Welcome to Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Washington, home of I Corps and the 62 Airlift Wing.
Located in the heart of the Pacific Northwest's Puget Sound region, Joint Base Lewis-McChord is the Department of Defense's premiere military installation on the West Coast. The joint base, which began operation in October 2010 from the consolidation of Fort Lewis and McChord Air Force Base, is one of 12 joint bases created by the 2005 Base Realignment and Closure Commission. The joint base celebrates its centennial anniversary in 2017, making it the oldest military installation in the Pacific Northwest. Fort Lewis was established in 1917 and McChord Air Froce base was established in 1947, the same year the U.S. Air Force became a separate branch of the armed forces.
Joint Base Lewis-McChord is a training and mobilization center for all services and 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 humanitarian airlift to any location in the world with the C-17A Globemaster III, the most flexible cargo aircraft in the airlift force.
Joint Base Lewis-McChord has a sub-installation 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 is approximately 110,000: 40,000 active duty, 60,000 family members and 15,000 civilian and contract employees.
Although the Army and Air Force missions have changed over the years, one thing that has not is the natural setting of the base. On a clear day, Mount Raininer looms 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 the Northwest lifestyle.
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 retire here.