On August 8, 1942, 1st Lt. Edward J. Peterson, on a routine test flight, crashed on the runway seconds after his takeoff. The base was renamed in his honor.
Today, Peterson AFB is home to a number of key military units including the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD), the Army Space Command, the United States Northern Command (USNORTHCOM), the Air Force Reserve Command’s 302d Airlift Wing (302 AW), and the AFSPC’s 21st Space Wing (21 SW) which serves as host.
The base houses and maintains 13 C-130H Hercules aircrafts, 200 full-time Air Reserve Technicians, Active Guard and Reserve (AGR), USAF civil service personnel, and 1200 part-time Air Force Reservists. The North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) operations were formerly directed in Cheyenne Mountain, Colorado until July 2006 when it was transferred to Peterson AFB for efficiency purposes. There are over a dozen other tenant units inside the Air Force base.
Colorado Springs is a beautiful place and there are plenty of things to do in this area. For kids and newcomers, there is the University Of Colorado Museum Of National History and the Collage Children’s Museum which offer hands-on activities for children. Nature trails and wildlife exhibits await those who visit the Colorado Springs Bear Creek Nature Center.
The El Pomar Carriage Museum showcases some of the world’s most unique collections of coaches, horse riding accessories, and old vehicles. Located at 20 First Street is the World Figure Skating Museum and Hall of Fame which shows the history of figure skating. Visitors can take a tour of the Underground Mining Museum.
There are plenty of schools within the vicinity of Peterson AFB. The National American University is located nearby on Academy Blvd in Colorado Springs. Other schools include Everest College, Colorado State University, Colorado College, Pikes Peak Community College, University of the Rockies, and Webster University. Medical facilities on Peterson Air Force base are abound. Saint Francis Medical Center, HealthSouth Rehabilitation Hospital of Colorado, Surgical Center At Premier, and All Saints Medical are all located in Colorado Springs.
Currently, there are 490 on-post family housing units on Peterson AFB. Due to a shortage of on-post housing, neighboring communities offer off-post homes that are either for rent or sale. Many military personnel choose to live off-base because of the affordable housing amenities that are available. The usual first point of contact for temporary lodging is the Pikes Peak Lodge. Retired service members are limited to a seven-day stay at the lodge.
All the necessary amenities and more are available in and around Peterson Air Force Base. Opportunities for outdoor recreation and other entertainment activities are plentiful. There is more than enough to keep everyone active and productive in this location. Military families relocating to Peterson AFB enjoy staying in Colorado Springs because it is one of the most livable spots in the country.