JOINT BASE ELMENDORF-RICHARDSON, Alaska -- There is no telling when the Anchorage Bowl will be hit with the next large snowfall. When this does happen, members must know base procedures during inclement weather.
Base officials have three options when winter weather makes driving conditions hazardous for Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson drivers:
Mission essential reporting: Only mission-essential personnel, as determined by unit commanders and supervisors, are required to report to duty. Unit commanders must specifically identify who they determine as mission essential in advance. If you have not been told, ask your supervisor.
Delayed reporting: All members report for duty while exercising caution and arriving as soon as conditions permit. Expected reporting time will be specified, but it will normally be 10 a.m.
Early release: Unit commanders are responsible for managing early release within their organization when the commander initiates this action. The goal is to stagger departure times to alleviate congestion and to allow those who live farthest from the base to leave first.
These options give us the flexibility to balance safety and mission needs against the weather situations. However, this is Alaska, and with snow and ice no stranger to the area, you can expect these options to be used infrequently. When conditions at home are severe enough to warrant changes to normal reporting times and no option has been directed, personnel must coordinate with their supervisors and unit commanders to modify arrival times and work schedules.
When the commander decides to initiate any of these actions, the command post is notified and disseminates the information and specific reporting procedures. The public affairs office notifies local news media and initiates changes to the JBER Information Line at 552-INFO (4636), JBER web page (www.jber.jb.mil), and Facebook (www.facebook.com/JBERAK) with the latest reporting instructions. JBER personnel can expect to receive the information as early as possible, but decisions will normally be made by 5 a.m.
If the base goes into mission-essential reporting, dining facilities and lodging will continue to operate to the maximum extent possible to meet the needs of customers. However, AAFES and commissary facilities may be closed. Call AAFES at 753-4422 and the commissary at 580-4425 for operating hours.
A related concern is driving under snowy and icy conditions. People operating vehicles on JBER during inclement weather need to slow down and drive with the conditions of the roadways. Speed, following too closely, and decreased visibility are major problems to safe driving. Nothing is more important than the safety of our forces and families.
Road condition advisories for JBER are:
Green: Roads are clear and dry. Comply with normal vehicle operating procedures and posted speed limits. Motorcycles may operate on JBER.
Amber: It has been determined that roads may be slippery due to snow, ice, or reduced visibility. Drivers will exercise caution. Motorcycles may not operate on JBER.
Red: It has been determined that roads may be hazardous due to snow, ice, or reduced visibility. Drivers will exercise caution and reduce speeds by 10 miles per hour below the posted speed limit. Motorcycles may not operate on JBER.
Black: It has been determined that road conditions are extremely hazardous due to ice, snow, or reduced visibility. Vehicle dispatching is prohibited unless directed by command authority. Only operate mission essential and emergency response vehicles. Drivers will exercise extreme caution and must reduce speeds by 10 miles per hour below the posted speed limit. Motorcycles may not operate on JBER.
Road conditions will be posted at all gates and will be displayed on the JBER website, and Facebook. In addition, the base installed electronic road condition signs at various locations to keep on-base drivers aware of the current road conditions.