FORT BLISS TEXAS: IN-DEPTH WELCOME CENTER
IntroductionYou have received your orders and you are heading to Fort Bliss, Texas. Congratulations! Home to the 1st Armored Division, “Old Ironsides,” the post has a population of around 8,500 people. Named for LTC William Bliss, an Army Officer and son-in-law of President Zachary Taylor (1849-150), the post was first established in 1849 as an outpost in the El Paso del Norte and then formally established as a permanent Fort in 1878. Fort Bliss covers approximately 1,700 square miles with 1.12 million acres dedicated to training, making it the second largest US Army installation worldwide. While the main area of the post is located adjacent to El Paso, TX, the post, including the training areas, occupies both Texas and New Mexico. Continue reading for our in-depth guide on Fort Bliss to help aid you in your transition to your new post home.
- Where Is Fort Bliss?
- Google Map View
- Getting There – Directions to the Post
- Entering Fort Bliss and Post Amenities
- Where Should I Live Near Fort Bliss?
- What Schools are Near Fort Bliss?
- What’s the Weather Like in Fort Bliss?
- Things to Do Near Fort Bliss
Where Is Fort Bliss?
Fort Bliss Welcome CenterBuilding 505 Pershing Road Fort Bliss, Texas 79916
Phone:1 (915) 568-3035
Fort Bliss Map
Fort Bliss Directions
Fort Bliss AmtrakAmtrak’s downtown station in El Paso is located at 700 West San Francisco Ave. You can find fare and schedule information on their website here.
El Paso International Airport TransportationSoldiers can hail a taxi or use the complimentary Airport Liaison shuttle to The Welcome Center, Fort Bliss Reception. There is a courtesy phone at the El Paso International Airport to call the Reception desk at 1 (915) 568-3035 for transportation. Alternate numbers to call are the military liaison (between 6 am and 12 midnight) for assistance at 1 (915) 562-3606 or the Staff Duty (24 hours) at 1 (915) 569-5098. The El Paso Airport military desk can be reached at 1 (915) 762-6912 for more information.
Driving Directions to Fort Bliss
If Driving I-10 West
- Take exit 25 toward Gateway Blvd W, then a slight right onto Airway Blvd.
- Continue straight onto Buffalo Soldier Rd and pass through the Buffalo Soldier Gate.
If Driving I-10 East
- Take exit 24A toward Trowbridge Dr then merge onto Gateway Blvd East.
- Turn left onto Trowbridge Dr then turn right onto Paisano Dr. Continue onto Montana Ave.
- After 0.3 miles, turn left onto Isah way then Right onto Airport Rd.
- After 0.4 miles, turn left onto Buffalo Soldier Rd and enter through the Buffalo Soldier Gate.
If Driving Hwy 54 West
- Take exit 24A toward Fred Wilson Ave.
- Merge onto Gateway S Blvd and use the left 2 lanes to take the ramp to Fort Bliss, passing through the Fred Wilson Gate.
If Driving Hwy 54 East
- Take exit 24 toward Fred Wilson Blvd/Railroad Dr.
- Use the left lane to merge onto Gateway N Blvd.
- Follow the signs for Fred Wilson Rd and use the left 2 lanes to take the ramp to Fort Bliss, passing
- through the Fred Wilson Gate.
Fort Bliss Transportation OfficeGetting your personal goods to your next duty station is one of the biggest headaches of a PCS move. But the Fort Bliss transportation office is here to help you get your things where they need to go.
Fort Bliss Transportation OfficeBldg 504A - Pershing Road Fort Bliss, TX 79906
Phone:1 (915) 568-4339
Fort Bliss Transportation Office Hours
Monday through Friday -0730-1630
Entering Fort Bliss and Post AmenitiesTo enter the post, you will need to show your military ID and all of-age passengers must present a valid ID (driver’s license, passport, etc). If you don’t have your military ID, you will need your driver’s license, vehicle registration, and proof of insurance. Your vehicle will likely be searched if entering the post for the first time or without military ID. So you may want to include some extra time in your travel plans to allow for such a delay. All non-DOD persons can expect to obtain a visitors pass at certain gates with Visitor Control Centers (VCC). If entering through the Fred Wilson Gate, once you pass through the Access Control Point, turn right onto Sheridan Rd then turn left on Lawrence St and right onto Pershing Road. Follow Pershing Road until you see the Welcome Center on your left. If entering through the Buffalo Soldier Gate, once you pass through the Access Control Point, follow Buffalo Soldier Road until you reach JEB Stuart Road and turn right. Then turn left onto Pershing Road and continue until you see the Welcome Center on your right.
Check-in Procedures for Incoming PersonnelOnce you have arrived on the post, you will follow signs to the Reception Barracks (Building 1006 on Carter Road) for in-processing. This building is open 24 hours a day. Check in should be conducted in your ACUs. This location is for both officers and enlisted personnel for check-in. Ensure you have your 201 file, health, and dental records, Leave Form, and 10 copies of your PCS orders. The Reception Barracks can be reached at 1 (915) 568-6573.
Welcome Center/Soldier Support Center505 Pershing Road Fort Bliss, Texas 79916
Phone:1 (915) 568-5600
Hours:Monday through Friday 0730-1600
Fort Bliss Visitor CenterFort Bliss visitor passes will be issued to those with a valid reason for entering the installation. A security-vetting is required for all visitors.
Chaffee Visitor Control Center527 Chaffee Rd Fort Bliss, TX 79916
Phone:1 (915) 568-3035
DEERS Fort BlissBook an online appointment and skip the waiting room.
Fort Bliss DEERS Office505 Pershing Rd Fort Bliss, TX 79906
Phone:1 (915) 569-6036
Fort Bliss DEERS Office Hours
Monday through Friday -0800-1630
Fort Bliss Gate HoursWe live in a rapidly changing world; click here to verify hours of operation for Fort Bliss gates. Special COVID-19 Gate information can be found here.
Alabama Gate -0500 - 2100 Monday through Friday
Buffalo Soldier Gate -0500 - 2100 Monday through Sunday - Visitor Control Center open 0500 - 2100 Monday through Friday
Cassidy Gate -Open 24/7 - No VCC
Chaffee Gate -0500 - 2100 Monday through Sunday - VCC Open 24/7
MSG Pena Gate -24/7
Fred Wilson Gate -24/7
PVT Minue Gate -0500 - 2200 Monday through Friday
McGregor Front Gate-24/7
Old Ironsides Gate -0500 - 2100 Monday through Friday
Ross School ECP -0700 - 0800, 1045 - 1200, 1400 - 1730 Monday through Friday, Pedestrians only
Sheridan Gate -0500 - 2100 Monday through Friday
CSM Barreras Gate -24/7
Fort Bliss CommissaryGetting your groceries, toiletries, home goods, and other sundries is easy at the Fort Bliss Commissary, right here on post.
Fort Bliss Commissary1620 Marshall Rd Fort Bliss, TX 79916
Phone:1 (915) 568-6688
Fort Bliss Commissary Hours
- 7 days a week 0800-2000
Fort Bliss ExchangeBldg 1611 Haan & Marshall Rd Ft. Bliss, TX 79906
Phone:1 (915) 562-7200
Fort Bliss Exchange Hours
Monday through Friday -1000-1900
Fort Bliss Barber ShopsGetting a fresh haircut is a small but important part of the military routine. Luckily there are plenty of barber shops all over Fort Bliss where you can get a nice trim.
Barber Shop Locations & Hours
East Bliss Mini Mall, Bldg. 13471
Monday through Saturday -0900-1700
Purple Heart Express, Bldg. 21233
Hours:Monday through Friday 0900-1700
William Beaumont Army Medical Center Retail Annex, Bldg. 7777
Phone:1 (915) 562-2651
Troop Store, Bldg. 9464
Phone:1 (915) 562-2573
Hours:Monday through Friday 1000-1330, only when troops are in area
Freedom Crossing, Bldg. 1613
Phone:1 (915) 562-2573
Hours:Monday through Sunday 0800-1800
Fort Bliss Post OfficeGet your letters and packages delivered where they need to go properly and on time with the help of the Fort Bliss Post Office.
Fort Bliss Post OfficeEl Paso, TX 79906 1733 Pleasonton Rd
Phone:1 (915) 562-7298
Fort Bliss Finance OfficeLocated within the Fort Bliss Welcome Center, the post provides financial advice and assistance to members of the military community who need it.
Fort Bliss Finance OfficeBuilding 505 Pershing Road El Paso, TX 79906
Phone:1 (915) 568-3035
Fort Bliss Finance Office Hours
- Front Desk open 24/7
Fort Bliss Legal OfficeFrom civil law to property issues, the professionals at the Fort Bliss Legal Assistance Office are here to aid and advise service members and their families on all things law-related.
Fort Bliss Legal OfficeFort Bliss Legal Assistance Office Building 113, 1st Floor, Pershing Road Fort Bliss, TX 79916
Phone:1 (915) 568-7141
Fort Bliss Legal Office Hours:
Monday through Wednesday -0900-1130 & 1300-1630
Friday -0900-1130 & 1300-1630
Fort Bliss LibraryBetween the large Mickelsen Community Library and the smaller (but still comprehensive) Soldier Activity Center Library, there’s no shortage of great books to borrow and read on Fort Bliss. You can even rent video games or take advantage of Mickelsen’s large computer lab.
Mickelsen Community LibraryBuilding 2E Sheridan Road (basement level, underneath the NCO Academy) Fort Bliss, TX 79916
Phone:1 (915) 568-1902
Monday through Friday -0900-1800
Soldier Activity Center Library20732 Constitution Drive Fort Bliss, TX 79918
Phone:1 (915) 744-1534
Monday through Friday -0800-1700
Sunday & Training Holidays -1000-1700
Fort Bliss Hotels
Holiday Inn Express at Fort Bliss1744 Victory Ave. Fort Bliss, Texas 79906
Phone:1 (915) 565-7777 This is the post’s official hotel for transient personnel. Reservations can be made at 1 (915) 565-7777. DTS booking instructions can be found here for official travel.
Hot Tip: Download MyBaseGuide’s Fort Bliss Military Relocation Guide for information about hotels nearby.
Where Should I Live Near Fort Bliss?Proximity to work is a factor to consider when choosing the best places to live near Fort Bliss TX. But with 12 gates and many residential neighborhoods in the El Paso area, you’ll have many options to choose from.
Cities Near Fort BlissFort Bliss is directly adjacent to the beautiful, sprawling border city of El Paso, the town most closely associated with the post. But it also stretches far to the north, all the way into New Mexico. Given the remoteness of much of that area, however, El Paso is really the only major municipality near the post. But don’t let that fool you, it’s a great place to work and live. If you’re considering living on post, check out the available on-post housing options. Otherwise, read on to find out more about living off post.
Best Places to Live Near Fort Bliss
El PasoEl Paso, Texas sits just west of Fort Bliss and is a town closely connected to the military. It’s home to about 840,000, making it the 22nd largest city in the US, and the seat of El Paso County. The desert city sits along the Rio Grande and the Mexican border, directly across from Ciudad Juarez and is the intersection of Texas, New Mexico, and along the border of the Mexican state of Chihuahua. Downtown El Paso offers museums, craft breweries, a zoo, local sporting events as well as the Sun Bowl Stadium, a waterpark, and is surrounded by mountainous national parks just a short drive away. The city website is an excellent resource for both residents to engage with city services and visitors looking for fun activities. Neighborhoods in El Paso are mainly concentrated to the west and southeast of the post and feature many communities, golf courses, and shopping areas. It is an 8-mile drive from Fort Bliss’s Welcome Center to central El Paso. Driving time is about 16-minutes but can vary due to traffic conditions.
Hot Tip: Look for Fort Bliss homes and apartments for rent or sale, and find BAH, PCS, TLA & ETS military housing information at AHRN.com.
Fort Bliss SchoolsThe El Paso Independent School District (EPSID) is the largest school district in the area with more than 60,000 students and 92 campuses including those on the post itself. There are 8 elementary schools, three middle schools, and 4 high schools located either on the post or near Fort Bliss housing areas. A full list with contact information can be found in this handy guide. A school locator is also available here. Off post, there are ten other smaller school districts; El Paso, Socorro, Gadsden (NM), Ysleta, Canutillo, San Elizario, Clint, Anthony, Fabens, and Tornillo. However, EPSID is the largest and has the most military students in attendance. Find more local school information at The Best Fort Bliss Schools: Daycare - High School.
Fort Bliss WeatherIn El Paso and Fort Bliss, summers are hot and dry in typical desert fashion with high temperatures averaging around 97-104 degrees Fahrenheit. Winters are short and cold with temperatures rarely below 24 degrees Fahrenheit and generally low around 34 degrees. Rainfall is scarce and generally occurs between July and September. You can expect around 300 days of bright sunshine per year so pack some sunblock and invest in some good sunglasses. To find out more in-depth weather information visit our blog Fort Bliss Weather: What To Expect When Moving Here.
Things to Do on Fort Bliss
Outdoor ActivitiesWith more than 300 days of sunshine per year, there is plenty to do outside. There are numerous hiking and rock climbing trails in the Franklin Mountains, Aztec Caves featuring Native pictographs and cave drawings, desert off-roading, and hikes along the Rio Grande. Closer to town, there are also scenic overlooks of the city, historic sites including Spanish Missions, and the historic Highway 28.
ShoppingBetween authentic Texas cowboy boots, outlet shops, trendy malls, downtown artist and farmers markets, as well as unique SouthWestern artist collections, the city of El Paso website has a great list of shopping options.
MusicEl Paso has a vibrant local music scene and is home to numerous music venues and festivals with everything from Country Western to Electronic Dance Music. You can check out some of the events and attractions here.
Suggested Read:27 Of the Best Things to Do on Fort Bliss
Restaurants Near Fort BlissTex Mex isn’t the only thing you’ll find in El Paso, though it is a great spot for it!
1. Zino’s Greek & Mediterranean Cuisine7040 N Mesa St, El Paso, TX 79912
Phone:(915) 584-8166 A locally owned Greek spot ranked among the top favorites in El Paso and the best place to find moussaka along the Rio Grande.
2. L&J Cafe3622 E Missouri Ave, El Paso, TX 79903
Phone:1 (915) 566-8418 A Mexican restaurant with a busy and authentic feel in the heart of Five Points and ranked #2 by Trip Advisor for local restaurants.
3. The Hoppy Monk4141 N Mesa St, El Paso, TX 79902
Phone:1 (915) 307-3263 In the top ten of local restaurants, this gastropub features a huge variety of beers and relaxed bar food.
4. Rudy’s6401 South Desert Blvd. El Paso, TX 79932
Phone:1 (915) 587-8397 Looking for a more informal and easy meal or a simple lunch spot during a busy day out? Rudy’s is a local favorite American and Barbecue joint that has great food for reasonable prices. Craving more than just great food? Look no further than 30 of the Best Fort Bliss Restaurants.
Hot Tip: Connect with military-trusted businesses and deals exclusively for Fort Bliss at MyBaseGuide.
ConclusionKnow before you go! PCS orders are a recurring part of military careers and thousands of service members receive PCS orders every year. So make sure to check out COVID-19 updates from Fort Bliss MWR’s Relocation Readiness Guide to stay-up-to-date on everything you need. In addition to moving tips, read up on travel restrictions that may impact your PCS move.
The appearance of U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) visual information does not imply or constitute DoD endorsement.
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