This article is all about Andersen Air Force Base in Yigo Guam. It starts with a short overview about the base and what its mission is. It then provides a detailed information about how to get to the base as well as a short but thorough history of the base. It also gives out data on the hosting unit in the base as well as all the other units there and the different residents of the base. It also discusses about the education offers and medical care services available in the base. There is also some input on how to contact the base and get more details about its functions and services.
Andersen AFB Guam is actually one of the bases of the United States Air Force. Since Guam is technically a territory of the US, it is just natural for the military forces of the American government to have its own base camp in the country. The base is located in the northern part of Guam. It is in the village of Yigo, in the northeastern part of the island. Andersen is actually a quarter of the Bomber Forward Operating locations of the Air Force. These four locations are maintained to help with the bomber crews deployed overseas in the Pacific as well as in Southwest Asia and in Europe. Presently, Andersen serves as one of the duo that serve as critical bases for those in the Asia Pacific region. It is considered to be a perfect place for training considering how the Farallon de Medinilla Island is located just 150 miles north of Guam. The said island is a naval bombing range. A number of attraction is available within the surrounding area with the different opportunities for recreational activities as well as travel destinations for local and tourists alike.
Getting to Andersen AFB Guam is not really hard. Guam is a part of the Marianas Island chain and the southernmost island in the said chain. The timezone for Guam is at GMT+10, and it does not make use of the daylight savings time. Going in and out of Guam is via NorthWest Airlines only. This is the sole contractor for travel from and to Guam. The trip follows a route that includes a stop at Narita International Airport in Tokyo, Japan. Because of this, travelers need to secure their own blue no-fee passport, which is valid for official travel alone. Those who travel to Guam through the international airport in Japan are issued with no-fee official passports by the Department of State Passport Services. Military men and women are not required to have any passports to enter Guam or when traveling through Narita. For family members of military personnel, ample preparation should be taken. The military members themselves should get in touch with the Military Personnel Flight or MPF for the passports of their family members. DoD non-military employees, on the other hand, should contact the CPF or Civilian Personnel Flight when they travel through the airport in Japan when going to Guam to know about specific instructions set for them. The MPF or Military Personnel Flight handles all of the applications for official passports.
It takes hours to get to Guam. Usually, a sponsor is waiting for someone who is travels officially to Guam. This person is ready to provide assistance from the moment one arrives at A.B. Won Pat International airport. Exiting the airport means taking a right turn to Route 10A. One then follows through until a stop light comes into view. It is at this part where one goes left to Route 16 and drive straight ahead until the third traffic light. One should then turn right to Marine Drive and continue straight ahead until one gets face to face with Andersen AFB main gate. Just before the guard shack, one can see the Visitors Center on the right side of the road. The Andersen Lodge is located on Carolines Avenue. It is after TLF and the Clinic. To get there, one simply has to get through the base’s main gate, which is on Arc Light Boulevard, and proceed straight ahead until the stop light. At that point, one should turn right, which is onto Carolines Avenue. The stop light on Arc Light Boulevard is the only stop light in the base.
Established in December 3, 1944, the base is named after Brigadier General James Roy Andersen. General Andersen was a graduate of the United States Military Academy. He graduated in 1926 and served in different Army bases and wings before obtaining his wings in 1936 at Kelly Field in Texas. The base had different names over the years since it was built. It was in 1949 when the base started to be known formally as the Andersen Air Force Base.
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The host unit of the Andersen AFB Guam is the 36th Wing. This is a non-flying wing of the United States Pacific Air Forces Thirteenth Air Force. Its main mission focuses providing daily support to at least 9,000 military and civilians in the base. This population also includes the dependents of the military men and women as well as the retired personnel based there. There are also 15 associate units in the base at the present time, which the 36th Wing also provide for. The official mission statement of Andersen Air Force Base and the 36th Wing is employing, deploying, integrating and enabling both air and space forces in the US Air Force most forward base in the Pacific. Basically, the 36th Wing works to achieve three important missions. These include the operation of Andersen AFB, the provision of power projection as well as providing a rapid air base opening.
In addition to the 36th Wing, there are other units that consider Andersen as their home. They are the 734th Air Mobility Support Squadron or Air Mobility Command and the Helicopter Sea Combat Twenty-Five or HSC-25. The 734th AMS, is an AMC Passenger Terminal rightfully located right across the Commissary on Arc Light Boulevard. The latter is actually a US Navy squadron that flies the MH-60S, which is a multi-mission US Navy helicopter.
In addition to these units, the base is also the home of a number of tenant organizations. The current population at the base is made up of, more or less, 217 AF active duty officers and 1814 active duty enlisted personnel, 70 Navy active duty officers and 381 active duty enlisted ones along with 1,792 family members, 21 reserve component officers and 167 enlisted ones and 1,956 retired military men. The housing units in Andersen AFB totals to around 1,339. For someone to have a military family housing (MFH) assignment, a command sponsorship is required. The actual time it takes to wait for on-base housing is different each month. Hence, the best thing one can do is to get in touch with the housing office at the base to get the most detailed and updated information regarding the availability of the housing category. Preferences are not highly regarded at the base because of overseas requirements. Basically, a member who arrives at the base gets the first house available considering said member’s rank category as well as bedroom entitlement. It is possible to turn down an offer once only. Otherwise, one might be removed from the waiting list.
A single duty day, equivalent to 24 hours, is given for the personnel to decide whether to accept or decline the offer. When the unit being offered is declined by the first personnel, it is offered to the second one in line. A second turn down results to removal from the waiting list. Reapplication can only be done after 90 days from the date of turn down. Temporary lodging is also available at Guam AFB. Newcomers, however, have to go through the Housing Office once they arrive at the base. It is always good to make reservations ahead though. Individuals who are under PCS or PCSing cannot avail of the temporary lodging in the base and will have to employ the help of their sponsors for making reservations at the hotels and long-term lodging options available across Guam. Someone who qualifies for TLA gets a rate of around 60 percent. A family member can bring that up to 100 percent. Additional family members from thereon means 25 percent add-on. One should be financially ready when checking in to the hotels since they mostly ask for upfront payment. Whether one carries traveler’s checks or credit cards, they should be ready for the cost at hand. It takes quite some time for the TLA money to arrive. Technically, one cannot get his hand on 10 days of TLA until after the first ten days, so one should make sure ample funding is available for the said period of time. Finance office also requires hotel bill in order for the payment to be released. Food costs, however, do not have to be assessed through receipts and the likes.
Andersen Elementary School and Andersen Middle School are within the base as well. For high school students, there is Guam High School in Asan. Students with special needs are also provided for with the help of programs designed after a specific student’s Individual Education Program. It is required though that the child goes through a thorough screening in order for placement to be recommended. The base’s temporary lodging does not allow pets, so arrangements should be made regarding a kennel or any other animal shelter for one’s pets. Presently, the Andersen Pet Lodge serves as a quarantine facility for all pets entering Guam, acts as a boarding facility for current pet residents and helps in enhancing and maintaining the quality of life of all individuals, humans and animals alike, who are residing at Andersen AB Guam.
For child care, the base has its Child Development Center at Building 1625. This offers complete daily care for children as young as six weeks up through their kindergarten years. There is a part day enrichment program for three to five year-old. Since there is a limit on the spaces at the center, it is natural for some groups to end up in the waiting list. For reservations, one can simply call 671-366-8136 for the Family Support Center. T he total family income usually determines the charges and fees incurred in this matter. There are also Before/After programs for kids who go to school. During summer and other school breaks, these programs are available for the entire day. However, there is a limit on the space available as well, so some people have to be on the wait list. For undergraduate studies, there are degree programs being offered by Andersen AFB at Central Texas College as well as at the University of Maryland. A Masters degree program is available at the Universities of Phoenix and Arizona. University of Guam, on the other hand, is equipped with both graduate and undergraduate degrees in Education, Agriculture and Life Sciences, Arts and Sciences and Nursing and Health Science. There is also the community college offering certificate programs and two-year degrees in around 50 different areas of study including technical and vocation fields. It also offers adult education, continuing education and GED.
Medical assistance is also available for the soldiers and their families. This is provided by the Air Force and Navy clinics as well as by the Guam Naval hospital. The Andersen Air Force Basic clinic is really just a clinic. Other small clinics are accessible within the base. Physicians who are into family health practice are also available and so is a pharmacy. For more serious medical issues though, it is almost always referred to the Naval Hospital. Because of Guam’s isolated location, there is a limit on the health care services available. Family members are therefore required to be screened before clearances are given out, allowing them to travel
Contacting the Andersen Air Force Base is a piece of cake. One can check out their websites online to get the latest information regarding the services and availabilities within the camp. Another option is to call them. Andersen can now be reached through commercial calls in the same way as when calling long distance in the United States. Guam’s area code is 671. the main phone number at the base is (671) 366-1110. There are specific contact numbers for the different offices within the base for easier and faster access.
Anyone who is on his way to the Andersen AFB Guam should be completely knowledgeable about these details. With all the minute concerns involved, it can be quite easy to get all lost and confused. Doing a research though and learning about these stuff can be a great help before one actually gets on a plane to Guam.