United States Army Alaska
|United States Army Alaska|
United States Army Alaska
|Active||1994 – present|
|Branch||United States Army|
|Part of||United States Army Pacific|
|Nickname||America's Arctic Warriors (Special Designation)|
|Current Commander||Major General Michael X. Garrett|
|Distinctive Unit Insignia|
United States Army Alaska (USARAK or "America's Arctic Warriors") is a military command of the United States Army located in the state of Alaska, USA. A subordinate command of the United States Army Pacific, USARAK is the ground element of the Alaskan Command. USARAK is headquartered at Fort Richardson and commanded by a major general.
The 1950s: USARAL
The Army established the Yukon Command at Ladd Air Force Base as a component of the U.S. Army Alaska (USARAL) with the mission of point defense of U.S. military installations north of the Alaska Range. Consequently, infantry and anti-aircraft units comprised most of the Army presence at Ladd AFB during the 1950s. Elements of the 4th Regimental Combat Team arrived at Ladd AFB in 1950, and the 1st Battle Group, 9th "Manchu" Infantry Regiment took its place in 1956. At some time by December, 1957, the 1st Battle Group, 9th "Manchu" Infantry was split between Ladd AFB and Eilson AFB, with the headquarters being at Eilson AFB and some of the line companies (C Company, for one) remaining at Ladd AFB. That configuration remained until at least December, 1959. The 4th AAA Group was stationed at Ladd until 1958. In 1959, a NIKE battalion equipped with nuclear-capable Nike Hercules surface-to-air missiles (SAMs) took over the interior defense mission.
Later two battalions of Nike missiles were stationed in Alaska: 4th Battalion (later 1st Battalion), 43rd Air Defense Artillery, and 2d Battalion, 562nd Air Defense Artillery. The two battalions and their direct support ordnance companies fell under the command of the USARAL Artillery Group, headquartered at Fort Richardson. The Group was directly responsible to the USARAL Commanding General for Army participation in the air defense of Alaska, which involved Nike Hercules batteries, fighter interceptors, and the associated early warning radars and communications systems.
1993 onwards: USARAK
United States Army Alaska commands two brigade combat teams, an Engineer Brigade, an NCO Academy, the US Army's Northern Warfare Training Center (NWTC), and the United States Army garrisons in Alaska, as well as tenant organizations and Reserve Component units. Major units under the United States Army Alaska command are:
- 1st Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division at Fort Wainwright
- 4th Brigade Combat Team (Airborne) 25th Infantry Division at Fort Richardson
- 2nd Engineer Brigade at Fort Richardson
- Northern Warfare Training Center at Fort Wainwright
- Noncommissioned Officer Academy at Fort Richardson
- 59th Signal Battalion at Fort Richardson
- Medical Department Activity-Alaska at Fort Richardson
The reserve component units located throughout the state include the National Guard's 297th Battlefield Surveillance Brigade (formed from the 207th Infantry Group (Scout) in 2008); the 1st Battalion, 207th Aviation Regiment; a USAR hospital, and Company B, 411th Engineer Battalion of the United States Army Reserve, which has its battalion headquarters in Hawaii.
- List of Nike missile locations - for USARAL missile locations in 1950s
- "Special Unit Designations". United States Army Center of Military History. 21 April 2010. Retrieved 12 July 2010.
- U.S. Army Alaska, 'Nike Operations in Alaska,' Chapter 4