Described by Army.mil as the premiere Army Reserve operation in New England, Fort Devens is a facility providing locations and support for tenant and transient training activities. Military exercises, deployment operations, and support of Guard/Reserve training are among the primary missions here.
Devens is located in Middlesex and Worcester Counties and is just under an hour away by car. Find information about Fort Devens, 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
Funded by the United States Army Reserve Command, and under the jurisdiction of Installation Management Command Northeast, the primary role of Fort Devens is to provide training grounds and support for a variety of needs.
Those include weapons training (small arms, demolition, mortars) as well as facilities for formal instruction. Fort Devens supports a cross-service military environment but also makes itself available to other government agencies.
Important missions and units at Fort Devens include:
- 11th Battalion, 98th Division
- 174th Infantry Brigade, First Army Division East
- 1st BN 25th Marines
- 2200 Military Intel Readiness
- 6th Battalion, 98th Division
- 7th Battalion, 98th Division
- 826th Military Intelligence Battalion
- 99th RSC East
- Army Corps of Engineers – New England District
- Army Reserve Career Division 1st Battalion
- CID Boston Fraud Office
- Det 1, 3200th Strategic Intelligence Group
- E. Co., 1/304th Regiment, 98th Division
- HQ 25th Marine Regiment
- TASS Training Center Fort Devens
The area we currently know as Fort Devens got a very early start in military history–the first base in the area was established by an English Army officer in 1656; a memorial for that operation was created in 1934 and still remains at the site today.
By the time the Civil War was ongoing, the site was known as Camp Stevens. It was used as the home of the 53rd Regiment of the Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry.
It wouldn’t be until 1917 when the area was designated as Camp Devens, a temporary training area for those deploying to World War I combat zones. This was, around the same time (circa 1918), the site of an outbreak of what was then known as the “Spanish Flu”–more than 800 enlisted soldiers died at Camp Devens.
In 1931 Camp Devens became Fort Devens, and Devens Army Airfield was not far behind. When America became drawn into World War Two, Devens was used as a place to process all draftees from the New England area, and a multi-million dollar construction push began–1200 buildings in all, not counting construction of the airfield itself.
Fort Devens served as a training base during this time but also (like many Army installations) served as a prisoner of war camp for Axis prisoners sent to the United States. Unfortunately, Fort Devens was also used (circa 1942) to detain “enemy aliens” including those of Japanese, German, and Italian ancestry.
Over the decades the base would house Air Defense operations, Special Forces units, and even medical battalions; but the base would close in 1996 thanks to a decision by the Base Realignment and Closure Commission (BRAC). The BRAC move included a division of land among federal agencies such as the Bureau of Prisons and military organizations like the Massachusetts National Guard.
The day after the base closed, there was an announcement of a new military operation there–the Devens Reserve Training Area. Ten years later, the base was redesignated as Fort Devens, but serves essentially the same purpose to this day.
It’s meant to be used as a training and staging area and is home to a variety of tenant organizations. One such operation is the Federal Medical Center, Devens, described as a federal prison for inmates who need long-term care, specialized care, or mental care.
Main Fort Devens Address And Phone Number
Fort Devens Welcome Center
Box 11 61 Quebec Street
Devens, MA 01434.
Important Fort Devens Contact Phone Numbers
- Command (978) 615-6021
- Police/Fire/Medical (978) 615-6067
- Public Affairs Office (978) 615-6153
- Training Scheduling (978) 615-6057
- Billeting (978) 615-6054
- Training Aids Support Center (978) 615-6060
- Range Control (978) 615-6071
- ID Card (978) 615-6140
- AAFES (978) 772-6838
- CWT / Veterans Travel (800) 945-0535
- After Hours Contact (978) 615-6067
The area surrounding Fort Devens, Hanscom Air Force Base, and other military installations nearby is among the highest cost-of-living areas in the United States. Most typical housing expenses will be more expensive than you might be used to.
The east coast can be tricky weatherwise–especially in the local area. From the months of October to April there is high potential for bad weather, black ice, and depending on where you live, even a Nor’easter is not unheard of. Fort Devens, like some other small installations in the area, does not feature many of the amenities you might be used to at larger bases.
The nearest commissary, for example, is at Hanscom Air Force Base, which also features a base Clinic, BX/PX, and MWR services.
Off post, nearby Boston is 48 minutes away by car to access major league sports including the Boston Red Sox, Patriots, Celtics, and Bruins.
If you like the arts, the Boston Pops Orchestra is a big draw when concerts are happening. Shopping destinations include the Natick Collection. Billed as “the largest mall in New England” this site features 200 individual shops.
MWR offices at bases (such as Hanscom AFB) in the area commonly feature tickets to NASCAR, outdoor rec at the beach on Lake Cochituate, and there is much to discover among the many Civil War historic sites here.
Inprocessing and Check-In
All inbound PCSing and TDY troops must coordinate with the sponsor or training unit. Check-in procedures will vary greatly depending on the nature of the relocation but if you are PCSing and have not been assigned a sponsor, request one from your gaining unit.
There are no medical services available at Fort Devens. All military members and their families are directed to contact their TRICARE reps to learn what coverage options are available in the area. There is a community hospital in Ayer, Massachusetts which is five miles from the Fort and roughly half an hour away there are five other medical treatment options. Local area hospitals include:
- HealthAlliance Hospital, 60 Hospital Rd, Leominster, MA 978- 466-2000
- Clinton Hospital, 201 Highland St, Clinton, MA, 978- 368-3000
- Lowell General Hospital, 4 Meeting House Rd, Chelmsford, MA 978- 244-1051
- McLean Hospital Psychiatric Hospital, 115 Mill St, Belmont, MA 617- 855-2000
- UMass Memorial Medical Center, 201 Highland St, Clinton, MA 508- 334-1000
- Worcester Recovery Center and Hospital, 309 Belmont Street, Worcester, MA 508-368-3300
There are no Child Development Centers (CDC) at Fort Devens, but nearby Hanscom Air Force Base has CDC facilities. Personnel stationed at or working for the base have priority and waiting lists may apply.
Care is available for children ages six weeks to five years of age. Care options include Full-Time Care for children six weeks to five years. According to the official site, contracts for Full-Time Care are offered to parents “on a space available basis according to waiting list priorities.”
There are also limited Hourly Care options. These are offered on a space available basis. “Availability cannot be determined until 9:00 daily,” according to the official site. Hourly Care is for children six weeks to five years of age not enrolled in full-time care. This is a solution designed strictly for short-term needs.
If you are concerned about the waiting list issue at Hancom, there are Family Child Care (FCC) programs offering care in certified private homes on base. MilitaryChildCare.com has sign ups for the Hanscom AFB CDC waiting list.
You can also get information about childcare in the local area from Army Community Service.
All inbound troops PCSing to Fort Devens are directed to track and manage their household goods via the Defense Personal Property System at Move.mil. Fort Devens has a Transportation Office–call them at 978-615-6076 for assistance with local issues for delivery, storage, etc.
Dependent And Retiree ID Card Renewal, Replacement, New Issue
ID card services are available on-post, but availability may be limited depending on current mission requirements, operations tempo, and other variables.
Call the DEERS-ID Card Section at (978) 615-6140 to make an appointment. Two unexpired forms of acceptable photo ID are required for most services and at least one form of ID may be required to be REAL ID Act-compliant. You can also search for the Fort Devens DEERS-ID Card Section at the RAPIDS official site.
There are no DoD schools on post, and school options for those with families in the local area will vary greatly–there are many school districts in the area. Those interested in on-base schools should contact Hanscom AFB, which has two schools available for those living in base housing.
Hanscom Primary School and Hanscom Middle School are part of the Lincoln, MA public school system. High school options nearby include Bedford High School, which is part of the Bedford Public School District.
For information on other nearby school districts and other options, you won’t find any contacts on post at Devens, but you may be able to get assistance by calling the Hanscom AFB School Liaison Office at 781-225-2765.
There is no housing available on post. Call the Army Community Center at 978-615-6091 or
DSN: 312-615 for information on local housing options, and the Army official page for Fort Devens advises inbound PCSing troops to seek housing assistance from one of two nearby bases:
- Hanscom AFB Housing Management Office: 781-225-5640
- Soldier Systems Housing Office at Natick: 508-233-5409/5216/407
PCS and TDY Lodging
There is no lodging available at Fort Devens except for units who have made prior arrangements for training billets. Training Billets are available for Reserve and National Guard troops–you will need to contact Army Community Service for these billeting needs.
Those traveling on PCS orders are permitted to book up to 30 days in Temporary Lodging Facilities at Hanscom Air Force Base–reservations are required. Make them at 781-225-4444.
If you are PCSing or coming to the area on TDY orders, you will have the option to fly into Logan International Airport, about 45 minutes away. Traffic is a serious problem in many parts of Massachusetts and you should contact your sponsor regarding the best times to arrive, transportation options, routes to avoid during rush hour, etc.
The usual ride sharing options may be available from Logan International, as well as commercial taxi services. Remember that peak travel times will increase the length of your taxi ride or Uber pickup.
Vehicle Registration And Driver’s License
All vehicles entering and departing Fort Devens are subject to 100% ID checks. All drivers must carry state-required insurance, safety equipment where applicable, etc. REAL ID Act requirements may apply.