Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, or JBER as it is commonly referred, is considered an OCONUS base because it is located in Anchorage, Alaska. The base is combination of USAF base Elmendorf and the Army’s Fort Richardson. The two bases were merged in 2010.
JBER is the home of the Asia-Pacific command. Resident units include 673d Air Base Wing, Alaskan Command, US Army Alaska, and 4th Brigade Combat Team (Airborne). The population of Anchorage is largely made up of military personnel and families. There are more than 29,000 military and military affiliated people in the area so military personnel will feel at home whether you live on base or off.
Getting To Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson
The journey to JBER can take several days to a week depending on how you travel. If you want to get there as fast as possible the best way is to fly from Seattle to Anchorage. But if you have a little extra time and you want to make the most of the trip you can drive. Driving there will take you out of the US and into Canada, then back to US territory when you enter Alaska.
There are several different routes that you can take and some include some stunning ferry trips. If you love nature and want to see some amazing scenery the drive is quite spectacular. If you do decide to drive it’s a smart idea to make sure that your vehicle has been winterized and that you have weather appropriate tires on your vehicle.
Arriving On Base
Incoming service members and their families will need military IDs to enter the base. Access to the base is restricted so anyone who is not affiliated with the military that wants to get on base needs to go the main gate and stop at the Visitor’s Center to provide proof of ID and get a pass.
Incoming airmen will need to make sure that they report to Bldg. 8517, Room 118, at 8 a.m within 24 hours of arriving in order to start in-processing. Soldier who are arriving at the installation should report to the Welcome Center in Bldg. 600, Room 103. If you arrive after hours staff duty personnel can help you start in-processing.
Incoming single Air Force personnel can be placed in dormitories with individual rooms. Army personnel are housed in barracks that consist of some single rooms and some suite style rooms where there are individual bedrooms but a shared kitchen space. Family housing is available both on post and off post. On post housing is managed by Aurora Military Family Housing. There is often a wait for on-post housing. On-post housing does allow pets, but many landlords off base do not. So if you are traveling with pets on-post housing would be a good option.
If you have pets but want to live off post the housing office has a network of landlords that they can refer you to that will accept pets. Some will offer discounted security deposits or discounted rent to military personnel and their families.
Alaska is an outdoor lover’s paradise. Dress warm and be prepared to see some of the most beautiful scenery that the country has to offer. Fishing, hunting, hiking, skiing, and many other activities are easily accessible. Anchorage has a vibrant community with great restaurants and lots of indoor activities available.