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Fort Benning Georgia: In-Depth Welcome Center (2020 Edition)
Fort Benning GeorgiaFort Benning Georgia

Fort Benning Georgia: In-Depth Welcome Center (2020 Edition)

Introduction

Welcome to Fort Benning – the Maneuver Center of Excellence and home of the Infantry and Armor! Whether this is your first big military move or one of many, it’s never easy. Although, when you know what to expect when you arrive, it’s a whole lot easier. And it doesn’t hurt to be PCSing to a place known for its Southern hospitality and great food (give me all the fried chicken, shrimp and grits, pecan pie and sweet tea).

More than half of all new soldiers who enter the Army this year will come through Fort Benning. The installation also trains all new paratroopers, Army Rangers, officer candidates, Infantry and Armor lieutenants, captains, and noncommissioned officers.

Fort Benning is the sixth-largest military installation in the U.S. with the third-greatest troop density. You will find approximately 80,000 soldiers training at Fort Benning every year, and over 100,000 soldiers, their family members, veterans, civilians, and contract employees live, work, play and use services on the installation each and every day. The post covers over 182,000 acres, most of them in Georgia, with about 12,000 acres across the Chattahoochee River in Alabama.

The installation has served as the Home of the Infantry since 1909 and during the 2005 Base Realignment and Closure, it was transformed into the Maneuver Center of Excellence. This transformation also included the move of the Armor School from Fort Knox to Fort Benning.

Continue reading for our in-depth guide on Fort Benning to help aid you in your transition to your new home.

1. Where Is Fort Benning?
2. Google Map View
3. Getting There – Directions to the Base
4. Where Should I Live Near Fort Benning?
5. What Schools are Near Fort Benning?
6. What’s the Weather Like in Fort Benning?
7. Things to Do near Fort Benning
8. Moving Tips
9. Check-in Procedures For Incoming Personnel
10. Fort Benning Gate Hours and Info
11. Hotels Near Fort Benning

Where Is Fort Benning?

Fort Benning Army Community Service
7117 Baltzell Ave.
Building 7
Fort Benning, GA 31905
Phone: 1 (706) 545-4043

Fort Benning is a U.S. Army post straddling the Alabama-Georgia border, right next to Columbus, GA.

Fort Benning Georgia Map

Fort Benning Georgia Map

Directions to Fort Benning Georgia

If it’s your first time on base, or you don’t yet have a valid military ID or tags for your car, you may have to stop at the Visitor Center to check in before you’re allowed in the base. Click here to learn more about where to go.

Driving Directions to Fort Benning GA

From Atlanta (North):

  1. Take Interstate 85 South toward Montgomery.
  2. Merge onto I-85 South/Columbus/Montgomery.
  3. Take exit 21 to merge onto I-185 South toward Columbus.
  4. Fort Benning is directly at the end of I-185 South.

From Savannah (West):

  1. Get on Interstate 95 South toward Savannah.
  2. Take exit 99B to merge onto I-16 West toward Macon.
  3. Exit left to merge onto I-75 South toward Valdosta.
  4. Take exit 149 onto GA-49 toward Byron, Fort Valley, and keep right toward Byron, Fort Valley.
  5. Turn right onto GA-49 and continue onto Highway 96 before continuing onto Columbus Highway.
  6. Keep going to follow I-185 South where you’ll reach Fort Benning at the end.

From Montgomery (East):

  1. Turn onto the Selma-Mobile Highway and merge onto I-65 North.
  2. Take exit 171 to merge onto I-85 North toward Atlanta.
  3. Take exit 62 on US-431/US-280 toward Phenix City.
  4. Turn right onto Columbus Parkway toward Phenix City.
  5. Turn left to merge onto US-80 East toward I-185.
  6. Take the ramp for I-185 South and follow that until the end where you’ll reach Fort Benning.

Amtrak Near Fort Benning GA

The nearest Amtrak stop to Fort Benning is 120 miles away in Atlanta, GA. The best way to get to Fort Benning from the Atlanta or Columbus area is to use Groome Transportation. The shuttle service connects you to Fort Benning seven days a week for a reasonable price. Alternatively, you could take a Greyhound bus to Columbus.

Flights to Fort Benning, GA

There are a number of small and regional airports near Fort Benning, but the nearest major hub is the Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport in Atlanta, Georgia. It’s about a two-hour drive from the Atlanta airport to Fort Benning on a good day. Traffic can get pretty crazy in the Atlanta area so plan ahead if you are short on time. The Columbus Metropolitan Airport is just under 20 miles from the post. It’s a fairly quick trip from the airport to Fort Benning but options for direct flights are limited. Other nearby airports include Birmingham-Shuttlesworth International Airport (175 miles away) and Montgomery Regional Airport (115 miles away).

Where Should I Live Near Fort Benning?

Where Should I Live Near Fort Benning?

Fort Benning Housing

Like most military installations, Fort Benning has a partner in the private sector to handle family housing. The Villages of Benning manages approximately 4,001 family housing units in 10 communities. 3,924 on Fort Benning and 77 at Dahlonega, Georgia. With high occupancy and ongoing renovations, housing is in demand on Fort Benning. Soldiers and families looking to move into on-post housing should expect extended wait times of up to six months. For that reason, door-to-door moves are not guaranteed.

Places to Live Near Fort Benning

You’ll find Fort Benning in the heart of the South, near popular destinations like Atlanta, Savannah, and the Blue Ridge Mountains. The base is found in an area commonly known as the Tri-Community, comprising Columbus and Fort Benning, Georgia, and Phenix City, Alabama.

Columbus, GA

Columbus sits along the Chattahoochee River (yes, the one Alan Jackson sang about), just 12 miles from Fort Benning. The Fountain City, as it’s affectionately known, has a lot to offer its 196,000 residents, from outdoor activities like the Chattahoochee RiverWalk and Dragonfly Trail or indoor delights like the Coca-Cola Space Science Center or Columbus Aquatic Center. Many military families opt to live here because the cost of living in the city is low compared to the rest of the nation, the schools are above average, there’s tons to do and it’s a quick commute to Fort Benning.

Phenix City, AL

Just across the Chattahoochee from Columbus, Phenix City is a desirable and affordable Alabama suburb where many Fort Benning families choose to live. The nearly 37,000 residents of the city benefit from being connected to the Columbus Metropolitan Statistical Area. The area suits a variety of outdoor enthusiasts – from golfers to rafters to spectators. Folks living here enjoy a variety of parks, playgrounds, tennis courts, swimming pools, golf courses, lakes, and more throughout the year.

Fort Benning homes and apartments for rent or sale

Hot Tip: Look for Fort Benning homes and apartments for rent or sale, and find BAH, PCS, TLA & ETS military housing information at AHRN.com.

Best Fort Benning Schools

There are plenty of education options for your children in the Fort Benning area, from elementary, intermediate, and high schools to public and private schools in the surrounding area. Not to mention preschools and daycare facilities for the younger kids.

Whether you decide to enroll your kids in one of the on-post schools, one of the Columbus schools, or one of the Phenix City schools, rest assured that they’ll have access to the finest education possible. And if your child requires extra help, there are a number of programs available. The on-post school liaison officer will be there to help make the tough transition to a new school easier.

Find more local school information at The Best Fort Benning Schools: Daycare – High School.

Best Fort Benning Schools

Fort Benning Weather

Look forward to lots of sunny days when you live and work in Fort Benning. The area also gets lots of rain, but that’s what makes flowers grow in the 50 or so parks in the surrounding areas.

Spring

Rain falls throughout the year but spring (and specifically March) is when it’s the wettest. The average total rainfall for the Fort Benning region is just under 5 inches during the spring. When it’s not raining, the temperatures are pleasant and ideal for tourist activities.

Summer

The summer months are hot and humid in Georgia and across the river in Alabama. Daytime temps in the summer months peak around the mid-90s which results in muggy and miserable days. The warmest months in the area are July and August where it’s been known to creep up to 100 degrees.

Fall

Humidity is lower in the fall months but temps are still fairly high. Rain is occasional during this season, with few rainy days. This is the ideal time of year to get out and take advantage of all of the outdoor activities.

Winter

As you would expect, the lowest temperatures of the year are during the winter months. Lows are found in the 40s and the highs are usually creeping toward the mid-60s. Columbus is considered the “natural snowline” of the southeast; some northern parts of the city get snow and most southern parts never do.

To find out more in-depth information on the weather in the area, visit Fort Benning Weather: What To Expect When Moving Here.

Things to Do Near Fort Benning, GA

The area surrounding Fort Benning is bustling with things to do and there’s something for everyone. It’s just a matter of finding the time to do them. Locals gravitate toward the river, whether they’re whitewater rafting down the Chattahoochee or strolling beside it at the RiverWalk. History and art buffs flock to the area to visit the National Infantry Museum, Columbus Museum, and the National Civil War Naval Museum or to engage in historical re-enactments. Restaurants, free concerts, and special events are prevalent in Columbus’ Uptown and Downtown. Not to mention the recreation and entertainment options available on post thanks to Fort Benning Family and MWR.

Suggested Read: 24 Of the Best Things to Do in Fort Benning GA.

Moving Tips

Check-in Procedures For Incoming Personnel

All new soldiers or service members in transit to Fort Benning on PCS orders should report to the Installation Replacement Operations Center in Ridgway Hall (Building 35), Room 239 on the second floor, during duty hours (0600 to 1600 Monday through Friday). If you are arriving after duty hours, on a weekend or holiday, report to the post staff duty NCOIC or OIC at McGinnis-Wickam Hall, 1 Karker St., Building 4.

For any questions prior to reporting, call 1 (706) 545-4577 or 1 (706) 545-5686 during normal duty hours.

Fort Benning Visitor Center

The Visitor Center processes visitors who have been pre-sponsored by base personnel. Those who haven’t been pre-sponsored should expect lengthy delays or should arrange to have their sponsor meet them at the gate. The Lindsey Creek Visitor Control Center is open 24/7, including holidays, and is on Lindsey Creek Parkway. The Contractor Visitor Control Center (CVCC) is on 8th Division Road in Harmony Church and is open 0600 to 1400 Monday through Friday. The CVCC is closed nights, weekends, and holidays. If you have any specific questions about visiting, you can reach the MP Desk at 1 (706) 545-5223 or Contractor Badge Office at 1 (706) 545-3215.

Fort Benning Gate Hours

The Main Gate, where you’ll find the Lindsey Creek Visitor Center, is open 24/7. Hours for the other post entrances are as follows:

  • Camp Merrill (Dahlonega, GA) – 24/7
  • Benning Boulevard – 0600 to 1800
  • Custer Road/Route 27 – 0500-1700 Monday through Friday
  • 8th Division Road – 24/7
  • 8th Division Road Truck Stop – 0600 to 1400
  • Eddy Bridge (Lawson) – 24/7

Fort Benning Hotels

There are plenty of hotels near Fort Benning to fit your budget, many of them within just a couple of miles from the installation.

Candlewood Suites Columbus-Fort Benning

3389 Victory Drive
Columbus, GA 31903
Phone: 1 (706) 683-9900

Comfort Suites

5236 Armour Road
Columbus, GA 31904
Phone: 1 (706) 748-7140

Econo Lodge Inn & Suites at Fort Benning

4483 Victory Drive
Columbus, GA 31903
Phone: 1 (706) 682-3803

Hampton Inn & Suites Phenix City-Columbus Area

620 Martin Luther King Jr. Parkway
Phenix City, AL 36869
Phone: 1 (334) 664-0776

Hampton Inn Columbus/South-Fort Benning

2870 S. Lumpkin Road
Columbus, GA 31903
Phone: 1 (706) 660-5550

Holiday Inn Express & Suites Columbus-Fort Benning

3901 Victory Drive
Columbus, GA 31903
Phone: 1 (706) 507-7080

Microtel Inn & Suites by Wyndham Columbus

3930 St. Marys Road
Columbus, GA 31907
Phone: 1 (706) 389-4726

Fort Benning homes and apartments for rent or sale

Hot Tip: Download MyBaseGuide’s Fort Benning Military Relocation Guide for information about hotels near Fort Benning.

Fort Benning Georgia

Conclusion

Fort Benning is an installation like no other. The post is like a city unto itself; if you’re lucky to live in one of the newly renovated homes on post or in the barracks, you will likely find everything you need right outside your doorstep. But rest assured that there is so much to see and do once you leave the installation’s gates as well. Moving to a new place has its challenges but you’ll be glad to be here.

 

The appearance of U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) visual information does not imply or constitute DoD endorsement.

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