Alaska’s geostrategic location has long been recognized by the United States military and others around the world. In 1935, General William “Billy” Mitchell proclaimed Alaska was the “most strategic place in the world”. He went on to say “…I believe in the future, he who holds Alaska will hold the world.” Today, Alaska has 14 DOD radar sites, one joint base and seven military bases.

  • Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson (JBER)
  • Fort Wainwright Army Base
  • Eielson Air Force Base
  • Eareckson Air Station
  • Clear Air Force Station Base
  • Fort Greeley Army Base
  • ISC Kodiak Coast Guard Base
  • Marine Safety Unit Valdez Coast Guard Base
  • USCG Juneau Coast Guard Base

The Department of Defense (DOD) has made commitments to expanding their presence in Alaska. This increased presence includes adding F-35 (5th Generation) Lightning Fighter Jets at Eielson Air Force Base, updates to the Long Range Discrimination Radar (LRDR) at Clear Air Force Station Base, upgrade and advanced missiles at Fort Greely, and an increasing number of F-22 (5th Generation) Strike Eagle Fighter Jets at JBER.

This will bring an additional $2.4 billion investment to the DOD installation infrastructure. Then, there will be additional community investments into infrastructure, schools, housing, and much more to support the increasing number of service members, their family, and DOD contractors coming to these locations in the next two to five years. This massive DOD investment in Alaska will continue for the next five to seven years. At the completion of all major weapons system upgrades, Alaska will likely see an infrastructure investment into the DOD installation and surrounding communities exceeding an estimated $4 billion. This multiyear investment is an economic driver for Alaska equivalent to 5.5% of our current GDP.

The State of Alaska, Department of Military and Veteran Affairs, Alaska Civilian Armed Services Team (ACAST) is an advisory board developed to help grow military investment. ACAST is focused on expanding and attracting new opportunities and missions that will improve national security and contribute to Alaska’s economy. More about ACAST can be found here.

The economic impact from DOD (military) and Homeland Security (Coast Guard) presence…

Veteran population


Veteran percent of population


FY 2016 Department of Defense uniformed and civilian


Combined total payroll

$1.7 billion

Percent of total State employment


Construction and contract make up

$1.3 billion


5.5 % or $3,840 per resident

DOD total economic impact

$3.0 billion