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Fort Bliss Texas: In-Depth Welcome Center (2020 Edition)
Fort Bliss TexasFort Bliss Texas

Fort Bliss Texas: In-Depth Welcome Center (2020 Edition)

Introduction

You 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.

  1. Where Is Fort Bliss?
  2. Google Map View
  3. Getting There – Directions to the Base
  4. Entering Fort Bliss and Base Amenities
  5. Where Should I Live Near Fort Bliss?
  6. What Schools are Near Fort Bliss?
  7. What’s the Weather Like in Fort Bliss?
  8. Things to Do Near Fort Bliss

Where Is Fort Bliss?

Fort Bliss Welcome Center
Building 505 Pershing Road
Fort Bliss, Texas 79916
Phone: 1 (915) 568-3035

Fort Bliss Map

Fort Bliss Map

Fort Bliss Directions

Fort Bliss Amtrak

Amtrak’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 Transportation

Soldiers 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
  1. Take exit 25 toward Gateway Blvd W, then a slight right onto Airway Blvd.
  2. Continue straight onto Buffalo Soldier Rd and pass through the Buffalo Soldier Gate.
If Driving I-10 East
  1. Take exit 24A toward Trowbridge Dr then merge onto Gateway Blvd East.
  2. Turn left onto Trowbridge Dr then turn right onto Paisano Dr. Continue onto Montana Ave.
  3. After 0.3 miles, turn left onto Isah way then Right onto Airport Rd.
  4. After 0.4 miles, turn left onto Buffalo Soldier Rd and enter through the Buffalo Soldier Gate.
If Driving Hwy 54 West
  1. Take exit 24A toward Fred Wilson Ave.
  2. 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
  1. Take exit 24 toward Fred Wilson Blvd/Railroad Dr.
  2. Use the left lane to merge onto Gateway N Blvd.
  3. Follow the signs for Fred Wilson Rd and use the left 2 lanes to take the ramp to Fort Bliss, passing
  4. through the Fred Wilson Gate.

Fort Bliss Transportation Office

Getting 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 Office
Bldg 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 Base Amenities

Entering Fort Bliss and Base Amenities

To 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 Personnel

Once 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 Center
505 Pershing Road
Fort Bliss, Texas 79916
Phone: 1 (915) 568-5600
Hours: Monday through Friday 0730-1600

Fort Bliss Visitor Center

Fort 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 Center
527 Chaffee Rd
Fort Bliss, TX 79916
Phone: 1 (915) 568-3035

DEERS Fort Bliss

Book an online appointment and skip the waiting room.

Fort Bliss DEERS Office
505 Pershing Rd
Fort Bliss, TX 79906
Phone: 1 (915) 569-6036

Fort Bliss DEERS Office Hours

  • Monday through Friday – 0800-1630

Fort Bliss Gate Hours

We 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 Commissary

Getting your groceries, toiletries, home goods, and other sundries is easy at the Fort Bliss Commissary, right here on base.

Fort Bliss Commissary
1620 Marshall Rd
Fort Bliss, TX 79916
Phone: 1 (915) 568-6688

Fort Bliss Commissary Hours

  • 7 days a week 0800-2000

Fort Bliss Exchange

Bldg 1611
Haan & Marshall Rd
Ft. Bliss, TX 79906
Phone: 1 (915) 562-7200

Fort Bliss Exchange Hours

  • Monday through Friday – 1000-1900
  • Saturday – 1000-1900
  • Sunday – 1000-1900

Fort Bliss Barber Shops

Getting 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
Phone: N/A
Hours:

  • Monday through Saturday – 0900-1700
  • Sunday – 1000-1700

Purple Heart Express, Bldg. 21233
Phone: 1 N/A
Hours: Monday through Friday 0900-1700

William Beaumont Army Medical Center Retail Annex, Bldg. 7777
Phone: 1 (915) 562-2651
Hours: Currently Closed

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 Office

Get 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 Office
El Paso, TX 79906
1733 Pleasonton Rd
Phone: 1 (915) 562-7298
Hours:

  • Monday – 0830-1700
  • Tuesday – 0830-1800
  • Wednesday – 0830-1700
  • Thursday – 0830-1800
  • Friday – 0830-1700
  • Saturday – 1000-1400

Fort Bliss Finance Office

Located within the Fort Bliss Welcome Center, the base provides financial advice and assistance to members of the military community who need it.

Fort Bliss Finance Office
Building 505 Pershing Road
El Paso, TX 79906
Phone: 1 (915) 568-3035

Fort Bliss Finance Office Hours

  • Front Desk open 24/7

From 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 Office
Fort 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
  • Thursday – 1300-1630
  • Friday – 0900-1130 & 1300-1630

Fort Bliss Library

Between 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 Library
Building 2E Sheridan Road
(basement level, underneath the NCO Academy)
Fort Bliss, TX 79916
Phone: 1 (915) 568-1902
Hours:

  • Monday through Friday – 0900-1800
  • Saturday – 1000-1900

Soldier Activity Center Library
20732 Constitution Drive
Fort Bliss, TX 79918
Phone: 1 (915) 744-1534
Hours:

  • Monday through Friday – 0800-1700
  • Sunday & Training Holidays – 1000-1700

Fort Bliss Hotels

Fort Bliss Hotels

Holiday Inn Express at Fort Bliss
1744 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.

Where Should I Live Near Fort Bliss?

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 Bliss

Fort 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 base. But don’t let that fool you, it’s a great place to work and live.

Best Places to Live Near Fort Bliss

El Paso

El 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.

Look for homes and apartments for rent or sale on AHRN.com

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 Schools

Fort Bliss Schools

The 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 Weather

Fort Bliss Weather

In 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

Things to Do on Fort Bliss

Outdoor Activities

With 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.

Shopping

Between 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.

Music

El 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 Bliss

Restaurants Near Fort Bliss

Tex 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 Cuisine
7040 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 Cafe
3622 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 Monk
4141 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’s
6401 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.

Connect with military-trusted businesses and deals exclusively at MyBaseGuide.

Hot Tip: Connect with military-trusted businesses and deals exclusively for Fort Bliss at MyBaseGuide.

Conclusion

Know 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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