Joint Base San Antonio - Lackland Air Force Base


C-121 at Lackland Air Force Base

The 2005 Defense Base Closure and Realignment Commission (BRAC) Report to the President required the relocation of installation management functions and the establishment of Joint Base San Antonio (JBSA). 

JBSA is situated in San Antonio, (Bexar County), the seventh largest city and known as "Military City USA." Encompassing JBSA are United States Army Fort Sam Houston, the United States Air Force Randolph Air Force Base and Lackland Air Force Base, which were merged on 1 October 2010, becoming the largest single DoD installation / enterprise. 

The base operates under the jurisdiction of the United States Air Force 502d Air Base Wing, Air Education and Training Command (AETC), which is a ​United States Air Force unit that provides installation support for Joint Base San Antonio. The 502d activated on 1 August 2009. The wing's three Mission Support Groups perform the installation support mission at each major installation in the San Antonio area.

The mission of the wing is to meet the needs of all three installations of JBSA, their missions and people and to optimize installation support while maximizing opportunities for greater joint military and community cooperation. This mission is carried out through the Mission Support Group located on each JBSA base.

This overview will cover Joint Base San Antonio – Lackland Air Force Base (JBSA-LAK)

Lackland AFB is named after Brigadier General Frank Lackland, who was commissioned into the Army after serving in the District of Columbia National Guard. Construction on the base began on June 15, 1941, and was originally part of Kelly Field. One year later, it became an independent organization called the San Antonio Aviation Cadet Center. On February 3, 1948, the facility became Lackland AFB, Gateway to the Air Force.

Official Website of Joint Base San Antonio.

Location/Driving Directions

Lackland AFB is located in the southwest quadrant of San Antonio (SA) at the intersection of IH 410 and US Hwy 90. It is easily accessible from any of the major highways.

AIRPORT ARRIVAL: An information kiosk with base information is available at both terminals. Terminal 1 kiosk is located in baggage area near the escalator. Terminal 2 kiosk is located at the Military Reception Area.

From San Antonio International Airport by car:

When arriving in San Antonio, turn right onto Loop 410 West, take the Valley Hi / Lackland AFB exit, turn left on Valley Hi, and continue straight to the Airman's Gate.

There are several other modes of transportation from the airport to the base. The 37 LRS sends a shuttle bus to the airport twice each day. It leaves Terminal 2 at 1245 and again at 1745. Seats are available on a first come, first-serve basis. Pets are not allowed.

There are also other shuttle services that have booths outside Terminal 1 and Terminal 2. Taxi service is readily available at both terminals. Although it will average about $50 for fare and tips, the cost is reimbursable. Payment can be made by cash or credit card.

Lackland Air Force Base has ten gates. All gates require 100% ID check. During daylight hours, the driver of the car must show military ID. After dark, all passengers will be required to show some form of picture ID. Two of the gates to the main base are open 24 hours a day. Both have visitors' reception centers and are in the contact list. Be sure to have your driver's license, proof of vehicle insurance, car registration, or vehicle rental papers available. Plan to use MapQuest or some other mapping link to determine the location of the appropriate lodging facility. This will assist you with deciding which gate to use.

Main Phone Numbers

Staff Sgt. Lemetric Wadley, 37th Operations Support Squadron. Photo courtesy U.S. Air Force; photo by: Senior Airman Christopher Griffin)

Base Operator: (210) 671-1110 / DSN (312) 473-1110 [services limited, mostly automated]

Barracks/Single Service Member Housing, Dormitory Manager's Office: (210) 671-5951 / DSN (312) 473-5951
Brooke Army Medical Center: (210) 916-4141
Brooks City-Base Housing Office: (210) 536-1840 / DSN (312) 240-1840
Camp Bullis Family Practice Clinic: (210) 916-9900
Child Development Center, Gateway: (210) 671-1040 / DSN (312) 473-1040
Child Development Center, Kelly USA: (210) 925-5747 / DSN (312) 945-5747
Child Development Center, Lackland: (210) 671-3168 / 210-671-3675 / DSN (312) 473-3168
Dental Clinic – Dunn: (210) 671-9613  / DSN (312) 554-6418
Dental Clinic - Port San Antonio: (210) 925-1846 / DSN (312) 945-1846
Education Services: (210) 671-8711/12 / DSN (312) 473-8711/12
Family Child Care Office: (210) 671-3380 / DSN (312) 473-3380
Housing Office:  (210) 671-1840
Kelly Dental Flight: (210) 925-1846 / DSN (312) 945-1846
Kelly Family Practice Clinic: (210) 916-9900
Lackland Independent School District: (210) 375-5000
Military & Family Readiness Center: (210) 671-3722  / DSN (312) 473-3722
School Liaison Officer: (210) 671-3722 / DSN (312) 473-3722
TRICARE Coordination and Counseling Services: (210) 292-7848 / DSN (312) 554-7848
TRICARE Service Center:  (800) 444-5445
Unaccompanied Housing:  (210) 671-0090
Visiting Airmen's Quarters (VAQ) : (210) 671-2556/4227 / 671-3622/0047 / (888) 235-6343   / DSN (312) 473-2556/4227

Population/Major Units Assigned

Photo courtesy U.S. Air Force

As a whole, Joint Base San Antonio supports a population of 80,000 and supports students at three installations annually of up to 138,000.

In 2012, the Lackland AFB Population was broken down as 24,702 active duty members and 10,131 DoD civilian employees.  Contract employees and family members were totaled as 11,744, for a total force population of 46,577

Lackland Air Force Base is home to more than 120 Department of Defense and associated organizations. Lackland is the Air Force's only site for enlisted basic military training, and also offers professional and technical skills, and English language training for members of the U.S. Air Force, other military services, government agencies, and allies.

Lackland is comprised of the 37th Training Wing, National Guard 149th Fighter Wing, the 59th Medical Wing, the Air Force Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance Agency, the 24th Air Force Wing, 67th Network Warfare Wing, Cryptologic Systems Group and the National Security Agency plus many additional associate units. 

The 502d Installation Support Group performs the installation support mission, supporting the 25,000 people at Lackland. The 802d ISG is the largest support group in CONUS. Its 2,300 personnel provide numerous services including security forces, protection, personnel services, communications, infrastructure support, lodging, recreational activities and food services.

Temporary Lodging

Gateway Inn - Visiting Airmen's Quarters. Photo courtesy U.S. Air Force

There are four lodging units available on Lackland AFB:  Visiting Airmen's Quarters, Visiting Officer's Quarters, the Gateway Inn, lodging at Camp Bullis. To make reservations, call 210-671-4277, 1-888-235-6343, or DSN 312-473-3622/0047/2556.

Airmen in PCS status have top priority. If there are no vacancies in the appropriate lodging facility, the Inns of Lackland have agreements with hotels and motels near the base and downtown to provide temporary housing for those arriving here in official travel status. You will still need to check in at the appropriate military billeting facility to get your non-availability statement. Your sponsor can make reservations for you if you provide a copy of your orders and credit card information. You may prefer to make your own reservations: 210-671-4277, 1-888-235-6343, or DSN 312-473-3622/0047/2556.

The main central business office is located at the Gateway Lodge at 2235 Andrews, Bldg.7426 in room 4104. They are open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The other business office is at 1750 Femoyer Street, Bldg 10203. It is open from 2:00 - 10:00 p.m.

There are 7 pet-friendly rooms. If you are traveling with pets, make kennel reservations for your pet unless you will be staying at a hotel that accepts pets.  Lodging maintains a list of pet-friendly hotels, motels, and kennels located in San Antonio. They are all within a reasonable distance of the base.

Permanent Change of Station (PCS) military personnel are authorized to stay in TLF up to 30 days in Sept-May and 15 days for June through August. BAQ is adjusted for every day in TLF over 30 days.

Single Members Lodging may be housed in the Visiting Airmen Quarters up to 30 days if there is no dormitory space available. You will be allowed to file for reimbursement of temporary lodging expenses.


Military housing for enlisted ranks- Airman Scott Village. Photo courtesy U.S. Air Force

NOTE: Visit the Air Force Housing website to find your new home with the Air Force. This website serves as a one-stop shop for Airmen and their families to obtain information about the housing options and support services available to them at Air Force bases worldwide.

Lackland AFB Housing has a waiting list and is privatized and managed by Balfour Beatty.   You may visit the housing office at your current installation to complete an advance housing application. The housing office should give you a date-stamped copy of your advance housing application. Please keep that copy with your other hand-carried documents. As soon as you arrive, take the copy to the housing office at Lackland to confirm your position on the waiting list. The staff will need a current phone number or email to reach you. If a vacancy occurs that fits your needs, they will attempt to contact you. If you did not complete an advance housing application and you want to live in government housing, complete an application as soon as possible. If you will be living in privatized unit, the Housing Office will refer you to the contractor's office to complete your application and sign your lease. Arrangements for starting or changing your BAH must be made with Accounting and Finance.

The waiting list depends on rank, the number of children, and type of housing. In the surrounding community, there are numerous apartments and single dwellings for rent as well as to buy.

There are a total of 182 military family housing units located in Kelly USA. There are 684 privatized housing units located on Lackland and Lackland Training Annex. Housing areas include Yount Circle, Capehart, Zachary, Wherry Phase I and II, Airman Scott Village I and II and Kelly Housing USA.

Family housing units, whether military or privatized, are limited to no more than two pets per household, not counting birds, fish, or other container-type dwellers. All cats and dogs are required to be microchipped and be registered at the Small Animal Clinic, 210-671-3631 or DSN 312-473-3631

Unaccompanied Housing is provided for unaccompanied Airmen in the ranks of E-1 to E-3 and E-4 with less than 3 years of service. Each service member is provided a private sleeping room, furnishings, bed linens and supplies required for comfortable living. (Room arrangements may vary depending on location)

Unaccompanied members in the rank of E-4 with greater than 3 years of service and above will move into housing in the local community. There is no housing on base for E-5 and above or for single officers. There are 12 permanent party dormitories on Lackland, Lackland Training Annex, and the Kelly Annex.

Reservations for dorm rooms are not accepted. Instead, personnel check in with the Central Dormitory Manager's Office (CDMO) upon their arrival for room assignment. Airmen are assigned to dormitories that are close to their work assignment. Rooms are assigned on a first come first served basis. CDMO is open 7:00 am to 7:00 pm Monday thru Friday and is located in Bldg 1205, Room 120; phone 210-671-5951. Permission to live off base requires the approval of the unit first sergeant

It is mandatory for all personnel storing privately owned firearms in their residence in family housing on base to register their firearms with 802d SFS Pass and Registration. This must be done within three duty days for newly assigned personnel residing in base housing.

If you plan to live off-base and you are an E-5 or above, it is not necessary to check in with the housing office, unless you want to take advantage of having certain utility deposits waived. Should this be the case, take a copy of your orders to the housing office, and they will assist you with completing and faxing the necessary paperwork. Not all utility companies participate in this program.

Child Care

Child Development Center Playground. Photo courtesy U.S. Air Force

There are three-day care facilities on Lackland. The Lackland, Kelly Field, and Gateway Child Development Centers care for more than 550 children daily, supported by a staff of 200. All three centers are certified. You may pick up a list of family day care homes at the Airman and Family Readiness Center, Bldg. 1249, or at the Family Day Care Office located in Bldg. 6629.

There are usually waiting lists for infant care in the CDCs. There may be a six-month wait in some instances. For the preschool ages, there is seldom a long wait, especially in the Kelly Field CDC. Because of its distance from the main installation, there is more likely to be an open slot.

There are no slots are set aside in any of the CDCs for drop-in care. Contact the CDCs at the beginning of the day to see if there are any vacancies for that day. There is no procedure for reserving drop-in care slots in advance.

Applications are processed through the Family Child Care Office. The required documents are:

* DD Form 2606 -- This form can be downloaded or picked up at any CDC.
* Lackland AFB physical form
* A copy of the orders

Applications can be submitted in advance by faxing them to the Family Child Care Office along with a copy of the orders. The fax number is 210-671-0276. Upon arrival, please pick up the physical form to be completed by the child's physician.

Youth Programs include two separate sites: Kelly Field Unit and Lackland Unit. The Youth Program is geared to children, ages 6-12. It offers a wide range of activities to include sports programs, arts, and crafts, other enrichment programs, before/after-school care, and summer camps. It also provides membership to the Boys and Girls Club of America for children ages 6-12. For information call 210-671-2510/210-671-2388.

Each center offers a different level of service. Kelly Field CDC cares for infants to 5-year-olds; Lackland CDC cares for children, ages 3-5 and runs an after school program for children enrolled in 4-year-old and pre-kindergarten classes at Lackland Elementary School; and Gateway CDC cares for infants to 5-year-olds and also serves special needs children. Coming in 2012, the Lackland CDC will be serving children six weeks to 5 years old.

Only the Lackland CDC offers a part-day enrichment program for 3 to 5-year-olds that provide three different sessions Aug-May 2-days (Tuesday and Thursdays) and 3-days (Monday, Wednesday, and Friday) and a 5-day session (Monday through Friday.)

The Lackland and Gateway CDCs care for special needs family members. A review of the family member's needs is made to ensure the CDC can meet their needs. If they cannot, a referral will make for off base.

On an average, the installation has approximately 40 family day care homes. The roster of day care homes is updated at the beginning of each month at the Lackland website, with hard copies available at the Family Child Care office and at the AFRF.

Family Advocacy partners with the CDCs to offer play groups on Thursday mornings from 10:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. at Corner Wilford Hall Loop and Admiral Boorda Bldg. This is an informal group that offers children the opportunity to interact with each other. Because parents are required to remain, there is also an opportunity to network with each other. There is no registration, no commitment, and no cost. For additional information, call Family Advocacy at 210-292-5967.

School Age Programs are open to active-duty Military, DoD Civilian, and NAF civilian dependents from kindergarten through grade 12. Youth must be a current member in good standing with Lackland Youth Programs. Priority is given to single parents or families where both parents are employed or enrolled in a school outside the home.

Before and After School Care is available Monday through Friday, 6:30am-8:00am and 2:30pm-6:00pm. Day Camp is available 6:30am-6:00pm.

For more information about the SAP, contact Youth Programs at 210-671-2388/2510.

Youth Services - Lackland AFB opened a youth services building that consolidated youth and teen activities.

The Youth Program is geared to children, ages 5-12. It offers a wide range of activities to include sports programs, arts, and crafts, other enrichment programs, before and after-school care, and summer camps. Please monitor the Force Support Squadron website for dates and times for these activities. The Youth Program also provides membership in the Boys and Girls Club of America for children ages 5-12 as long as the 5-year-old is in kindergarten.


Lackland Independent School District Office. Photo courtesy U.S. Air Force

The newcomer to San Antonio is often surprised to find the city has so many public school districts, each independently administrated and accredited by the Texas Education Agency in Austin. The San Antonio metropolitan area has approximately 23 independent school districts (ISD). Every school district has a school board and a superintendent. Funding is by state and federal funds, and by local property taxes levied by each school district.

In a recent policy change, children from active duty military families are automatically eligible to enroll in the public school pre-kindergarten programs in their districts. If the military member leaves the military, the child will be allowed to remain in the program until it is completed. There are other education alternatives. Private schools abound in San Antonio with a wide range of tuition rates. A number of churches offer day care, preschool, enrichment programs, and classroom education all on the same premises. There are also private schools dedicated to specific target groups such as the gifted programs.

There are literally hundreds of schools in the San Antonio area. To research school data, go to the Texas Education Authority TEA website. It has an A-Z index that will allow parents to research districts, schools, grading systems, test scores, rankings, policies, and more. There are no DoD schools on Lackland AFB. Lackland does have an elementary, middle school, and high school on base, run by the Lackland Independent School District , a Texas-funded and supervised school district located on Lackland AFB.

The state of Texas allows homeschooling with few restrictions. The San Antonio area has a large and active homeschooling population with many support services for parents who choose this option. For more information contact the School Liaison at 210-652-3060 or the TEA.

Lackland AFB School Liaison Officer (SLO)
802d FSS/FSFR, 2100 Kenly Ave., Bldg. 1249,Lackland AFB, TX 78236

Note:  Uniforms are worn at many of the public schools in San Antonio.

Medical Care

Wilford Hall Medical Center. Photo courtesy U.S. Air Force

The San Antonio Military Health System oversees the healthcare delivery of 230,000 Department of Defense beneficiaries in the San Antonio metropolitan region. Healthcare services are provided by the San Antonio Military Medical Center, a Level 1 trauma center and DoD's largest inpatient hospital; Wilford Hall Ambulatory Surgical Center and the DoD's largest outpatient ambulatory surgery center; 19 primary care clinics and over 100 specialty services.

The 59th MDW is the Air Force's largest medical wing and is the Air Force functional medical command for Joint Base San Antonio. It is comprised of six medical groups across San Antonio. Three are located at Wilford Hall Ambulatory Surgical Center; the 959th Medical Group is located at San Antonio Military Medical Center, JBSA-Fort Sam Houston; and the 359th and 559th Medical Groups are located at and support the missions of JBSA-Randolph and JBSA-Lackland, respectively.

The Wilford Hall Ambulatory Surgical Center (WHASC) has closed its emergency department and redesignated the area as an urgent care center (UCC). The UCCs treat minor illnesses and injuries, such as flu, fever, earaches, nausea, rashes, animal and insect bites, minor bone fractures and minor cuts that require stitches. It joined with Brooke Army Medical Center to form San Antonio Military Medical Center (SAMMC). There is one appointment line for any of the medical treatment facilities in the area: 210-916-9900.

Lackland AFB is in the TRICARE South Region.  If family members require medical care that cannot be given at WHASC or BAMC, TRICARE has a contract with the Methodist Health System in San Antonio. There are facilities in all areas of San Antonio. However, it must first be determined that the treatment cannot be given at one of the military treatment facilities. There is no routine dental care available for family members on the installation. Only emergencies will be treated. Please contact the TRICARE Service Center for information on how to enroll family members in the TRICARE Dental Plan. There is one appointment line for any of the medical treatment facilities in the area. It is. Expect to be on hold for a period of time. It is also possible to make appointments at Tricare Online. MiCare, an internet-based portal with confidential secure messaging service has been introduced to the 59th Medical Wing beneficiaries to interact with their military health care team. Patients can request medication refills, get lab results, and make appointments. For additional information on clinics and other patient services, please visit the SAMMC website.

The medical wing also has the largest dental facility in the DOD and the only dental group in the Air Force. The dental group examines 36,000 basic military trainees and 28,000 technical training students a year.