fort wainwright’s arctic assault demonstration day

fort wainwright arctic assault demonstration day

It’s easy to forget we live on an Army installation. I know that sounds silly, but it really is pretty easy to forget. Our neighborhoods are just like neighborhoods off post, except for constant helicopters, needing a DoD ID to get on post, etc. I don’t think it feels any different though, and the kids definitely don’t notice it. The kids and I got to enjoy Fort Wainwright’s Arctic Assault Demonstration Day last week though, and it was that stark reminder one gets every now and again that we’re still part of this military life…and it was so cool!

Fort Wainwright’s Arctic Assault Demonstration Day

Every so often, installations and units will put on family days or, in this case, a demonstration. Fort Wainwright’s Arctic Assault Demonstration Day was one of those unique opportunities that the kids and I, along with members of the public and other families, get to really experience what exactly they do all year long.

Sure, we hear about all the training exercises, and we know that they’re busy. Like I said though, outside of these things, it’s easy to forget we’re actually in it. On a bright, sunshine-filled summer day though, we drove out to the PX, parked, hopped on a bus, and headed over to the airfield – which is literally about 3 mins from our house, mind you – and got to see and experience it up close and personal.

arctic assault demonstration day

arctic assault demonstration day

arctic assault demonstration day

All About Arctic Assault Demonstration

Now, allow me to caveat all of this with the fact that I’ll gladly admit I’m probably the worst military spouse. If you ask me Ryan’s MOS, cool. I know that. If you ask me anything about his company/battalion/division, or anything else, I’ll likely stare blankly at you because, frankly, it’s all Greek to me. I do know, however, that the training and hours that Fort Wainwright soldiers put in are hard-earned, and their victories are hard-won.

In the case of the Arctic Assault Demonstration, a combined force of land and air forces put on a simulated coordinated assault in which we got to see the tools and procedures that our soldiers might use in combat operations. In took over 90 hours to prepare the demonstration, and our soldiers utilized everything from the Grayeagle UAS to chinooks, Apaches, LMTVs, the Arctic “Beowulf” combat vehicle, and more. We watched as they popped smoke, evacuated casualties, and flew overhead in coordinated assaults. Even if you don’t love military shows, this was cool.

arctic assault demonstration day

Will Fort Wainwright Host a Demonstration Again?

This is actually the second year that Fort Wainwright has put on the demonstration day, but this is the first year that members of the public and the community were invited on base to attend. This time, guests were invited via a separate gate from DoD cardholders, and they were shuttled to the event from the entrance of post to the airfield where it took place. Cardholders could park anywhere on post, but we parked at the PX and took a designated bus, as well.

Each year, the Alaskan bases host air shows and demo days like these. Last year, Eielson Air Force Base held an air show. This year, it was switched to Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson in Anchorage last week. Even as someone who has lived in this military life for a while, I have to admit it was a really neat, and the event was great. From the food trucks to the static displays, games, and more, it’s definitely one we’ll remember!