Los Angeles Air Force Base is home to the Space and Missile Systems Center, which functions as a subordinate unit of the U.S. Space Force. Located in El Segundo, California, LA AFB is an important part of U.S. space-based efforts including support of military satellite operations and DoD systems in space.
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
The mission statement of LA AFB is simple and clear; “Deliver resilient, affordable and sustainable space capabilities.” The Space and Missile Systems Center (SMC) is responsible for “on-orbit check-out” plus systems testing and maintenance of what the DoD describes as “military satellite constellations.” SMC also works in cooperation with other space programs across multiple military branches, government agencies, and other governments.
Important missions and units include:
- 61st Air Base Group (61 ABG)
- 61st Civil Engineering & Logistics Squadron (61 CELS)
- 61st Communications Squadron (61 CS)
- 61st Force Support Squadron (61 FSS)
- 61st Medical Squadron (61 MDS)
- 61st Security Forces Squadron (61 SFS)
- Global Positioning Systems
- Launch and Range Systems
- MILSATCOM Systems
- Range and Network Division
- Space and Missile Systems Center (SMC)
- Space Superiority SPO
Los Angeles Air Force Base isn’t as old as some of its fellow bases, but LA AFB plays an important part in the future of the force. The base got its start in a different location circa 1954 as Air Research and Development Command’s Western Development Division. That division started out in Inglewood before transferring to the current El Segundo location.
The Air Force would consolidate its Space Systems Division and the Research and Development (R&D) Center of The Aerospace Corporation in 1961. As a result, some Navy real estate on the northwest corner of Aviation and El Segundo Boulevards was reassigned to the Air Force in 1962.
The Air Force had kept space and missile operations separate during this time, but in 1967 space and missile functions were consolidated in the first of a series of back-and-forth approaches to a combined space and missile command; the groundwork was slowly being laid to establish what would eventually evolve into the Space and Missile Systems Center.
As that was happening, more nearby land acquisitions resulted in the eventual construction of Los Angeles Air Force Station, which served until 1987 when it was redesignated as Los Angeles Air Force Base.
In 1992 a series of redesignations and other changes resulted in ballistic missile operations being realigned or phased out, while the Space Systems Division there was rebranded as the Space and Missile Systems Center (SMC), whose mission carries on in the present day.
LA AFB Address and Telephone Numbers
Los Angeles Air Force Base
483 N. Aviation Boulevard
El Segundo, CA 90245-2808
- DSN: 312-633-5428
Important LA AFB Contact Numbers
- Airman and Family Readiness Center (310) 653-5428
- Base Operator (310) 653-1110
- Child Development Center (310) 653-6800
- Emergency 911
- Family Child Care (FCC) (310) 653-6802
- ID and CAC Card Processing (310) 653-6556
- Sexual Assault Response Coordinator (310) 653-5789
- Suicide Prevention Hotline (800) 273-8255
- Dental Clinic (310) 653-6844
- Fort MacArthur Clinic (310) 653-2873
- Health and Wellness Center (310) 653-6640
- TRICARE (310) 653-6866
- Housing Office (310) 241-6184
- Tierra Vista Communities (888) 658-4630
- Education Office (310) 653-5105
- School Liaison Officer (310) 653-8631
- School Liaison Officer (310) 653-5262
Los Angeles Air Force Base is ideally situated for anyone who wants to explore Southern California culture, its beaches, wilderness, and yes, Hollywood. But where to see the sights isn’t the most important thing you need to know if you are PCSing to the area or due to travel there on TDY orders. What is? Basic necessities (housing, transportation) may be far more expensive than you anticipate.
In fact, LA AFB official site information about the base includes a warning that housing and transportation expenses “…can be the single biggest concern for members and their families.”
This is especially crucial for first-term airmen and other junior enlisted to be mindful of when PCSing to the area. In fact, first-termers don’t have a choice. Incoming troops on their first enlistment are directed to contact their First Sergeant or command support staff for assistance with housing issues.
Southern California is notorious for being an expensive housing market; it may be one of the most expensive in the United States. If you are PCSing to Southern California, it is not unwise to assume rents and home sale prices will be anywhere from 15% to a whopping 40% higher than the national average depending on the location and condition of the property.
While it’s true that the Basic Allowance for Housing (BAH) for LA AFB is higher than other areas, this may not be enough to offset your expenses unless you choose carefully. If you are being assigned to Los Angeles Air Force Base, you will need to prepare your finances well in advance of your PCS date for best results.
Inprocessing and Check-In
Los Angeles Air Force Base does not operate a 24-hour check-in. All inbound troops are directed to arrange for their sponsor to meet them at the airport and plan to inprocess the next duty day. Those on PCS orders for the 61st Air Base Group are directed to in-process at the Customer Support section in building 272.
Those PCSing to the base with orders to report to the Space and Missile Systems Center (SMC) in-process with the SMC Customer Support Staff in building 270 1st floor. Inprocessing takes place during regular duty hours.
Healthcare on base is provided by the Los Angeles Air Force Base Clinic operated by the 61st Medical Group. Active duty members have priority and are offered “complete treatment.” There is no sick call option at LA AFB.
TRICARE Prime enrollees are the second priority and all others are offered care on a space-available basis only. There are two clinics on base; one in El Segundo and a Fort MacArthur-based clinic in San Pedro. Both clinics offer appointment-only adult and pediatric care. You can make medical appointments at LA AFB by calling 310-653-CURE (2873).
Los Angeles AFB does not have urgent care services and if you have a medical emergency you should call 911.
The Los Angeles AFB Child Development Center, at the El Segundo facility, provides child care services for LA AFB. CDC Care is offered to children ages six weeks to five years old, there is high demand for care and waiting lists may apply. Part-time care and drop-in care may not be available.
As soon as you know you are PCSing to the area, visit MilitaryChildCare.com, create a user profile, and begin the process for getting added to the waiting list. Shot records, and “proof of military or DoD dependency” is required.
All inbound personnel are directed to track and manage their household goods shipments to Los Angeles Air Force Base via the Defense Personal Property System at Move.mil. You can get local assistance from LA AFB Inbound TMO at (310) 653-5550.
Dependent And Retiree ID Card Renewal, Replacement, New Issue
ID card services are handled by the LA AFB CAC/ID Card Section on an appointments-only basis except for mission-critical emergencies. The office only issues ID cards for:
- Active Service Members
- National Guard/Reserve
- Retired Service Members and their dependents
- DoD Civilians (Retired)
- DoD Contractor employees ONLY.
Call ahead if you are requesting another type of ID. You can schedule an appointment via the Los Angeles Air Force Base RAPIDS system.
There are no DoD schools on base; children attend schools based on the location of housing on or off base. Those with school-age children in base housing (located in San Pedro) will attend Leland Street Elementary School (Fort MacArthur families), White Point Elementary School (for families who live in the Crest or the Heights), Dana Middle School and San Pedro High School. These facilities are part of the Los Angeles Unified School District.
There are more than 80 school districts in Los Angeles county; military families assigned to Los Angeles AFB have an option to request interdistrict transfers for their children to attend school in another district, but these requests are handled on a case-by-case basis and no request is automatically approved.
Call the LA AFB School Liaison Office for information on transfer requirements and other issues. Call 310-653-8631.
There are a variety of housing options in the area, including on-base housing. Be prepared to explore on-base military housing options offered as privatized housing in communities located about 20 miles south of the base itself in San Pedro. There are more than 600 military housing units. Contact the Housing Management Office at 310-653-8460 or phone Tierra-Vista Communities at 310-241-6184.
PCS and TDY Lodging
PCSing to LA AFB means calling ahead for an assignment to Temporary Living Facility (TLF) located on Fort MacArthur in San Pedro. Those traveling on PCS orders have priority; the maximum stay in TLF is 30 days.
If space is not available in TLF, the Lodging Office will provide commercial contract lodging according to the official site. Make reservations by calling 888-AF-LODGE and use the installation code 567. There are no pet-friendly facilities at LA AFB.
All incoming airmen or other troops PCSing or coming TDY to LA Air Force Base must make arrangements with sponsors (for PCS moves) or with the gaining unit for TDY travel to arrange transportation upon arrival. It is a bad idea to try to navigate the Los Angeles airport and highway system without making prior arrangements and plans with your sponsor, or get trip advice from your gaining unit.
Vehicle Registration And Driver’s License
All vehicles entering the installation are subject to search. All drivers are required to carry valid state registration, driver’s license and proof of liability insurance required under California law.
If you ar PCSing to the Los Angeles area, be advised that the State of California requires compliance with its Evidence of Financial Responsibility (EFR) laws; all drivers must carry proof of auto insurance for at least $15,000 for death or injury to any person, $30,000 for death or injury (more than one person), and $5,000 property damage coverage.
If you are stopped and do not have the mandatory insurance coverage required by law, you may be fined up to $2,000 depending on the number of offenses (first and second offenses) and if you have an accident while not properly insured, the California DMV may suspend your license. Your car will likely be impounded.
Drivers are not required to register their privately owned vehicles on base at LAAFB, but your military ID card, state vehicle registration, a valid state driver’s license (along with all required proof of insurance) must be with you when driving on base. You are not required to apply for a base decal.