15 May 2013

Where is Fort Lewis? - Tacoma/Olympia Washington

Fort Lewis, Washington-The original gate constructed for Fort Lewis

Where is Fort Lewis? - About the Tacoma/Olympia Area

Fort Lewis is located just to the south of the Washington city of Tacoma and is to the east of the capital city Olympia. Fort Lewis is strategically located so it has easy access to the deep water ports of Seattle, Olympia, and Tacoma and is located close to the Sea-Tac Airport. With rocky terrain carved from glaciers and dense conifer woodlands, Fort Lewis and the surrounding area have temperatures ranging from the 40s during summer nights to 70s during summer days. Tacoma is a mid-sized urban port city with a population nearing 200,000 and is a center of business for the region. It was also named to be one of the "most livable areas" in the country and was listed as the 19th most walkable city in the US. Olympia has as population of near 50,000 and is a major cultural center of the region and the center of Washington's government.

Major Units at Fort Lewis

Now with troops both from the Army and the Air Force, the major units at Joint Base Lewis-McChord are: 

  • I Corps - I Corps, US Army Forces Command
  • WADS - Western Air Defense Sector, First Air Force
  • 104th TD - 104th Training Division
  • 446 AW - 446th Airlift Wing, 4th Air Force
  • 62 AW - 62nd Airlift Wing, 18th Air Force

See Who You Know at Fort Lewis

If you are looking for people you know at Fort Lewis, check out RallyPoint.com. At RallyPoint you can even find people by specific units and specialties. 

History of Fort Lewis

Named after Meriwether Lewis from the Lewis and Clark Expeditions, Fort Lewis' history began in 1917 when the citizens of Pierce County voted with an eight to one margin to bond themselves for $2 million to obtain 68,721 acres of land which they subsequently donated to the US government for the sole purpose of a permanent army post. In close to 90 days, 10,000 men built over 1,000 buildings and structures and a $4000 main gate which still stands today. With World War Two on the horizon, the number of troops stationed at the fort jumped from 5,000 to 37,000. In January, 1938, the Works Progress Administration approved the building of an airfield named McChord Air Force Base until the two bases combined in 2010. Fort Lewis has sent troops to Vietnam, Saudi Arabia for the first Gulf War, Panama, etc. Fort Lewis is now the training and mobilization center for all services and is the only Army power-projection base west of the Rocky Mountains. As of the 2000 census, there were 20,000 people living on the base.

Fort Lewis, Washington-Formerly Camp Lewis c. 1917 

Schools near Fort Lewis

If a family is living on base, then their children will attend Clover Park Schools. Families living off bases can receive a waiver to get on a waiting list for their child to attend on base schools but there are no guarantees. In Washington, a child can attend any school in his or her district or a neighboring district while low income students are eligible for scholarships grants to attend private schools. There are many colleges in the area such as University of Washington-Tacoma, 
University of Washington-Seattle, and Seattle Pacific University.

Tacoma, Washington-View of Tacoma with mountain in the background, north of Fort Lewis. (Photo Credit: Hike395)

Attractions - What to do in the Tacoma/Olympia WA Area

If you love the outdoors, the you will definitely love the Tacoma/Olympia area. Through Fort Lewis, there is the American Lake Community Center which looks over the beautiful American Lake, the Fort Lewis GOlf Course, and Carey Theater to just name a few. In Tacoma, one can go to Point Defiance Park, 
Point Defiance Zoo and Aquarium, and the Washington State History Museum, while in Olympia there is Priest Point Park, the Olympic Flight Museum, and much more.


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