The Eglin Air Force Base in Valparaiso, Florida is the United States Air Force base that is situated approximately 5 kilometers southwest of Valparaiso in Okaloosa County. The host unit that can be found on this air force base is the 96th Test Wing which serves as test and evaluation center for the Air Force air-delivered weapons, command and control systems, navigation and guidance systems as well as Air Force Special Operations Command systems.

This Air Force Base was established in 1935 as the Valparaiso Bombing and Gunnery Base and to honor Lieutenant Colonel Frederick I. Eglin who died from an air crash in pursuit to the aircraft on a flight from Langley to Maxwell Field in Alabama. And today, it serves as an Air Force Materiel Command base, a focal point serving a base for all the Air Force armaments. Its responsibilities involve the development, acquisition, testing, deployment, and sustainment of all the air-delivered non-nuclear weapons.

Cost of Living: 90.6 (less than average, U.S. average is 100)

Automated Telephone Attendant Number: +1 850-882-3931

Base Population:  2,457

City/Area Population: 5,224

Child Development Center:

Eglin Integrated Learning Center

305 West F Avenue #278, Eglin AFB, FL 32542, United States

+1 850-882-5016

http://www.eglin.af.mil/library/index.asp

Okaloosa County Head Start- Child Development Center

60 2nd St #401, Shalimar, FL 32579, United States

+1 850-651-0645

http://www.okaloosaheadstart.org/

Northwest Florida State College

100 E College Blvd, Niceville, FL 32578, United States

+1 850-729-5397

http://www.nwfsc.edu/

Youth Program:

Eglin Force Support

96th Force Support Squadron Marketing Office

(96FSS/FSK), Eglin Air Force Base, FL

850-882-4822

http://eglinforcesupport.com/

Airman and Family Readiness Center:

Eglin Airman and Family Readiness Center

502 W Van Matre Ave

Eglin Air Force Base, Florida

+1 850-882-9060

http://eglinforcesupport.com/activity/index.html?AFRC_

Employment:

Public administration (15%)

Retail trade (15%)

Professional, scientific, and technical services (14%)

Manufacturing (10%)

Construction (9%)

Accommodation and food services (9%)

Health care and social assistance (9%)

Base Services:

Comfort Suites At Eglin Air Force Base

148 W John Sims Pkwy, Niceville, FL 32578, United States

+1 850-279-6547

https://www.choicehotels.com/florida/niceville/

Eglin AFB Natural Resources

107 FL-85, Niceville, FL 32578, United States

+1 850-882-4164

http://www.jacksonguard.com/

Eglin AFB Commissary

1511 Memorial Trl #1, Eglin AFB, FL 32542, United States

+1 850-882-3172

http://www.commissaries.com/

Medical Services:     

96th Medical Group

307 Boatner Rd #114, Eglin AFB, FL 32542, United States

+1 850-883-8600

http://www.eglin.af.mil/units/eglinhospital.asp

History

The Eglin Air Force Base rose from the arrowhead-shaped parcel of 137 acres of land as the Valparaiso Airport in 1931. It later evolved into an airdrome in 1933 where the personnel of the Air Corps Tactical School saw the potential of the sparsely populated forest surrounding Valparaiso that is adjacent to the Mexican Gulf to become a location for a bombing and gunnery range. During the outbreak of World War, I in Europe, a proving ground dedicated to aircraft armament was established at Eglin. And at the peak of WWI, Eglin Air Force Base employed a total of 1,000 officers, 4,000 civilians, and 10,000 enlisted personnel.

When the war had ended, the Eglin Air Force Base becomes a pioneer to the development of the techniques for missile launching and handling, where the development of the famous pilotless aircraft or drones which is the Republic-Ford JB-2 Loon (a copy of the American V-1) have begun. In February of 1946 the 1st Experimental Guided Missiles Group were activated at the Eglin Field. However, by March of 1950, it was replaced by the 550th Guided Missiles Wing, which is comprised of the 1st and 2nd Guided Missile Squadrons.

With the increase in participation of the US troops in the Southeast Asia regions, the mission of the Eglin Air Force Base become significant when the great emphasis was put in the development of the conventional weapons. In 1968, the Armament Development and Test Center was re-designated by the Air Proving Ground Center where the responsibility for research, development, test and evaluation as well as the initial acquisition of non-nuclear munitions for the Air Force were centralized.

Sometime later in October 1979, the Center become an Armament Division where in 1989, it re-designated the Munitions Systems Division for the production of the precision-guided munitions for the laser, infrared guided bombs, television, two anti-armor weapon systems,  and the improvement of the hard target weapon. Its responsibility also involves the development of the Advanced Medium Range Air-to-Air Missile or AMRAAM.

However, in the 1992 reorganization, the Eglin Air Force Base was disestablished from its parent major command which is the Air Force Systems Command and was merged to the functions of the former Air Force Logistics Command. And up to this date, the now Air Force Material Command remain as Eglin’s parent command.

Units

The Eglin Air Force Base is considered as one of the few military air bases in the US that has scheduled passenger airline service since the Destin-Fort Walton Beach Airport or the VPS is co-located on the said base property. It also houses some of the following major units aside from VMFAT-501, VFA 101, 53d Wing and 7th Special Forces Group, which are;

  • The 96 Test Wing - this is the test and evaluation wing dedicated to the Air Force air-delivered weapons, guidance systems and navigation, the C2 systems, and the Air Force Special Operations Command Systems.
  • The 33d Fighter Wing - this serves as the largest tenant unit in Eglin Air Force Base. It is a joint graduate flying and maintenance training wing to serve the F-35 Lightning II, which is organized under the 19th Air Force of the Air Education and Training Command.
  • 58th Fighter Squadron – these were given the authorization to operate the 24 assigned F-35A aircraft as well as in planning and  executing a training curriculum to support the Air Force and its  international pilot training requirement partners.

Housing

Interested military retirees, federal civil service workers and civilians are encouraged to visit the Housing Management Office (HMO) of the Eglin Air Force Base to receive counseling as well as guidance before entering to any written lease or rental/sales document for housing. The HMO is ready to support anyone in the transition to the new community.  They provide the needed resources to become familiar with the housing options, regulations and support services which are made available to interested people.

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