Fort Richardson was opened in 1941. It was named after Army explorer Brig. Gen. Wilds P. Richardson. The fort was moved northeast of Anchorage in 1950.
Today, Fort Richardson Army base is headquarters to United States Army, Alaska (USARAK), one of the United States Army Pacific Command units. It is home to the only airborne Army division in the Pacific theater. Task Force 1-501 is based there, although they have done quite a bit in Afghanistan starting in 2003.
Shortly after 9/11, Task Force 1-501 was expanded into the 4th Brigade Combat Team (Airborne), 25th Infantry Division and stationed at Fort Richardson. All told, there are two infantry battalions, one cavalry squadron, a small artillery battalion, one support battalion, and even a special troops battalion. This means there are many people at this Army base, even though it is located in Alaska. In addition to the 4th Brigade Combat Team, the Alaska National Guard is stationed at Fort Richardson.
There are a few non-military functions served at Fort Richardson as well, including a United States National Cemetery and a fish hatchery owned by the state. This is just another reason that Fort Richardson is so special, even though it is located far away from a good portion of the continental United States. In total, Fort Richardson is comprised of around 62,000 acres of housing complexes and many other buildings and facilities.