Peterson Air Force Base is located in the Colorado Springs area of Colorado in El Paso county. The home of Air Force Space Command and the 21st Space Wing, Peterson AFB provides space control, missile warning, and support for operations by NORAD, Air Force Space Command, and more. The base is located in a strong military community and there are many bases in the area.
Find information about Peterson Air Force Base 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
Peterson Air Force Base hosts Air Force Space Command and the host unit, the 21st Space Wing supports NORAD, U.S. STRATCOM, and a variety of other commands. Peterson is responsible for a network of command and control units, and operates sensors in space and on Earth by way of “geographically separated” units located around the globe.
Important missions and units at Peterson AFB include:
- 21st Aerospace Medicine Squadron
- 21st Civil Engineer Squadron
- 21st Communications Squadron
- 21st Comptroller Squadron
- 21st Contracting Squadron
- 21st Dental Squadron
- 21st Force Support Squadron
- 21st Logistics Group
- 21st Logistics Readiness Squadron
- 21st Medical Group
- 21st Medical Operations Squadron
- 21st Medical Squadron
- 21st Medical Support Squadron
- 21st Mission Support Group
- 21st Operations Group
- 21st Operations Support Squadron
- 21st Security Forces Squadron
- 21st Space Wing
- 302nd Reserve Wing incl 52 AS
- 367th USAF Recruiting
- 561st Network Operations Squadron
- 721st Communications Squadron
- 721st Medical Squadron
- 721st Security Forces Squadron
- 721st Support Group
- HQ Air Force Space Command
- NORAD US SPACECOM NORTHCOM
Peterson AFB, like many Air Force Bases, has an origin story inseparably linked with World War Two. In its earliest military configuration, the area was known as Colorado Springs Army Air Base (created in 1942) at the Colorado Springs Municipal Airport. At the time, the mission there was “photographic reconnaissance” used to survey combat areas overseas.
In the same year, 1st Lieutenant Edward Peterson of the 14th Photographic Reconnaissance Squadron (and a Colorado native) died as a result of injuries sustained when Peterson’s F-4 crashed during takeoff. Peterson was the first Colorado resident to die in a flight mishap there.
In December 1942, base officials changed the name of Colorado Springs Army Air Base to Peterson Army Air Base, but it was commonly known as Peterson Field. Just under a year later, Peterson would be assigned a new mission–training bomber crews for duty overseas. Later, more such training missions would be added including fighter pilot training circa 1944 and removed (bomber training would be inactivated in favor of fighters) and in 1945 the base was ultimately deactivated.
The birth of the Air Force brought Peterson Field roaring back to life in 1947, acting as an airfield for Strategic Air Command’s 15th Air Force, but in 1949 the base was deactivated yet again. How long would it remain closed this time? Not long–in 1951 Air Force Defense Command began operations nearby and that brought the Air Force interest in renewed operations at Peterson, too.
The installation was redesignated Peterson Air Force Base in 1975 and in 1982, the Air Force stepped into military history by activating a brand new MAJCOM, Air Force Space Command, at Peterson.
The 1st Space Wing was activated on 1 January 1983, with operations transferring to the 21st Space Wing (after some mergers and inactivations) in 1992.
Since then and in contemporary times, the 21st SW has provided missile warning and space control as well as operating and providing support for Cheyenne Mountain Air Force Station; Thule Air Base, Greenland; Clear AFS, Alaska, Cape Cod AFS, Massachusetts, and Cavalier AFS, North Dakota. Peterson Air Force Base “mission partners” include US Northern Command, U.S. Space Force, US-Canadian North American Aerospace Defense Command, Air Force Reserve Command’s 302nd Airlift Wing, and the US Army Space and Missile Defense Command.
Main Base Address And Phone Numbers
Peterson Air Force Base
1334 W. Stewart Avenue
Colorado Springs, CO 80916
Important Peterson AFB Phone Numbers
- Base Operator (719) 554-7321
- Civilian Personnel Office (719) 556-4775
- Emergency 911
- Emergency Relief Services (719) 556-6141
- ID CAC Card Processing (719) 556-0008
- Information and Referral Services (719) 556-6141
- Legal Services JAG (719) 556-4871
- Personnel Support Office (719) 556-0007
- Suicide Prevention Hotline (800) 273-8255
- VA Facilities (719) 327-5660
- Welcome Visitors Center (719) 556-6660
Colorado is well-known for being a pioneer in recreational marijuana culture but service members are bound by federal law and may not partake. Fortunately Colorado is known for many other things including a strong craft brewing culture.
But the cannabis issue worries some who are unfamiliar with such culture in the USA–fortunately all new arrivals are provided a list of off-limits establishments. You may be expected to know unit-level guidelines as well as MAJCOM regulations in this respect.
For local craft brew fans, Colorado Mountain Brewery at the Roundhouse and Cerberus Brewing Company are highly rated; nearby Cheyenne Mountain features the Shrine Of The Sun, and area helicopter tours provide a breathtaking view of the entire area. Fans of live shows will want to explore the Pikes Peak Center for the Arts, with Broadmoor World Arena as another great destination.
Right at home (for those living on-base or nearby) the Petersen Air And Space Museum and Colorado Springs Pioneers Museum compete with the National Museum of World War II Aviation for tourist dollars–these are all great family-friendly destinations for newcomers.
Inprocessing and Check-In
All new arrivals are directed to check-in with their unit Commander Support Staff (CSS). If you are PCSing to the area and the gaining unit does not have a CSS, you are directed to report to the 21st Military Personnel Section during normal duty hours. For assistance call 719-556-0008 or DSN 834-0008. All new arrivals after duty hours must check in with the Peterson TLF instead.
The 21st Medical Group operates a non-emergency outpatient medical facility, but there is military care available from multiple sources in the community–since the area features multiple bases, you can call a central phone number to access services at “any Military Treatment Facility within the Colorado Springs area.” Call (719) 524-2273 (CARE) or (719) 526-2273 (CARE).
These numbers can be used to schedule services including:
- Medication refills
- Nurse advice
- Specialty referrals
- Messaging a primary care manager
Peterson AFB does not have on-base emergency services–the local hospitals include:
- Evans Community Hospital (Fort Carson)
- Penrose St. Francis
- Penrose Main
- Memorial Hospital North
- Memorial Hospital South
Child care at Peterson AFB is provided by two Child Development Centers. Care is offered for children between six weeks and five years old with current immunizations.
Full day care and hourly care are offered at both CDC facilities but there is extremely high demand and parents should consider alternative arrangements such as Family Child Care (FCC) options provided in on-base homes. These homes are monitored for compliance and must meet certain standards.
It’s best to sign up for waiting lists and explore FCC options as soon as you get your orders to Peterson AFB. Call 719-554-9573 or DSN 312-692-9573 for more assistance.
New arrivals may be offered an amount of free child care with a certified on-base daycare provider “within 60 days of arrival.” Contact the Peterson AFB Airman and Family Readiness Center to learn more about such options and how to sign up when they are available.
Those PCSing to Peterson AFB should track and manage their household goods using the Defense Personal Property System at Move.mil. You can also get local help from the Peterson AFB Joint Personal Property Shipping Office (JPPSO-COS) at (800) 771-1819 or DSN 312-834-9298.
Dependent And Retiree ID Card Renewal, Replacement, New Issue
There are no DoD schools or local school districts operating at Peterson AFB. Local schools also do not run classes at nearby Schriever AFB.
El Paso County has fifteen school districts, plus two districts located in the outlying areas of Woodland Park, and Palmer Lake. Nearby school districts include:
- Ellicott School District 22
- Falcon District 49
- Colorado Springs School District 11
- Academy School District 20
When PCSing to the area, parents should know that only a parent or guardian may enroll a student in Colorado Springs School Districts. Registration requirements include:
- Verification of birth date (birth certificate, passport, or dependent ID)
- Immunization records (within 30 days)
- Proof of residency
- If student has an Individualized Education Plan (IEP) for special education services, a copy of the current/latest plan
- Information about the student’s previous school
Children entering kindergarten must be five years old on or before October 1st.
The area surrounding Peterson Air Force Base has seen plenty of growth and with five military bases in the area, it’s no surprise that housing can be more competitive than in other military communities.
All bases in the area have privatized their housing efforts–you will need to visit the Air Force Housing website to submit applications for waiting lists or get more information. Peterson AFB housing is administered by Tierra Vista Communities, LLC. Single and unaccompanied airmen PCSing to the area may be required to live in the barracks until they have met certain time-in-grade or time-in-service requirements.
PCS and TDY Lodging
Pikes Peak Lodge handles temporary lodging needs for Peterson Air Force Base. Those traveling on orders have priority and there are limited pet facilities. You will need to ask in advance if pet-friendly lodging options are available for your stay.
Those who find there is no room at Pikes Peak Lodge may be authorized to use off-base hotels or other accommodations but you must obtain a certificate of non-availability in order to claim these expenses on your travel voucher.
Make reservations or get more information by calling 888-AF LODGE or 888-235-6343, Ext. 738.
The usual ride-sharing services and commercial taxis are available from area airports depending on time of arrival, demand, etc. It’s best to coordinate with your sponsor about your arrival, especially if you are flying into Denver and driving the roughly 90 minutes south to Peterson. Rush hour conditions in Denver may complicate driving times, which is why it’s best to coordinate with your sponsor.
Vehicle Registration And Driver’s License
Drivers must carry a current license, valid (not expired) vehicle registration, military ID, and proof of minimum insurance. All vehicles entering the base are subject to search. 100% ID checks may apply depending on conditions, mission requirements, etc.
Random searches may also apply depending on mission requirements, threat levels, and other variables. Local registration laws say military members have the option to file a non-resident form from the Judge Advocate’s office or your command support staff indicating the driver is a non-resident service member exempt from paying state vehicle tax.
One important caveat; those who register to vote at the DMV after relocating to Colorado should know that doing so ends your previous state residence and makes you a Colorado resident. In such cases you may be subject to vehicle taxes as a result.