Fort Wainwright, Alaska has come a long way from being just a premier training center for the United States Army. The post covers a million acres and has undergone numerous facelifts that have attracted business, soldiers, civilians, and family member alike. It seems as though its days of just a cold weather military station have gone by. But there is a rich story and history behind Fort Wainwrights meteoric rise to one of the best military post in the United States.

Map of Fort Wainwright

History of Fort Wainwright

The military base was named Ladd Field to give honor to Maj. Arthur Ladd. Maj. Arthur Ladd was an Air Corps pilot killed in a deadly crash in 1935. The base was named in his honor for his duty and unwavering service for the United States Army.

April 1940 was an eventful day for the military base. 1940 was the year when the first Air Corps force was assigned in Fairbanks, Alaska. After the arrival of the Air Corps detachment, another batch of soldiers arrived. The new batch of soldiers totaled 118 and joined the Air Corps in October of the same year.

The soldiers first stayed in temporary houses before their permanent barracks were erected. The soldiers in Fort Wainwright played a vital role in World War II. The soldiers tested equipment and clothing in the extremely low temperatures of winter. After the testing, the equipment and clothing were shipped to the different forces of the United States Army to help in the war effort.

Fort Wainwright then played a bigger role in the War after testing different clothes and equipment for winter. The military base became the transfer point for the Lend Lease program of the United States Army. In the Lend Lease Program, the United States delivered close to 8,000 aircrafts to Russia. These aircrafts would serve to help the Allies in World War II.

The Army took control of Fort Wainwright (which was known as Ladd Air Force Base at the time) in January 1961 and thus renamed the base Jonathan M. Wainwright. The military base was renamed in honor of Gen. Jonathan M. Wainwright who led delaying tactics on the battlefields of Bataan and Corregidor in the Philippines. Gen. Wainwright was vital to the delaying tactics of the US Army because he faced a superior Japanese force during World War II.

Facts & Figures About Fort Wainwright

The military post has housed the 171st Infantry Brigade, 172nd Infantry brigade, 6th Infantry Light Division, the 1st Brigade, the 6th Infantry Light Division for the second time, the 172nd Separate Infantry Brigade, ad the 172nd Stryker Brigade Combat Team. Fort Wainwright currently houses the 1st Stryker Brigade Combat Team and the 25th Infantry Division.

Other than the aforementioned divisions, Fort Wainwright houses Task Force 49 which is a brigade sized aviation unit equipped with CH-47 Chinook helicopters, UH-60 Black Hawks, OH-58 Kiowas and a highly trained support personnel. Fort Wainwright is home to a plethora of infantry, field artillery, medical staff, engineers, and logistical support personnel. When a unit is tasked to deploy, the support personnel responds quickly to ensure the safety, efficient and quick deployment of the unit involved. Each unit is interdependent for an efficient and fast response to ensure smooth operation of each mission. The military post has grown exponentially since its days of just being a fifty man detachment during the cold winters of Alaska. The military post has grown to 7,700 soldiers today. The soldiers housed in Fort Wainwright, Alaska are highly trained and are ready to respond to defend the interests of the United States and to aid in humanitarian missions around the globe.

Mission & Vision of Fort Wainwright

Fort Wainwright has a long history of service to the United States Army. It is located in the beautiful and wondrous city of Fairbanks. Fairbanks is home to more than 50,000 people. The Army post in Fort Wainwright will guarantee that every soldier assigned to this military post will undergo intense training not only of the body but a holistic approach to become a well rounded soldier. Once you are assigned to Fort Wainwright you will have a chance to grow in your profession, you will experience Army Transformation, and enjoy all of the opportunities that the Great Land of the United States has to offer.

The soldiers at fort Wainwright also engage in community activities to enrich the lives of each member of the city of Fairbank. There are programs and activities that engage everyone in the community to help create a safe and fulfilling environment.

The Army Family Action Plan involves military personnel, family members, and civilians on key topics about family, teen issues, benefits and entitlements. The program seeks to build the proper values and develop leadership in the community. Each participant is given the chance to give recommendations and solutions for local leadership. The plan seeks to help the community grow toward the right direction.

The Army also seeks to develop the civilian sector by giving awards like the civilian employee of the quarter.  The recognitions given to the civilian and the military sector foster a sense of community and care among the military and civilians. Fort Wainwright seeks to develop the bond between the soldiers and the civilians. The civilian sector and the military seek to develop leadership at every level of the community. It shows that the community will only grow once it integrates different sectors of the city.

The city and the army will grow together and build their community with the programs that fort Wainwright offers. There are other programs that the community offers to develop each member of the community. You can develop certain skills that ca help you in life. The community around Fort Wainwright will help, not only soldiers, but also each one who wants to live in the area. You can hone different skills and develop a sense of community with the people around you. The sense of pride and community will help foster a better state.

Video – Fort Wainwright tour