You might know Hurlburt as the place where Airmen go to Special Ops school. In fact, Hurlburt is the installation where the Air Force’s best and brightest learn to meet the demanding requirements of special ops, resulting in some of the most elite training in the Air Force. But there’s more to Hurlburt than just bad-ass airmen. Actually it’s a whole lot more! Speaking of Special Ops – here’s a definitive guide that answers all of the questions you’ve never thought to ask.
Hurlburt is part of the greater Eglin footprint. It’s due west of Mary Esther, Florida, a super tiny town with a big-hearted feel. The town gets its name from its first postmaster who named it after his two daughters. How sweet is that?! Hurlburt is part of the Emerald Coast, a major tourist attraction that features pristine white sand pieces and brilliantly turquoise waters. You’re going to love it, promise.
Hurlburt Field Location
Hurlburt Field is located in the Florida panhandle, 35 miles east of Pensacola on the Gulf of Mexico.
Hurlburt Field can be reached by car using the following routes.
Heading in from the north? Take I-75 S to I-10 W, then take Hwy-85 S to Hwy-98 and follow sign.
Making the trek from the east? Take I-10 W to Hwy-85 S to Hwy-98, then follow signs.
Coming from the west? Take I-10 E to Hwy-85 S to Hwy-98, then follow signs for Hurlburt Field.
Flying to the closest airports: Destin-Fort Walton Beach Airport, Pensacola International Airport
Four major airlines serve Destin-Fort Walton Beach Airport (14.9 miles).
Eight airlines service Pensacola International Airport (39.5 miles).
Driving allows you to explore and visit nearby destinations. The base is on the Gulf of Mexico though, so prepare for a long drive!
Contacts at Hurlburt Field
Airman and Family Readiness Center: (850) 884-5441
Base Exchange: (850) 581-0030
Chapel Center: (850) 884-7795
Chaplain and Religious Services: (850) 884-7795
Child Development Center: (850) 884-6664
Civilian Personnel Office: (850) 884-5212
Clinic Appointments: (850) 881-1020
Commissary: (850) 881-2139
DEERS: (850) 884-5322
Dental Clinic: (850) 884-7881
Education Office: (850) 884-6724
Family Advocacy: (850) 881-5061
Finance Office: (850) 884-4119
Health and Wellness Center: (850) 884-4292
Household Goods/Transportation Office: (850) 884-6051
Housing Office: (850) 884-7505
ID/CAC Card Processing: (850) 884-5322
Information, Tickets, Travel: (850) 884-6795
Inspector General: (850) 884-6322
Legal Assistance: (850) 884-7821
Mental Health Clinic: (850) 881-4237
Outdoor Recreation: (850) 884-6939
Public Affairs Office: (850) 884-7196
Safety Office: (850) 884-5243
School Liaison: (850) 280-5766
Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Office: (850) 884-7272
Unaccompanied Housing: (850) 884-3188
Welcome Center: (850) 884-4815
Mission and Units
The mission of the Air Force Special Operations Command is to provide the nation’s specialized airpower, capable across the spectrum of conflict any time or any place.
The 1st Special Operations Wing (SOW) calls Hurlburt home. (The 1st SOW also has tenant units at Nellis and Eglin). Its mission focus is unconventional warfare: counter-terrorism, combat search and rescue, personnel recovery, psychological operations, “deep battlefield” resupply, interdiction, and close air support.
There are several major units assigned to Hurlburt Field. These include the Air Force Special Operations Command (AFSOC), the 1st Special Operations Wing (1 SOW), the Air Combat Command’s (ACC) 50th Command and Control Wing, and the USAF Special Operations School.
Air Force Special Operations Command also functions as the Air Force component Command for the US Special Operations Command (USSOCOM).
Hurlburt Field History
What’s in a name? Well, if you’ve been around the DoD for a while, you know that sometimes installation names are fantastic and sometimes they’re a little lacking. Group Hurlburt Field into the latter category, as it was once called Auxiliary Field No. 9.
Aux Field 9 was one of the original small pilot and gunnery training fields built on the sprawling Eglin Air Force Base complex in the 1940s.
Then in 1955, the base got a big name tenant when the 17th Light Bombardment Wing arrived from Minho, Japan, to conduct routine training. Three years later, the 4751st Missile Wing of the Air Defense Command came to Hurlburt. Its mission was to test surface-to-air missiles launched from facilities on neighboring Santa Rosa Island.
Notably, Hurlburt Field service members played a significant role in Operation Desert Storm. IN fact, the MC-130E Combat Talons housed at Hurlburt were used to drop leaflets on Iraqi forces. Moreover, and for the first time in aviation history, these aircraft also dropped 15,000-pound BLU-82 bombs in combat.
Of course, all names change eventually. In fact, the 1st SOW got a new name in 1993 when AF Chief of Staff Gen. McPeak renamed it the 16th SOW. These days, the mission remains the same – to provide a rapid reaction force for global special operations.
However, that name didn’t stick! It took a while, but on November 16, 2006, the Air Force redesignated the 16th SOW back to the 1st SOW.
Things to Do Around Hurlburt Field
Pirates’ Bay Guest Chambers and Marina (5.6 miles)
Seabreeze Inn (6 miles)
Marina Bay Resort (6.6 miles)
Benjarong Thai Cuisine (3.7 miles) – Thai cuisine
380 Peruvian Bistro (4.3 miles) – Peruvian cuisine
J.C. Seafood House (4.4 miles) – Seafood restaurant
Heritage Park and Cultural Center (6.7 miles) boasts multiple museums that focus on local history dating all the way back to 12,000 B.C. through the 1950s.
Garniers Beach Park (9.4 miles) has 240 feet of beach on Choctawhatchee Bay, along with picnic areas, playground equipment, a boat ramp, and more.
Indian Temple Mound Museum (6.7 miles) first opened in 1962 and has exhibits with artifacts from European Explorers, local pirates, and early settlers, along with an impressive collection of prehistoric ceramics and over 1,000 artifacts of stone, bone, clay, and shell.
Housing at Hurlburt Field
Before you PCS, contact the Military Housing Office to get up to date information about the current housing conditions on base.
Then, decide if you and your family want to live on base or out in the community. Corvias manages housing for Hurlburt Field.
Unaccompanied Housing is provided for Airmen ranked E-1 to E-3 and E-4s with less than three years in service.
Schools Near Hurlburt Field
While there are no DoDEA schools on base, mil-kids living on or near Hurlburt Field have plenty of options! Students will benefit from six elementary schools, three middle schools, and two high schools. There are also a wide array of private schools and pre- and post-school activity centers. Speak with the School Liaison Office for more information.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is Hurlburt Field known for?
Hurlburt Field, Fla., is home to the Air Force Special Operations Command and the 1st Special Operations Wing and has a long and distinctive history.
Is Hurlburt Field AFB a good base?
Hurlburt Field offers base housing, desired amenities like a golf course, swimming pools, commissary, exchange, outdoor recreation, a bowling center, and is close to unbelievable beaches. If those are a few of the things that you’re looking for, then yes, Hurlburt Field is a good base!
What command is Hurlburt Field?
Hurlburt Field is home to the Air Force Special Operations Command and the 505th Command and Control Wing.