Alaska has a large military community, with over 30,000 active duty service members and their families stationed in the state. They play a vital role in protecting the interests of the United States and its allies in the Arctic Region. Today, the state is home to eight military installations:

 

  • Eielson Air Force Base
  • Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson
  • Clear Space Force Station
  • Fort Wainwright
  • Fort Greely
  • ISC Kodiak Coast Guard Base
  • Marine Safety Unit Valdez
  • USCG Sector Juneau

Eielson Air Force Base

Eielson Air Force Base is located in Fairbanks, AK, and is home to the 254 th Fighter Wing, which is responsible for the operation of F-35A Lightning II fighter jets. The base was initially established in 1943 as a training base for pilots during World War II, and after the war it was used to support Cold War efforts. The base is also home to the Alaska Air National Guard’s 168th Wing, which flies C-130H Hercules cargo aircraft. The base also hosts a number of events throughout the year, including the Arctic Thunder Airshow.

For more information, please see the base website: Eielson Air Force Base

Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson (JBER)

Located in Anchorage, JBER is the largest military installation in Alaska, and is home to over 50,000 personnel. It was formed in 2010 when Elmendorf Air Force Base and Fort Richardson were merged. JBER is come to a variety of military units including: 673 rd Air Base Wing, 3 rd Wing, 176th Wing, 2nd Brigade, 11th Airborne Division, 477 th Fighter Group, 611 th Air Operations Center, and U.S. Army Alaska HQ.

For more information, please see the base website: Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson

Clear Space Force Station

Clear Space Force Station is a Space Force radar station located near Clear, Alaska. It is part of a Space Surveillance Network which tracks a variety of objects in space. It is also home to the Joint Tactical Space Support (JTSS) element, which provides space situational awareness and support to warfighters. It was initially established in 1957 as a radar station for the early warning of ballistic missiles, and was transferred to the Space Force in 2019. The Space Force’s Space Surveillance Network is a global network of sensors that track objects in space. The network includes ground based radars, telescopes, and space-based sensors. Clear SFS is one of the most important ground based radar stations in the network.

For more information, please see the base website: Clear Space Force Station

Fort Wainwright

Fort Wainwright is located in Fairbanks, and is home to 1 st Brigade, 11 th Airborne Division, and other others of the Army’s Alaska Command. After initially being named Ladd Field as an Army Air Corps base, it was renamed Fort Wainwright in 1961 in honor of General Jonathan M. Wainwright, a Medal of Honor recipient who commanded American forces in the Philippines during WWII. Fort Wainwright’s unique arctic environment provides challenging and realistic training conditions for soldiers.

For more information, please see the base website: Fort Wainwright

Fort Greely

Fort Greely is located about 100 miles southeast of Fairbanks in the Tanana Valley. It is home to the Ground-Based Midcourse Defense (GMD) system, which is a missile defense system designed to protect the US from intercontinental ballistic missiles. The base is also home to the Cold Regions Test Center, which is an Army research and development center that tests equipment and systems in cold and extreme weather conditions.

For more information, please see the base website: Fort Greely

Coast Guard Base Kodiak

Coast Guard Base Kodiak is the largest Coast Guard base in the Pacific and is home to over 2,000 people. Air Station Kodiak, one of the units on Base Kodiak, is one of the busiest air stations in the Coast Guard. It is home to a variety of aircraft, including HC-130H Hercules, MH-60T Jayhawk, and MH-65D Dolphin. Base Kodiak provides support to all Coast Guard units in the Kodiak area, and is responsible for search and rescue, law enforcement, and marine environmental protection for a large area of the Pacific Ocean.

For more information, please see the base website: Coast Guard Base Kodiak

Marine Safety Unit Valdez

MSU Valdez, located in the city of Valdez, is responsible for the safety and security of the Prince William Sound, including the Valdez Narrows, which is the main shipping route for oil tankers from the Trans-Alaska Pipeline. They are also responsible for responding to oil spills and other maritime emergencies.

For more information, please see the base website: MSU Valdez

USCG Sector Juneau

USCG Sector Juneau is a multi-mission unit based in Juneau. It is responsible for the maritime safety and security of the Southeast Alaskan coastline and waterways. The Sector is home to a variety of units including Cutters, Small Boat Stations, Air Stations, Aids to Navigation Teams, and Marine Safety Detachments.

For more information, please see the base website: USCG Sector Juneau

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Written by:
Sean Majer