The area now called Fort Garnik began as a series of makeshift landing pads built on the island of Avilatan for spacers who were too disreputable for the mainland. Avilatan was a haven for gangsters, smugglers and pirates, but was also one of the largest and most thriving economies on Ord Mantell. Settlements formed, and over decades, Avilatan became respected as a major commerce center.
When separatist bombings destroyed Ord Mantell's other spaceports, Avilatan became the Republic military's primary staging area, and its now-substantial landing zone took on strategic importance. Renaming the Avilatan spaceport to “Fort Garnik” in honor of a Republic war hero from Ord Mantell, the military established a fortified garrison there. Since then, Avilatan Island and Fort Garnik have become major targets of the separatist forces.