Fort Wainwright Army Base in Fairbanks on map

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Fort Wainwright Army Base in Fairbanks, AK Alaska Military Bases


Fort Wainwright is a complementary camp to Fairbanks, a more important and large post of Alaska. It is one of the few strategical camps located in the far western state of the United States.



The fort was initially built in 1939. It belonged to the air force troops and was designed to test various equipments and weapons under arctic and extreme weather conditions. After World War II, the post was taken over by the army and its name was changed to what it is today, in the memory of general Jonathan W. Wainwright. Until 1972, the camp hosted the 171st Infantry Brigade. The inhabitants changed in 1986, when the 6th Infantry Division took over the place until 1998. The 172nd Infantry Brigade joined in after 1998, for the place to be given to the 25th Infantry Division in 2006.


In other words, both the population and the objectives of the camp changed more times over the years. If it was one of the best testing spots for harsh weapons in the beginnings, these days it is one of the largest training camps on the US territory.



Fort Wainwright was run by only 50 men in its first years. These days, it hosts around 7,700 soldiers, not to mention about their families. Overall, the whole population counts more than 15,000 individuals. You can count infantry and field artillery soldiers, as well as professional engineers, logistic support units and medical staff. Although the camp is designated for training activities only, the personnel is always ready to fight for the interests of the United States or various humanitarian actions.



The extreme location of the fort brings in plenty of disadvantages too. The area was marked with a red sign due to the multiple intoxication substances around, such as mercury, chromium, lead, fuels and oils. For many years, no one knew about these dangers. Besides, the Chena river also goes through the contaminated area. These days, things are a lot safer though.



The housing system at Fort Wainwright is very efficient. The support faction is very active, whether some new soldiers are supposed to get here for a longterm support or for a temporary and fast deployment. Unlike other camps in the country, the process is fast and secure. Most newcomers are assigned some sponsors to guide them throughout the accommodation process. They are thought where to find the things they need and how things work in the camp.


All the companies – temporary or not – are trained together, ensuring a strong connection between the soldiers. They learn how to work together and respect each other, as a large family. The operations and services go smooth, without too much struggle.



The Fort Wainwright facilities are among the most complete ones in the country, whether you are a civilian or a soldier. You benefit from medical services, schools, entertainment posts, as well as personal and self training centers. In other words, the life inside the campus is as normal as the life outside of it.

Fort Wainwright Army Base in Fairbanks on map



Fort Wainwright is located adjacent to Fairbanks in the interior of Alaska. The post is located in the North Star Borough. A borough in Alaska is equivalent to a county in the lower 48 states. Fairbanks, the second largest city in Alaska, is located 365 miles north of Anchorage, Alaska. You’ll find that the cost of housing and other living expenses in the Fairbanks area is very high. On post housing can be quite a wait and off-post housing is also very limited. The weather in Fairbanks has the largest swing in the world. It reach 90 degrees in the summer and a negative 65 degrees in the winter. Soldiers and their families assigned to Fort Wainwright will be able to enjoy breathtaking scenery abundant hunting, fishing and camping, regal mountains, diverse wildlife and the friendly independent people who will be their neighbors. The base operator’s phone number is (907)353-1110 or DSN (317)353-1110.


Many political and military leaders advocated building military bases in Alaska several years prior to World War II. Finally, when war threatened in 1939, Congress granted $4 million to construct an Army cold-weather experimental station at Fairbanks. In 1961, the Army renamed the post Fort Jonathan M. Wainwright after the general who, with his men, valiantly defended the Bataan Peninsula during the first few months of World War II. Since then Fort Wainwright has been home to several units, including the 171st Infantry Brigade (Mechanized), a Nike-Hercules battalion, and the 172nd Infantry Brigade and the 6th Infantry Division (Light). In 2001, Fort Wainwright was selected as the third Stryker Brigade Combat Team and, in 2006, the post was selected as the home of Task Force 49 Aviation Brigade.



Fort Wainwright’s mission is to deploy combat ready forces to support joint military operations worldwide and serve as the Joint Force Land Component Command to support Joint Task Force Alaska. Our strategic location, superior training capabilities and dynamic relationship with our local civilian communities make Fort Wainwright and United States Army in Alaska a significant national asset and world-class power projection platform for military operations anywhere in the world.


Population Served

Fort Wainwright has 5,108 soldiers stationed at Fort Wainwright, and 5,798 command sponsored dependents reside with those soldiers on post or in the surrounding community. Also, 915 civil service employees and 273 non-appropriated employees work at Fort Wainwright, for a total of 1188 civilians working on post.


Base Transportation

Armed Services YMCA (ASYMCA) has a free shuttle service on Fort Wainwright. This service is for Soldiers and family members. Call (907) 353-FREE/3733 to request a shuttle and the shuttle driver will take you where ever you need to go on Fort Wainwright.



To obtain a sponsor at Fort Wainwright prior to your arrival, send your request to USARAK, ATTN: APVR-AG-SE, 600 Richardson Drive, Fort Richardson, AK 99505-5100, or call (907) 384-1970/1969/1967, DSN (317) 384-1970/1969/1967. If not being met by your sponsor, report to the Welcome Center, Building 3401. If arriving after duty hours, contact the Welcome Center at (907) 353-2273. If you need to send mail to Fort Wainwright, call 1 (800)-275-8777, ask for the post office on Fort Wainwright and then ask for their requirements for forwarding mail to Fort Wainwright.


Temporary Quarters

With the popularity of recreational travel to Alaska and the large number of official travelers, U.S. Army Alaska Lodging strives to offer the finest temporary lodging to both official and Space Available travelers. The popularity of Alaska means lodging is usually 100 percent booked from April through September. For the best chance of a successful booking, it is recommended that guests make reservations as soon as they are eligible. For reservations at Fort Wainwright’s Northern Lights Inn (Building 3402) call (907) 353-3800, 24 hours a day to reserve one of its 90 rooms.


Relocation Assistance

The Relocation Readiness Program is located in Rooms 58 and 59 of the Welcome Center, in Building 3401. Welcome packets, maps and other local information are available. Computers are available in the Family Readiness Center, also located in the Army Community Service area of the Welcome Center. The Relocation Lending Closet offers household items for 30 day loan. Fort Wainwright’s two-day long Newcomers Orientation is held from 0800-1500, every second Wednesday and Thursday of each month, at the Battle Command Training Center. For more assistance, contact us at (907) 353-4333/7908, DSN (317) 353-4227.


Critical Installation Information

Fort Wainwright is considered an overseas tour. If you have dependents and you want your family members to accompany you to Alaska, your PCS orders must say “concurrent travel” and have each family member’s name on your orders. Each family member must have completed the Exceptional Family Member screening and have Command Sponsorship.


If your PCS orders say “deferred travel” for your family, then you need to travel to Alaska alone. After you arrive and sign into Fort Wainwright, you can begin the Command Sponsorship process. Have your family complete the Exceptional Family Member screening at the losing post and wait to hear from you for further instructions.