By Rod Powers
Fort Richardson occupies a 25,000 acre area found amongst steep snow-capped mountains, lakes, rivers, glaciers and abounds with wildlife. The post is found within the locality Anchorage in south-central Alaska.The installation is bounded by the city of Anchorage and Elmendorf Air Force Base to the west and by Eagle Bay and the Knik Arm of Cook Inlet to the north. Fort Richardson's southern and eastern boundaries consist of undeveloped lands and Chugach State Park. It is 2090 miles north of Seattle, Washington and 356 miles south of Fairbanks, Alaska.
Temperatures range from 30 degrees below zero in the winter to 80 degrees in the summer. Soldiers stationed at the fort learn the skills of arctic survival and snow travel, tundra crossing and glacier and riverine techniques along with their standard military specialties. The command holds extensive field training exercises in Alaska and participates in USARPAC exercises in the Pacific.
In July 1994, Fort Richardson became headquarters for United States Army, Alaska (USARAK). The mission of USARAK is the protecting America's interests in the volatile Asian Pacific region. Fort Richardson is the U.S. military's most centrally located worldwide transportation hub while its joint training opportunities, breathtaking environment and harsh climate changes provide ideal training grounds.