The complete base guide to Davis-Monthan AFB - We Are The Mighty
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The complete base guide to Davis-Monthan AFB

Is a PCS to Davis-Monthan Air Force Base in your future? Arizona is a great place to live, and you will have so much fun exploring the area around this fantastic base. Of course, it won’t come as a surprise that Arizona summers can be a little hot. Still, there’s no humidity, making the heat pretty bearable. Spring and fall are the sweet spots for the weather – mild and comfortable and perfect for outdoor activities! Davis-Monthan AFB gives you access to everything Tucson offers, and that’s a lot! Be sure to enrich yourself with the bounty of natural landscapes and enjoy the arts and culture scene. Read on to learn more about what to expect when you call Davis-Monthan AFB home. 

Davis-Monthan Air Force Base Location

Davis-Monthan Air Force Base is located in the city of Tucson, Arizona.

Directions

Coming from the US-Mexico border? Take I-19 N to I-10 E and follow the signs.

Hopping over from the West Coast? Take I-10 E.

Driving down from the North? Take I-15 S to U-20E, then follow I-40 W to US-89 S, I-17S, and I-10E, then follow signs.

Making the trek from the East? Take I-20 W to I-10 W.

Davis-Monthan Air Force Base visit
Former Deputy Secretary of Defense Bob Work stands for a photo following a tour of the 309th Aerospace Maintenance and Regeneration Group during a visit to Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Tucson, Ariz., Dec. 2, 2016. (DoD photo by Army Sgt. Amber I. Smith)

Transportation

Tucson International Airport (8.3 miles) is the closest international airport and is served by multiple major airlines.

Gates and Hours

David Monthan AFB has five gates. The Visitor Control Center is located at the Craycroft Road Gate. 

29B Gate: Monday-Friday: 0600-1800

Craycroft Gate: 24/7

Irvington Gate: Monday-Friday: 0600-1800

Swan Gate: Monday-Friday: 0600-1800

Wilmot Gate: Monday-Friday: 0600-1800, Saturday and Sunday: 0800-1200

Contacts at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base

Airman & Family Readiness Center (520) 228-5690

Base Operator (520) 228-1110

BX (Base Exchange) (520) 748-7887

Civilian Personnel Office (520) 228-4121

Chaplain (520) 228-5411

Command Post (520) 228-7400

Commissary (520) 790-4341

DEERS Office (520) 228-4425

DM Child Development Center (520) 228-3336

Family Child Care (520) 228-2201

Finley Child Development Center (520) 228-6463

Finance Office (520) 228-5111

Heritage Inn (520) 228-3230

Human Resources (NAF) (520) 228-2408

Information, Tickets & Tours (520) 228-3700

Legal Office (520) 228-5242

Library (520) 2285690

Military Housing Office (520) 228-3687 | (520) 228-5705

Military Personnel (ID Cards & DEERS) (520) 228-4425 | (520) 228-7763

PX Barber Shop (520) 571-1604

School Liaison (520) 228-8206

Unaccompanied Housing (520) 228-3576

Visitor Control Center (520) 228-0135

Davis-Monthan Air Force Base sqaudron
U.S. Air Force Col. George Dietrich III, Commander in Chief’s Installation Excellence selection board member and 673d Air Base Wing commander, talks to Tech. Sgt. Wendy Lewis, 355th Security Forces Squadron military working dog handler about the MWD kennel’s mission and objectives at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Ariz., Jan. 12, 2018. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Michael X. Beyer)

Mission and Units

Davis-Monthan Air Force Base is home to over 11,000 Airmen from 34 mission partners who serve six combatant commanders.

The 355th Wing is the host unit for Davis-Monthan AFB, and it deploys, employs, and sustains combat search and rescue and attack air power.

Also at Davis-Monthan AFB, you’ll find the 12th Air Force, the 309th Aerospace Maintenance and Regeneration Group, the 55th Electronic Combat Group, and the 214th Attack Group of the Arizona Air National Guard. The 943rd Rescue Group of the Air Force Reserve and U.S. Customs and Border Protection are embedded at the installation.

Davis-Monthan Air Force Base History

Davis-Monthan AFB was named for two World War I pilots. Lieutenant Samuel H. Davis died during a training mission in a military aircraft accident. Lieutenant Oscar Monthan was killed in a Martin B2 bomber crash in Hawaii. Both were Tucson natives.

Davis-Monthan was initially established as America’s first municipally owned airfield. Then, it grew out of its space and moved to its current location in the southeastern edge of town. Fun fact – the original site of Davis-Monthan is now the Tucson Rodeo Grounds! After moving to its new location in 1927, Charles Lindbergh dedicated the airport at Davis-Monthan Field. The airport served both military and civilian planes until the early 1940s.

During WWII, bombardment groups trained at Davis-Monthan until the Japanese surrendered in 1945. At that point, the base began housing German POWs (until 1946) and served as a separation center. In 1946, Davis-Monthan re-classed as part of the Strategic Air Command (SAC) and remained that way until 1976. Then it was transferred to the Tactical Air Command (TAC).

In 1992, the DoD inactivated the Tactical Air Command. So, Davis-Monthan transferred to Air Combat Command (ACC). These days, the base is known best for being the “Boneyard.” This is the place excess U.S. government, military aircraft, and aerospace vehicles come to rest their bones. It’s not all rest though. In fact, the Boneyard helped the Marines when they announced plans to refurbish a bunch of F/A-18 C Hornets.

Read more about the Boneyard here

Davis-Monthan Air Force Base students
Students from Salpointe High School pose for a photo in front of the A-10 Thunderbolt static display during a tour of Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Ariz., Jan. 6, 2016. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Heather R. Redman/Released)

Things to Do Around Davis-Monthan Air Force Base

Hotels

Hampton Inn & Suites Tucson East (520) 514-0500

Hilton Tucson East (520) 721-5600

La Quinta Inn & Suites (520) 795-0330

Ramada by Wyndham Viscount Suites (520) 365-3985

TownePlace Suites by Marriott (520) 747-0720

Food Scene

Tucson, Arizona, has a food scene that is particularly unique due to its combination of Native American, Spanish colonial, Mexican, and American heritage. Local cuisine is referred to as “Sonoran-style Mexican food.” Tucson was also given the title of “City of Gastronomy” by the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) due to the story that the cuisine in Tucson tells. Can you believe it dates back 4,000 years? That’s legendary cooking right there. 

Activities

The Tucson Museum of Art is a visual art museum with multiple shows on Latin American art, modern art, and art unique to Arizona.

The Kartchner Caverns are limestone caves in the Whetstone Mountains. There are cave tours available which are amazing. You can also reserve the park for camping or cabin rentals, making it an ideal getaway.

The Pima Air and Space Museum has 6 hangers—3 of which feature aircraft for World War II alone—and 350 aircraft on display.

Housing at Davis-Monthan AFB

Airmen and families stationed at Davis-Monthan have three options. You can choose to live on base, or you can choose to rent or purchase a residence in the local community. As you might expect, housing is privatized at Davis-Monthan. Lend Lease/Soaring Heights Communities owns and manages on-base housing and offers several residence options. Housing wait times can be long, especially if you’re PCSing in peak season. Call the Military Housing Office as soon as you have orders.  

Of course, it’s no surprise that Airmen E1-E3 and E4s with less than three years of service live in the barracks. Call the Unaccompanied Housing Office for more information. 

Schools Near Davis-Monthan Air Force Base

Mil-kids who call Davis-Monthan home will benefit from attending Tucson Unified School District. TUSD has multiple schools for each grade level, so there’s definitely one that suits your child’s needs. Borman Elementary is located on base. However, the rest are located outside the gates. Additionally, two childcare centers are on base to assist with before and after-school programming. Both provide full-time access to childcare. Speak with the School Liaison Office for more information, including enrollment requirements. 

Air Force Base
U.S. Air Force Two lands at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Ariz., April 11, 2019. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Cheyenne A. Powers)

Frequently Asked Questions

How many Air Force bases are in Arizona?

There are 3 Air Force bases in Arizona Davis-Monthan AFB, Barry M. Goldwater Range AFB in Phoenix, and Luke AFB in Glendale.

What planes are at Davis-Monthan AFB?

At Davis-Monthan, you’ll find A-10Cs, EC-130H Compass Calls, HC-130J Combat Kings, HH-60G Pavehawks, F-116 Fighting Falcons, and the 4,000 assorted aircraft in the Boneyard. Want to know more about the Boneyard? Check out this video!

Can you walk around the Boneyard?

No. The Boneyard is a controlled-access facility and off-limits without the proper clearance. These days, tours aren’t running but might restart in the future.

What county is Davis-Monthan AFB in?

Davis-Monthan AFB is in Pima County, AZ.

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