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Old 07-06-2010, 12:20 PM
 
Location: Cannon AFB, New Mexico
240 posts, read 710,004 times
Reputation: 89

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Hello.

Our next duty station will be in Anchorage, Alaska at Elmendorf AFB. This is exciting but somewhat scary as this will be a very new environment for us. We just wanted to hear from people who have been stationed there or who are stationed there to give us some good tips, advice, and/or suggestions. We will be moving from the Tri-Cities, TN area to Elmendorf AFB. Right now, we don't have any specific details when the move will happen except for it will be sometime around November or December of this year.

We're from Seattle, WA so how different is Anchorage?
Do we need to think about getting a new car? (Currently we have a Chrysler 300)
Should we fly or drive?
How long would it be to get our things moved there? (We don't have that much stuff and plan on selling some things that we don't need)
How's military life there?
How are the people including the locals?
What types of family things are there to do?
If anyone is a firefighter stationed at Elmendorf, can you tell us your experience?

I'm sure I will have more questions as you guys start to ask or write back but until then, just tell us everything we should know before we go. Thanks in advance!
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Old 07-07-2010, 10:40 PM
 
Location: From Elmendorf to Eglin
165 posts, read 478,860 times
Reputation: 199
Quote:
Originally Posted by arodrigues88 View Post
Hello.

Our next duty station will be in Anchorage, Alaska at Elmendorf AFB. This is exciting but somewhat scary as this will be a very new environment for us. We just wanted to hear from people who have been stationed there or who are stationed there to give us some good tips, advice, and/or suggestions. We will be moving from the Tri-Cities, TN area to Elmendorf AFB. Right now, we don't have any specific details when the move will happen except for it will be sometime around November or December of this year.

We're from Seattle, WA so how different is Anchorage?
Do we need to think about getting a new car? (Currently we have a Chrysler 300)
Should we fly or drive?
How long would it be to get our things moved there? (We don't have that much stuff and plan on selling some things that we don't need)
How's military life there?
How are the people including the locals?
What types of family things are there to do?
If anyone is a firefighter stationed at Elmendorf, can you tell us your experience?

I'm sure I will have more questions as you guys start to ask or write back but until then, just tell us everything we should know before we go. Thanks in advance!
My wife and I have been at Elmendorf since 2008.
Never been to Seattle so I couldn't tell you.
Your car will do just fine here. I suggest getting some studded tires though.
That time of year I suggest fly. We drove up in July and that was nice but winter time on the Alcan is nota good idea.
Took our stuff a month to arrive from North Dakota.
Military life... well honestly I think this is the worst Base I have ever been to and my list is long. But it could be good for you.
The people are like any others I guess. Some good and some bad. Lots of crime off Base but it is a city afterall.
Camping, fishing and the like is huge here. No theme parks at all though.
I work at the Base housing office and it is privatized housing. If you have any more questions I'll to find the answers for you. I can tell you one thing Alaska will not be anything like you expect it to be.
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Old 07-10-2010, 07:12 PM
 
6,351 posts, read 18,878,100 times
Reputation: 9894
Arodrigues88, I've never been to Elmendorf OR Eilsen AFBs, but I do have one observation; In all my years on active duty, I'd hear people complain about this base or that base. But I honestly never remember ANYONE complaining about being stationed at Elmendorf or Eilsen! Best of luck to you & your newly-minted firefighter!
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Old 07-11-2010, 07:49 PM
 
Location: Chesterfield, VA
1,218 posts, read 4,437,544 times
Reputation: 533
We were stationed at Fort Greely, AK, from 1997-1999 (it was a hardship tour, hence the short assignment). It is a beautiful state - I saw snow-covered mountains year round. I also saw 60 below temps, and that is just frigid! (I don't think it gets that cold where you will be though.) And the summers were so nice - I don't think it ever got above 80 degrees.

Anyway, you asked about travel experiences. We took the north route (I think) heading up through the Dakotas to Canada and then over to Alaska. Definitely saw some beautiful country, but I agree with Doug. That time of year you need to fly. If you get stranded it could get cold real fast. You will find that as a spouse, you do have to get an Alaska drivers license, and take my advice, study for the test. There are some questions on there you have no experience with in the lower 48! Also, in the winter, make sure you keep a survival kit in your car. That is something you hope you never need!

When we returned to the East Coast, it took us eleven days and ten nights, but that was with a toddler. Our hope had been to make a lot of touristy stops, but we had horrible weather, so I just begged my husband to get me to Virginia as fast as he could.

A couple of suggestions... make sure you get to Denali and that you head north to cross the Arctic Circle. Get the t-shirt (still have mine!) and certificate to prove it. If you can, get to North Pole and visit The Santa Claus House. Lot's of folks take advantage of hops and go over to Hawaii for some R&R - start saving now so you can do that.

If your husband (or you) enjoys hunting and/or fishing, he will fall in love with Alaska. The salmon and halibut fishing are great! My hubby did not hunt, but plenty of others would go off for bear, dall sheep, and moose.

I won't say it was my favorite assignment, but I'm not sorry I went. It was definitely an experience, I went on the government's dime, and now I don't need to go back! :-)

Good luck with your tour and thank you and your husband for your service!
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Old 07-12-2010, 02:44 AM
 
Location: Anchorage, Alaska
204 posts, read 1,298,906 times
Reputation: 277
I was stationed at Elmendorf from 1981 -1983, and from 1999 -2002. I stayed here and live 5 minutes away from the base's Muldoon Gate. I concur with Crew Chief. This is likely the most requested assignment in the Air Force. Summer is similar to Seattle, only cooler. Any front wheel drive is fine. I do not use "studded" tires - I use "studless" ones - Blizzak or XIce. But if you prefer studs (as many do) you'll be fine. Please (if you haven't) contact your sponsor. He/she can answer virtually all your questions but if you're not getting any assistance from them, call the Flight Chief -I'm sure that will get the ball rolling. Welcome to Alaska!
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Old 07-14-2010, 04:48 AM
 
784 posts, read 1,631,700 times
Reputation: 631
I have a good friend there right now. He loves it. Of course he is an avid outdoorsy person, hiking fishing snowboarding etc.

He sends me all kinds of crazy pictures with moose walking around on base at times, i find it pretty comical. He works in the hospital, and overall says its a great place to be.

He got rid of his car in favor of an AWD suv. the chrysler 300 is RWD, definetly not the best in snow, snow tires or not. And they get A LOT of snow up there. you may find that it works, But AWD is pretty much the best bet, followed by FWD. Regardless I'd get some snow tires for whatever you drive.

And I wouldn't want to make that drive during november/december. Its a couple thousand miles from Washington as it is!

It too, took my friend about 3.5 weeks for his stuff to arrive from TMO
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Old 07-26-2010, 09:22 PM
 
Location: Cannon AFB, New Mexico
240 posts, read 710,004 times
Reputation: 89
Sorry, it's been awhile since I've posted. Just wanted to let everyone know THANK YOU for your responses. We greatly appreciate it.
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