Hanscom AFB is located in Massachusetts, approximately 30 minutes from Boston and roughly 90 minutes away from Westover AFB. The base manages to cover an impressive amount of territory being situated in Bedford but extending into other towns including Concord, Lexington, and Lincoln.
Find information about Hanscom AFB, including the main commercial and DSN numbers for the base, information on basic services, base transportation, lodging for TDY and PSCing personnel, and inprocessing.
Mission & Units
Hanscom is the headquarters of the 66th Air Base Group which has a mission to “secure, support and sustain” over 5,000 active-duty, Reserve and National Guard personnel, DoD civilians, contractors, and 130,000 retired military and spouses. The base is also home to the Air Force Life Cycle Management Center (AFLCMC). Important missions and units at Hanscom include:
- 23rd Space Operations Squadron (New Boston Air Station)
- 64TH Air Refueling Squadron (Portsmouth, NH)
- 66th Air Base Group
- 66th Medical Squadron
- 66th Force Support Squadron
- 66th Security Forces Squadron (SP)
- 6th Space Warning Squadron (Cape Cod AS)
- AFLCMC/HB (Battle Management Directorate)
- AFLCMC/HN (C3I and Networks Directorate)
- Air Force Office of Special Investigations (AFOSI)
Like many Air Force bases, Hanscom’s history begins with the American dilemma of what to do about World War Two, pre-Pearl Harbor. In 1941, the Massachusetts state government authorized the purchase of some land in Bedford with an eye on turning it into an airport. But in 1942, the land was rented out to the U.S. War Department and it became an Army Air Forces training base.
As World War Two progressed, Bedford Army Air Field became known as a site to test radar technology under development at MIT, which ultimately paved the way for the base’s post-World War two responsibilities.
In the 1950s, the Air Force and MIT would work together to innovate new air defense technology, and the airfield was used for those purposes; for its’ part the Commonwealth of Massachusetts gave up land to the federal government and offered a renewable long-term lease for the airfield.
The base, known as Hanscom Air Force Base by the 1970s, stopped all flying operations by September 1973, and since then Hanscom has served a unique role in that non-flying capacity.
From the early 90s, Hanscom AFB has operated as part of Air Force Materiel Command; in the 21st century the base is home to Air Force Life Cycle Management Center, which is as the name implies is responsible for cradle-to-grave management of AF weapons systems.
The 66th Air Base Group acts as the host unit, and the base is also home to Massachusetts National Guard Joint Force Headquarters, Massachusetts Wing Civil Air Patrol, and civilian research such as the MIT Lincoln Laboratory and MITRE Federally Funded Research and Development Centers.
Main Base Address And Phone Number
10 Kirtland Street
Hanscom AFB, MA 01731
Important Hanscom AFB Contact Phone Numbers
- Women, Infants and Children (WIC) (781) 862-1420
- Child Development Center (781) 225-6129
- Family Child Care (781) 225-6122
- School Age Child Care (781) 225-6051
- Airman and Family Readiness Center – EFMP Family Support (781) 225-2765
- SNIAC – EFMP Enrollment (781) 225-6789
- Personnel Office (Military) – Customer Service (781) 225-1320
- Family Advocacy Program (781) 225-6385
- Family Center (781) 225-2765
- New Parent Support Program (781) 225-6385
- Citizenship and Immigration Services (1-800) 375-5283
- Victim Advocate Services (SARC) (781) 377-7272
- Finance – Military Pay and Travel Pay (781) 225-1210
- Legal Office (781) 225-1410
- Retirement Services (781) 225-1465
- 66th Medical Squadron (781) 225-6789
- Barracks/Single Service Member Housing (781) 225-2219
- Base Housing Office (781) 225-5638
- Privatized Housing – Hunt-Pinnacle –The Landings at Hanscom (781) 861-5062
- Temporary Lodging/Billeting (781) 225-4444
- Information and Referral (781) 225-2765
- Education and Training Center (781) 225-5952
- Bedford High School (781) 275-1700
- School Liaison Office (781) 225-1482
- Hanscom Middle School (781) 274-7720
- Lincoln Preschool (781) 259-9889
- Hanscom Primary School (781) 274-7721
- Household Goods/Transportation Office (inbound) (781) 377-7627
- Household Goods/Transportation Office (outbound) (781) 225-6399
- Loan Locker & Attic (781) 225-2765
- Relocation Assistance (781) 225-2765
- Transition Assistance Program (781) 225-2765
- Visitor/Welcome Center (781) 225-6642
Hanscom AFB is uniquely situated; military members working at the base have six states to choose from–all reasonable distances from the base.
And while many of our entries in this military base guide have much to do with tourism in the surrounding area, the most critical issues facing those PCSing or coming TDY to the area has to do with the cost of living.
The area surrounding Hanscom Air Force Base is considered one of the highest cost-of-living areas in the United States. All common housing expenses will be higher than many expect; child care and rent alone are tougher to come by than in other places.
Weather is also a factor; from October to April there is high potential for bad weather, black ice, and depending on where you live, even a Nor’easter or two.
When examining your options for a PCS move to Hanscom, it’s a very good idea to have a detailed conversation with your sponsor about the financial realities of living on or near the East Coast, what options and assistance may be available to you, and what it takes to get child care and other essentials in a high-demand situation.
Inprocessing and Check-In
Hanscom has two in-processing procedures; the one that applies to you depends on your gaining unit. For all AFLCMC members, reporting during normal duty hours is at Building 1605 and requires your Common Access Card and PCS package from your losing base.
All other new arrivals should report during normal duty hours to the Military Personnel Section in Building 1305.
Those reporting for duty as members of the 319th RCS must report to the CSS at Bldg 1211 the following duty day after you arrive.
For all check-ins after duty hours, report to the Temporary Lodging Office.
The Hanscom Clinic is operated by the 66th Medical Squadron. It is an outpatient military treatment facility and does not have inpatient care resources. Services include:
- Aerospace/Operational Medicine
- Medical Operations
- Mental Health
- Business Operations and Beneficiary Support
- Medical Logistics and Readiness
- Diagnostics and Therapeutics
- Flight Medicine
- Bioenvironmental Engineering
- Health Promotions
- Public Health
- Family Health
Call the appointments line at 781-225-6789. For any care above and beyond outpatient needs, you will need to discuss options with your TRICARE representative.
Child care is provided on base by the Hanscom CDC. Due to demand a waiting list usually applies. 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”.
- Hourly Care – offered on a space available basis. “Availability cannot be determined until 9:00 daily”. Hourly Care is 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.
Visit MilitaryChildCare.com to sign up for the Hanscom AFB CDC waiting list.
All who are PCSing to Hanscom Air Force Base should track and manage their household goods shipments via the Defense Personal Property System at Move.mil. You can get local assistance by calling the Hanscom TMO office at (781) 377-5330.
Dependent And Retiree ID Card Renewal, Replacement, New Issue
All ID card services are listed (at the time of this writing) as appointment-only. The ID Card/CAC Card Processing Section at 20 Schilling Circle in Bldg 1305 is where all ID card services can be obtained. You will be required to provide two forms of unexpired ID, at least one of which may be required to be REAL ID Act compliant.
Call (781) 225-1320 to schedule an appointment. At the time of this writing, the usual appointment options for other military installations (via the RAPIDS system) was not available for use. Your experience may vary.
School choices for those PCSing to Hanscom AFB are as varied as the six states where those working at Hanscom may choose to live. There are too many school district options across these six states to list comprehensively here; that said, there are definitely on-base options.
There are two schools (one primary, one middle school) at Hanscom AFB for those who choose to live in base housing; Hanscom Primary School and Hanscom Middle School are part of the Lincoln, MA public school system.
Those attending high school who live in base housing will attend Bedford High School, which is part of the Bedford Public School District. For information on other nearby school districts and other options, contact the Hanscom School Liaison Office at 781-225-2765.
In general, registration requirements include an age restriction; all students attending kindergarten must be five years old by September 30 of the school year registered for. Physicals are required within two weeks of registration unless a recent physical (within the last three years) is available.
Housing off-base is expensive and competitive. It can be tough to find the right kind of off-base housing in a high-demand and expensive housing market; the East Coast, in general, can be tougher to locate housing in.
Those PCSing to the area should have a serious conversation with their sponsor about affordable housing options, financial preparedness for a high-cost area, and how to prepare for the change in expenses.
On base housing is privatized and run by Hanscom Housing. DoD Civilians assigned to Hanscom are eligible to apply to live on base. Call the housing office 781-225-5640 for details, information on waiting lists, and availability.
Hanscom AFB has no dining facility, and unaccompanied service member housing at the base includes kitchen facilities. All below the rank of E5 are required to live on-base unless permission is obtained from the commander or First Sergeant.
PCS and TDY Lodging
The Hanscom Inn provides temporary lodging services with a sliding scale of availability (for the length of your stay) depending on your travel status. Those PCSing to the base are allowed 30 days in TLF.
Those PCSing away from the base are allowed ten days. Those who are retiring or separating are allowed a full week’s stay (seven days). Make reservations at 781-225-4444 or DSN 312-845-4444. Junior enlisted members should be very proactive about making sure a dorm room is available for the PCS move. This is a high-demand area and there are many people trying to make TLF reservations at Hanscom.
Many coming to Hanscom AFB will have the option to fly into Logan International Airport, which is roughly 45 minutes from the base. Traffic is a major concern in the area; ask your sponsor what might be the best time to arrive to avoid long delays due to morning or afternoon rush hour.
The usual ride-sharing options may be available from Logan, as well as commercial taxi services, but rush hour can make this an expensive proposition. Coordinate with your sponsor well ahead of your PCS date to see what arrangements may be needed depending on time of day/time of year of arrival.
Vehicle Registration And Driver’s License
All vehicles operating on Hanscom AFB streets are subject to 100% ID checks. State traffic laws are enforced on base and all drivers must carry state-required insurance, safety equipment where applicable, etc. REAL ID Act requirements apply; contact the base ID Card/CAC Card Processing Section to learn what current regulations (based on threat levels, mission requirements, etc.) may be for obtaining clearance to enter the base, park, etc. Call them at 781-225-1320 or DSN 312-845-1320