Location: Hanscom AFB is in Middlesex County, MA, and touches the towns of Bedford, Concord, Lincoln and Lexington – the birthplace of America. Hanscom is approximately 20 miles northwest of Boston, MA; 25 miles south of Nashua, New Hampshire; and 85 miles from Portland, Maine. Hanscom’s homepage.
Cost of Living: This is one of the top three most expensive areas in the country for cost of living. Plan for high-cost outlay when you first get here for deposits. Utilities, housing, car insurance and other associated living costs may be higher than you are used to. Some report that Boston is twice the national average.
Base Operator: Hanscom has no base operator. Please use the Information & Referral number at the A&FRC to find base agency listings.
Population: Hanscom serves 125,000 people in a seven state region with over 300 GSU’s.
- Active Duty 1,412
- Civilians 2,290
- Contractors 2,054
- MIT Lincoln Lab 3,798
- Total Workforce 9,936
Area Population: 599,391 in Boston
Child Development Centers: Hanscom CDC, 781-225-6129, generally has a wait list. It provides programs for children 6 weeks to five years of age. There is a Family Child Care program and School Age Program.
Schools: There are two schools located on Hanscom AFB for children residing in base housing; Hanscom Primary School and Hanscom Middle School. Hanscom Primary and Middle Schools are part of the Lincoln, MA public school system. Students in grades 9-12 are transported to Bedford High School, which is part of the Bedford Public School District. For information on surrounding school districts, private school options, special needs resources, home schooling information and more, visit the Hanscom School Liaison website.
You can find out information on all of the area schools on the Massachusetts’ Department of Education website.
Youth Programs: Hanscom AFB has a very active youth program. Contact the Youth Center, 781-225-6043, for details of options for school-age children, pre-teens and teens. Find us on Facebook: Hanscom AFB Youth Programs.
Housing: Hanscom Housing is privatized and DoD Civilians are eligible to apply. Check for ongoing rent specials by contacting the Privatized Housing Office at The Landings. Check in with the housing office 781-225-5640 for details.
The Housing Management Office manages the enlisted dorms. There is no Dining Facility at Hanscom AFB; so kitchen facilities are available for single airmen. Dorm rooms are single rooms with a shared bath. Airmen E-1-E-4 must live in the dorms unless permission is secured from their First Sergeant or Commander.
Off base rental and purchase options are limited and very expensive. It takes time to find housing in the Bedford and surrounding suburbs.
Employment: Jobs are highly competitive in the Boston area. Go online for more information about employment in the area. For Hanscom and Boston area jobs, type in zip code 01731, and for southern NH, 03060. The unemployment rate is 7.0% statewide, Boston area is 5.10%. Unemployment compensation may be available for the spouse of a newly assigned military member or civilian employee. For more information contact the Massachusetts Division of Employment and Training at 617-626-6560. The median household income for the state is $63,384, and for Middlesex County, $74,793.
Medical Services: The 66th Medical Squadron’s Medical Treatment Facility (MTF) is an ambulatory, outpatient based facility. The nearest emergency hospitals are:
- DoD Civilians and retirees are eligible to apply for privatized base housing at Hanscom AFB.
- Base personnel live in six states, so the housing research area is wide, most are in NH and MA.
- Housing is very expensive here and utilities may be more expensive than what you are used to.
- Child care off-base is also extremely expensive ($300-$400 per week) and difficult to secure and the CDC has a wait list for some categories.
- Oct – Apr features everything from black ice on the roads (if you have to scrape your windshield in the morning, watch for ice patches on bridges, ramps, etc.) to freezing rain, snow, etc. Winter driving involves reducing speed and lengthening space between vehicles.
- Massachusetts has strict firearm laws. Don’t drive into the state with firearms without checking the state laws on the Mass.gov website.
May to Sept brings a wide range of temperatures, from the 50’s in May to 90 in August. It can also be very humid. (This is why we enjoy the ocean and the many lakes/rivers!) During this time be prepared for seasonal allergies (mold, pollen, etc.). We have a pretty short growing season. Mosquitoes & ticks (active in temps over 40 degrees) are problematic, so pets (and you) should be protected. Ticks are found in tall grasses, so check everyone over after outdoor activities. It helps to wear light colored clothing. Protect yourself and family members between dusk to dawn from mosquitoes (stay indoors or check out many of the over the counter products).