Buckley Air Force Base is located in Aurora, Colo., in Arapahoe County.
Before 9 p.m., you can reach the base via Interstate 225, Exit 9 for 6th Avenue/CO-30. Go east on 6th Avenue. You’ll arrive at Buckley on the right after 2.8 miles. After 9 p.m. take Exit 7 off of Interstate 225, Mississippi Ave., and travel east for 3.1 miles and you’ll arrive at Buckley’s Mississippi Gate on the left.
The Buckley Visitor Center is open weekdays from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. and weekends from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and is located at the 6th Avenue Gate.
The 6th Avenue Gate is open from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. seven days a week. The Mississippi Avenue Gate is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The Telluride Gate is open weekdays from 5 a.m. to 5 p.m. and is closed on weekends.
If you are searching for directions via online map sites or GPS, use the address 18500 East Sixth Avenue, Aurora, CO, 80011.
Mission and Vision
The mission of the 460th Space Wing is: We are ready forces providing space-based warning and awareness–protecting the homeland and global warfighters.
The wing’s vision is: America’s premier space wing delivering unrivaled space operations and installation support for the Nation’s Defense.
Buckley AFB truly represents a joint, Total Force and coalition base. This includes 3,100 active duty members from every service, 4,000 National Guard personnel and Reservists, four commonwealth international partners, 2,400 civilians, 2,500 contractors, 36,000 retirees and approximately 40,000 veterans and dependents. The base contributes an estimated $1 billion annually to the local economy.
Buckley AFB’s host unit, the 460th Space Wing, falls under the direction of 14th Air Force and Air Force Space Command. For its day-to-day operational mission the 460th SW directly supports Combatant Commands across the globe.
The 460th Operations Group provides missile warning, missile defense, technical intelligence, satellite command and control, battle space characterization and robust communications. The group’s team of space professionals operates the Defense Support Program (DSP) and Space-Based Infrared System (SBIRS) Highly Elliptical Orbit (HEO) satellites, which provides continuous global surveillance, tracking and targeting. In the near future it will operate the SBIRS Geosynchronous Earth Orbit (GEO) satellite.
The 460th Mission Support Group provides trained personnel to support the Air Expeditionary Forces and Homeland Defense. The group is responsible for force protection, quality of life, human resources, contracting, logistics, base infrastructure and environmental stewardship support to the 460 SW and personnel throughout the Front Range area.
The 460th Medical Group supports military readiness to the Air Expeditionary Forces and Homeland Defense missions by ensuring base personnel are medically qualified for deployments and providing health care, life skills support, family advocacy, aerospace medicine, public health, bioenvironmental engineering, optometry, ancillary services health and wellness services and dental care.
Besides being the home of the 460 SW, the base also hosts the 140th Wing, Colorado Air National Guard (COANG), the Navy Operational Support Center, the Aerospace Data Facility-Colorado, the Army Aviation Support Facility and the Air Reserve Personnel Center. These are also known as the “Big Five” mission partners at Buckley.
The Colorado Air National Guard’s state and federal mission is to provide trained, well-equipped men and women who can augment the active force during national emergencies or war, and provide assistance during natural disasters and civil disturbances. The COANG on Buckley AFB plays a significant role in Operation NOBLE EAGLE which provides for 24-hour defense of the land, sea and air of the continental United States.
The mission of Navy Operational Support Center (NOSC) Denver is to provide mission-capable units and individuals to combatant commanders, the Navy and Marine Corps Team throughout the full range of operations from peace to war. This mandate takes on added meaning and responsibilities as NOSC Denver Sailors are called on to play an increasingly active role in the day-to-day planning and operational requirements of the U.S. Navy. Navy Reserve Sailors at NOSC Denver represent a significant force multiplier to the fleet allowing it to meet its emerging, global commitments.
Aerospace Data Facility-Colorado is responsible for supporting world-wide defense operations and multi-agency collection, analysis, reporting and dissemination of intelligence information. It provides data to defense, intelligence and civil agencies supporting the U.S. government and its allies.
The Colorado Army National Guard (COARNG) operates the Army Aviation Support Facility at Buckley AFB and is responsible for supplying personnel and equipment for special missions that cannot be handled by ground units alone. This unit flies and maintains Army CH-47 “Chinook,” UH-60 “Blackhawk” and the LH-72 “Lakota” helicopters. In addition, the COARNG has the 8th Civil Support Team, 169th Fires Brigade, 89th Troop Command and the Medical Command of the COARNG based at Buckley.
The Air Reserve Personnel Center (ARPC) is responsible for personnel and administrative support to more than 970,000 Air Force Reserve and Air National Guard forces to ensure they are available resources in the event of a national emergency. The center provides support throughout their military careers, from initial entry to retirement, including assignments, promotions and separations. ARPC is comprised of more than 500 personnel.
Buckley AFB is unique in that it supports 83 base partners located both on base and in the local community.
On-base partners units include:
The Aerospace Data Facility-Colorado, the 140th Wing (COANG), Air Reserve Personnel Center, The Army Aviation Support Facility (COARNG), 566th Intelligence Squadron, 743rd Military Intelligence Battalion, Naval-Information Operations Command, Air Force Office of Special Investigations, Marine Air Control Squadron 23, Navy Operational Support Center, Civil Air Patrol, the 169th Fires Brigade, the 89th Troop Command, the 8th Civil Support Team, the Medical Command of the COARNG, Army Air Force Exchange Service, Air Force Audit Agency, Air Force Technical Applications Center Det. 45, Defense Commissary Agency, the Defense Contract Management Agency and Battery A, 1st Battalion, 14th Marines.
Off-base partners units supported by Buckley AFB include:
The 137th Space Warning Squadron (COANG), Defense Information Service Agency, Air Force Institute of Technology, Air Force Office of Special Investigations, Det. 110, SBIRS Wing (Det 1), HQ Air Force Weather Agency, ROTC Det. 105, Department of Defense Inspector General, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Military Entrance Processing Station, Naval Reserve Recruiting Area West 7, and the U.S. Army Recruiting Battalion.
Buckley Air Force Base was named after 1st Lt. John H. Buckley, a World War I flier from Longmont, Colo. In 1941 the city of Denver donated land to the War Department. A contract for $7.5 million and 700 structures was let in 1942 to build Buckley. The War Department transferred Buckley to the Colorado Air National Guard in 1946. The Department of Navy took over Buckley in 1947 and the installation was commissioned as Naval Air Station–Denver. Buckley NAS was subsequently decommissioned in 1959 and the COANG took charge of the installation again in 1960, designating it as Buckley Air National Guard Base. Buckley remained an Air National Guard base until Oct. 1, 2000 when the 821st Space Group became host and the base was renamed Buckley Air Force Base. The 460th Air Base Wing was activated Oct. 1, 2001, and assumed full control of the support mission in the Denver area. On Aug. 19, 2004, it was designated as the 460th Space Wing and added an operational space mission to its responsibilities.
88,000 Air Force, Army, Navy, Marine Corps active duty, National Guard, Reserve, Defense Contractors, military family members and a large retired community.
Active Duty (all branches) – 3,600
Guard/Reserve (all branches) – 2,400
DoD Civilians – 3,300
DoD Contractors – 1,700
Dependents – 15,000
Retirees/Vets – 62,000
Economic Impact to Local Economy – 1 Billion