Westover Air Reserve Base is located in Massachusetts close to the city of Springfield. Westover ARB is said to be “the largest Air Reserve Base in the world” in terms of square footage and has an interesting history as both a military base and as a backup landing area for the NASA space shuttle mission when the program was fully active.
Find information about Westover Air Reserve Base, including the main commercial and DSN numbers for the base, information on basic services, base transportation, lodging for TDY and PSCing personnel, and inprocessing.
Westover ARB Mission & Units
Westover Air Force Reserve Base (ARB) flies eight C-5 Galaxy aircraft and has operated as an ARB since 1974. Described as one of the few remaining Air Reserve bases in the area, its’ host unit is the 439th Airlift Wing (439 AW), which falls under Fourth Air Force in the Air Reserve Command. Approximately 2,500 Reservists train here each year.
Important units at Westover ARB include:
- 439th Airlift Wing
- 439th Operations Group
- 337th Airlift Squadron
- 439th Aerospace Medicine Squadron
- 439th Aeromedical Staging Squadron
- 439th Operations Support Squadron
- 439th Airlift Control Flight
- 439th Maintenance Group
- 439th Maintenance Squadron
- 439th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron
- 439th Mission Support Group
- 439th Force Support Squadron
- 439th Communications Squadron
- 439th Logistics Readiness Squadron
- 439th Civil Engineering Squadron
- 439th Security Forces Squadron
- 58th Aerial Port Squadron
- 42nd Aerial Port Squadron
Westover ARB History
What is now known as Westover Air Reserve Base got its’ start in 1940, built in anticipation of World War Two according to some sources, but definitely used during the war as a training base for bombers and also as a “port of embarkation/debarkation” according to the Westover ARB official site. Westover would distinguish itself after the war as a staging area in support of the Berlin Airlift and it served as the headquarters for Military Air Transport Service (MATS) system until 1955 when the base was placed under Strategic Air Command.
In 1974, Westover was redesignated as an Air Force Reserve Command base; in 1987 Westover began C-130 Hercules and C-123 Provider aircraft operations. The C-5 Galaxy mission began at Westover in 1987 and the host unit would come to be known as the 439th Airlift Wing.
Up until 2011, Westover was used as a backup landing facility for NASA space shuttle missions, and while that has since ceased to be part of the mission, it’s a proud part of the Westover ARB history and should NASA ever begin regular shuttle missions again, the base could well be in the running for another round of duty depending on circumstances.
Main Base Address And Phone Numbers
Westover Air Reserve Base
100 Walker Avenue
Westover Air Reserve Base
Chicopee, MA 01022
- DSN 312-589-3024
Important Contact Numbers
- Emergency – 911
- Airman and Family Readiness Center – 413-557-3024
- Base Operator – 413-557-1110
- Base Contracting – 413-557-3508
- Barracks Single Service Member Housing – (413) 557-2700
- Emergency Relief Services – (413) 557-3024
- Housing Office – (413) 331-3205
- ID CAC Card Processing – (413) 557-3874
- Information and Referral Services – (413) 557-3024
- Legal Services JAG – (413) 557-3180
- Temporary Lodging Billeting – (413) 557-2700
- Welcome Visitors Center – (413) 557-3430
- Suicide Hotline – (800) 273-8255
- Legal Office – 413-557-3513
- On-Base Lodging (Flyers Inn) – 413-557-2700
- Pioneer Valley USO – 413-557-3290
- Retiree Information Office – 413-557-3918
- Space “A” Flight Information – 413-557-2549
Westover ARB is near the Chicopee community and close to the city of Springfield. The nearest major airport is Bradley International in Hartford, Connecticut and about 20 miles from central Chicopee. There are lots of nearby attractions including the Basketball Hall Of Fame, not one but two Doctor Seuss attractions-a museum and a sculpture garden.
You will also find a Six Flags theme park in the area. North Riverfront Park offers outdoor fun near the water, and in Springfield, MA you will find quirky attractions such as the Titanic Museum (located in a jewelry store!) and Springfield is also home to the small, but locally loved City Stage which features live performances in an intimate setting.
Inprocessing and Check-In
Active duty, permanent party military members, and/or Air Reserve technicians assigned to Westover ARB will in-process according to the instructions they get from their gaining unit. Check in with your commander’s support staff upon arrival during normal duty hours to learn next steps after you have arrived and checked in according to instructions from your gaining unit.
All personnel who report to Westover ARB for Reserve training are required to report for a one day in-processing event on the Saturday of the Unit Training Assembly or UTA. All inbound Reserves will report to their assigned units the next Sunday morning at 0700 to sign in. The Military Personnel Flight (DSN 589-3874 or (413) 557-3874) has more information.
There is also a Reception Center (at Billeting), which operates from 0700 until 2300 Sunday through Saturday and during UTA weekends the Reception Center is open 24 hours on Fridays and Saturdays. Reservations can be made at 413-557-2700.
Westover ARB Services
Due to the nature of Westover ARB, very limited medical and dental services are available for military members only via the base clinic. Family members of Reservists on active duty orders (Title 10, USC) for 30 days or longer should seek care and treatment at local area hospitals or clinics that accept TRICARE-you can find them by calling your TRICARE representative for assistance. Family members will also be required to seek care in the local community at TRICARE-authorized facilities.
Knowing the area you are performing military duty in can make all the difference, even in cases where that duty is short, part-time, or temporary. This is especially true for an Air Reserve base; as with healthcare, the nature of Westover is such that there are no Child Development Center options for on-base care. Those who travel to Westover in need of child care must call the Airman and Family Readiness Center for child care referrals at 413-557-3024 or DSN 312-589-3024.
Dependent And Retiree ID Card Renewal, Replacement, New Issue
All appointments for ID card services including dependent, retiree, and otherwise must be scheduled via the Westover ARB RAPIDS system. Dependent and retiree ID card services are completely unavailable during weekends and may be limited depending on mission requirements. One appointment should be made for each ID card service required.
Westover ARB Housing
Housing for DoD civilians, active duty permanent party military members and/or Reserve technicians is privatized and serviced by Atlantic Marine Communities just off base. This agency has a very limited number of properties available, also located just outside the base.
This housing is offered on a space available basis. Call the base housing office at 413-331-3205 for more information. Single and unaccompanied service members will reside in the barracks or in the local area depending rank, time-in-service, and unit requirements.
PCS and TDY Lodging
Westover ARB temporary lodging services are provided by The Flyers Inn, which offers a limited number of temporary lodging facilities on a space available basis with reservations limited to 30 days in advance; contact them at 413-557-2700.
There may be no facilities for pets at The Flyers Inn, it’s best to call in advance to determine what is permitted due to changing policies and requirements.
Reserve members hoping to find on-base temporary lodging for UTA weekends should know that The Flyers Inn allows reservations for Reservists only if they reside more than 50 miles away from the base.
The usual commercial ride sharing, taxi, and shuttle services may be available from one of the four nearby airports including:
- Westover Metropolitan Airport Approximately four miles from base)
- Westfield-Barnes Regional Airport (approximately 13 miles away)
- Bradley International Airport (approximately 28 miles away)
- Logan International Airport (approximately 90 miles away)
Depending on the location of the airport (Logan international especially) and the time of day you arrive, it may be best to arrange transportation or determine costs for Uber, taxi, shuttle, etc.
Reserve members driving to the base for UTA duty may not require airport services at all, but it’s good to know options if they are needed at a later date. Contact your gaining unit if you need advice or assistance in making the best and most cost-effective arrangements to travel to the base.
Vehicle Registration And Driver’s License
Registering your privately owned vehicle on base is not required but you will be required to submit to 100% ID checks and other measures as deemed appropriate; all entering Westover must have current, unexpired ID that is REAL ID Act compliant and carry the required insurance coverages for motor vehicles in the state.