Editor’s note: This post was updated in October 2020.
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 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 Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, Alaska.
Back in 2010, the Department of Defense merged two installations in Alaska to form Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson. It’s a big place, home to large numbers of service members, families, and civilian employees. While the base is way up north, it has numerous outdoor activities to offer, as well as beautiful scenery and wildlife galore.
JBER is a joint base, but home to the following Army units:
- 1st Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division
- 4th Infantry Combat Team (Airborne), 25th Infantry Division
- 17th Combat Sustainment Support Battalion
- 1st Battalion, 52nd Aviation Regiment
- 1st Attack Reconnaissance Battalion, 25th Combat Aviation Brigade
- Headquarters and Headquarters Detachment, United States Army Alaska
- 59th Signal Battalion
- Eagle River (10 miles)
- Anchorage (11 miles)
- Palmer (35 miles)
- Wasilla (36 miles)
Closest MAJOR City: Anchorage
Names of Area Colleges:
- University of Alaska Anchorage in Anchorage
- University of Alaska Anchorage Community and Technical College in Anchorage
- Alaska Career College in Anchorage
- Alaska Pacific University in Anchorage
Weather: While you might expect Alaska to be frigid, it’s considered a “dry” cold, so it doesn’t feel as bad. You’ll experience four seasons, but also a fifth, known as “break up,” which falls in between winter and spring. It can be a dismal time of year, with the snow and ice melting during the day, refreezing at night and breaking into pieces. Summer is beautiful with temperatures rarely above the 80s and rainbows in abundance.
“JBER is not as cold as one would think. Just as the humidity makes the heat worse, humidity makes the cold worse. Science, am I right? But the cold in JBER is a dry cold, which means that even when it’s 40 degrees outside, one would see college kids in shorts.” —Sarah Anne H.
Time Zone: Alaska Time Zone
SPECIFIC POST INFORMATION
To access the post website, click here.
For a full history of JBER, go here.
On-post Housing is managed by Aurora Military Housing.
Major realty/rental companies in the area:
School District: Anchorage School District
- Elementary: Aurora Elementary, Ursa Minor Elementary, Orion Elementary, and Ursa Major Elementary, all K-6.
Off-Post Schools: There are more than 300 schools in Anchorage alone, so rather than list all of them, go here for a ranking of schools in the area.
- Child and Youth Services
- Army Community Service
- JBER Library
- JBER Hospital
- Outdoor Recreation (MWR)
- Elmendorf-Richardson Spouses’ Club
- Chaplain & Religious Services/Organizations
- Hospitals: Alaska Regional Hospital and Providence Health and Services, both in Anchorage.
- Urgent Care: There are 13 urgent care centers in Anchorage. You can find them here. Because JBER is an OCONUS location, be sure to call Tricare within 24 hours of your visit.
- Dentist: Legacy Dental Arts in Eagle River.
- OBGYN: Care is provided on base, but if seeking civilian care, check with the JBER Mommy Circle Facebook page for recommendations.
Shopping/malls: Fifth Avenue Mall has five floors of shopping.
- Snow City Café
- Beartooth Theatre
- Moose’s Tooth Pizza
- Spenard Roadhouse
- Simon and Seafort’s Saloon & Grill
- Kriner’s Diner
- Kincaid Grill
- 907 Ale House and Grill
- Take a glacier cruise
“Not only will you get the chance to see whales, otters, and other beautiful aspects of nature, but where else can you get a margarita made with freshly-carved glacier ice? Throw in a no-seasickness guarantee and you’ve got yourself a deal. Oh, and to get there you need to drive through a mountain.” — Sarah Anne H.
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: Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson—JBER
Military Spouse Groups: