Written By Malcolm Lawson

Andrews Air Force Base (AFB), situated a few miles southeast of Washington D.C., is a vibrant military installation teeming with history, culture, and countless opportunities for military personnel and their families. As the home to Air Force District of Washington and the 316th Wing, the base plays a vital role in U.S. defense operations. When the president is aboard one of the two VC-25 aircraft based here, it’s famously known as Air Force One. As you prepare to make your move to Andrews AFB, here’s a comprehensive guide to help you navigate the transition.

Andrews AFB Housing and Accommodations

One of the first considerations when PCSing to Andrews AFB is housing. On-base housing is managed by Liberty Park at Andrews, offering a range of options to suit different family sizes and needs. Alternatively, you could explore housing on other nearby military bases.

You also have the option of living in on-base housing at other military installations near by. Joint Base Anacostia-Bolling (JBAB), located in Southwest Washington D.C., provides a variety of on-base housing options for its service members and their families and is about a 20 minute drive from Andrews AFB. The housing is managed by Hunt Military Communities, which oversees multiple types of homes, varying from two to four bedrooms, accommodating different ranks and family sizes.

Fort Meade is also another option and offers a number of comfortable housing options for its service members. This would be about a 45-minute commute to Andrews AFB. The on-base housing at Fort Meade is managed by Corvias Military Living. They offer a variety of homes ranging from two to five bedrooms to cater to different family sizes. The homes come with modern amenities like a dishwasher, garbage disposal, washer and dryer hookups, central heating, and air conditioning.

If you’re considering living off-base, there are serval benefits to this including investing in real estate which can appreciate in value during your time stationed here and often times you will end up with a larger or nicer home then you may get with on-base housing.

The Basic Allowance for Housing (BAH) at Andrews AFB varies depending on rank, years of service, and dependent status, and you can check the current rates to plan your budget. As of 2023, an E-5 with dependents will receive $2,658 a month in BAH.

Below are some common areas service members stationed at Andrews AFB often purchase homes in. Most locations will have at least a 30-60 minute commute to Andrews.

Waldorf, Maryland

Located in Charles County, Waldorf is a rapidly growing residential city with plenty to offer. Known for its variety of shops, restaurants, and outdoor spaces like the Cedarville State Forest, it provides a suburban feel with urban amenities. The median home price in Waldorf as of 2023 is around $320,000. Waldorf also offers easy access to Washington D.C., making it a popular choice for commuters.

Read my full article on Living In Waldorf Maryland.

Fort Washington, Maryland

Situated along the Potomac River, Fort Washington is a serene community with rich history and natural beauty. Highlights include the historic Fort Washington Park and National Harbor. The median home price in Fort Washington stands around $345,000 as of 2023. The city offers a peaceful lifestyle while still providing easy access to the vibrant lifestyle of Washington D.C.

Read my full article on Living In Fort Washington.

Crofton, Maryland

Ranked as one of the best places to live in Maryland, Crofton is a vibrant city with a strong sense of community. It offers excellent schools, a variety of restaurants, and parks. The median home price in Crofton as of 2023 is approximately $380,000. The city is equidistant from Baltimore and Washington D.C., offering residents the best of both urban and suburban lifestyles.

Read my full article on Living In Crofton Maryland.

Bowie, Maryland

Bowie, one of the largest cities in Maryland, offers a mix of suburban living and city-like amenities. Its many attractions include Bowie Town Center for shopping and Allen Pond Park for outdoor recreation. The median home price in Bowie is around $360,000 as of 2023. Bowie is praised for its family-friendly environment and high-quality education system.

Read my full article on Living In Bowie Maryland.

Calvert County, Maryland

Calvert County, known for its beautiful landscapes and serene beaches, provides a tranquil living experience. Notable attractions include the Calvert Marine Museum and several nature parks. The median home price in Calvert County as of 2023 is approximately $330,000. The county is particularly attractive to those looking for a peaceful rural setting within easy reach of urban amenities.

Read my full article on Living In Chesapeake Beach.

Andrews AFB Education and Childcare

When it comes to education, Andrews AFB is served by Prince George’s County Public Schools, with several elementary schools located on base and middle and high schools off base. For younger children, the base’s Child Development Center provides childcare services for children aged six weeks to five years.

There are also several resources to support military families with their education needs. The School Liaison Officer can provide assistance during school transitions, and the Military Child Education Coalition offers resources and support for military-connected children.

Andrews FB Healthcare Facilities

Healthcare is a crucial consideration when PCSing. On base, the 316th Medical Group provides a variety of healthcare services, including family medicine and pediatrics. There are also several major medical facilities in Maryland you will also have access to including Walter Reed just outside of DC and Johns Hopkins in Baltimore.

Walter Reed National Military Medical Center

As one of the nation’s largest and most renowned military medical centers, Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland, has a long history of providing care to service members and their families. Known as the “Nation’s Medical Center,” it is the first stop in the States for many of America’s returning wounded service members from overseas. Walter Reed not only offers comprehensive healthcare but also pioneering research, advancing both military and civilian medicine. It provides a range of services from routine check-ups and ambulatory surgery to critical care and complex surgical procedures. In recognition of its overall excellence, it has consistently been ranked among the top military hospitals in the country.

Johns Hopkins Medical Center

Johns Hopkins Medical Center, based in Baltimore, Maryland, is globally recognized for its advancements in medicine and exceptional patient care. With a rich history of medical breakthroughs, Johns Hopkins has been a trailblazer in medical research and education since its foundation in 1889. It offers a broad range of services and specialties including neurology, cardiology, orthopedics, and cancer care, among many others. The institution is consistently ranked among the top hospitals nationally and globally, affirming its commitment to healthcare excellence. Its innovative approach to medicine continues to influence healthcare industries around the world.

Andrews AFB Amenities and Recreation

Andrews AFB boasts a wealth of on-base amenities such as the Base Exchange (BX), Commissary, and several Morale, Welfare, and Recreation (MWR) facilities, including fitness centers and golf courses. Explore the MWR website for more information.

An undeniable perk of being stationed at Andrews AFB is its close proximity to Washington D.C., a city brimming with historic landmarks and cultural richness. From the grandeur of the Lincoln Memorial and the Washington Monument to the stately U.S. Capitol, Washington D.C. is a treasure trove of exploration. Not to be missed are the Smithsonian Institution‘s myriad of museums and galleries, all of which offer free admission, making them a budget-friendly option for a day out in the capital.

Nature enthusiasts will be excited by the number of national and state parks dotting the vicinity. Just a short drive away is Greenbelt Park, a tranquil woodland offering trails and campsites for the perfect outdoor escape. The Chesapeake & Ohio Canal National Historical Park, with its picturesque views of the Potomac River, is perfect for lovers of hiking, biking, and camping.

Those drawn to the water will find National Harbor, a bustling waterfront destination, irresistible. With boat rentals and water taxi services, it’s a hub for aquatic fun. As the sun sets, the harbor comes alive with a range of dining and entertainment options, ensuring a vibrant nightlife.

For golf lovers, The Courses at Andrews offer an unbeatable location. With three 18-hole golf courses right on the base, you can enjoy your favorite sport without traveling far.

Additionally, the Andrews AFB community center offers a variety of on-site leisure activities, from bowling alleys and movie theaters to swimming pools. It’s a one-stop destination for a day filled with fun activities.

Annual Andrews Air Force Base Air Show

One of the most highly anticipated events at Andrews Air Force Base is the annual Andrews AFB Air Show, a spectacle that never fails to captivate spectators. Held in the heart of Maryland, this is more than just a typical air show—it’s a tradition that reflects the rich history of military aviation and pays tribute to the strength of the U.S. Air Force.

Each year, the Andrews AFB Air Show draws crowds of locals, tourists, and military enthusiasts alike. With breathtaking aerial acrobatics, ground demonstrations, and displays of the latest in aviation technology, the air show is an event that exudes excitement from every angle.

The air show features an array of performances from military and civilian aircraft, with stars of the show often being the Thunderbirds, the U.S. Air Force’s premier aerial demonstration team, and the Blue Angels, the U.S. Navy’s renowned flight demonstration squadron. These skilled pilots execute daring maneuvers with incredible precision, turning the sky into a canvas of awe-inspiring feats.

In addition to the thrilling aerial displays, attendees have the opportunity to explore a variety of static exhibits showcasing both vintage and cutting-edge aircraft. These exhibits allow spectators to get an up-close view of the planes and often chat with the pilots and crew members, providing a unique insight into the world of military aviation.

Andrews AFB Community and Support Services

Andrews AFB extends a range of support services for service members and their families. The Airman & Family Readiness Center provides services from relocation assistance to financial management, while local organizations and support groups offer a robust network for military families

Andrews AFB Spouse Employment Opportunities

Transitioning to a new base can pose challenges for military spouses in their professional lives. However, the Airman & Family Readiness Center also provides career assistance to spouses, such as job search strategies, resume writing, interview techniques, and more. The Military Spouse Employment Partnership is another valuable resource that connects military spouses with hundreds of partner employers committed to recruiting, hiring, promoting, and retaining military spouses.

My Time Stationed At Andrews

Malcolm Lawson on the Anderews AFB Flight Line.

I was personally stationed at Anderws AFB for 5 years. While there I worked out of the 89th communication squadron and maintained an HF radio network. While working there, I lived in Waldorf Maryland which is about 30 minutes south of Andrews. Before that I was stationed in Missawa Japan and then after Anderews I was stationed in Bolling AFB in Wshington DC while working in the White House Communication Agency.

After my assignment at Bolling AFB and 11 years in the air force, I got out and became a real estate agent. Because of my familiarity with VA Loan and the local military bases, I mostly focus on helping service members buying homes when they PCS to the area.

I often help service members buying remotley by doing personalized video tours of homes and arranging all homes inspections for them. If you are PCS’ing to Anderews AFB or the surrounding area, I’d be more then happy to help you buy home a in the Maryland area as well.