Alaska Military Bases are at strategic points for the United States we will explore some of these bases and their history. However lets first learn more about the great state of Alaska. Alaska is a state located right by the coast of the Yukon region and borders among the gulf of Alaska, the Bering sea and the Beaufort sea and the Arctic Ocean. It also slightly touches the Aleutian bay and contains all these islands and fun fact that you probably already heard of is that Alaska is actually really Russia with only 4 Kms off.
An interesting fact about Alaska is that it’s actually the northern most state of the Us. That’s not that interesting however, it also the western most state of the USA. That’s also not surprising but however, the surprising fact is that it’s also the eastern most state of the USA. That’s right Maine is not the eastern most because the Aleutian Islands actually touches across the east coast.It’s the least densely populated state, second is Wyoming and third is Montana.
Map of Military Bases in Alaska
Eielson Air Force Base
One of the key Alaska Military Bases Eielson Air Force Base, located about 26 miles southeast of Fairbanks, this base is home to the 354th Fighter Wing, which is assigned to the 11th Air Force of the Pacific Air Forces (PACAF). The 354th has the PACAF’s largest air-to-ground bombing range and runs the premier large force exercise called COPE THUNDER. Their mission is to train combat pilots to be at the ready to serve the US around the world. Eielson also supports the 168th Air Refueling Group, the Alaska Air National Guard and the Alaska ANG Search and Recovery Det !. The base is currently preparing for the arrival of more than 50 F35 Lightning II fighter jets between 2020 and 2022. It is expected to increase the amount of military personnel needed at the base by more than 50%.
Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson (JBER)
In 2010, the US Army’s Fort Richardson and the US Air Force’s Elmendorf Air Force Base were merged to create the Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson Air Force Base. This makes them one of only 12 Joint Bases created during the BRAC (Base Realignment and Closure Commission) of 2005. The host unit is 3rd Wing 11th Air Force, the largest unit within the 11th Air Force. They are responsible for the air defense in the Asia Pacific region and around the world. Aircraft assigned to the base include the F22 Raptor fighter, E-3 Sentry warning and control system, C-17 Globemaster III cargo aircraft and the UH 60 and HH 60 Black Hawk helicopters.
Fort Greely is one of two locations that serve as host to the Ground-based Interceptors (BGI’s) used as part of the Ground-based Midcourse Defense (GMD) system. The GMD system is the only missile defense system whose sole purpose is to defend the US from long-range ballistic missiles. Fort Greely has 44 GBI’s, missiles that are silo-launched and intended to intercept ballistic missiles while still outside the atmosphere. Fort Greely is also known to be one of the coldest places in Alaska, making it a perfect location for the Cold Regions Test Center (CRTC). It conducts various equipment tests as well as soldier participation in the extreme cold, snow and sub-arctic environment.
Co-located in Fairbanks, Fort Wainwright is home to the 1st Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division (1-25th SBCT), and the USARAK Aviation Task Force. Personnel here are highly trained and ready to deploy globally for a wide range of needs from humanitarian relief to combat operations. Originally run by only 50 men, the population now stands at over 7,700 soldiers and their families.
ISC Kodiak Coast Guard Base
Integrated Support Command Kodiak occupies over 23,000 acres and is the only Coast Guard installation that can host both ships and aircrafts. It is the largest base run by the US Coast Guard. The extreme cold weather and active oil companies nearby provide for an intense atmosphere on site. The base supports all ice cutters in the Pacific area when they need help or maintenance. The mission here is to be at the ready to assist in any need, from ice patrolling, search and rescue missions, oil spill hunting as well as law enforcement activities.
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