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The well-being of deployed military members is a huge priority for the U.S. Department of Defense. This includes their physical, mental, and social health. In fact, the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine explains why this is so:

  • Well-being is a key factor in a person’s decision to enter or remain in military service.
  • Improved wellness can decrease the need for costly legal, medical, and mental health services.
  • Personal and family difficulties can detract from a service member’s focus during important military missions.

It is clear that the physical, social, and mental well-being of the military community is key to maintaining readiness and retention of service members. For this reason, many military bases abroad and the areas surrounding them rely on morale, welfare, and recreation (MWR) facilities. 

What Is a Morale, Welfare, and Recreation (MWR) Facility?

In short, the MWR is a facility that serves the needs of people in deployed military communities by providing free events and services to military personnel. These help boost morale, welfare, and recreation among the community while they are abroad, far from loved ones back home, and potentially in austere conditions. Deployed troops can enjoy a range of events, including the following:

  • Holiday celebrations
  • Sports and recreational activities 
  • Entertainment
  • Special events and dining
  • Group service projects

More importantly, high-quality MWR facilities provide the necessary space for military members to participate no matter where they are. That way, they always have a space to feel support and connection. 

[Related: The Evolution and History of Military Tents in the U.S.]

The Best Multi-Use MWR Facilities

Of course, MWR events can’t take place without a dedicated space. And engineered fabric structures, like those from the Military division of Alaska Structures®, are a top choice. They offer the best multi-purpose structures for MWR activities. Here’s why.

MWR Facilities Designed for Simple Set-Up

Alaska Small Shelter System with a raised Alaska CORADEX® flooring system

One of the most important parts of the MWR program is access. That is, military members should be able to participate in MWR anywhere. However, it’s not always easy to find spaces for recreational activities on or around a military base — especially if it happens to be in a remote location. 

Thankfully, engineered fabric structures are simple to set up in nearly any environment. Here are a few ways Alaska Structures makes it easy to build an MWR facility anywhere:

  • They ship directly to your desired location or to a shipping point.
  • MWR facilities from Alaska Structures have minimal foundation requirements, so you can install it on virtually any flat surface. For locations with rocky or uneven terrain, and in need of a raised shelter flooring, the Alaska CORADEX® Flooring System is available for military shelters up to 40’ wide. 
  • Depending on the model and configuration, Alaska Structures has military shelter systems that can be installed in less than 10 minutes.

The ease of fabric structures allows you to bypass the cost and time of a large construction crew. Your MWR facilities will be built fast so they’ll be ready to provide military personnel with a safe activity space.

Large Open-Span Structures for MWR Events

Recreation often calls for a big, open space. During the warm months, many activities can take place outside. However, a dedicated indoor space helps keep recreation accessible year-round. Plus, it protects equipment from the elements. 

The Alaska 40’ Shelter System offers a large indoor space, with no support columns to get in the way. This is an advantage they have over military tents and traditional structures, other prefabricated building solutions, and even many brick and mortar buildings. Alaska Structures produces large open-span building systems in widths up to 150 ft. wide that can be customized to any height or length to create large indoor recreation facilities for military installations.

Complete Climate Control

Alaska Medium Shelter System with the Alaska SolarFly®

Another advantage that engineered fabric structures have over typical event structures and military tents is climate control. Each fabric structure from Alaska Structures is engineered to withstand harsh environments. That means it can protect everyone in the MWR facility from the following:

  • High wind speeds
  • Heavy snow loads
  • Water, mold, and mildew
  • Extreme cold or hot weather

Alaska Structures produces many energy-saving products that seamlessly integrate with our military shelter systems. Created with the idea to increase energy-efficiency and reduce heating/cooling costs in remote locations, the EnerLayer® Insulation System provides a 35% reduction in heating and a 22% reduction in cooling to maintain a 70˚F interior temperature in extreme cold and hot environments. 

Available for our military shelters up to 30 ft. wide, including the Alaska Medium Shelter System, when combined with the Alaska SolarFly® (an additional layer of solar protection), cooling is reduced by 33%. 

All military shelter systems from Alaska Structures are compatible with the Alaska ECU™ (environmental control unit). It’s the ideal military HVAC unit to heat or cool MWR facilities for maximum interior comfort.

[Related: How Troops Can Beat the Heat and Increase Military Readiness With Military HVAC Units]

MWR Facilities with Plug-And-Play Electrical Systems

Whether your MWR facilities need to play music, show a movie, or offer Wi-Fi, a good electrical system is key, including power generation and power distribution systems

Alaska power generation and distribution systems offer plug-and-play capability. A single power distribution system can provide electricity to up to 18 military shelters. So, MWR organizers will have easy access to all the electricity their MWR activities need. 

Events to Host in MWR Facilities using Engineered Fabric Structures

The possibilities for MWR facilities made using engineered fabric structures are near endless. Here are a few popular activities that are easy to host in an Alaska Structure’s MWR facility:

  • Movies and performances: Use the electrical system to play a movie in surround sound. Or take advantage of the large indoor space to display a live concert or performance.
  • Sports and fitness activities: The durability of an engineered fabric structure keeps sports and fitness equipment safe from harsh weather.
  • Dining events: Set up dining tables and a large buffet spread. 
  • Workshop training: Allow military members to learn new skills in their free time with workshops. From woodworking to mechanics, your building will be safe for learning new hobbies. 
  • Library access: For military members who are also bookworms, fill a shelter with a collection of books. This can serve as a quiet, serene space in which to read. 
  • Holiday celebrations and parties: MWR facilities allow military personnel a configurable space to hold parties for special events and holidays. 

[Related: A Few Applications of Our Structures]

Start Building Your MWR Facilities Today

If you are committed to improving the morale, welfare, and recreation of the military personnel on your base, having an MWR facility is key. And, engineered fabric structures are the ideal solution to make the most of your space.

Quick installation, versatility, and scalability will help you best serve the needs of your military community members. To start building your MWR facility, contact us today!

We are excited to hear from you and learn about your project! Please send an email inquiry using the form below!