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Military Mission

Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson is located in Anchorage, consisting of approximately 75,000 acres. In 2010 the 673d Air Base Wing activated as the host wing, combining installation management functions of Elmendorf Air Force Base's 3rd Wing and U.S. Army Garrison Fort Richardson, and consisting of four groups that operate and maintain the Joint Base for air sovereignty, combat training, force staging, and through output operations in support of worldwide contingencies. The installation hosts the headquarters for the United States Alaskan Command, 11th Air Force, U.S. Army Alaska, and the Alaskan North American Aerospace Defense Command Region. The wing supports and enables three Air Force total-force wings, two Army brigades and 75 associate and tenant units. Military Operations Areas are north of the installation in the Matanuska-Susitna Borough.

Joint Land Use Study Planning Process

Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson is particularly vulnerable to incompatible civilian development because it is located at the northern edge of the Anchorage Bowl, separating the city from its northern suburbs of Eagle River and Chugiak. Before the Joint Base designation, the Army nominated Fort Richardson for a Joint Land Use Study (JLUS) in August 2002 to address existing and potential future incompatible development surrounding the installation. Subsequently, the Air Force nominated Elmendorf for a JLUS in September 2003 to coincide with the efforts at Fort Richardson.

The Matanuska-Susitna (Mat-Su) Borough took on the responsibility to act as the community sponsor for the JLUS. Other related jurisdictions involved in the JLUS included the State of Alaska, the Port of Anchorage, Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport, and cities within the Mat-Su Borough (such as Palmer and Wasilla, among others). A policy and technical committee had oversight of the JLUS, each with specific responsibilities. The committees met throughout the JLUS planning process. Committee members included civilian staff from Fort Richardson Army Post, Elmendorf Air Force Base, Army National Guard, Air National Guard, Mat-Su Borough staff, government officials, and other stakeholders. The JLUS report was completed in March 2010.

Implementation Strategy

In April 2010, the Matanuska-Susitna Borough Assembly unanimously approved an ordinance to adopt the “Matanuska-Susitna Joint Land Use Study” into Borough Code appending the Borough-wide Comprehensive Plan. The JLUS included the evaluation of existing and potential land use conflicts within the Borough that may impair the operational utility of Fort Richardson and Elmendorf, with a focus on high noise areas identified in the Air Installation Compatible Use Zone study, military over flights, and other operational areas (e.g.,landing zones and drop zones). The Borough Assembly’s adoption of the JLUS allows the Borough to implement recommendations that require amendment to land use regulations. The recommendations focused on noise, airspace conflict, land use compatibility, and communication.

Community Website: projects.whpacific.com/matsujlus