Caisson Platoon horses find a temporary home at the Meadowood Special Recreation Management Area
LORTON, Va. – Today, the Bureau of Land Management and U.S. Army announce a new partnership to temporarily house and pasture the renowned Caisson Platoon horses, of the 3d U.S. Infantry Regiment, at the Meadowood Special Recreation Management Area, public lands managed by the BLM in Lorton, Virginia. These horses are critical to the tradition of honoring the nation’s military heroes, carrying them to their final resting place at Arlington National Cemetery.
“The BLM understands how important these horses are for the country and the entire military community,” said BLM Eastern States State Director Mitchell Leverette. “Their safety and well-being are a top priority, and we are happy to help the Army provide high-quality pasture for the Caisson horses to rest and recover while not on duty at Arlington National Cemetery.”
“We appreciate the willingness of the Bureau of Land Management to assist in the provision of rotational rest pasturing for our equine teammates as we work toward a long-term solution that allows more appropriate recuperation facilities when our horses are not on duty," said Egon F. Hawrylak, deputy commander of the Joint Task Force-National Capital Region/U.S. Army Military District of Washington. “Military working horses serve a key role in the honorable duty of escorting America’s heroes to their final resting place, and they must have ample facilities that positively support their ability to remain mission ready. We are immensely grateful to BLM for their support and commitment as we seek to improve the quality of life for our horses.”
The Army submitted a right-of-way application to the BLM to use approximately 14 acres near the former Belmont House at Meadowood to house and graze 12 horses on a rotational basis through December 2027. BLM issued a temporary right-of-way this fall. Currently, the Army is preparing the site for the arrival of its horses early next year. While the horses are at Meadowood, the Army will develop plans for the long-term facilities and care for its animals.
Prior to issuing the right-of-way, the BLM evaluated the proposal to ensure continued public access to Meadowood and maintenance of the area’s natural and cultural resources. The temporary use at Meadowood is consistent with BLM’s activity plan for the area and compliant with relevant laws, including the National Environmental Policy Act, Endangered Species Act, and the National Historic Preservation Act. Documents related to compliance reviews are available on the BLM’s ePlanning website at: https://eplanning.blm.gov/eplanning-ui/project/2020918/510.
The BLM manages more than 245 million acres of public land located primarily in 12 western states, including Alaska, on behalf of the American people. The BLM also administers 700 million acres of sub-surface mineral estate throughout the nation. Our mission is to sustain the health, diversity, and productivity of America’s public lands for the use and enjoyment of present and future generations.