EGLIN AFB: IN-DEPTH WELCOME CENTER
IntroductionEglin Air Force Base is located in Okaloosa County, Florida. The site was originally a national forest until the U.S. Forest Service gave 340,000 acres as World War II began in Europe and the need for an airfield in Florida was evident. Today, among other roles, the base serves as a testing site for air-to-ground non-nuclear armaments. Over 8,500 airmen, their families, and DoD contractors work and live at Eglin AFB in its 2,300+ housing facilities. The 96th Test Wing is Eglin’s host unit, while other major units include the 33rd Fighter Wing, the 49th Test and Evaluation Squadron, the 7th Special Forces Group, the 20th Space Control Squadron, and the Air Force Research Laboratory. Did you know that Eglin AFB has appeared in or assisted with the filming of several major motion pictures like Air Force One, and the base features in multiple Tom Clancy novels? (Click to Tweet this) Another fun fact is that Gonzo journalist, Hunter S. Thompson was stationed at Eglin AFB during his time with the Air Force. Continue reading for our in-depth guide on Eglin AFB to help aid you in your transition to your new home.
- Where Is Eglin AFB?
- Google Map View
- Getting There – Directions to the Base
- Entering Eglin AFB and Base Amenities
- Where Should I Live Near Eglin AFB?
- What Schools are Near Eglin AFB?
- What’s the Weather Like in Eglin AFB?
- Things to Do Near Eglin AFB
Where is Eglin AFB?2591 Eglin Boulevard Florida 32542
Phone:1 (850) 882-9060
Eglin AFB Map
Directions to Eglin Air Force BaseEglin AFB is slightly isolated. The closest city is Valparaiso, which is a small city of just 5,000 people. Pensacola is 60 miles away, and if you’re coming by public transportation, this is likely the hub you’ll pass through on your way to the base.
Flights to Eglin AFBPensacola Regional Airport is home to a smaller terminal that services a handful of major airlines. Flights here will arrive from several major cities across the U.S., though your options may be limited. It’s possible that you’ll need to change to a connecting flight in order to get here. Another small airport close by is the Destin-Fort Walton Beach Airport.
Greyhound BusYou’ll also find a Greyhound bus station in Pensacola, and since Greyhound lines serve the vast majority of territory in the U.S., this could be a great option for you, especially if you’re traveling alone. There’s another Greyhound station in Fort Walton Beach.
Driving DirectionsIf you’re coming from Pensacola by means of the airport or otherwise:
- You’ll follow I-10 East to Exit 56 for SR 85.
- You’re going to follow this through Niceville until you reach SR 20 or John Sims Parkway.
- You’ll follow the parkway until you reach Eglin AFB.
Eglin AFB Transportation OfficeIf you’re getting your PCS to Eglin, then the first call you should make is to the transportation office. The knowledgeable staff will help you run through the checklist of everything you’ll need in order to make a smooth transition. They can help you with planning your trip, with shipping, questions about pets, and other information.
Eglin AFB Transportation Office310 Van Matre Ave Bldg 210 - Room 169 Eglin AFB, FL 32542
Phone:1 (850) 882-8331
Hours:Monday to Friday 0800 - 1500
Entering Eglin AFB and Base AmenitiesYou’re going to need to bring the proper documents and identification with you the first time you enter the base. Make sure to have your license and registration if driving into Eglin. If you’re driving a rental car, then you’ll need to present the rental agreement at the gate. You’ll need to have a host of other documents as well, so make sure that you’re prepared with the latest requirements.
Check-in Procedures for Incoming PersonnelThe first thing you’ll need to do is report to the specific command on your orders. Make sure that you get a dependent ID card for any family members who don’t yet have one, or register for a new one specific to Eglin. Stop by the DEERS office after you arrive to clear that up and make sure that you and your family can enter and exit base without issue.
Eglin AFB Visitor CenterThe visitor center at Eglin is the first place that civilians, family, and friends will stop if they’re visiting you on base. There are historic sites on base, and a museum, so sometimes people will stop in to see those as well, and this is where they’re going to get a pass that’ll allow them to do so. Make sure you send anyone you know is coming in here first.
Eglin AFB Visitor Center2591 Eglin Boulevard Eglin Air Force Base, Florida 32542
Phone:1 (850) 882-7500
Eglin AFB DEERS OfficeThe DEERS office is the place to go for new base ID cards for yourself and dependents. If you lose your ID at any point, you’ll need to come here for a replacement.
Eglin AFB DEERS Office310 W. Van Matre Ave. Suite 136 Building #210 Eglin Air Force Base, Florida 32542
Phone:1 (850) 882-2742
Eglin AFB DEERS Office Hours
Monday to Friday:0700 to 1500
Eglin AFB Gate Hours
North Gate:Monday to Friday 0600-0800 and 1600-1800
East Gate: 24/7
ACC Gate:Monday to Friday 0600-0800 and 1600-1800
Eglin CommissaryThe commissary on base is a quick and convenient place to stock your kitchen without breaking the bank. The friendly staff keep up the store and offer affordable rates on everything you could need.
Eglin AFB Commissary1511 Memorial Trail Suite 1 Eglin AFB, FL 32542
Phone:1 (850) 609-3172
Eglin AFB Commissary Hours
Eglin AFB BXThe Eglin PX is packed with a huge variety of stores and services. You’ll find everything from clothing, tactical gear, shipping and mailing, optometry, a food court, and more. This is a great exchange to have access to, with so many stores that meet multiple needs in the lives of you and your family.
Eglin AFB ExchangeBldg 1757 Memorial Lake Trail Eglin AFB, FL 32542
Phone:1 (850) 651-5823
Eglin AFB Exchange Hours
Monday to Saturday:0900-1800
Eglin AFB Barber Shops
1. Barber Shop Duke FieldMain Exchange
Hours:Monday to Wednesday 0900-1500
2. Barber ShopMain Exchange
Phone:1 (850) 678-8188
Monday to Friday:0800-1400
3. Barber ShopMain Exchange
Phone:1 (850) 279-4230
Monday to Friday:0800-1600
4. Haircuts by Jacquelyn1 11th Ave UNIT D-4 Shalimar, FL 32579
Phone:1 (850) 710-0906
5. Kevin’s Barber Salon286 Eglin Pkwy NE Fort Walton Beach, FL 32547
Phone:1 (850) 362-7255
Monday to Saturday:0930-1800
Eglin AFB Post OfficeThe post office on base is ready to take care of all of your mailing and packaging needs. Stop by to send and receive packages or stock up on necessary supplies.
Eglin AFB Post Office307 W Van Matre Ave Eglin AFB, Florida 32542
Phone:1 (850) 882-3548
Eglin AFB Finance OfficeThe finance office is an absolutely phenomenal resource for all airmen and their families. This is where you can go to learn basic fiscal responsibility, like opening a checking account and managing your monthly budget. You can also take advantage of the resources here to learn about long-term financial planning, like retirement savings and investing. Everyone has room to learn how to stretch their money so that it works for them, and the finance office is the place that can do that.
Eglin AFB Finance Office308 West D Avenue Suite 104 Eglin Air Force Base, Florida 32542
Phone:1 (850) 882-5441
Eglin AFB Finance Office Hours
Monday to Friday:0800 to 1500
Eglin AFB Legal OfficeThe legal office is the place to go if you find yourself in need of representation in matters big and small. Here, they offer any from notarization services to consultations with attorneys. Everyone is welcome to make use of the services provided here.
Eglin AFB Legal Office501 W. Van Matre Ave., Bldg 2, Suite 1 Eglin AFB, Florida 32542
Phone:1 (850) 882-4611
Eglin AFB Legal Office Hours
Monday to Friday:0730 to 1630
Eglin AFB LibraryThe library on base is a great resource for books, movies, board games, and more. They participate in the interlibrary loan system. They offer study guides and other resources for studies, and a database of language services. You can also come by for the printers and wifi.
Eglin AFB Library403 West Hymes Road Building 843 Eglin AFB, FL 32542
Phone:1 (850) 882-9308
Eglin AFB Hotels
Phone:1 (850) 651-9999
Phone:1 (850) 315-6000
3. Holiday Inn Express & Suites410 W John Sims Pkwy Niceville, FL 32578
Phone:1 (850) 842-2500
Where Should I Live Near Eglin AFB?If you’re considering living on base, check out the available on-base housing options. Otherwise, read on to find out more about living off base. There are a number of places to live around the base that are close enough to provide a comfortable commute. Each town and city near the base has something of a unique vibe to it, with various offerings and amenities that should be welcoming to just about everyone.
Cities Near Eglin AFBCities near Eglin include Valparaiso, Niceville, Freeport, DeFuniak Springs, and Crestview. Pensacola, the major city closest to base, is just over an hour away by car.
Best Places to Live Near Eglin AFB
ValparaisoValparaiso is named after a city in Indiana, which is itself named after Valparaiso, Chile. It’s a smaller city of around 5,000 people. The city was originally developed on land discovered by a single industrious individual named James E. Plew. When he leased some of the land to the U.S. government, that land became the original site of Eglin AFB.
NicevilleNiceville is a city of around 12,000 on Choctawhatchee Bay. It’s the site of the annual Boggy Fest, formerly known as the Boggy Bayou Mullet Festival. A number of schools are located in or close by the city, and a variety of well-known people have either grown up or retired here.
DeFuniak SpringsDeFuniak Springs is the county seat of Walton County, Florida. The population of the city is over 5,000, and it’s home to one of the only two spring-fed lakes that are almost perfectly round -- DeFuniak Lake. DeFuniak Springs was founded in the 1800s as a resort town for the developers and wealthy magnates from Pensacola and is now home to a wealth of industries and economic activity.
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Best Schools Near Eglin AFBThere are no schools on base at Eglin, but there are several choices in the neighboring community. Okaloosa County School District is close by and has options for grades K-12, as does Walton County Schools and Santa Rosa County Schools. There’s a child development center at Eglin for daycare and early childhood education and other private options in the area.
Eglin AFB WeatherPensacola, like Florida in general, is fairly wet year round. The summers are long and hot, with a great deal of oppressive humidity. Cloud coverage is high, and the clouds release their most precipitation at the end of July. Winters are short and mostly stay within reasonable temperatures, rarely dipping below the 40s.
Things to Do Near Eglin AFBThere’s a lot to see in the Florida Panhandle. Directly south of the base is Choctawhatchee Bay, a heavily frequented tourist locale with white sandy beaches and tropical getaways. It’s a year-round vacation area filled with entertainment. There are smatterings of cultural institutions around in the various cities surrounding the base, and a day trip to Pensacola will find you exploring all that this major metro area has to offer. There are numerous hiking and camping spots nearby, including an on-base option, as well as an open view of the natural world and trails to blaze through the Florida wetlands.
Suggested Read:19 Of the Best Things to Do Near Eglin AFB
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ConclusionEglin AFB is a great base to PCS to if you like warm weather, nature, and don’t mind a little rain. There are some great places to live near base for individuals and families, and lots to see in the area. Make sure you do your research before getting in and take advantage of all the resources available to you through the various offices at Eglin that can help you with planning. Do that, and you’ll get the most out of your stay at Eglin.
The appearance of U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) visual information does not imply or constitute DoD endorsement.
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