The complete Scott Air Force Base guide - We Are The Mighty
MIGHTY CULTURE

The complete Scott Air Force Base guide

Questions about Scott AFB? From wondering about the weather to housing, there are tons of questions when it’s time to PCS. Or maybe you’re wondering what the heck there is to do in Illinois? After all, if you’re not in Chicago, is there even anything in the Prairie State? The short answer is yes! There’s tons to do and lots of it is relatively close to Scott Air Force Base.

Located in St. Clair County, Illinois, Scott AFB is actually a lot closer to St. Louis than it is to Chicago. But having two major cities within reasonable distance means you’ll never run out of day-trip destinations. In fact, this base was one of several Air Service training camps established after America entered WWI. The installation has seen it all. Likewise, that means Scott AFB housing has been around for a while. These days, it’s the headquarters of Air Mobility Command and the U.S. Transportation Command. 

Scott Air Force Base Location 

Scott Air Force Base is located in southern Illinois and is part of the “Metro-East” portion of the greater St. Louis area, surrounded by the cities of Belleville, Shiloh, and Mascoutah.

Old gate at Scott Air Force Base
The old gate for Scott Field, now Scott Air Force Base in southern Illinois. (Wikipedia)

Directions

Scott AFB can be reached by car using the following routes.

Heading in from the north? Take I-55 S to I-64 E, and follow signs for Scott AFB.

Driving from the south? Take I-55 N to I-64 E, and follow signs for Scott AFB.

Making the trek from the east? Take I-64 W to the Scott AFB exit.

Coming from the west? Take I-70 E to I-64 E and follow the signs for Scott AFB.

Transportation

Flying to the closest airports: Lambert-St. Louis International Airport, Mid-America Airport

Lambert-St. Louis International Airport (38 miles): This is the closest international airport and is served by all of the major airlines.

Mid-America Airport (3.1 miles): Served solely by Allegiant Airlines with flights to and from 12 locations.

Driving: Driving to Scott would allow you to have your vehicle for trips to St. Louis and the surrounding area. The St. Louis area is in mid-America, so drives from almost any direction will take some time!

Contacts at Scott AFB

Airman & Family Readiness Center: (618) 256-8668

Armed Forces Against Drunk Driving: (618) 256-HOME (4663)

Area Defense Council: (618) 256-3246

Base Operator: (618) 256-1110

Chaplain (After Hours) Command Post: (618) 256-5891

Chaplain (Duty Hours): (618) 256-4060

Commissary: (618) 212-3898

Domestic Abuse Victim Advocate: (618) 256-7203/ (618) 212-3144

Drug Demand Reduction Program: (618) 256-7489

Education & Training Office: (618) 256-3327

Equal Opportunity Office: (618) 256-6581

Health & Wellness Center: (618) 256-7139 

Housing Office: (618) 744-9882

Legal Assistance: (618) 256-3542

Lodging Reservations: (618) 256-1844

Medical Needs: (618) 256-WELL (9355)

Mental Health Clinic: (618) 256-7386

Military Family Life Consultant: (618) 256-8668

Military Housing Office (618) 256-9880/9884

Public Affairs Office: (618) 256-4241

Security Forces Squadron: (618) 256-2223

Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Office: (618) 210-6420

Temporary Lodging Reservations: (618) 256-2045

Visitor Center: (618) 256-2008

Mission and Units 

C-20C based out of Scott Air Force Base
A C-40C Clipper of the 932nd Airlift Wing based at Scott AFB, seen during 2011. (Wikipedia)

The primary mission of Scott Air Force Base is global mobility. The base provides command and control for all logistics of the United States military in air, over land, and across the sea. The installation is responsible for providing United States aeromedical evacuation capabilities, flying C-21 operational support airlift, and operating air refueling missions in the KC-135. Scott Air Force Base supplies forces to theater combatant commanders.

The primary group at Scott AFB is the 375th Air Mobility Wing (AMW), which is composed of several staff agencies and four groups. Together, these groups total approximately 2,900 active-duty personnel who perform those missions.

The 375th AMW’s operational mission is to provide unrivaled air mobility operations through its fleet of C-21 aircraft. It also leans on its Total Force Integration partnerships with the Guard and Reserve in flying KC-135 and C-40 aircraft. The wing also maintains responsibility for the 375th Aeromedical Evacuation Training Squadron at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio, which is responsible for all AES qualification training on behalf of the Air Force. Speaking of Wright-Patterson, if you know anyone PCSing to the Buckeye State, here’s our base guide!

The 375th Communications Group supports the mission of the 375th Air Mobility Wing in its global reach mission by providing command, control, communications and computer support to DoD, USTRANSCOM, and the AMC. Likewise, it gives comms support to 18th Air Force, SDDC, AFNIC, and three flying wings. Additionally, 31 tenant units lean on its direct support to the 618th Air and Space Operations Center (Tanker Airlift Control Center) global mission.

The 375th Mission Support Group provides base-level support to all organizations assigned to Scott. The units that belong to the group provide a variety of services to the base community. The group is composed of five squadrons.

Scott AFB History

Scott Air Force Base in 1930
Scott Field – 1930. Still mostly in its World War I design, note the Eight World War I hangars in a straight line along the flightline. The addition of the large hydrogen plant with storage tank to support the airship mission. (US Army Air Corps photo)

After WWI began, air fields began to pop up all over the United States. Business and political leaders lobbied to make sure one got set up in the midwest. Then, in 1917 the War Department purchased 624 acres of land near Belleville, Illinois.

Next, on September 2, 1917, the first flight from Scott Field took off. This ushered in a mission of training pilots and mechanics on the Standard Trainers and then the Curtiss JN-4D “Jenny.” In fact, it became standard for units to organize and train at Scott Field before deploying to Europe.

Later, in 1939, the Basic School of the Air Corps Technical School transferred to Scott Field from Chanute Field, Illinois. The first students arrived in September. Scott Field trained “the best damn radio operators in the world” until 1959.

Like all installations, Scott AFB has changed its name a few times. In fact, Scott Field became Scott Air Force Base in 1948. Additionally, the central location and extensive medical facilities on the installation led to it become an aeromedical evacuation hub.

Today Scott AFB is the home of the 375th Air Mobility Wing, the 618th AOC (TACC), the 18th Air Force, Air Mobility Command, and the United States Transportation Command. 

World War II era photo of Scott Air Force Base
Scott AFB – World War II Radio School postcard, featuring a sign that reads “Thru these gates pass the best damned radio operators in the world!” (United States Army Air Forces photo)

Things to Do Around Scott AFB

Hotels

Best Western Plus MidAmerica Hotel (8 miles)

Holiday Inn Express & Suites O’Fallon/Shiloh (5.4 miles)

Scott Inn (1.4 miles)

Restaurants

Hi Pointe Drive In (8.1 mi) – Be prepared to eat the best burgers, ever 

Peel Wood Fired Pizza (7.4 mi)  – Wood fired pizza, salads, and more 

Frida’s Cocina (1.3 mi) – Elevated Mexican fare 

Activities

St. Louis Zoo (29 miles) – This free Zoo has over 13,000 animals and is a great trip for you and the family!

Julius J. Knobeloch Woods Nature Preserve (5.9 miles) – With wonderful views of regional plant and wildlife, including beautiful wildflowers, this trail is perfect for hikers of all skill levels looking to explore the great outdoors. Dogs are also welcome on the trail as long as they remain on a leash.

Skyview Drive-In (12 miles) – The only remaining drive-in in the St. Louis area, this is the perfect place to spend Friday or Saturday night!

Scott AFB Housing

There are several housing options available for service members stationed at Scott AFB. These include living on the installation, using privatized housing, or renting on the local economy.

Contact the Military Housing Office as soon as you receive orders to find out about current wait times and what might  be available for you when you PCS. When you in-process at Scott AFB, you’ll need to visit the MHO to receive counseling and guidance on obtaining housing. 

Unaccompanied housing is offered for unaccompanied Airmen in the ranks of E-1 to E-3 and E-4 with less than 3 years of service. Each Airman is provided a private sleeping room, furnishings, bed linens and supplies required for comfortable living. Unaccompanied Airmen in the rank of E-4 with greater than 3 years of service and above can live in the local community.

Privatized Scott Air Force Base Housing is managed by Hunt. In addition to offering homes to active duty service members and families, Corvias offers housing to DoD employees and contractors. Hunt offers six neighborhoods with a variety of floor plans and home sizes to fit your needs. 

2008 map of Scott Air Force Base
Scott Air Force Base, Illinois. (US Geological Survey)

Schools Near Scott Air Force Base

The Air Force recognizes that moving to a new installation can be tough, especially for mil-kids. To help with this transition, contact your local School Liaison Officer. 

There are several public and private schools in the local area that serve mil-students. Students of service members who live on the installation will attend Mascoutah District schools. This list offers a comprehensive overview of schools available in the area. 

Frequently Asked Questions

How far is Scott AFB from St. Louis From Chicago?

Scott AFB is 24 miles from St. Louis and 294 miles (about 4.5 hours) from Chicago.

Can I bring a guest onto Scott AFB?

Yes! During normal operations, visitors accessing the installation with a sponsor who possesses a DoD-approved credential do not require an AF Form 75, Visitor/Vehicle Pass. If the visit will last longer than 72 hours, an AF Form 75 is required. 

If a Visitor’s Pass be required, the visitor will be required to provide proof of ID (valid driver’s license, state IDs, passport, REAL ID-compliant identification etc.), a Social Security Number to be inputted in our biometric database, and have their picture taken and fingerprints scanned upon the issue of a pass.

What county is Scott AFB in?

Scott AFB is in St. Clair County, IL.

Is Scott AFB a good base?

Yes! Scott AFB is a great base.

Do Not Sell My Personal Information