Special and Critical Installation Information
The Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson Installation Commander has transitioned JBER to Health Protection Condition ALPHA, effective 24 March 2022. For more information about JBER’s response to COVID-19 and/or to check the current status of installation facilities and programs, possible restrictions to base access, and other pertinent information, please visit the COVID-19 updates on the JBER Connect app, JBER website, through the Official JBER Facebook site.
Mission: Execute agile combat support to enable and sustain lethality.
Vision: JBER...the Pacific's keystone system.
JBER's host unit is the 673d Air Base Wing; but we are also home to headquarters, Alaskan Command and 11th Air Force headquarters, US Army Alaska Headquarters, the Alaska National Guard, the 3rd Wing, the 176th Wing (ANG), the 4th Infantry Brigade Combat Team (Airborne), 25th Infantry Division, the 477th Fighter Group, and more than 60 other mission partners.
The military's long and important history in the Great Land began at the very moment Alaska became American soil, Oct. 18, 1867. Elements of the Army's 9th Infantry were on hand as the Russian Golden Eagle was lowered and the Stars and Stripes was raised in Sitka, which became headquarters for the U.S. Military District, Alaska. The military has had a presence, even if very small at times, ever since. Fort Richardson, named for Wilds P. Richardson, was built in 1940-1941 near Anchorage. Construction of the base began on June 8, 1940. The first Army Air Corps personnel arrived on Aug. 12, 1940, led by Maj. Everett S. Davis. On Nov. 12, 1940, the War Department formally designated the installation Fort Richardson. The air facilities and flying field on the post were named Elmendorf Field in honor of Capt. Hugh M. Elmendorf. In 1947 the Army planned to move its operations to a new site named Fort Richardson, adjacent to the WWII installation. The Air Force assumed control of the original Fort Richardson and re-named it Elmendorf Air Force Base.
The 2005 Defense Base Closure and Realignment Commission (BRAC) Report to the president directed the relocation of installation management functions from both the Air Force and Army to a new joint base unit, and established Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson. The decision listed the Air Force as the supporting agency, implementing and providing the funding vehicle for support to the entire joint base. Both installations used military, civilians and contractors to perform common installation support functions and similar processes to accomplish those functions.The commission noted the installations share a common boundary and therefore have an opportunity to consolidate the execution of installation support functions and potentially realize savings while also providing more consistent and effective support.On July 30, 2010, the 673d Air Base Wing activated as the host wing combining installation management functions of Elmendorf Air Force Base's 3rd Wing and U.S. Army Garrison Fort Richardson and consists of four groups that operate and maintain the Joint Base for air sovereignty, combat training, force staging and throughput operations in support of worldwide contingencies. The installation hosts the headquarters for the United States Alaskan Command, 11th Air Force, U.S. Army Alaska, and the Alaskan North American Aerospace Defense Command Region.
For a more thorough history, visit: https://www.jber.jb.mil/Info/History/ or download the JBER History app available through the Apple store and Google Play.
JBER has over 32,000 Service Members, Civilians and Family members.
Local Area Population:
Total Anchorage/Mat-Su Economic Region = 398,328 (2020 Census)
Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson (JBER) is located in Southcentral, Alaska amid picturesque, majestic, snow-capped mountains, lakes, rivers and glaciers. The area abounds with wildlife. Many northern tier states such as Montana, Minnesota, Wisconsin and Michigan have shorter but much colder winters than south central Alaska.
JBER is 2,264 miles north of Seattle, Washington, and 358 miles south of Fairbanks, Alaska. The Anchorage community has a military presence of over 32,000 people and accounts for approximately 10 percent of the local population. Alaska is a very military friendly state! Come prepared to be awed by this beautiful base, and state. There's nowhere else like Alaska!
Anchorage provides most of the conveniences of a large city. There are greenbelts and parks throughout the city, and has access to dozens of activities for families, such as world-class fishing, skiing, snow-machining, ice skating, sledding, hiking, biking & rafting are just a stone's throw away.
Midnight sun gives Alaskans long days to enjoy summer. You can expect highs in the 60s & 70s (and possibly a week or 2 in the low 80s). During the weeks leading up to late June's summer solstice, the sun is above the horizon 18-21 hours/per day, creating opportunities for midnight hikes & fishing at 10pm as a typical Alaskan lifestyle.
Anchorage actually has a warmer climate than other cold-weather cities like Chicago or Minneapolis because it's on the ocean. The temperature is a "micro-climate" in Alaska-no matter where you are in the state, you are a 1-2 hour drive away in any direction resulting in a 30 degree temperature change.
JBER and the adjacent area, is considered a high cost area. As of January 2021, the cost of living in Alaska was 24.09% higher than the national average..
The Cost-of-Living Allowance, or COLA, is paid to Service Members to partially offset high costs when stationed overseas (including Alaska and Hawaii). COLA helps maintain purchasing power so you can purchase the same goods and services overseas as in CONUS. It does not reimburse expenses, but is designed to offset higher prices. It does not compensate for remoteness, hardship, or non-availability of goods and services.
Overseas COLA Calculator: https://www.defensetravel.dod.mil/site/colaCalc.cfm
The Richardson Visitor Control Center (VCC) will be closed nightly from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. starting 12 January 2022, until further notice.
During closure times:
• Boniface and Fort Richardson Gates will only issue emergency (24 hour) passes during VCC closure hours.
NOTE: During any hours the VCC is not open, our Defenders at the gate can issue a 24-hour pass on the spot. This will ensure you can at least get on base and get to the VCC during staffed hours if extended base access is required.
All other passes are required to be processed at the Richardson Visitor Center during business hours, 6 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Contact the Base Access Office at 907-552-5665 with any questions or information on how to obtain a pass in advance.
Traveling by Airplane to Anchorage: Please check the Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport website for the most recent information before you book travel.
If you choose to travel by air, you will fly into Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport. There are two terminals, the South (Main) terminal and the North (International) terminal. If your sponsor is not meeting you at the Airport, you will have to hire a taxi from there to the base. There is no shuttle service from the airport to the base. Get a receipt for the taxi fare for travel voucher purposes. The only taxi service with installation access is The Yellow Cab Co: 907-222-2222.
Traveling by Ferry & Driving from the Ferry: Please check The Alaska Marine Highway System & Ferry Information website before you make any plans to use the ferry.
If you are considering taking the Alaska Marine Highway System, contact your local Transportation Office for details. The Ferry boards in Bellingham, Washington and departs either Haines or Whittier, Alaska.
From Haines it is an additional 765 miles (roughly a 15 hour drive depending upon weather). If traveling from Haines, you will travel from Alaska into Canada and back into Alaska.
From Whittier, you will need to check the Whittier Tunnel schedule: http://www.dot.state.ak.us/creg/whittiertunnel/schedule.shtml. This is a unique experience, as you will be traveling through North America's longest controlled one lane tunnel with alternating train and vehicle use. Once you get through the tunnel, it is about a 1.5 hour drive (39 miles) to Anchorage-heading North on the Seward Hwy. From Seward, AK you will drive North out of Seward on Alaska Highway 9 "Seward Hwy" (becoming Hwy 1) for approximately 130 miles. For your awareness: When driving in and out of Anchorage, there is one road heading North (Glenn Hwy-Hwy 1) and one road heading South (Seward Hwy-Hwy 1 & turns into Hwy 9 close to Seward).
Traveling through Canada: The ArriveCAN app is required to provide mandatory travel information on and after your entry into Canada.
When travelling from the lower 48 states en route to Alaska, you must enter Canada at one of the 5 identified CBSA ports of entry.
Please check the CBSA website before you travel to check the hours and current status of the POE you intend to use. To find the most up to date CBSA guidance on travel through Candara, please visit the CBSA site, via phone at 1-800-461-9999, TTY 866-335-3237, or email at email@example.com.
IT IS NOT RECOMMENDED TO DRIVE TO ALASKA DURING OCTOBER-MARCH due to severe weather conditions and even more limited access to food, emergency assistance, and gasoline outside the summer travel months. An atlas and current road map with states, provinces and territories you are traveling through will make your trip to Anchorage a smooth one. Ensure that your orders state that you are authorized to travel through Canada. If you deviate from your travel plans your orders might have to be amended. You may not receive all your travel pay reimbursements as well. Any family members aged 16 and older who are traveling with you will need to have a valid passport to enter Canada.
BE AWARE: towns are sparse through this drive especially in northern Canada and Alaska, so it is recommended anytime you see a gas station stop to fill your tank and have an additional full gas container in case you run low. Also, cell phone service as well as food and emergency services will be limited through these areas. Plan accordingly-bring extra food and water with you as well as emergency kits for changing tires, etc. Many miles on this drive will be on dirt/gravel road, be prepared.
NOTE: Alcohol and cannabis related driving offenses (DWI & DUI) are criminal offenses in Canada. US citizens with these offenses may be denied entry into Canada. Please visit the CBSA Inadmissibility Website for details.
There is limited transportation available on JBER.
Single Soldiers arriving at the Anchorage Airport can call In-Processing at 907-384-0425 for transportation to the Welcome Center. If In-processing is unable to pick you up, you can use a taxi, Lyft, or Uber but please ask for a receipt as you can request reimbursement when you do the finance portion of your in-processing. Regardless of the means of transportation selected, ensure they have base access before accepting.
Airmen & Guardians:
Please ebstablish commuication with your sponsor or CSS before you travel to ensure your transportation and accommadation needs are met.
Joint Base Elmendorf - Richardson Base Operators can be reached at 907-552-1110/ DSN: 317-552-1110
For the most up-to-date contact information for agencies on Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, download the JBER Connect app available through the Apple App Store and Google Play.