Arnold Air Force Base is home to Arnold Engineering Development Center (AEDC). Located about one hour north of Nashville, Tennessee, the Center operates engine test cells, ballistic ranges, wind tunnels, and much more in support of national defense, research, and development.
Find information about including the main commercial and DSN numbers for the base, information on basic services, base transportation, lodging for TDY and PCSing personnel, and inprocessing.
Mission & Units
As home to the AEDC, operations at Arnold include operation of aerodynamic and propulsion wind tunnels, rocket test cells, turbine engine testing, space environmental chambers, and much more. AEDC is part of the Air Force Test Center which falls under Air Force Materiel Command (AFMC). Arnold AFB is a comparatively smaller operation and there are a handful of major missions and units there including:
- Arnold Engineering Development Complex (AEDC)
- Test Division (TST)
- Test Support Division (TSD)
- Test Systems Sustainment (TSS)
Some military bases have long and winding histories. Arnold is not one of those bases. Named after General “Hap” Arnold, considered the Father of the United States Air Force, Arnold AFB was born out of the need for a site for the Air Engineering Development Center in 1949; armed with one hundred million dollars in funding and a site from the U.S. Army’s Camp Forrest located near Tullahoma, TN.
Construction on the project began in 1950, and a year after the death of General Hap Arnold, President Harry S. Truman presided over the dedication of the Air Engineering Development Center, redesignated as the Arnold Engineering Development Center.
On the heels of the center’s opening in 1951, there was further development of three major test facilities that still function at press time:
- Engine Test Facility
- Von Karman Gas Dynamics Facility
- Propulsion Wind Tunnel Test Facility.
Arnold has contributed to nearly every major American space program and missile program including Atlas, Titan, Minuteman and Peacekeeper ICBMs. Arnold AFB supports or has supported space shuttle and space station missions, as well as the Mercury, Gemini and Apollo programs.
Aircraft support includes contributions to:
- F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter
- F-22A Raptor
- A-10 Thunderbolt II
- F-14 Tomcat
- F-15 Eagle
- F-16 Fighting Falcon
- F/A-18 Hornet
- F/A-18 Super Hornet
- F-105 Thunderchief
- F-111 Aardvark
- F-117A Nighthawk
- C-5 Galaxy
- C-17 Globemaster III
- B-1B Lancer
- B-2 Spirit
- B-52 Stratofortress
In present times, the center operates a large number of wind tunnels, rocket testing facilities, and space chambers in support of National Defense operations. There is a small active duty presence with a larger number of contractors and NAF employees making up a total workforce that is just under 3000 strong at its peak.
Main Base Address And Phone Numbers
100 Kindel Drive
Suite B 111
Arnold AFB, TN 37389
- DSN 312-872-9060
Important Arnold Air Force Base Phone Numbers
- Base Operator (931) 454-3000
- Emergency 911
- ID Cards (931) 454-5453
- Passports (931) 454-4314
- Personnel Offices (931) 454-7931
- Public Affairs (931) 454-4204
- Recycling Center (931) 454-6068
- Services Branch (931) 454-7779
- Suicide Prevention Hotline (800) 273-8255
- Finance (931) 454-4356
- Legal Office (931) 454-7814
- Air Force Inns (888) 235-6343
- Housing Office (931) 454-5454
- Lodging (931) 454-3051
- Arnold Engineering Development Complex (931) 454-5201
- Test Division (931) 454-7621
- Test Support Division (931) 454-5247
- Test Systems Sustainment (931) 454-7732
- Information, Tickets and Travel (931) 454-6084
- Library (931) 454-7220
- Youth Programs (931) 454-3277
Situated between Nashville and Chattanooga, the Arnold AFB footprint includes facilities in both Coffee and Franklin counties and is located on Highland Rim, described as a “natural division of the state.”
Arnold is about one hour away from the country music capital of the world and (more importantly for some), the home of Nashville hot chicken.
Arnold is an hour away from the Grand Ole Opry, The Johnny Cash Museum, and the stage outfitter to the stars, Manuel Cuevas, who has been selling his wildly popular western-wear designs practically as long as there has been a country music recording industry. There are NFL and NHL attractions in Nashville; the Tennessee Titans and the Nashville Predators both keep sports fans very busy in their respective seasons.
Closer to the base, the Winchester and Tullahoma areas offer much in the way of outdoors exploration with Rutledge Falls, Short Springs Natural Area, and fans of aviation history should explore the Beechcraft Heritage Museum, and Civil War buffs will want to discover the Tullahoma Campaign Civil War Trail.
The local area even features an active relic of days gone by in the form of the Montana Drive-In movie theater located 5 miles away from the base.
Inprocessing and Check-In
Due to the size of the base and its mission, all in-processing procedures are handled by the gaining unit. Check with your sponsor, command support staff, or First Sergeant to learn of any unit-specific inprocessing steps you may need to take upon arrival.
Arnold AFB has a small medical aid station on base. You should expect to use TRICARE network options for all health care requirements. Contact a TRICARE rep when you receive your PCS orders to Arnold AFB to learn what the most common health care options and choices are.
At the time of this writing, the Arnold Air Force Base official site does not list resources, contact phone numbers, or information about Child Development Centers. You will need to discuss child care options in the local area with your sponsor to determine what resources are available at PCS time.
Arnold AFB also does not list information, contact phone numbers, or other details about School Liaison Officers, Family Child Care (FCC) program homes, etc.
All personnel are directed to track and manage their household goods shipments via the Defense Personal Property System at Move.mil. You can also get local assistance by calling the Arnold AFB TMO at (931) 454-7805 or DSN 340-7805.
Dependent And Retiree ID Card Renewal, Replacement, New Issue
ID card services are handled by the Visitor Control Center and is the “single point of service for issuance of identification” including Common Access Cards (CAC), military (including Guard, Reserve or Retiree) and family member ID Cards, according to the Arnold AFB official site. The center also processes applications for access badges/cards for entry to the base. You must make an appointment with the Visitors’ Control Center by calling (931) 454-5453.
Those living on base should know that school-age children at Arnold will attend Tullahoma City School District which includes Lee Elementary, East Middle School, and Tullahoma High School. School options for those living off base will depend on zip code as children attend school based on address. There are no DoD schools on base at Arnold.
The housing issue at Arnold AFB is a bit confusing due to outdated information coming up when searching for information about obtaining military family housing and unaccompanied housing for junior enlisted troops.
At press time, the Air Force Housing official site (www.housing.af.mil) lists Forest City Military Communities as the entity responsible for military housing at Arnold Air Force Base. The Air Force official site for housing also lists an outdated official site for Forest City Military Communities, which results in a broken link at the time of this writing.
However, the Arnold Air Force Base official site, and Google search results both turn up results for Hunt Military Community, which is at the time of this writing the actual private entity that is currently partnered with Arnold AFB.
All accompanied airmen PCSing to Arnold should contact the Arnold AFB Housing Office as soon as orders are obtained to start the application process. Waiting lists may apply depending on PCS season, demand, and other variables. When applying for on-base housing, you will need to submit the following paperwork:
- DD 1746 HMO Housing Referral
- PCS Orders
- Current Leave & Earnings Statement
- DEERS information if your dependents are not listed on your orders.
Junior enlisted troops E4 and below may be required to live on base; discuss current housing requirements for junior enlisted troops with your sponsor as these policies are subject to change depending on demand, PCS season, and other variables.
Call the Arnold AFB Military Housing Office at (931) 454-7687.
PCS and TDY Lodging
Temporary lodging for PCSing and TDY service members is available at The Wingo Inn. These facilities have no options for pet owners, but the Inn will provide a local list of kennels and pet boarding options. Those not traveling on orders may make reservations up to 30 days in advance. Call to make reservations at 931-454-3099.
Depending on demand, PCS season, and other factors, space may be limited at the Inn; make reservations as soon as your orders are available. If you cannot obtain on-base TLF, you will need a Certificate of Non-Availability from the Wingo Inn to claim off-base lodging expenses on your travel voucher.
There is no base transportation available at press time. Those arriving by airplane should discuss arrival options with their sponsor as the nearest airport is Nashville International, which is roughly 70 miles from the base.
Huntsville International in Alabama is roughly the same distance away, and Chattanooga Metropolitan Airport is approximately 85 miles from Arnold. The usual commercial taxis and ride sharing options may be available depending on demand, time of day, rush hour, etc. but consider that your fare will be well over 70 miles before the trip is done/
Vehicle Registration And Driver’s License
Special passes are needed to access parts of the installation; you will need to visit Pass and Pass and Registration to complete the requirements. When you get orders to Arnold AFB, you will need to submit copies to the Military Personnel Office who will in turn submit paperwork to Pass and Registration to help you get your security badge.
Discuss this process with your sponsor as soon as you get one to learn what current requirements are (they are subject to change).
All personnel operating motor vehicles at Arnold AFB are required to comply with all state laws including minimum auto insurance requirements, safety equipment (especially for motorcycle operators), cell phone use, etc.
The Military Personnel Office will submit the required paperwork to the Pass and Registration building for processing when they receive your orders. To obtain your security badge, you should coordinate with your sponsor to meet you at the Pass and Registration building, located adjacent to the Main Gate, upon arriving at Arnold AFB.