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Joint Base Lewis-McChord: In-Depth Welcome Center (2020 Edition)
Joint Base Lewis-McChord: In-Depth Welcome CenterJoint Base Lewis-McChord: In-Depth Welcome Center

Joint Base Lewis-McChord: In-Depth Welcome Center (2020 Edition)

Introduction

Welcome to the beautiful area known as the Pacific Northwest and your new assignment at Joint Base Lewis-McChord! Although the installation and its mission have changed over the years, one thing has not — the picturesque setting of the base. On a clear day (it doesn’t rain ALL the time), majestic Mount Rainier looms on the horizon. From the mountains to the deep waters of Puget Sound and the Pacific Ocean, the local areas abound in natural beauty and outdoor recreation opportunities.

The installation is both brand new and full of history. Camp Lewis (now Fort Lewis) was established in 1917 after 70,000 acres of Washington land was donated to the federal government. McChord Air Force Base was established in 1947, the same year the Air Force became a separate branch of the armed forces. Joint Base Lewis-McChord is an amalgamation of the Army’s Fort Lewis and the Air Force’s McChord Air Force Base. It was merged in 2010 as a result of the Base Realignment and Closure Commission recommendations of 2005. Since then, JBLM has grown to become the largest Army-led joint base in the United States.

Joint Base Lewis-McChord consists of four geographical areas: Lewis Main, Lewis North, McChord Field and Yakima Training Center, encompassing more than 400,000 acres and nearly 210,000 active duty personnel, reserves, civilian personnel, dependents, and local retirees. The installation is home to I Corps and the 62nd Airlift Wing.

Continue reading for an in-depth guide to help aid you in your transition to living and working on Joint Base Lewis-McChord.

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

Where is Joint Base Lewis-McChord?

Lewis Main
Armed Forces Community Service
2140 Liggett Ave., Room 400
Joint Base Lewis-McChord, WA 98433
Phone: 1 (253) 967-7466

Joint Base Lewis-McChord Map

Joint Base Lewis-McChord Map

Joint Base Lewis-McChord Directions

Driving Directions to Joint Base Lewis-McChord

Joint Base Lewis-McChord is approximately 45 miles south of Seattle on Interstate 5. If you are driving, you should have no trouble finding Lewis Main. Interstate 5 divides the JBLM installations; Exit 120 will take you to the main gate, which is open 24 hours a day.

Amtrak Station Near Joint Base Lewis-McChord

If you arrive by train, Tacoma is the stop nearest to base, roughly 10 minutes away.

Seattle-Tacoma International Airport

If you are traveling by air, you will land at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport. Shuttle service is available from the airport directly to Waller Hall Welcome Center at Lewis Main. A dozen rental car agencies are available at the airport with shuttles to their offsite locations.

Driving Directions from Seattle-Tacoma International Airport
  1. If you are driving from the airport, follow the signs to access I-5 and head south going toward Tacoma.
  2. Stay on I-5 until you reach Exit 125 for McChord Field and Bridgeport Way.
  3. Turn left at the end of the on-ramp onto Bridgeport Way SW and proceed approximately 1/4 mile to the Main Gate.
  4. If you are driving a rental car, you will need to stop at the Visitor’s Center on the left as you enter McChord to obtain a temporary/visitor’s pass for the vehicle.

Joint Base Lewis-McChord Transportation Office

2150 Liggett Ave.
Joint Base Lewis-McChord, WA 98433
Phone: 1 (253) 967-5388

Joint Base Lewis-McChord Transportation Office Hours

  • Monday through Friday – 0730 to 1500

Entering Joint Base Lewis-McChord and Base Amenities

Entering Joint Base Lewis-McChord and Base Amenities

In order to gain access to the installation, you must have a valid identification. To register your vehicle, a current driver’s license, proof of insurance and vehicle registration is required. If you are driving a rental car, proceed directly to the gate and be prepared to show valid identification credentials and rental car documents. Click here to learn more about where to go.

Check-in Procedures for Incoming Personnel

All incoming personnel assigned to Joint Base Lewis-McChord are required to show up on their assigned day in the Operational Camouflage Pattern uniform with all required paperwork (copy of orders, DA 31, medical and dental records, and military personnel file). In-processing signs posted at each of the main entrances to Joint Base Lewis-McChord lead you to Waller Hall for in-processing.

Reception Center
2021 Pendleton Ave.
Joint Base Lewis-McChord, WA 98433
Phone: 1 (253) 967-7004

In-processing Center
Waller Hall
2140 LIggett Ave.
Joint Base Lewis-McChord, WA 98433
Phone: 1 (253) 967-9494

Joint Base Lewis-McChord Visitor Centers

Lewis Main Visitor Control Center
5901 41st Division Drive
Joint Base Lewis-McChord, WA 98433
Phone: 1 (253) 967-4794

Lewis Main Visitor Control Center Hours

  • Monday through Sunday – 0500 – 2200

McChord Field Visitor Control Center
Fairway Road
Joint Base Lewis-McChord, WA 98438
Phone: 1 (253) 982-2119

McChord Field Visitor Control Center Hours

  • Monday through Sunday – 0600 – 1930

Joint Base Lewis-McChord DEERS Office

The Joint Base Lewis-McChord DEERS Office is an appointment-based system. Appointments can be scheduled 120 days prior to card expiration and cards can be renewed prior to expiration. Walk-ins can be seen on an emergency basis only (lost CAC, PIN reset, DD Form 1172, in/out-processing, and retiree card renewal). More information and appointments can be found here.

Lewis Main DEERS Office
2140 Liggett Ave.
Waller Hall, Room 101
Joint Base Lewis-McChord, WA 98433
Phone: 1 (253) 967-5065

Lewis Main DEERS Office Hours

  • Monday through Friday – 0730 – 1530

McChord Field DEERS Office
100 Col. Joe Jackson Blvd.
Suite 1001K
Joint Base Lewis-McChord, WA 98438
Phone: 1 (253) 982-2214

McChord Field DEERS Office Hours

  • Monday through Friday – 0730 – 1530

Joint Base Lewis-McChord Gate Hours

There are 15 gates that currently provide access to Joint Base Lewis-McChord, and three gates currently closed until further notice.

Lewis Main

  • Visitor Control Center – Open 0500 to 2200, seven days a week.
  • Liberty Gate – Open 24/7.
  • Logistics Center POV/CVIP – Open 0500 to 1800 Monday through Friday.
  • MAMC Gate (Madigan) – Open 24/7.
  • MAMC Gate (CVIP) – Open 24/7 on Saturday, Sunday and federal holidays, and nights only during the week, from 1830 to 0500.
  • East Gate – Open 24/7.
  • Dupont Gate – Open 0500 to 2100 Monday through Friday and 0900 to 1700 Saturday, Sunday and federal holidays.
  • Transmission Line Gate (ASP) – Open 0500 to 1300 Monday through Friday.
  • RCF Gate – Open 0500 to 0800 Monday through Friday (inbound only) and 1500 to 1900 Monday through Friday (outbound only).

Lewis North

  • 41st Division Gate – Open 24/7.
  • Integrity Gate (POV/CVIP) – Open 0500 to 2100 Monday through Friday and 0800 to 2100 Saturday, Sunday and federal holidays, with CVIP open 0500 to 1300 Monday through Friday.

McChord Field

  • Visitor Center – Open 0600 to 1930 seven days a week.
  • Main Gate – Open 24/7.
  • Barnes Gate – Open 0500 to 2000 seven days a week.
  • Woodbrook Housing Gate – Open 0500 to 0800 and 1500 to 1800 Monday through Friday and 0800 to 1700 Saturday, Sunday, and federal holidays.

Joint Base Lewis-McChord Commissaries

The commissaries on Joint Base Lewis-McChord let you save your hard-earned dollars when shopping for groceries. In-store amenities and specialties include an ATM, a bakery, a deli, special orders for produce trays, sushi platters, sandwich party trays, and custom cakes, and more.

Lewis Main Commissary
5275 N. 14th St.
Joint Base Lewis-McChord, WA 98433
Phone: 1 (253) 966-8456

Lewis Main Commissary Hours

  • Sunday – 1000 to 1900
  • Monday through Saturday – 0900 to 2000

McChord Field Commissary
577 Lincoln Blvd.
Joint Base Lewis-McChord, WA 98438
Phone: 1 (253) 982-3285 x3020

McChord Field Commissary Hours

  • Sunday – 1000 to 1900
  • Monday through Saturday – 0900 to 2000

Joint Base Lewis-McChord Exchange

The Joint Base Lewis-McChord Exchanges offer a price-match program that guarantees the lowest prices in town.

Lewis Main Exchange
5280 Pendleton Ave.
Joint Base Lewis-McChord, WA 98433
Phone: 1 (253) 964-3161

Lewis Main Exchange Hours

  • Monday through Sunday – 0900 to 2130

McChord Main Exchange
504 Barnes Blvd.
Joint Base Lewis-McChord, WA 98438
Phone: 1 (253) 582-3110

McChord Main Exchange Hours

  • Monday through Sunday – 0900 to 2030

Joint Base Lewis-McChord Barber Shops

Joint Base Lewis-McChord Barber Shops

There are five barber shops on the joint base. Hours vary by location so call for more information.

Lewis Main Barber Shop
Phone: 1 (253) 964-1511

McChord Main Barber Shop
Phone: 1 (253) 267-1452

Madigan Hospital Barber Shop
Phone: 1 (253) 968-3403

Lewis North Area Barber Shop
Phone: 1 (253) 964-2778

Yakima Training Center Barber Shop
Phone: 1 (509) 577-3511

Joint Base Lewis-McChord Post Office

There are two main post offices where service personnel can send and receive mail.

Fort Lewis
4170 Kaufman Ave.
Joint Base Lewis-McChord, WA 98433
Phone: 1 (253) 964-8302
Hours:

  • Monday through Friday – 0800 to 1700
  • Saturday – 0900 to 1500

McChord Air Force Base
735 Fifth St.
Joint Base Lewis-McChord, WA 98438
Phone: 1 (253) 982-9208
Hours:

  • Monday through Friday – 0830 to 1630

Joint Base Lewis-McChord Finance Office

The Joint Base Lewis-McChord Finance Office is open from 0730 to 1600 Monday through Friday. The office is home to the Financial Readiness Program. The program has accredited financial counselors to help you better understand your finances and learn about other services like the Army Emergency Relief and Education Program.

Joint Base Lewis-McChord Finance Office
2140 LIggett Ave., Room 400
Joint Base Lewis-McChord, WA 98433
Phone: 1 (253) 967-1453

Joint Base Lewis-McChord Finance Office Hours

  • Monday through Friday – 0730 to 1600

The Joint Base Lewis-McChord Legal Office provides legal advice and assistance to eligible clients, including active duty service members and their families. The office is where you want to go for claims, legal assistance, tax preparation, magistrate issues (including tickets), military justice, and administrative, civil or labor law (including investigating officer appointments). Call for hours or to make an appointment.

Joint Base Lewis-McChord Legal Offices
Lewis Main
Building 2027-A Liggett Ave.
Joint Base Lewis-McChord, WA 98433
Phone: 1 (253) 477-1873

Joint Base Lewis-McChord Legal Office Hours

  • Monday through Wednesday – 0900–1200, 1300–1630
  • Thursday – 1300–1630
  • Friday – 0900–1200, 1300–1630
  • Saturday – Closed
  • Sunday – Closed

McChord Field
Building 100, Col. Joe Jackson Blvd.
Joint Base Lewis-McChord, WA 98433
Phone: 1 (253) 982-0689

McChord Field Office Hours

  • Monday through Friday – 0800-1600

Joint Base Lewis-McChord Library

Joint Base Lewis-McChord has three libraries on post where you can find access to research, communication resources, and entertainment. The library has so much to offer: access to more than 100,000 books, audiobooks, movies, TV shows, music, and video games; downloadable content; programs for kids, teens, and adults; computer stations with internet, Microsoft Office products, and printing; meeting rooms; study rooms, free WiFi and more!

Grandstaff Memorial Library – Lewis Main
2109 N. 10th St.
Joint Base Lewis-McChord, WA 98433
Phone: 1 (253) 967-5889
Hours:

  • Monday – Wednesday – 0900 to 1900
  • Thursday – Friday – 0900 to 1800
  • Saturday – 1200 to 1700
  • DONSAs – 1000 – 1700

McChord Library
851 Lincoln Blvd.
Joint Base Lewis-McChord, WA 98433
Phone: 1 (253) 982-3454
Hours:

  • Monday – Tuesday – 1000 to 1900
  • Wednesday – Friday – 1000 to 1800
  • Saturday – 1200 to 1700

Book Patch Children’s Library
2109 N. 10th St.
Joint Base Lewis-McChord, WA 98433
Phone: 1 (253) 967-5533
Hours:

  • Monday – Wednesday – 0900 to 1900
  • Thursday – Friday – 0900 to 1800
  • Saturday – 1200 to 1700
  • DONSAs – 1000 – 1700

Joint Base Lewis-McChord Hotels

Joint Base Lewis-McChord Hotels

Joint Base Lewis-McChord offers on-base lodging through IHG Army Hotels while you get settled into your new assignment. The hotels offer guests pet-friendly accommodations and a smoke-free environment. Enjoy the free continental breakfast and WiFi. The front desks are open 24/7, though check-in starts at 1600 and checkout is at 1100. To make reservations, visit IHG Army Hotels.

Rainier Inn & Complex
Building 2107, Lewis Main
Phone: 1 (253) 964-0211

Bronson Hall
Building 1020, Lewis Main
Phone: 1 (253) 964-0211

Evergreen Inn
Building 1147, McChord Field
Phone: 1 (253) 982-5613

IHG Hotels
Buildings 423 & 600, McChord Field
Phone: 1 (253) 982-5613

Download MyBaseGuide’s Military Relocation Guide

Hot Tip: Download MyBaseGuide’s Joint Base Lewis-McChord Military Relocation Guide for information about hotels nearby.

Where Should I Live Near Joint Base Lewis-McChord?

Where Should I Live Near Joint Base Lewis-McChord?

Cities Near Joint Base Lewis-McChord

There are two main cities near Joint Base Lewis-McChord. Both are situated alongside a major interstate, making it easy to get to and from the installation.

Lakewood, WA

Lakewood is considered a suburb of Tacoma, with more than 61,000 people calling it home. The city hasn’t been around long but it’s established as one of the most beautiful places to live around Puget Sound. Housing is plentiful and it’s one of the more affordable places to live in Washington. There are year-round activities its residents can enjoy. Lakewood is home to three golf courses and is minutes away from acclaimed Chambers Bay. Millions flock to Lakewood every year to visit the 340-acre Fort Steilacoom Park. If history is your thing, the 500-year-old Thornewood Castle is a unique place to explore and relive moments from some of your favorite movies (Rose Red and There Will Be Blood).

Tacoma, WA

Lakewood is the suburb of Tacoma and many consider Tacoma to be the suburb of Seattle, though it’s quite an established city in its own right, with a population over 217,000. There is so much to do in this suburb turned big city. The “City of Destiny” is known for the Museum of Glass, with works by renowned glass artist Dale Chihuly, and Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium, which features wildlife of the Pacific Rim. Those who can’t afford to live in Seattle or want a slightly slower pace choose to come here. Housing is plentiful and most residents choose to rent, with the median gross rent sitting just above the national average at $1,106 per month. There is so much to see and do in this eclectic city.

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

Hot Tip: Look for Joint Base Lewis-McChord homes and apartments for rent or sale, and find BAH, PCS, TLA & ETS military housing information at AHRN.com.

Joint Base Lewis-McChord Schools

Joint Base Lewis-McChord Schools

Washington adopted the nation’s Common Core standards in 2011. The national standards ensure your children will be able to transition easily to life in the Pacific Northwest and receive a quality education. You’ll find a ton of elementary, intermediate, and high schools to choose from, both public and private. Not to mention preschools and daycare facilities for the younger kids.

Whether you decide to enroll your kids in the on-post elementary schools in the Clover Park School District, or a school in another district, 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.

Joint Base Lewis-McChord Weather

Joint Base Lewis-McChord Weather

The rumors you’ve heard about lots of rain in the Pacific Northwest are true. You will experience very rainy and overcast winters but the summers are warm and dry.

Spring

Rain is a common occurrence at this time of year. The phrase “April showers brings May flowers” holds true here. When it’s not raining, the temperatures are pleasant, trending on the warm side. The season is ideal for outdoor recreation and entertainment.

Summer

Things start to warm up at the end of June. The higher temps will stick around until mid-September. This is when it’s ideal to get out and take advantage of all of the outdoor activities. The average daytime temps in the summer months peak around the high 70s. The warmest days usually fall in August.

Fall

The rainy season starts in the fall and lasts through spring. Temperatures are still on the warmer side but rain has a 30% chance of falling, especially in October. The temps are still above 60. This is when people like to camp and fish in the area.

Winter

As you would expect, the lowest temperatures of the year are during the winter months. Lows are found in the mid 30s and the highs usually creep toward the mid 50s. Washington can see snow but you’re more likely to get rain and a lot of wind during the winter months. Skiing can be enjoyed a short trip away.

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

Things to Do Near Joint Base Lewis-McChord

Things to Do Near Joint Base Lewis-McChord

There are tons of opportunities to enjoy the great outdoors with fishing, hiking, boating, and hunting at nearby parks and lakes, and access to large cities for concerts, world famous museums, and outstanding restaurants. There are also fun annual events like the Daffodil Festival that makes its way throughout Pierce County. Fantastic restaurants, live music, Pike Place Market and special events are just a short drive away in Seattle. Not to mention the recreation and entertainment options available on post thanks to Joint Base Lewis-McChord Family and MWR.

Suggested Read: 19 of the Best Joint Base Lewis Mcchord Things to Do Nearby

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

Hot Tip: Connect with military-trusted businesses and deals exclusively for Joint Base Lewis McChord at MyBaseGuide.

Conclusion

Don’t let the rain falling at Joint Base Lewis-McChord rain on your parade. This area is bustling with things to do that will make you feel lucky to be stationed here. With a long military history, it is one of the most sought-after installations for postings, and for good reason. The area is beautifully green and clean (that rain comes in handy for something) and you’ll have the opportunity to train with some of the best. 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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