Overview of Edwards Air Force Base in California

Designated as the Air Force Flight Test Center (AFFTC), Edwards Air Force Base, Calif., is the Air Force Materiel Command center of excellence for research, development, and test and evaluation of aerospace systems for the United States and its allies. It also operates the U.S. Air Force Test Pilot School and supports non-military government agencies. Almost every United States military aircraft since the 1950s has been at least partially tested at Edwards. 

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The Edwards Blue Eagle Honor Guard members lower the flag as Edwards Airmen salute during a ceremony at the Air Force Flight Test Center Headquarters
U.S. Air Force / Mike Cassidy

Edwards Air Force Base is strategically situated next to Rogers Dry Lake whos hard playa surface provides a natural extension to Edwards' runways. This large landing area, combined with excellent year-round weather, makes the base a perfect site for flight testing. The base is one of the largest purchasers of renewable energy in the nation, deriving 60 percent of its electricity from renewable sources, and is a lead partner in the United States Environmental Protection Agency's Green Power Partnership.

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Location/Driving Directions

Map of Edwards Air Force Base

If you are traveling to California by commercial air to Los Angeles International Airport (LAX), you have a few different means of transportation to Edwards AFB base. One is to have your sponsor pick you up at LAX. Another is to take the Antelope Valley (AV) Airport Express (shuttle) to Lancaster where it will drop you off at the Holiday Inn Express, 1825 W. Ave, J12 or at the Ramada Inn, 300 W. Palmdale Blvd. in Palmdale. Making a reservation for the AV Airport Express prior to your arrival is highly recommended to guarantee a seat on the van or bus. You can do so by calling 661-945-2529 or 1-800-251-2529.

Fees for the AV Airport Express are collected on departure from LAX and are as follows: $42 one way / $70 round trip; two travelers $82 one way / $110 round trip. Children two and under: $10 one way / $15 round trip. Children 12 and under: $20 one way / $35 round trip. Meet N Greet: one-way fare for round trip (must travel same day). Pets are allowed, however, there is a fee of $5.00 - $10.00, depending on size. The pet must be in a carrier. For luggage in excess of 2 per person, not including carry-ons, there is an additional charge of $2.00 - $5.00 per bag. Additional charges apply for golf clubs, surfboards, skies, bicycles, and boxes.

If driving to Edwards AFB via Taxi or Car your sponsor can pick you up at LAX. Taxi cost is approximately $200.00 to Edwards.

If you are driving to Edwards from LAX take the 405 (San Diego Fwy) North; Merge to the 5 (Golden State Fwy) North; Exit Right to the 14 (Antelope Valley Fwy) North. Proceed North on the 14 through Palmdale, Lancaster. Past Avenue "A", you'll enter Rosamond. Take the next exit "Rosamond Boulevard", Edwards AFB exit and turn right onto Rosamond Blvd. Proceed through 2 lights, across the railroad tracks and straight onto EAFB property. You'll see the "Welcome to Edwards" marker. Proceed straight to the West Gate on Rosamond Blvd.; about a 17 mile stretch of desert. The housing area and Billeting Office are approximately 8 miles beyond the gate.

If you plan to take the bus, the Prime Time Shuttle is available to the Greyhound Bus station in Los Angeles, approximately 20 miles from the airport. Call 310-342-7200 for information regarding cost and departure times.

The Greyhound Bus station is located on the corner of 7th St. and Alameda St., next to the train station. For reservation information, call toll free 800-231-2222. The bus has drop off points in Palmdale, at McDonald's, on Palmdale Blvd.; in Lancaster, at the Greyhound Bus Station, 44949 N. Yucca Ave.; in Rosamond, at the Circle K store on Sierra Hwy. Greyhound does not provide service to the base. Again, you will need to take a taxi or have your sponsor make arrangements for you to get to the base.

Should you travel to California by train, AMTRAK, you will arrive at Barstow, which is approximately one hour from Edwards. Greyhound Bus also provides bus service to Mojave, approximately 23 miles from Edwards.

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Population/Major Units Assigned

Members of the 412th Test Wing run on Roger's Dry Lakebed during the Installation Fitness Run
Photo courtesy U.S. Air Force

Edwards is home to the 412th Test Wing, the United States Air Force Test Pilot School, and NASA's Dryden Flight Research Center. It is currently operated and maintained by the 95th Air Base Wing as a part of the Air Force Materiel Command. There are 10,000 Active Duty Military, Family Members, and over 8,000 Military Retirees, Civilian Employees and Reserve Components at Edwards AFB.

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Main Phone Numbers

Master Sgt. James Woods, 412th Operations Support Squadron deputy airfield manager
U.S. Air Force / Senior Airman Julius Delos Reyes
  • Base operator 661-277-1110 or DSN 312-527-1110
  • Edwards' High Desert Inn 661-275-7666 or DSN 312-525-7666
  • Family Readiness Center 661- 277-0723 or DSN 312-527 -0723
  • Child Development Center 275-TOTS/275-8687
  • Education Office 277-2713
  • Family Child Care Program 275-4FCC/275-4322
  • Family Support Center 277-0723
  • Health and Wellness Center 275-HAWC/275-4292
  • Housing Office 277-4506
  • Medical and Dental Care
  • After-hours Care 277-2330
  • Central Appointments 277-7118
  • Dental Clinic 277-2872
  • Pharmacy 277-2052
  • Primary Care 277-7118
  • Schools - District Office 258-4356
  • Youth Center 275-KIDS/275-5437
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Temporary Lodging

Entering hotel room
DragonImages / Getty Images

Temporary lodging is provided at Edwards AFB through the High Desert Inn, Manzanita Way (Bldg. 5602), 661-275-7666 or DSN 312-525-7666. If is advised to call as far in advance as possible to arrange for temporary quarters.

The Inn is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week. For members who have families and who have not been assigned permanent housing, there are two and four-bedroom apartment-type quarters. There is a very limited amount of four-bedroom units.

The units have cooking facilities, a queen-size bed and a twin-size bed in the bedrooms, and a couch that converts into a double bed and a chair that converts into a single bed in the living room. For families with pets, there are four designated pet units. Cost ranges from $29 to $48.50 per night, depending on the type of authorized quarters requested.

The local hotels may be expensive. Pets are allowed in some hotels. Junior Enlisted Personnel should work closely with their sponsor and First Sergeant to arrange for a dorm room to be ready upon arrival.

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A house on Edwards Air Force Base
Courtesy US Air Force

The Housing Relocation Office on Edwards Air Force Base (AFB) provides both on-base and off-base housing information. The housing office is located at 402 S Forbes Avenue Edwards, CA 93524.
Phone: 661-277-4506; DSN 312-527-4506.

Edwards AFB Housing offers government housing in seven different neighborhoods on the installation:

  • Mountain View; Junior Enlisted
  • Mesquite Meadows; Junior Enlisted
  • Joshua Acres; Junior Enlisted
  • Juniper Ridge; Senior Enlisted
  • Acacia Hills; Senior Enlisted, Prestige, Field Grade
  • Tamarisk Plains; Company Grade
  • Palo Verde Heights; Senior Grade and General Officer

The inventory consists of 741 homes; 547 for enlisted members and 194 for officers. All homes are newer, with the oldest ones built in 1998. Housing amenities include air-conditioning, central heat, modern kitchens with ranges, refrigerators, and dishwashers, interior and exterior storage areas, attached garages with garage door openers, fenced yards and irrigation systems, and electric/gas washer/dryer hookups.

If you desire to live in government housing, please submit an advance application for assignment (DD Form 1746) through the HMO at your losing installation with a complete copy of your PCS orders. The effective date of the application is the date you depart your prior installation (including members with TDY enroute) or the date ordered to active duty.

Applications can also be submitted upon arrival during your first visit to the HMO. HMO staff will be able to assist in the completion of the application and will review PCS orders and housing options with you. For walk-in applications, as long as you apply for government housing within 30 days of arrival, you will be placed on the waiting list effective the date you departed from your previous installation. After 30 days, the application date will be the date of the walk-in.

Please be sure your application identifies and includes supporting documentation for an impending promotion or gain of dependents so that you can be placed on the appropriate waiting list.

Unaccompanied Military Personnel,Unaccompanied Housing (UH) is provided for unaccompanied Airmen in the ranks of E-1 to E-3 and E-4 with less than 3 years of service. Each Airman is provided a private sleeping room, furnishings, bed linens and supplies required for comfortable living. (Room arrangements may vary depending on location)

Unaccompanied Airmen in the rank of E-4 with greater than 3 years of service and above may move into housing in the local community. The permanent party UH campus at Edwards AFB consists of 136 one-plus-one-configured rooms in eight dormitories and 185 rooms in three dormitories.

Amenities include kitchenettes and furnished outdoor patios in one-plus-one dormitories, central kitchens in other dormitories, day rooms with large-screen televisions in all dormitories. The Higher Grounds Café offers a comfortable area to relax and socialize with wireless internet service, computer games, and beverage/snack services.

The dorm campus includes volleyball, basketball, and roller hockey courts. The campus is near the community center, base gym, and a covered, Olympic-sized swimming pool. Outdoor gas barbecue grills are located near each dormitory for resident use.

Restrictions at Edwards include no smoking in dormitory rooms and campus, no pets except fish and seed-eating birds, no candles or open flames, and no weapons. More information may be found in the Dormitory Handbook

Communities surrounding Edwards AFB range from 17-45 or more miles from the center of the installation. They vary widely with respect to amenities and services. For current rental prices, please contact the HMO referral office or AHRN.

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Child Care

Edwards Child Care Center
Photo courtesy U.S. Air Force

Edwards Child Development Center offers care services to children six weeks through 5 years (not enrolled in kindergarten). The program offers various services that include full-day care, hourly care, and part-day preschool.​

Registration is completed by filling out a DD Form 2606, you can place your child's name on the child care waiting list in advance of your arrival to Edwards. To do so, check with the Child Care Center at your present location.

The Family Child Care Home Program offers home-based child care in licensed homes for children ages two weeks through twelve years. These self-employed providers operate their home independently in compliance with strict Air Force policies, including frequent inspections and close monitoring by the Family Child Care staff.

Extensive background screening and orientation training must be completed prior to licensing. Full time, part time, hourly, weekends, extended hours and school-age care are available. For more information, call the Family Child Care Office.

The School Age Program provides care for children in kindergarten through twelve years of age. Parents may choose from either the before, after, or the before and after programs. Transportation is provided to and from the base schools.

Children in kindergarten through second grades are provided care at the Youth Center Annex, next to the Child Development Center. Children in third through sixth grades are provided care in Building 5210, the Main Youth Activities Center. Full day care is offered during nonfederal school holidays and in the summer through the Summer Camp Program.

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Col. Gale Skousen, 95th Medical Group chief of medical staff, reads to students during Branch Elementary School's story night. Photo courtesy U.S. Air Force

There are no DODDS Schools located at Edwards AFB or vicinity. Schools located on Edwards AFB are public schools serving the Muroc Joint Unified District. There are several different school districts serving the off-base communities surrounding Edwards AFB. Many follow a year-round school calendar where students attend school year-round with 3-week breaks periodically. Others follow a traditional school calendar (August through June).

There are several private schools in the Edwards AFB locality. Programs are available for grades preschool through high school. The state of California publishes a private school directory which lists all of the private schools available in the state. The Airman and Family Readiness Center at Edwards has copies of this directory available for use at the Center.

Christian Home Educators Experiencing Rewards (C.H.E.E.R.) is a local home education support group holding meetings and offering various activities on Edwards Air Force Base where home education encouragement is offered through the high school level.

CHEER is affiliated with the support network offered by Christian Home Educators Association of California (CHEA of CA). For more information contact CHEA of California at 1-800-564-CHEA. For base and local information about home education contact Shannon Sargent, 661-258-4732.

The Education Office has a comprehensive brochure available with information regarding various tests, descriptions of all on-base college programs, and term dates. For information regarding off-base college programs, contact the respective college. The Education Office can provide a list of off-base colleges that includes phone numbers and addresses and for colleges in the local vicinity, specific degrees offered.

All on-base and off-base colleges offer Bachelors Degrees starting at the junior year. Education counselors are available for individual appointments. GED examinations are available and free for military members. The Antelope Valley Adult School in Lancaster will assist dependents and civilians with GED. Call them at 661-942-3042.

For information regarding scholarships and grants, contact the Education Office or The Airman and Family Readiness Center. The Airman and Family Readiness Center has a database of over 150,000 awards, grants, loans and scholarships, called SRN, Scholarship Resource Network. This is a free service provided for active duty personnel, DoD civilians, retirees and their family members.

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Medical Care

Tech. Sgt. Julianne Cacal checks a patient's blood pressure. Photo courtesy U.S. Air Force; photo credit: Senior Airman Julius Delos Reyes

Primary and special preventative care services are provided at the 95th Medical Group, Edwards AFB. There are no intensive care or obstetrics services. Patients with urgent/critical illnesses or injuries will be referred downtown or to another military facility.

The medical group is closed the 3rd Wednesday of every month from 1:00 until 4:30 pm for medical readiness activities, however, the Emergency Room is open. There is no after hours emergency room available at the clinic.

Edwards AFB has the only fully operating paramedic-level ambulance service in DoD; our ambulance service meets civilian community standards. Two ambulance crews are on duty 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, located at the clinic.

One primary crew and one backup crew is available. Each crew has one paramedic and one emergency medical technician. Paramedics will assess patients on-scene, provide necessary care and determine if a transfer is warranted.

Medical clinics operate by appointment only, which can be made by calling 661-277-7718. Clinic hours are 7:30 am until 4:30 pm, with Pediatrics and Family Practice Clinics open evenings until 8:00 pm Monday through Thursday.

In addition, a Saturday clinic is operated 9:00 am until 12 noon. TRICARE Prime enrollees requiring urgent medical needs have access to a primary care manager (PCM) 24 hours a day, seven days a week. To obtain a PCM, contact the TRICARE office at 661-277-2010 or 800-242-6788.

The Dental Squadron at Edwards AFB is authorized 9 general dentists to provide comprehensive dental care for the active duty members assigned to the Air Force Flight Test Center and geographically separated units. Treatment required that is beyond the scope of our care is generally referred to San Diego Naval Dental Center, which has been designated our TRICARE Dental Lead Agent.

Active duty personnel seeking routine care may call the dental appointments desk Monday through Friday at 661-277-2872/3396 or DSN 312-527-3872/3396, or call 7-2872/3396 from on base.

For emergency care during duty hours, report to Dental Sick Call, Monday through Friday, 7:15 am until 12:45 pm. After hours emergency care is available by the Dental Officer of the Day (DOD) who is on call and will be contacted by Emergency Room personnel.

All active duty personnel receives a periodic/annual dental examination and a cleaning at the same visit. Subsequent care will be on an appointment basis. Appointments are considered mandatory formation and "broken appointments" are reported to the patient's commander.

Family members are not authorized routine dental care at the base clinic. Dental care for non-active duty is limited to emergency relief of acute dental pain or trauma. The TRICARE Family Member Dental Plan (FMDP), however, has been established to ensure your family members have access to dental care at an affordable cost.