Andrews Air Force Base, located in Prince George County, Maryland, is one of the most well-known Air Force Installations in the United States. The base is named after World War II Army Air Force General Frank Maxwell Andrews. Andrews Air Force Base is well known as the home of Air Force One, the designation for the two custom Boeing VC 25A aircraft that fly the President of The United States.
In October of 2009, Andrews Air Force Base was merged with Naval Air Facility Washington to create the much larger Joint Base Andrews, one of 12 such bases in the United States Military. The combination of the bases was a byproduct of the 2005 Base Realignment and Closure Commission, with the intention creating fewer, but more powerful military bases within the United States.
The area of Andrews Air Force Base dates back the time of the American Civil War. Around 1860, Union forces commandeered a church in the area for lodging. Today, that church, Chapel Two, is still part of the present day base. The area continued to have a military presence, but had no formal base until the presidency of Franklin D. Roosevelt. Roosevelt selected the area for a military installation because of its proximity to political outlets and the solid ground. Named Camp Springs, the base became operational in 1943 and received a squadron of P47 Thunderbolts from the Army Air Force. Throughout World War II several commands were headquartered at Camp Springs.
In the Korean War, the base became Andrews Air Force Base and played a vital role in Air Force operations. Andrews AFB was responsible for training new pilots and preparing them for combat in new aircraft, like the B-25 Mitchell Bomber. The base saw a steady rotation of training programs and aircraft during and after the war.
In 1963 Andrews Air Force Base was the receiving point of the body of President John F. Kennedy after his assassination in Texas. Since then, Andrews Air Force Base has received the bodies of leaders and dignitaries from across the country, in addition to fallen soldiers, Marines, sailors and airmen from conflicts around the globe.
The primary resident of Andrews Air Force Base is the 11th Wing. The 11th Wing is tasked with supporting ongoing operations across the globe in conjunction with US and allied operations. Andrews Air Force Base is also home to 89th Air Lift Wing, 459th Refueling Unit, 79th Medical Wing and Air Force District Washington.
Incoming airmen to Andrews Air Force Base have multiple housing options. Those on PTAD short term assignments often choose to stay in nearby hotels. Those who are directly involved in ongoing missions will be hosted at one of the bases on post camps. Commissioned officers who are at Andrews AFB on long term assignment can apply for on base housing. Applications are generally processed and housing assigned within a matter of weeks.