What You Need To Know About Being Stationed At Los Angeles Air Force Base
Happy to have this guest post by Amanda on being stationed at Los Angeles Air Force Base in California. Please visit my Duty station guest post page for blog posts on other locations or more information about how you can write a guest post about where you have been stationed.
Los Angeles Air Force Base is located in El Segundo minutes away from Los Angeles International Airport (LAX). It is a small base surrounded by hundreds of contractors ranging from small subcontractors you have never heard of to towering buildings with the large contractors that are known for working with the government.
The Air Force Base is unlike most Air Force Bases since it does not have a runway. The mission is focused on Space. Most people who work on the base work on satellites; everything from typical weather satellites to more exciting satellite missions are here.
The Base mainly consists of office buildings. If you are a dependent you will also notice there is a small Base Exchange, Commissary, Gas Station and Medical Clinic. The main hub of the base consists of 3 large buildings with a track around it used for running the infamous Physical Fitness Test. Besides that there is a gym and lots of parking lots and a few other smaller buildings but I don’t know what they are used for.
Typically, it is 75 and sunny almost every day of the year. September and October are the hottest months, some days it creeps up in the high 80s and when you don’t have A/C it is pretty hot.
Places to Live
Base housing is located in San Pedro on Fort Macarthur (known as Fort Mac by most everyone). It is approximately a 45 minute drive from the base to the housing depending on traffic. And since we are in LA at rush hour the time can increase dramatically. Fort Mac also has a medical clinic so if you end up there you don’t have to drive to El Segundo for medical appointments. The base housing is nice as it overlooks the ocean (sometimes) and if you get lucky you can score a 4 bedroom home. As with most houses in the South Bay of LA there isn’t any air conditioning and most days of the year that isn’t a problem.
If you decide to live off base and in the local community, you have a range of options on where to live. You will have limited square footage and likely only 3 bedrooms, but cutting out some of the commute is sometimes a life saver.
Based on your life stage will probably be the main consideration on where you will end up. In Marina Del Ray there are plenty of apartment buildings with great city life (located North of the Base). You can also opt to live in El Segundo as there is a nice gated community close to the base, but it is pretty expensive. Holly Glen is a favorite spot to live, reasonable home prices, great schools and neighborhood. You also have Manhattan and Hermosa Beach. These are beautiful places to live, but they are also expensive. Redondo Beach and Torrance offer a middle of the road option close to the beach, but often less expensive.
Things to Do
It is LA. There are tons of things to do. Ranging from Disneyland, Griffith Park, Hollywood, multiple Sport Arenas and more. LA is a vacation destination and you get to live here for at least a few years. And yes there will be crowds in summer, but the off season makes living through the tourist season worth it.
Here is a list of 31 Days of Travel within the LA area.
One of the hidden gems we discovered after moving here was the Hollywood Bowl. An outdoor concert arena that hosts concerts, plays and orchestras performances. The atmosphere is great and outside food and drinks are allowed.
Also you have the beach. It doesn’t matter if you live North or South of the base the beach is there. Parking is often metered, but free parking is sometimes an option if you know where to look.
Overall LA AFB is in a great location. It is expensive, but BAH is still pretty high and as long as you realize you will have a small home and that it might take work to find the right place for you. When people hear LA AFB they might think it is in the middle of Los Angeles, but it is actually located in a great beach community that is a great hidden gem. And if you have ever wanted to live close to the beach it has that too.
Amanda is a military veteran who served in the Air Force for six years as a Civil Engineer including a deployment to Afghanistan. She traded in her combat boots for a diaper bag to stay home with her two boys and follow her husband’s military career. Which currently has them stationed in Southern California, living the dream and making frequent trips to Disneyland. Her blog Airman to Mom incorporates stories from her past military life and how she views life through her unique life experiences of both a veteran and military spouse. You can check out more about Amanda on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.