The civil airport at Bedford was leased to the Army Air Forces in 1942. Fighter crews trained for duty in Europe and North Africa during World War II.
In 1943, the field was named Laurence G. Hanscom Field. Towards the end of World War II, the base focused on radar testing.
After World War II, the Army Air Forces wanted to continue research into radar and other forms of detection and communication.
Hanscom Field became the headquarters for continuing research.
During the 1950s, Hanscom Field was utilized to develop an air defense system. Different electronic systems were developed and implemented throughout the decade. During the same time frame, the United States government relinquished control of the civil airfield. The name of the base was changed to Laurence G. Hanscom Air Force Base. In 1992, Hanscom AFB became part of the Air Force Material Command. In 2012, the Electronic Systems Center became part of the Air Force Life Cycle Management Center.
Hanscom AFB is responsible for developing and maintaining systems to collect and analyze data that is relevant to the military. The 66th Air Base Group is the host unit for the base. The Massachusetts National Guard is headquartered on the base.
The small town of Bedford is a charming community with a rich history. The historic sites and natural scenery provide some tourism opportunities. The base is less than a 30 minutes away from Boston. Like many big cities in the northeast, Boston has an incredible history, and historic sites are some of the most popular destinations in the city. Annual festivals and events also draw large crowds. Boston residents have access to many major sports teams, including the New England Patriots professional football team, the Boston Red Sox, and the Boston Bruins.
Children residing on base can attend Hanscom Primary School and Hanscom Middle School. Both schools are part of the Lincoln Public School System. High school students on base can attend Bedford High School, which is part of the Bedford Public School District. Some private school options are available. 66th Medical Squadron’s Medical Treatment Facility provides outpatient medical services for Hanscom AFB. Emergency services are not available on base, but ambulance transportation to a nearby emergency medical facility is available.
Housing on base is managed by Hunt Military Community. The Air Force Housing website contains relevant information about housing on base. Housing off base is available. Housing costs tend to be higher than the national average. Temporary housing is available at the Temporary Lodging Facility. If space is not available at the facility, other arrangements can be made.