crops, and any specialty area they were trained in.
After the first few years, the fort stabilized in 1989. Food was produced and water gathered, but many wanted outside contact, do the commander sent out small scout teams of five soldiers.
For several years they found few signs of life. They found a handful of survivors in Lebanon, but when they tried to approach, shots were fired.
In late 1995, men from the surviving National Guard units were on a scouting mission around former Lebanon, trying to find survivors. They were stunned to find a fully functioning government in power. After some cautious greetings, as the citizens had been attacked by raiders utilizing National Guard uniforms and weapons, they were overjoyed at the survival of their fellow Pennsylvanians.
The leader of Reading happened to be in the city, and met with the commander of the expedition. After a week of negotiations, the troops went back to The Gap and informed the survivors. The scout team's first words were: "Commander...there are survivors."
The government of Reading took most of the civilians back to either Reading, Pottsville, or Lebanon. Soldiers were given leave, the first time in over a decade, to find their families. A few were reunited, but many did not. After negotiations, the commander of The Gap and governor of Reading agreed that the territory between FITG and Lebanon needed to be secured.
A trade and defense agreement was formed where Reading would provide supplies and equipment to the soldiers at the fort. In exchange soldiers would go to Reading and aid them in training the Reading National Guard and provide leadership.
In 2002, the territory between the two entities had been secured and a more permanent agreement was written up. In order to keep stability in the region, one decade after the signing of the document, FITG would become a self governing political entity under Readinger's authority but not their laws.
The ten year lapse was requested by the National Guard commander to ensure that the federal government was indeed gone. In late 2009 it was discovered that the President had dissolved the United States officially in Canberra Australia over a decade prior. This revelation was not well received by the soldiers who were hoping for the return of their Commander-in-Chief. It was also discovered that Reagan had died and former Vice-President George H.W. Bush had been responsible for that decision.
In 2012, FITG ceased to exist as a de jure independent nation, and became a part of Reading. Much of the base is currently used by the Gettysburg Armed Forces or the Reading National Guard. The Commonwealth of Susquehanna has occasionally sent soldiers to train with the other nations.
Due to the proximity to Harrisburg, the base is used as a stepping off foor for expeditions to the former capital.
There are talks of enlarging the facilities and utilizing the air strip for supplies and as a base for exploration due to its central location.
On Doomsday there were several Pennsylvania Army National Guard and Air National Guard units stationed at Fort Indiantown Gap.
- Pennsylvania Army National Guard
- 28th Infantry Division
- Pennsylvania Air National Guard
- 201st Red Horse Civil Engineering Flight
- 203rd Weather Flight
- 211th Engineering Instillation Squadron
- 271st Combat Communication Squadron
- 553rd Air Force Band
Since Doomsday, Reading and Gettysburg have stationed military units here, rotating them in and out. There are a few permanent units on base. Susquehanna occasionally sends troops down for training but does not have any stationed at the site.
- Reading Army National Guard
- 28th Infantry Division
- 56th Armored Combat Team
- 103rd Engineering Battalion
- 213th Personnel Company
- 3622nd Equipment Repairs Company
- Gettysburg Army
- 150th Infantry Battalion
- 175th Heavy Infantry Company