U.S. Army Garrison Fort Wainwright, Alaska is, as the Army official site describes it, co-located with the city of Fairbanks. This base is an unusual assignment for Army members as it’s considered an overseas assignment and NOT a tour within CONUS.
Those PCSing to the area are required to check their orders to make sure they have the term “concurrent travel” on their PCS orders which authorizes family members to accompany them. Those who do not have concurrent travel orders and want to bring dependents are required to PCS to the Fort and apply for command sponsorship of dependent family members.
Find information about U.S. Army Garrison Fort Wainwright, Alaska 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
According to the official site, the mission of the Fort is to enable “the readiness of Army forces in Alaska by integrating resources and delivering installation services that enhance the quality of life for Arctic Warriors, Families, Civilians and Community”. That may sound a bit vague and uninformative; the official site adds a bit more detail, mentioning the fort support units read to “deploy anywhere in the world for contingencies ranging from humanitarian relief to combat operations”
Fort Wainwright provides support services for a variety of tenant units including:
- 1st Stryker Brigade Combat Team
- 16th Combat Aviation Brigade
- 25th Infantry Division
- USARAK Aviation Task Force
- Medical Department Activity-Alaska
- Bassett Army Community Hospital
- 9th Army Band
- 65th Explosive Ordnance Disposal (65EOD)
- 507th Signal Company (Network Enterprise Center-FWA)
- Northern Warfare Training Center (NWTC)
Fort Wainwright is unusual among Army bases not just because it is an overseas tour that is technically within the bounds of the United States, but also because this installation got its start as an Army Airfield, was transferred to the Air Force, and transferred back to the Army. In many cases, once an Army base was redesignated as an Air Force operation, that was it. But in this case, the Army would get their facility back.
What we know today as Fort Wainwright got its start in 1939 as Ladd Field, and later as Ladd Air Force Base. What started out as a “cold weather base” thought to be good for testing aircraft in cold weather environments was transferred to the Army in 1961 and redesignated Fort Wainwright.
From 1963 to 1972, Fort Wainwright hosted the 171st Infantry Brigade, later (1998 to 2006), it would host the 172nd Infantry Brigade, which was reorganized in 2003 as the 172nd Stryker Brigade Combat Team. In modern times, Fort Wainwright supports the Northern Warfare Training Center, 1st Stryker Brigade Combat Team, and the 25th Infantry Division.
Main Address And Phone Numbers
Intersection of Richardson & New Steese Highways
Fairbanks, AK 99703
Important Contact Numbers
- Fairbanks VA Outpatient Clinic (907) 370-1400
- Family Advocacy Program (907) 353-7317
- Information and Referral Services (907) 353-4227
- Loan Closet (907) 353-4333
- New Parent Support Program (907) 353-2101
- Non-Appropriated Funds (NAF) (907) 353-7203
- Relocation Assistance Program (907) 353-4333
- School Liaison Officer (907) 361-9897
- Victim Advocate Services (907) 353-7317
- Child Development Center (CDC) I (907) 361-4190
- Child Development Center (CDC) II (907) 361-9056
- Army Community Service – EFMP Family Support (907) 353-4243
- Bassett Army Community Hospital – EFMP Enrollment (907) 361-5959
- Bassett Army Community Hospital (907) 361-5172
- Troop Medical Clinic (Kamish Clinic) (907) 353-2917
- Housing Office/Government Housing (907) 353-1190
- Housing Referral Office/Housing Privatization (907) 356-7000
- Temporary Lodging/Billeting (Holiday Inn) (907) 370-0950
- ID/CAC Card Processing (907) 353-2243
Fort Wainwright is part of the “Fairbanks North Star Borough” and is situated between the Alaska Range and the Brooks Range. Those who live near the fort may be able to view the Aurora Borealis at night. The local area is known for its alehouses, Aurora Borealis tours, and outdoor adventure. Many will gravitate to the Birch Hill Ski and Snowboard area or the Trax Outdoor Center.
The installation is subject to seasonal weather extremes including annual precipitation of some 37 inches of snow. Those who are not used to arctic or arctic-like conditions may not know what “discontinuous permafrost” is, but you’ll become well-acquainted with such conditions when you PCS there.
The fort is located in an area with high cultural and historic value; Fort Wainwright has some 1.6 million acres of land (managed by the Army) and there are some 650 prehistoric archeological sites within the confines of Fort Wainwright.
Inprocessing and Check-In
All PCSing soldiers are directed to report to the Fort Wainwright Welcome Center, Bldg. 3401 to in-process. Generally speaking you will have five days to inprocess before you must report to your gaining unit. You can also call 907-353-4311 for assistance.
Bassett Army Community Hospital provides medical services on post. Services include:
- Mental Health
- General And Specialty Surgery
- Internal Medicine
- Physical Therapy
- Preventive Medicine
This facility features a 24/7 Urgent Care Center for conditions that “cannot wait”. There may be certain medical issues this facility is not designed to support and off-post referrals may be required in such cases. There is also a “soldier-only” facility on post called Kamish Clinic.
Call 907-353-2917 for appointment information.
Fort Wainwright features two Child Development Centers. These CDC facilities offer care for children six weeks old to pre-K. There is a full day program and hourly care. Drop-in care options are available by appointment up to 20 hours per week. Contact the CDC as soon as you have PCS orders to learn about waiting lists and other requirements. Call them at 907-353-7713 for assistance.
All PCSing troops are directed to track and manage their inbound household goods shipment to Fort Wainwright with the Defense Personal Property System at Move.mil. You can also get local assistance from the Fort Wainwright TMO office at (907) 353-1150, or (907) 353-1108.
Dependent And Retiree ID Card Renewal, Replacement, New Issue
ID Card Services at Fort Wainwright must be scheduled using the RAPIDS system. You can get assistance by calling Fort Wainwright ID/CAC Card Processing at (907) 353-2243. You will need two forms of unexpired photo ID and the sponsor must be present for all ID card services unless the appropriate power of attorney is provided. This installation features a self-service option for which a Common Access card is required. The self-service option is not always available–check the official site for updates.
There are no DoD schools on post. Most troops will send their school-age children to Fairbanks North Star School District. Unlike some areas, out-of-district attendance is possible as long as parents provide transportation for their children. The State of Alaska provides bus service to students living more than a mile and a half from the school they attend. Some are permitted to ride due to hazards along certain walking routes.
Learn about current transfer and immunization requirements by calling the Fort Wainwright School Liaison Officer at 907-361-9897.
There can be a long waiting list for on-post housing at Fort Wainwright. All military members must process through the Fort Wainwright Housing Service Office prior to entering into any rental or sales agreement off-post, and all incoming troops PCSing to the fort should use the Army official site, select the Fort Wainwright installation, and review the information before departing the losing command. You can contact a Fort Wainwright housing management specialist at 907-353-1190.
PCS and TDY Lodging
Demand for temporary lodging is high. U.S. Army Alaska Lodging provides TLF services for official travel and for space-available needs, but rooms are normally booked at full capacity between April and September each year. Make reservations as early as possible for best results due to this high demand. Make reservations or get more information by calling 907-370-0999, 877-711-TEAM or 877-711-8326. Pet facilities may not be available or may be extremely limited so ask before booking.
PCSing and TDY troops should coordinate with the gaining command to arrange transportation upon arrival in Alaska. If you do not have a sponsor, contact your gaining unit to request one and be sure to ask about getting to the fort from your arrival point whether by plane, ferry, or other means. You may or may not be required to use a ferry depending on where you depart from, and proximity to Canada means you may be required to carry a passport in some cases. Ask your sponsor for assistance in this area.
Vehicle Registration And Driver’s License
Every vehicle in Alaska is required to be registered. For non-residents with vehicles registered in another state, you may not be required to purchase license plates in Alaska. State law requires front AND rear plates in most cases except motorcycles and certain trailers. All license plates, regardless of state, must be current at all times while driving in Alaska.
Some may choose to drive to the fort from “the lower 48”, but if you select this option, heed the local warnings about long stretches of road between services such as gas stations, rest stops, etc. You will experience far greater distances between these services than usual in Alaska–always play it safe and gas up before you think you need to and prepare for a general lower level of service availability on the road. This can save you from getting stranded.