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Editor’s note: This post was updated in January 2021.

One of the most challenging aspects of military spouse life is preparing for an upcoming PCS or if you get the chance, potentially picking a new duty station. There is a lot of information out there, and it can be almost overwhelming.

We here at Army Wife Network want to take the some of the guesswork out of the need-to-knows about duty stations around the globe. Hence, our Post With the Most series. In this particular blog, we will be showcasing information related to Fort Irwin, California.

Fort Irwin is home to the National Training Center, a major training area for the United States military, and is a census-designated place located in the Mojave Desert in northern San Bernardino County, California. It is located 37 miles northeast of Barstow, California. NTC is part of the U.S. Army Forces Command.


Fort Irwin National Training Center is home to the following units:

Surrounding Cities: 

  • Barstow, California (37 miles)
  • Lenwood, California (44 miles)
  • Victorville, California (69 miles)
  • Los Angeles, California (152 miles)
  • Las Vegas, Nevada (183 miles)
  • San Bernardino, California (197 miles)

Closest MAJOR City: Los Angeles, California

Names of Area Colleges:

Weather: The Barstow area has a moderate desert climate, with winter temperatures in the high 50s to low 30s and summer temperatures in the mid-90s to mid-60s. The area generally has relatively little rainfall, but has up to two inches of rain a month in the winter. It rarely snows there. Summers are hot, dry, and clear, and the winters are cool and clear. Residents should be aware that Barstow rests on the San Andreas Fault, and earthquakes are a fact of life. Minor earthquakes happen occasionally; major earthquakes are rarer.

Time Zone: Pacific Time Zone


To access the post website, click here.

Map of the area

Historical Facts/Landmarks: 

  • Pre-military history of the area goes back about 15,000 years.
  • The Fort Irwin area was home to Native Americans of the Lake Mojave Period. Archaeologists have unearthed remains of cultures dating back thousands of years.
  • The military history begins in 1844, when a member of the U.S. Army, Capt. John C. Fremont, established a camp in the area. It was a major supply area to pioneers during California’s gold rush.
  • In the 1840s, Fort Irwin was home to the Mormon Battalion, the only religiously-based military unit in U.S. history.
  • It was an anti-aircraft range and training area during World War II, and after deactivation and activation many times, was finally reactivated in 1981 as the designated site for the National Training Center.


On-post Housing is managed by Villages at Fort Irwin.

Major realty/rental companies in the area:


School Liaison Officer

 School Districts:

 On-Post Schools

Off-Post Schools: Note that within the districts, different schools have different grades in attendance. Some are K-12th, others are more traditional elementary, middle, and high school formats.

Other School Options: 



Health Care:

Best place for beauty services:

Shopping malls: Outlets at Barstow and Barstow Mall.


Fort Irwin:



Fort Irwin:






Army Wife Network does not promote or endorse these groups; however, we know they can be helpful in learning about various duty stations, so they are provided for your convenience.

Installation Facebook page: National Training Center/Fort Irwin

Military Spouse Groups:

Buy/Sell/Trade Pages:

Religious services:


  • Embrace Your Base

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EYB: Walter Reed National Military Medical Center

EYB: Walter Reed National Military Medical Center

Located in Montgomery County, Maryland, Naval Support Activity Bethesda—home of Walter Reed National Military Medical Center—is centered in the National Capitol Region. It is the home of support for the hospital as well as all of its tenant commands in their pursuit of excellence in patient care, medical research, and education. Naval Support Activity Bethesda (NSAB) is responsible for providing installation support to 12,000 military and civilian employees and their families, as well as 40 tenant units. Bethesda is one of the most renowned communities in the Greater Washington D.C. area.

Mission: Milspouse is a
501(c)3 nonprofit organization.

EIN Number: 88-1604492


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El Paso, TX 79904


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