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:
- 1st and 2nd Squadron of the 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment
- National Training Center Operations Group
- 916th Support Brigade
- 1916th Support Battalion
- 2916th Aviation Battalion
- Joint Center of Excellence
- Mission and Installation Contracting Command
- Reserve Component Operations Plans and Training
- 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
SPECIFIC POST INFORMATION
To access the post website, click here.
- 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:
- Elementary: Congressman Jerry Lewis Elementary School (K-2nd)
- Intermediate: Tiefort View Intermediate School (3rd-5th)
- Middle: Fort Irwin Middle School (6th-8th)
- High: Silver Valley High School (9th-12th, school is located off-post, 45 miles from Fort Irwin)
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.
- Silver Valley Unified School District
- Barstow Unified School District
- Oro Grande School District
- Apple Valley Unified School District
Other School Options:
- Private/Charter: You can find a complete list of private schools via the California Department of Education.
- Homeschool: You can find California homeschool information here.
- Child and Youth Services
- Army Community Services
- Fort Irwin Post Library
- Weed Army Community Hospital
- Military & Civilian Spouses’ Club of Fort Irwin
- Chaplain & Religious Services/Organizations
- Hospital: Barstow Community Hospital
- Urgent Care: Meridian Urgent Care in Barstow
- General Practice: Barstow Family Care
- Dentist: Josh Soonhyuk Chang, DDS; Craig A. Robinson, DDS; Jang Dental; and Barstow Children’s Dentistry; all located in Barstow.
- Eye Care: James R. Dallas Optometry and Pacific Eye Institute, both located in Barstow.
- OB/GYN: Dr. Susan R. Tan, MD; providers at Barstow Community Hospital; and Dr. Viruch Vachirakorntong, MD; all located in Barstow.
Best place for beauty services:
- Fort Irwin Beauty Salon (full service salon) on Fort Irwin
- Studio 841 (full service hair salon) in Barstow
- Split Endz in Barstow
- Shear Madness (full service salon) in Barstow
- Idle Spurs Steakhouse
- DiNapoli’s Firehouse
- Lola’s Kitchen
- Los Domingos
- Casa Jiminez
- Slash X Ranch Cafe
- Painted Rocks
- National Training Center and 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment Museum
- Goldstone Deep Space Communications Complex
- Rainbow Basin Natural Area
- Desert Discovery Center
- Mojave River Valley Museum
- Skyline Drive-In
- Western America Railroad Museum
SOCIAL MEDIA CONNECTIONS
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: