Located in the high desert, Fort Irwin is roughly 40 miles northeast of Barstow, California. It sits between Los Angeles and Las Vegas, with the Mojave Desert making for picturesque drives, outdoor adventures, and amazing photo opportunities.
Fort Irwin is the home of the National Training Center and conducts field training for military and non-military agencies from around the world
Find information about Fort Irwin, California including the main commercial and DSN numbers for the base, information on basic services, base transportation, lodging for TDY and PCSing personnel, and inprocessing.
Mission & Units
Fort Irwin falls under the jurisdiction of US Army Forces Command (FORSCOM) and is responsible for realistic joint and combined arms training. Home of the National Training Center, there are 10 training rotations per year including complex, multi-threat scenarios involving insurgency and opposing forces.
Important missions and units at Fort Irwin include:
- 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment
- 1st Squadron, 11th Acr “Ironhorse”
- 2nd Squadron, 11th Acr “Eaglehorse”
- C Det, 203rd Military Intelligence
- Det 6, 57th Wg Det (Ravens Air Warriors)
- NTC Support Battalion
- Operations Group
- Support Squadron, 11th ACR
- U.S. Army Garrison
Fort Irwin began in 1940 as the Mojave Anti-Aircraft Range, established by President Franklin Roosevelt. This range was roughly a thousand square miles, and operated for two years before being deactivated. It would come back to life in 1951 as the Armored Combat Training Area, used to get troops ready to fight in the Korean War.
In 1961, the area was redesignated as Fort Irwin. It was used as a training and deployment base for troops headed to Vietnam, but in ten years’ time the base would be deactivated once more. The California National Guard used the facility for training from 1972 to 1980.
Fort Irwin was announced as the site of the National Training Center, which was formally activated in 1980 and transferred from the California Army National Guard back to the Army in 1981.
Since then, Fort Irwin operations today include Fort Irwin Garrison, which operates base support services such as housing, EMT, public works, social services, etc. while the National Training Center carries out the training mission of the installation with units including 11 Armored Cavalry Blackhorse Regiment (the opposing force for training exercises), the 916th Support Brigade, Joint Center of Excellence, and other organizations.
- Barstow Barracks (760) 577-6494
- Barstow Base Duty Officer (760) 577-6961
- Barstow Base Operator (760) 577-6211
- Barstow Child, Youth and Teen Programs (760) 577-6804
- Barstow Civilian Personnel Office (760) 577-6478
- Barstow Dental (760) 577-6497
- Barstow Housing Office(760) 577-6707
- Barstow ID Cards (760) 577-6969
- Barstow Information and Referral (760) 577-6533
- Barstow Legal Services and JAG (760) 577-6874
- Barstow Loan Locker/Loan Closet (760) 577-6533
- Barstow MCCS (760) 577-6733
- Barstow School Liaison Office (760) 577-6675
- Barstow Temporary Lodging (760) 577-6418
- Barstow Welcome Center (760) 577-6533
- Commanding General’s Hotline (760) 380-5463
- Domestic Assault 24/7 Hotline: (760) 267-6792
- Emergency 911
- Ft. Irwin Child, Youth and Student Services (760) 380-2257
- Ft. Irwin Civilian Personnel Office (760) 380-3077
- Ft. Irwin Housing Services Office (760) 380-3576
- Ft. Irwin ID cards/DEERS (760) 380-3100
- Ft. Irwin Information and Referral
- Ft. Irwin Post Operator (760) 380-1111
- Ft. Irwin School Liaison Office (760) 380-6880
- Ft. Irwin Temporary Lodging (760) 386-4040
- Ft. Irwin Welcome Center (760) 380-4195
- Medical Appointments (866) 460-5305
- Sexual Assault 24/7 Hotline (760) 401-3074
- Child Development Center – Inner Loop (760) 380-1253
- Family Advocacy Program (FAP) – Army Community Service (760) 380-5467
- Family Center – Army Community Hospital (760) 380-4784
- FAP – Military Police (760) 380-4444
- ID/CAC Card Processing (760) 380-3100
- Family Child Care (FCC)
- (760) 380-3502
- Personal Property Office (Inbound) (760) 380-5330
- Personal Property Office (Outbound) (760) 380-4252
Located in San Bernardino County, California, Barstow is semi-famous for being the setting of the opening chapter and opening scenes in the film version of Hunter S. Thompson’s novel, Fear And Loathing In Las Vegas.
Fans of mid-20th century American literature will appreciate Barstow on that basis but the area is also known for being a major transportation center for the Riverside-San Bernardino metro region and its austerely beautiful landscapes.
This area is known for its ghost towns (Calico Ghost town is some 15 miles away) plus Route 66 nostalgic sites, there are plenty of outdoor adventures (Rainbow Basin Natural Area) and even a drive-in movie theater or two. The Western America Railroad Museum and the Mojave River Museum are just two of the historical/local color attractions to experience in the area.
Barstow is strategically located for long weekend trips to California destinations including:
- San Bernardino
- Los Angeles
- Santa Ana
- Long Beach
Inprocessing and Check-In
Those PCSing to the National Training Center are ordered to report to the NTC and report to the Fort Irwin Replacement Detachment during normal duty hours. Unaccompanied soldiers and other service members E5 and below are assigned temporary housing while in-processing. Call 760-380-9095 or DSN 312-470-9095.
Those who arrive at Fort Irwin after duty hours should report to the Command Duty Section. For all check-ins, bring all appropriate paperwork including leave forms, finance records, medical and dental records and five copies of orders. All those PCSing to Fort Irwin are required to attend a “Key Leader Newcomers Briefing.”
Limited medical services are available on post via the Weed Army Community Hospital, and while there is an outpatient surgery option, specialty care is extremely limited. Services include:
- Women’s Health
- Family Medicine
- Internal Medicine
- Infection Control
- Disease Management
This clinic features an operating room for same-day outpatient surgical procedures in a variety of specialties:
- Ear/Nose/Throat Surgery
- General Surgery
- Hand Surgery
- Oral Surgery
- Pediatric Dentistry
- Plastic Surgery
Make appointments via the Call Center at 866-460-5305. Those requiring more specialized care should discuss options with their TRICARE manager.
Fort Irwin has one Child Development Center; you can register for CDC care or Family Child Care (FCC) options centrally via Parent Central Services. When signing up there, you will need a Family Care Plan, LES/pay stubs, Medical Action Plans, emergency contacts (at least two), and shot records.
CDC care options include a Full Day Program for children ages six weeks to five years old, plus before-and-after care for kindergarteners, and part-day care from 9 to noon. For more information on Child Development Center options, call at 760-380-9441 or 760-380-9443.
All PCSing troops are directed to track and manage their household goods shipments to the Fort Irwin area via the Defense Personal Property System at Move.mil. You can also get local assistance via the Fort Irwin Inbound TMO; call them at (760) 380-5330.
Dependent And Retiree ID Card Renewal, Replacement, New Issue
All appointments for ID card services at Fort Irwin should be scheduled via the base’s RAPIDS appointment system. Walk-ins may be permitted depending on demand, mission needs, and other requirements but if you are visiting the base for the first time and require ID card services you MUST make an appointment.
Two forms of unexpired ID are generally required for most services and at least one of those IDs may be required to be REAL ID Act-compliant.
The most current official information available from DoD sources about Fort Irwin school opportunities identifies the Silver Valley Unified School District (USD), overseen by the California Board Of Education, as the district for Fort Irwin students. Silver Valley USD offers K-12 services for the following communities:
- Newberry Springs
- Fort Irwin
- Marine Corp Logistics Base Barstow (MCLB)
For information about transfer requirements including the most current California shot requirements and other necessities, contact the Fort Irwin School Liaison Officer at 760-380-6880.
Those PCSing to Fort Irwin are ordered to report to the Housing Office before making legally binding commitments to off-base housing. All PCSing troops are eligible to apply for on-base housing with or without family members. Waiting lists definitely apply, you will be added to the waiting list based on the date of eligibility (established and defined by the Housing Office).
Wait times can last as long as 24 months. Those who are coming off remote or hardship duty may be eligible for preferential placement on the waiting lists.
Junior enlisted members who are unaccompanied or are considered geographic bachelors may be required to live on post. You will need to discuss your housing needs with the Housing Office to know which current policy may apply to you based on your status as accompanied or unaccompanied.
PCS and TDY Lodging
Fort Irwin is described as being in a remote location; this affects the availability of TLF options. The Landmark Hotel is the only hotel on post and also the only facility within roughly 40 miles of the base. Call for reservations; 760-386-4040. It’s best to call as soon as you know you are PCSing or traveling on TDY orders for best results.
PCS and TDY season can make getting a room at the hotel very difficult; it is not operated by the military, MWR, etc.; this is a privately run facility which tends to sell out for months at a time. If you are PCSing to Fort Irwin, it is best to have a discussion with your sponsor about the best options for temporary lodging depending on when you arrive.
Depending on when you arrive, the usual rideshare and commercial taxi services may be available, but it’s best to coordinate with a sponsor for PCS moves or the gaining unit for TDYs before you travel.
The nearest airports are Barstow-Daggett (a local airport over 100 miles away) and the larger LA/Ontario Airport in Ontario, California (nearly 200 miles away).
California traffic can be a major issue for new arrivals depending on the airport, tourist season, rush hour, and other variables. Talk to your sponsor about the best time to arrive and your options from the airport if you are flying in and work with them to make arrangements for travel from one of these airports if needed.
Vehicle Registration And Driver’s License
All drivers are required to carry valid state registration, driver’s license and proof of liability insurance required under California law. All vehicles entering the installation are subject to search. Fort Irwin conducts random searches of all vehicles entering and leaving the installation; there is one entrance in and out.
All new arrivals are advised that the State of California has Evidence of Financial Responsibility (EFR) laws; all drivers must carry auto insurance for at least $15,000 for death or injury to any person, $30,000 for death or injury (more than one person), and $5,000 property damage coverage.
Those who do not carry the mandatory insurance minimums may be fined up to $2,000 depending on the number of offenses (first and second offenses) and if you have an accident while not properly insured, the California DMV may suspend your license and impound your car.
All vehicles must comply with California state law including emissions testing requirements, seatbelt use, and other regulations.