Eglin AFB was established in 1935 and was one of the key bases in preparing the country for World War II. During Vietnam, the base and its mission significantly expanded.
Land has been added to the base over the years, and today Eglin has the largest test range of any other base in the Air Force.
While AFSOC does not issue complete lists of the aircraft at this base, it is the home to AC-130 gunships, CV-22, and a variety of non-standard aviation assets.
All units on the base are part of the AFSOC command. In addition, the base is home to AFSOC’s Weapons’ School.
MacDill Air Force Base, the 6th Air Mobility Wing, is located in Tampa, Florida. MacDill Air Force Base sits on 5,000 acres and is on the eastern coast of Florida.
The base is known for aircraft operations and for supporting over 3,000 personnel, as well as approximately 38 Mission Partners with 12,000 additional personnel. All branches of military are represented at MacDill, with United States Central Command and United States Special Operations Command.
NAS Key West is approximately 3-4 miles to the central business district in Key West, and the land is mostly salt marsh. The base location is rich in history and dates back to the 1823, when piracy was abundant in the area. The Navy base was created to protect the area from pirates such as Blackbeard and William Kidd. The base was expanded over time to include submarines, a training facility, and U.S. Naval ships.
The Smithsonian Magazine confirms that Pensacola is “the site of the nation’s oldest European settlement.” Tristán de Luna, a Spanish explorer, sailed into Pensacola Bay in 1559, making the settlement over 450 years old. The military has been in Pensacola Bay since 1826 when construction of the Pensacola Navy Yard began. Its mission included suppressing piracy, but today’s mission of training aviators began in 1913, only two years after the first seaplane flight. NAS Pensacola is now home to over 16,000 military officers and enlisted personnel, most of whom are involved in naval aviation.
NAS Whiting Field is used primarily for pilot training. The North Field is used for fixed-wing, primary flight training operations.
The T-6B Joint Primary Aircraft Training System is the primary program taught. South Field is used for students in the Advanced Helicopter pipeline.
NS Mayport was originally established in 1942 as a major naval base to build World War II ships. Today, it is the third largest depot of aircraft carriers.
Today, its harbor can accommodate 34 ships, and its runway can support any aircraft currently supported by the Department of Defense.
NS Mayport can be a great assignment. The area has a lot of retired military, as well as a variety of jobs. There are also a variety of high-tech companies and health care related work in the area. While the local economy has made it difficult to find jobs in retail and hospitality, there are good jobs for skilled professionals.
Naval Air Station Banana River was opened in 1940 under the supervision of Naval Air Station Jacksonville. During World War II, the base was involved in training, search and research, anti-submarine patrols, and communications.
In 1947, NAS Banana River closed, but the base was transferred to the Air Force in 1948. The base was designated as Joint Long Range Proving Ground in 1949 before being designated as Patrick Air Force Base in 1950. The installation’s recent history is dominated by involvement in aerospace research and air defense. All Department of Defense space projects are handled by Patrick AFB. Additionally, the base provides management of launches for other agencies. The base hosts the 45th Space Wing and other units.
While doing an inspection tour of Army Air Fields in 1928, 1st Lt. Francis Tyndall’s F-1 plane crashed. Before he died, he was able to shoot down 6 enemy planes earning him a Silver Star. The base was renamed after him. Tyndall Field started out as a gunnery range in 1941 and after the United States Air Force was established after the Second World War, the base took on its new name – Tyndall Air Force Base. In 1950, the facility became a USAF Pilot Instructor School which also trained flight crews specifically for the Air Defense Command and Ground Control Intercept operators (GCIs).
An assignment to one of the military bases in Florida is one of the most sought after PCS in any of the services. Florida is known for having great weather, tons of stuff to do, and no income tax. Because of this, many Armed Services members claim Florida as their state of residence.
Florida has the most coastline of any of the 48 continental states, and many military bases are located within driving distance of some of the best ones.
In addition to the beach, however, Florida also has a wide variety of entertainment options, including everything from theme parks to museums.
Florida schools can vary a lot in quality. The entire state does utilize an A to F grading system, however, and parents can look up a school’s grades for the past six years on the state website.
The state allows families that are zoned to failing schools to choose where to send their children, but families must apply for this status. High schoolers enrolled in AP or IB courses will have their tests paid for by the state.
There are also several highly rated public and private universities, as well as a good scholarship programs designed to fully pay the tuition of Florida students at Florida universities.
Florida relies on sales tax and property tax only to pay its bills. There is no state income tax, and many counties offer property tax discounts for disabled veterans. Property taxes are mostly used to pay for the schools, while sales tax pays for everything from administrative costs to fixing roads.