Updated On: 2/5/2013 2:24:22 PM
Welcome to Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash. The joint base, which began operation in October 2010 from the consolidation of Fort Lewis and McChord Air Force Base, is one of 12 new joint bases created by the 2005 Base Realignment and Closure Commission. The new joint base continues service with 95 years of history as the oldest military installation in the Pacific Northwest. Fort Lewis was established in 1917 and McChord Air Force Base was established in 1947, the same year the U.S. Air Force became a separate branch of the armed forces. read more...
Army units on the base are I Corps; 7th Infantry Division; 2nd Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division; 3rd Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division; 4th Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division; 16th Combat Aviation Brigade; 17th Fires Brigade; 42nd Military Police Brigade; 62nd Medical Brigade; 201st Battlefield Surveillance Brigade; 555th Engineer Brigade; 593rd Sustainment Brigade; and resident units such as the 1st Special Forces Group (Airborne); the 2nd Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment; 8th Brigade, U.S. Army Cadet Command; Western Regional Medical Command; Madigan Army Medical Center; and a number of other nondivisional support units.
Air Force units on the base are the 62nd Airlift Wing, Air Mobility Command; 446th Airlift Wing, Air Force Reserve Command; Western Air Defense Sector and 262nd Network Warfare Squadron, Washington Air National Guard, 22nd Special Tactics Squadron Air Force Special Operations Command and the 627th Air Base Group. I Corps is one of the four corps in the Army and is called America’s Corps because it has active, Reserve and National Guard units dispersed through the United States. I Corps headquarters also serves as a United States Pacific Command joint task force headquarters.
Headquarters, 7th Infantry Division officially reactivated at JBLM on Oct. 1, 2012. The two-star command oversees training and readiness for five brigades including: 2nd Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division; 3rd Brigade , 2nd Infantry Division; 4th Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division; 16th Combat Aviation Brigade, and 17th Fires Brigade.
Located in the heart of the Pacific Northwest’s Puget Sound region, Joint Base Lewis-McChord is the Defense Department’s premiere military installation on the West Coast. Joint Base Lewis-McCord is a training and mobilization center for all servicesand is the only Army power-projection platform west of the Rockies. Its key geographic location provides rapid access to the deep-water ports of Tacoma, Olympia and Seattle for deploying equipment. Units can be deployed from McChord Field, and individuals and small groups can also use nearby Sea-Tac Airport.
The strategic location of the base provides Air Force units with the ability to conduct combat and humanitarian airlift to any location in the world with the C-17A Globemaster III, the newest, most flexible cargo aircraft in the airlift force.
Joint Base Lewis-McChord has a subinstallation at Yakima Training Center in eastern Washington. The joint base is 647 square miles with 142 square miles for the main base in western Washington and 505 square miles for the Yakima Training Center. The population of the joint base in FY 2013 is 112,900: 36,500 active duty, 6,700 Reserve and National Guard, 54,600 Family members, and 15,100 civilian and contract employees.
Although the Army and Air Force missions have changed over the years, one thing has not changed — the natural setting of the base. On a clear day, Mount Rainier looms on the horizon, towering over the other peaks of the Cascade Range. From the mountains to the deep waters of Puget Sound and the Pacific Ocean, the local area abounds in natural beauty and outdoor recreation opportunities. Camping, hunting, fishing, hiking, boating and snow sports are a way of life in Washington.
Tacoma, Olympia and Seattle offer entertainment, restaurants, shopping and cultural events that celebrate Northwest life.
Whether you come to Joint Base Lewis-McChord for a day’s visit, TDY or a permanent move, you will soon see why the base is a popular assignment and many people choose to live their retirement here.
If you arrive by commercial airline, information and assistance are available at the USO in the Seattle-Tacoma (Sea-Tac) International Airport. Commercial transportation is available from the airport directly to Joint Base Lewis-McChord. While awaiting transportation, you and your family may relax in the USO lounge on the second floor.
If you arrive by train, Lakewood is the stop nearest to base. Taxi and bus services are available from the station to Joint Base Lewis-McChord.
Those traveling by bus can make connections directly to the base.
If you are driving, you should have no trouble finding Joint Base Lewis-McChord. Interstate 5 goes right by the base.
Exit 120 will take you to Liberty Gate, which is open 24 hours a day.
Air Force Personnel
Exit 125 will take you to McChord Field Main Gate, which is open 24 hours a day.
All active-duty service members are required to in-process through the customer service office located within the Military Personnel Section upon arrival. At that time, your relocation package will be opened and the customer service office will collect your unit personnel records group (if e-records not established yet) as well as a current SGLI form. You will receive back all other records, such as medical, dental and onthe- job training records. After you receive your medical and dental records, you will take them to the medical and dental clinic at your earliest convenience. You will also be scheduled for the Base Newcomers’ Orientation Program at this time.
All officers and enlisted Soldiers must report to the Waller Hall Welcome and Farewell Center, Building 2140, on arrival regardless of unit assignment. If you are not able to report on the required date, call Travelers Assistance at (800) 582-5552 or the Welcome Center at (253) 967-7004 or DSN 357-7004.
You can expect to be with the detachment five days. Once you sign in, you will receive a billeting assignment, bedding and a temporary meal card if you are not on separate rations. If your family arrives with you, the Welcome Center will help make them comfortable during your in-processing. To avoid difficulty with obtaining temporary lodging for your family, make reservations at the Rainier Inn, (253) 964-0211.
You should have all your records with you: personnel (PCS orders, leave forms, etc.), finance, medical and dental. You must be in uniform to in-process. The duty uniform for in-processing is ACU.
Air Force Personnel
If you are a first-term Airman and this is your first assignment, you will be required to attend the First Term Airmen’s Center (FTAC). All briefings held at the Newcomers’ Orientation will be in greater detail during FTAC. However, before FTAC, it is imperative you report to the Military Personnel Section to turn in your relocation package. The 24-hour arrival point is the Evergreen Inn and offers temporary housing at (253) 982-5613 or DSN 382-5613.
In case of emergency during your trip to Joint Base Lewis-McChord, contact your sponsor, unit first sergeant or commander. To reach your unit, call the Joint Base Lewis- McChord automated directory assistance at (253) 982-1110 or DSN 382-1110.
At the base newcomers’ orientation, you will attend briefings provided by different base agencies on Joint Base Lewis-McChord and you will speak with a TRICARE representative.
The Newcomers’ Orientation is held once a month (twice during the summer months) at the McChord Club and Community Center. It is a mandatory appointment, and military members may attend in civilian attire. Spouses are highly encouraged to attend.
If newcomers need free child care, for Air Force, contact the Airman and Family Readiness Center at (253) 982-2695 and for Army, contact Army Community Service (ACS) at 967-7166 to request free child care.
If you are expecting a shipment of household goods or unaccompanied baggage you may check the status of your shipment directly through the Defense Personal Property Shipping System (DPS). You may also schedule your delivery directly with your Transportation Service Provider (TSP) or moving company. If you need assistance, contact the Joint Personal Property Shipping Office - Northwest (JPPSO - NW) at 253-967-5093 or 1-800-521-9959. If you are a Soldier turning in a Personally Procured Move (PPM) claim, you may do so at JPPSO – NWs, Personal Property Processing Office located in Bldg 2150, JBLM Lewis-Main. If you are an Air Force member turning in a PPM you may do so at TMO, JBLM -McChord Field located in Bldg 100, RM 1001T.
For More Information
Army Community Service (ACS) and the Airman and Family Readiness Center (AFRC) can help you and your family get settled. For more information call, ACS at 967-7166, or AFRC at 982-2695.