Congratulations on PCS’ing to Andrews AFB! Andrews Air force Base is located in Prince George’s County Maryland just outside of Washington DC. It is widely known for being the home of Air Force One. The 89th Air Lift Wing also supports the Vice President, cabinet members, combatant commanders and other senior military and elected leaders with their blue and white fleet of planes. Andrews AFB also host Navy, Army and Marine detachments and is often referred to as Joint Base Andrews.
A Long History
The base dates back to the civil war when the Union Army used a small church as its headquarters. The church is still standing and in use today on Andrews AFB and is known as Chapel Two. In August 1942, President Roosevelt ordered the purchase of the land around the chapel to build a military airfield. The airfield was named Camp Springs Army Air Field. In 1945, the name was changed to Andrews Fields to honor Lt. Gen. Frank M. Andrews who passed away in a plane crash May 3, 1943, just one day after Andrews Fields was opened. After the Air Force became its own branch of the Military in 1947, the base was again renamed to Andrews Air Force Base.
On Base Shops and Recreation
Andrews offers a wide range of shopping and amenities to service members. To start, Andrews has a very large commissary and Base Exchange as well as other shops and restaurants. For recreation, Andrews has it’s own movie theater as well as an 18 hole golf course which was frequently used by President Obama. Andrews also has an outdoor recreation center which offers year-round excursions as well as boat and camping equipment rentals.
Don’t Miss The Andrews AFB Air Show!
We cant forget about the annual Andrews AFB Air Show! PCSing to Andrews AFB gives you a front row seat to this spectacular show of Air Power. Once a year Andrews AFB opens it’s doors to the public to show off what the Air Force is all about. The Air Show features the AF Aerial Demonstration team, the US Air Force Thunderbirds, and up to 6 plane flying formation and the “Para-Commandos” Parachute Team. A few of the birds that are featured during the show are the F-22 Raptor, P-51 Mustangs, F-35 Lightning, CV-22 Osprey and many more.
Many Housing Opportunities
PCSing to Andrews AFB gives you many opportunities for housing on and off base. For starters, you can live in Andrews AFB base housing but you also have Bolling AFB base housing in DC and Ft. Belvoir base housing in Virginia available to you. Andrews AFB offers some of the highest BAH rates in the nation and if you would like to take advantage of this, then buying or renting off base may be the way to go for you.
To see the full list of BAH rates for Andrews AFB click here. As an example, an E5 with dependents at Andrews AFB is given $2,262.00 a month for BAH. If you are willing to commute, this is more then enough to cover rent or a mortgage in the area with plenty left over every month. In my experience, the two most common areas service members PCSing to Andrews AFB move to are Waldorf MD and northern Calvert County.
Why move to Waldorf MD
Waldorf MD is south and an easy commute to Andrews AFB down Route 5. Waldorf and the surrounding area has a large variety of housing options from well-established communities, to apartment complexes to brand new townhomes. One feature of Waldorf that many homeowners appreciate is the large availability of shopping options. Waldorf is home to it’s own mall, a movie theater with reclining chairs, 2 Chick-fil-as, Target, Walmart, Home Depot and Lowes, as well as many other local and national shops and restaurants. Right outside of Waldorf is an indoor trampoline park called Sky Zone. Waldorf also has an indoor shooting range located at Freds Sport’s. There are also several parks with hiking trails close by such as Ft Washington National Park and Cedarville State Forest.
Why move to Calvert County
Northern Calvert County is East of Andrews AFB and is a straight commute on Route 4. Northern Calvert County is a good option for those who like homes that are little more spaced out and with more land. You also see many boat owners move to areas like Chesapeake Beach in Calvert County so they are close to boat slips in the Chesapeake Bay. Many service members also choose Calvert County because they are known for having good schools. You can see school ratings for the county here.
PCSing To Andrews AFB
Once again, I want to say congratulations on your PCS to Andrews AFB! With so much to do in the area and Washington DC and Baltimore only a short drive away, you should never be board. If you need any help finding a home in the area please feel free to reach out to my team and I.
Additional Andrews AFB Resources
Joint Base Andrews Site http://www.jba.af.mil/
Andrews AFB Wiki https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Andrews_Field
Base Housing http://libertyparkatandrews.com/
Commissary Hours https://www.commissaries.com/stores/html/store.cfm?dodaac=HQCNEK
Andrews Outdoor Rec http://www.andrewsfss.com/odr.html