Said to be the second-largest base in the United States Air Force, Edwards AFB, California supports more than ten thousand military members and other personnel on more than 480 miles of installation. The Southern California base, located under two hours from Los Angeles, supports ground and flight testing of aircraft, weapons systems, and other hardware; it also provides important simulation efforts for the Air Force.
Find information about Edwards Air Force Base, California, 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
Edwards AFB is an Air Force Materiel Command center of excellence, performing research, development, and test and evaluation of “aerospace systems from concept to combat.” Edwards is home to the U.S. Air Force Test Pilot School.
The Edwards AFB host unit is the 412th Test Wing, which tests, analyzes, and reports on all flight and ground testing including airframes, weapons systems, etc and supports flying operations, maintenance and engineering missions.
Edwards operates in partnership with a variety of inter-service agencies and civilian operations including The Air Force Research Laboratory Propulsion Directorate, the NASA Dryden Flight Research Center, and the Air Force Operational Test and Evaluation Center.
- 412th Test Wing
- Air Force Test Center
- 31st Test and Evaluation Squadron
- Air Force Audit Agency
- Air Force Research Laboratory
- Det 1, Studies and Analysis Squadron
- Det 111, AF Office of Special Investigation
- Federal Aviation Administration
- General Services Administration
- NASA Armstrong Flight Research Center
- National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency
- U.S. Postal Service (USPS)
- VX-9, Air Test and Evaluation Squadron Nine Det Edwards
- Air Force Flight Test Museum
- U.S.A.F. Test Pilot School
Edwards Air Force Base got its start in 1933 as the Muroc Bombing and Gunnery Range, established by Colonel Hap Arnold. It would evolve into a major bomber training base during World War Two.
After the war, the kinds of aerospace testing and research that came to define the base as it is today got started and there were many notable achievements. Testing of the rocket-powered experimental aircraft Bell X-1, flown by then Captain Chuck Yeager who became the first human being to break the speed of sound in 1947.
Other experiments followed with aircraft including the X-3, X-4, X-5 and XF-92A.
In 1949, Muroc was redesignated Edwards Air Force Base; the installation was so named in honor of Capt. Glen W. Edwards, who died in a YB-49 Flying Wing crash. Even before the redesignation the base was known as the center of flight research in America. Another significant development in ‘49–moving the U.S. Air Force Test Pilot School from Wright Field in Ohio to Edwards.
In the 1960s, space flight became an important part of the Edwards mission–the Test Pilot School was re-designated as the Aerospace Research Pilot School and flight training started to include space travel as a major consideration.
To that end, the experimental aircraft known as the X-15 began flying hypersonic tests as well as “exoatmospheric flight”. A different version of the X-15, known as the X-15A-2, broke the Mach 6 barrier and records for the fastest manned aircraft flight.
Over the years and into contemporary times, the Edwards mission has expanded to include unmanned aerial vehicles in a series of innovations, but the So-Cal base has also been responsible for work on the NASA Space Shuttle, the B-2 Bomber, and the Joint Strike Fighter.
Today, Edwards accomplishments include work on the Predator UAV, Airborne Laser Weapons and Global Hawk.
Main Base Address And Phone Numbers
90 Farrell Drive, Bldg 5620
Edwards AFB, CA 93524
Important Edwards AFB Phone Numbers
- Airman & Family Readiness Center (661) 277-0723
- Airmen Against Drunk Driving (661) 277-2233
- Animal Care & Services: Adopt-A-Pet Rescue (661) 258-9525
- Area Defense -Counsel Edwards (661) 277-2809
- Base Operations (661) 277-2222
- Civil Engineer Work-Order Desk (24 hrs.) (661) 277-3330
- Civilian Personnel Office (661) 277-3840
- Command Post (661) 277-3040
- Communications Squadron Customer Support Center (661) 277-3444
- Education Office (661) 277-2713
- Emergencies 911
- Employee Assistance Program (661) 277-1183
- Equal Opportunity Office (661) 277-7985
- Finance (661) 277-4550
- Health Promotion (formerly HAWC) (661) 275-4292
- High Desert Inn (661) 275-7666
- Household Goods & Housing: Corvias Community Office (661) 385-6060
- Household Goods & Housing: (661) 385-6051
- Household Goods & Housing: Corvias Military Living (661) 385-6060
- Household Goods & Housing: Housing Office (661) 277-4506
- Household Goods & Housing: Inbound (661) 277-7888
- Household Goods & Housing: Outbound (661) 277-9363
- Inspector General (661) 277-4888
- Medical & Dental Care: After-Hours Care (800) 874-2273
- Medical & Dental Care: Central Appointments (661) 277-7118
- Military IDs/CAC/DEERS Office (661) 277-2276
- Military Personnel Flight (661) 277-2518
- NASA Switchboard (661) 276-3311
- Pass & Registration (661) 277-6263
- Schools: Base Schools Switchboard (661) 258-4411
- Schools: District Office (760) 769-4821
- Schools: School Liaison Office (661) 277-2456
- Sexual Assault Response Coordinator (661) 209-0115
- Visitor Control Center (661) 275-9771
Edwards is within reasonable driving distance of plenty of Southern California attractions. Los Angeles is under two hours by car, but respect local rush hour traffic as it will seriously affect your ability to travel during peak times.
Los Angeles and San Diego both have major league sports, performing arts, and movie-based attractions. San Diego is a little over three hours by car and you’ll enjoy the San Diego Zoo, Olde Globe Theater, and the San Diego Padres there.
The La Jolla Playhouse is ranked as one of THE things to do in San Diego for those interested in the performing arts, and there is a lot of military history in the area including the USS Midway Museum with self-guided tours through around 60 exhibitions as well as static displays of a large number of restored aircraft.
The L.A. music scene is motivation enough for many to brave traffic and parking inconveniences; major L.A. venues have included the Whisky-Go-Go, the Troubadour, the Greek Theatre, the El Rey, and many others.
Further away, Yuma features a lot of golf; Desert Hills Golf Course and Ironwood Golf Course are just two of the options available–there are at least nine golf courses in the Yuma area for you to explore. Non-golf options there include birdwatching at the Imperial Wildlife Refuge, and the ghost town at the Castle Dome Mines Museum is also worth a look. Local history options include the Yuma Territorial Prison State Historic Park, with the prison facility full of history since 1876.
Inprocessing and Check-In
All inbound PCSing troops and those traveling to the base on TDY orders are directed to check in with the gaining unit’s Command Support Staff upon arrival. All instructions are provided to new arrivals at this check-in. Those who arrive and have no Command Support Staff to check in with are directed to call 661-277-4611 or DSN 312-527-4611 for instructions for in-processing.
Edwards AFB offers primary care and some preventative care services via the 412th Medical Group, Edwards AFB. However, other important services such as intensive care or obstetrics services are not offered and coordination with your TRICARE representative is required–contact your TRICARE rep to discuss healthcare options in the Edwards AFB TRICARE Western region. There is no after hours care or emergency services and all clinic visits are by appointment only. Call 661-277-7118 to schedule an appointment.
Edwards Air Force Base child care services are offered by the Child Development Center and there is Family Child Care (FCC) available in certified on-base family housing. CDC waiting lists will apply due to high demand.
The Edwards Child Development Center is described as the “central location for registering children ages 6 weeks to 5 years for full time care or part-day enrichment programs for children ages 3 to 5”. Part-day options may be available but due to demand it is best to book as early as possible. Call the CDC at 661-275-8687 or DSN 312-525-8687 to get information on current registration procedures and waiting list placement.
All inbound troops PCSing to Edwards AFB 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 from the Inbound TMO section at Edwards AFB by calling (661) 277-7888
Dependent And Retiree ID Card Renewal, Replacement, New Issue
ID card services are provided by appointment only; all appointments may be scheduled via the online RAPIDS system–you will need to search the official site for Edwards AFB and schedule your appointment accordingly. You can also get local assistance by calling the Edwards AFB DEERS office at (661) 277-2276.
There are public schools on base at Edwards, operated by the Muroc Joint Unified School District (Kern County) and off-base there are multiple school districts on a typical school calendar with attendance from August through June each year. There are no DoD schools operating on base. The Edwards AFB School Liaison Office can assist with information about transfers and other details, call them at 661) 277-2456.
All troops PCSing to Edwards Air Force Base are directed to start their housing process before they depart their losing base via the Air Force Housing official site. You must also in-process through the base Housing Management office even if you don’t plan to use government housing or reside in the dorms. On-base housing is privatized and managed by Corvias; visit the official site to learn the latest policy about on-base housing waiting lists.
PCS and TDY Lodging
Those traveling on PCS or TDY orders have priority at the on-base High Desert Inn. Make reservations as soon as you have travel orders for best results–call the High Desert Inn at 661-275-7666 or DSN 312-525-7666. There are some pet-friendly facilities on base, but know that demand for such facilities is high and you should book early. Due to PCS and TDY seasons, demand in general for rooms at the Inn is high–you may be issued a statement of non-availability for off-base temporary lodging, but you will not be reimbursed on your travel voucher for expenses off-base if you do not obtain the certificate prior to your expenses.
Coordinating with your sponsor or gaining unit before arrival is crucial–it is best to arrange to be picked up from the airport due to issues related to rush hour and peak travel times. This is especially true for those with little experience driving in a large metropolitan area such as Los Angeles or San Diego.
Many will arrive via Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) and may have the option of catching a shuttle (sometimes referred to as the Antelope Express) from the airport with dropoffs in the following locations for those who need to stay off-base on arrival. The usual requirements for certificates of non-availability apply for off-base lodging in the area. Ask your sponsor before you begin your PCS move about on and off-base temporary lodging options:
- The Ramada Inn, Palmdale
- 300 West Palmdale Boulevard
- Comfort Inn, Lancaster
Reservations for the Antelope Express (shuttle) prior to your arrival is highly recommended to guarantee a seat on the van or bus. Make reservations by calling 661-947-2529. The shuttle service is not guaranteed–call before travel to ensure you can book a seat.
Vehicle Registration And Driver’s License
Those stationed at Edwards AFB should know that all drivers of privately owned vehicles are required to comply with California motor vehicle requirements including emissions testing, minimum insurance coverage, and vehicle registration.
The State of California has more strict emissions requirements than many other states–before PCSing to Edwards, be sure to talk to your sponsor about what may be needed to transport your vehicle, or about buying one in-state instead.
Currently serving military members stationed at Edwards and at other bases in California are exempt from the California vehicle license fee for any motor vehicle registered in California; this requires the nonresident military owner to be listed as the lessee or registered owner.
All vehicles entering and leaving Edwards AFB must comply with 100% ID checks which may be enforced depending on base security levels, current mission requirements, etc.