Westover Air Force Base is the largest operational Air Force installation in the United States. It is a reserve base for the United States Air Force, located in the Chicopee and Ludlow areas near the city of Springfield in Massachusetts. It was a back site landing zone for NASA. Westover Air Force Base is charged with operating 16 C-5 Galaxies, one the largest military aircrafts in the world.

Cost of Living: The cost of living at Springfield and its surrounding areas is 20.5% higher in comparison to the average of the rest of the country.

Automated Telephone Attendant Number: 413-557-1110

Base Population: The population of Westover Air Force Base is made up of 2,500 reserve personnel of the 439th Airlift Wing, around 500 Reserve Technicians of the U.S. Air Force as well as 1,000 civilians.

City/Area Population: The population of Chicopee, according to the most recent census, is 55,298

Child Development Centers: There is no Child Development Centre on the base. Further information may be obtained at the Airman and Family Readiness Centre, please contact, 413-557-3024, DSN 312-589-3024

Youth Programs: The base does not have a Youth Centre. For any information regarding youth programs in and around the local community please contact the Airman and Family Readiness Centre, 413-557-3024, DSN 312-589-3024.

Airman and Family Readiness Center: 413-557-3024, DSN 312-589-3024

Employment: The unemployment rate of Chicopee is at 8.9%.

Base Services: Recreation at Westover Air Force Base includes bowling, sports, fitness centre and the Westover Club. There is an exchange system and a shopping mall on the base. The base lacks a commissary.

Medical Services: The base is not well equipped for medical emergencies. Limited medical and dental care is provided for only military personnel. The family members of reserve personnel seek medical assistance at local hospitals. Family members of Active Duty personnel are advised to seek medical assistance at the nearby hospitals which accept TRICARE or visit the nearest Military Treatment Facility.

History

The base is named after Major General Oscar Westover, commanding officer for the former Army Air Corps. Westover Field was a result of the Nazi invasion of Poland in 1939. Until then there were only seventeen ill equipped and obsolete air bases in the U.S. Under the direction of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, the Army Air Corps began rapid construction of the Westover Field. During the Second World War the Westover Field was under the command of the Northeast Air District and later First Air Force. It was the largest military air facility at the time. Westover Field was designed as a nearly self-sufficient base. The base had hangars, barracks, warehouses, hospitals, dining halls and maintenance sheds as well as libraries, social clubs and shops. In April 1960 the base was named after Major General Oscar Westover, Chief of the Army Air Corps and responsible for the establishment of the Air Force as a separate branch of the military.

After the war Westover was also the launch point for the courageous Berlin Airlift during the Soviet blockade, bringing food and supplies for residents of Berlin. During the Korean War the base participated in transportation of freight, personnel and equipment to Korea and returning with casualties. In proportions Westover is the 11th largest Air Force Reserve base in the US. The complex serves “Joint Use’ mission, both civilians and military utilize the base. The Dept. Of Defence owns the basic aviation facilities of the base though much of the base is in private ownership.

Units

  • The host unit of Westover Air Force Base is the 439th Airlift Wing of the Twenty Second Air Force of the U.S. Air Force Reserve Command. The 439th Airlift Wing is made up of the 439th Operations Group, 337th Airlift Squadron, 439th Maintenance Group and 439th Mission Support Group.
  • 302d Manoeuvre Enhancement Brigade, 287th Medical Detachment and 226th Transportation Company make up the Army Reserve at the base. Naval Mobile Battalion 27 represents  the Navy and Marine Wing Support Squadron 472 and Marine Air Support Squadron 6 are the US Marine Corps units present at the base.

Housing

Westover Air Force Base has a limited number of government quarters available outside the base. Active duty personnel of all branches of the military are eligible for tenancy. Housing is available on a ‘first come first serve’ basis for Reserve personnel, retirees and Dept. Of Defence civilians.

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