Installation Overview --US Air Force Academy,Colorado

1
Overview

Newly commissioned second lieutenants in the U.S. Air Force celebrate. Photo courtesy U.S. Air Force; Photo credit: Dennis Rogers

The United States Air Force Academy is both a military organization and an accredited college for the undergraduate education of commissioned officers for the United States Air Force. Its campus is located immediately north of Colorado Springs in El Paso County, Colorado. The campus of the Academy covers 18,000 acres on the east side of the Rampart Range of the Rocky Mountains. The Academy's mission is "to educate, train, and inspire men and women to become officers of character, motivated to lead the United States Air Force in service to our nation." It is the youngest of the five United States service academies, having graduated its first class in 1959. Graduates of the Academy's four-year program receive a Bachelor of Science degree, and most are commissioned as second lieutenants in the Regular United States Air Force. The Academy is also one of the largest tourist attractions in Colorado, attracting more than a million visitors each year.

Much of the Academy is set up like most other Air Force bases, particularly the 10th Air Base Wing, but the superintendent, commandant, dean of faculty and cadet wing are set up in a manner resembling a civilian university.

Official website for United States Air Force Academy

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Location/Driving Directions

The Academy is located 60 miles south of Denver, and is 10 miles northwest of downtown Colorado Springs. Approach Colorado Springs via I-25 from either north or south, and take exit 156B (North Gate) or 150B (South Gate) to enter the Academy. The Academy is located between I-25 and the mountains.

Traveler can enter the Air Force Academy through two entrance gates; the South Gate and the North Gate. The South Gate, a 24 hours entry point, is located off I-25 at North Academy Blvd, Exit 150B. The North Gate, located off I-25 at North Gate Blvd, Exit 156B. Please note: The North Gate is only opened from 6:00am to 10:30pm daily.

If driving from from Colorado Springs Airport, as you exit the airport, drive west(towards the mountains)on Drennan Road. Go to the 3rd traffic light and turn left onto Academy Blvd. Proceed for approximately 1.8 miles and take I-25 North (towards Colorado Springs and Denver). Continue northbound on I-25 to either Academy entrance. The Academy is located 14 miles northwest of the Colorado Springs Airport.

If driving from Denver International Airport, follow the signs to exit DIA Access Plaza on Pena Boulevard. Follow Pena Boulevard approximately 9 miles and exit on westbound I-70. From I-70, exit on southbound I-225. From I-225, exit on southbound I-25. Continue southbound on I-25 to either Academy entrance. DIA is approximately 80 miles North of the Academy. Please be advised; this route will traverse Monument Hill (elevation: 7,254 ft). Monument Hill can be icy during winter months.

If driving from the Greyhound bus station located at 120 South Weber, in downtown Colorado Springs, head south to Cimmaron (US 24), take Cimmaron west towards the mountains. Just a few blocks ahead is the entrance to I-25 North. Take I-25 (northbound) for approximately 10 miles to Exit 150B, stay in the far-left lanes, turn left and enter the Academy via the South Gate.

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Main Phone Numbers

An F/A-22 Raptor soars over the grounds in suppport of Graduation parade. Photo courtesy U. S. Air Force; photo credit: Kevin Robertson

Air Force Academy Education Office : 719-333-2269 DSN: 333-2269

Base Information 719-333-1110 DSN: 333-1110

Dental Clinic-CETS 719-333-5190

Family Day Care Providers 719-333-7957 DSN 333-7957

Hospital-Appointment Desk (TRICARE) 719-264-5000

Housing Office 719-333-2100 DSN: 333-2100

Main Child Development Center 719-333-6863 DSN 333-6863

Temporary Lodging (Rampart Lodge) 719-333-4910

Hospital-Appointment Desk (TRICARE) 719-264-5000

Youth Center (Academy) 719-333-4169

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Population/Major Units Assigned

More than 1,300 U.S. Air Force Academy basic cadets march out to the Jacks Valley training area to begin the field training portion of basic training. Photo courtesy U.S. Air Force; photo credit: Dave Ahlschwede

At the US Air Force Academy, the 10th Air Base Wing comprises more than 2,100 military, civilian and contract personnel who conduct all base-level support activities, including law enforcement and force protection, civil engineering, communications, logistics, military and civilian personnel, financial management, services and the clinic, for a military community of about 20,000 people.

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Temporary Lodging

Temporary Lodging Facility. Photo courtesy U.S. Air Force

The Rampart Lodge, located east of the Falcon Club, provides overnight accommodations by reservation only. The lodging staff accepts reservations for priority one and two travelers 24 hours a day. Reservations are available by calling the lodging reservations desk, at 333-4910 Ext. 0 or via e-mail at rampart.lodge@usafa.af.mil.

Temporary lodging facilities and visiting quarters are available for authorized families or single members. Priority-two guests possessing a DOD identification card may request lodging by calling the reservations clerk or the front desk. Reservations will be taken three to 30 days in advance depending on the percentage of occupancy for the particular day requested. The VQs are available to both officers and enlisted members. TLFs are for military members and their families. These facilities feature one, two and three bedrooms, a fully equipped kitchen, living room and dining room.

Pets are not allowed in either the VQs or TLFs. A list of commercial kennels is available to the guest at the front desk. Handicap accessible rooms, rooms for the hearing-impaired and a small conference room are available.

Immediate family members of cadets and prep school students are considered priority one guests November through March, and are priority two at other times.

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Housing

Doug Valley Housing. Photo courtesy U.S. Air Force

The Air Force Academy housing office is located in the Pine Valley housing area near Pine Valley Elementary School. Office hours are weekdays from 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Before arriving at the Academy you should schedule an appointment to speak with a housing assistant. The USAFA Housing office is located at 6556 Columbine Drive, and can be reached at Phone: 719-333-2247 DSN: 312-333-2247. The Enlisted Dormitories phone number is 719-333-4229 DSN: 312-333-4229.

There are 1,229 family housing units located in two separate areas: Douglass and Pine Valleys. There are two, three, four, and five bedroom units. Enlisted through company grade housing units are duplexes. Field grade and senior officer quarters are single units. Single junior enlisted Airmen will reside in dormitories on base. All units include a range, refrigerator, and dishwasher. To apply for advanced housing, please contact the Housing Office at your losing installation. Names are placed on the waiting list one month prior to arrival. The waiting time for housing varies; however, average waiting time is roughly 4-6 months, depending on category.

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Child Care

The Donna Head Child Development Center. Photo courtesy U.S. Air Force

Childcare services at the Air Force Academy include the Donna Head CDC near the Pine Valley Housing Area and a second CDC near the Community Center, base exchange and commissary. The CDCs are open weekdays from 6:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. You can contact the Donna Head Child Development Center at (719) 333-6779, DSN 333-6779. or the Child Development Center 2 at 719-333-4166 / 719-333-4733. To contact The Parents Phone Line, xall 333-6779 for questions on Child Development Programs and Policies. The Family Child Care Office phone is 719-333-7957.

Types of care offered through the CDC include:
Hourly Care -- This type of care is short-term, usually from one to five hours on a non-regular basis. Reservations should be made in advance.
Full Day/Week Care -- Child care for five to 10 hours per day, five days per week. This program usually involves children whose parents are both employed or children who live with one parent.
Part-Day Enrichment -- This program is for children ages 3-5 whose parents do not need full-day service but would like their children to participate in an early childhood program.
Family Child Care Homes -- Military housing or homes in the community can be used to provide child care for a small number of children in a family-type environment. Family Child Care programs include the Extended Duty Care Program, funded by the Air Force, and care when parents are undergoing a permanent change of station

The Falcon Trails Youth Center provides activities for children ages 3 to 18 year-round at the youth center with specific programs and classes to "just hangin' out." The facility features a full-size gymnasium and activity room.

Some instructional classes offered include karate, gymnastics, dance, and driver's education. Organized sports activities include ice hockey, basketball, soccer, baseball, t-ball, indoor soccer and cheerleading. In addition, the youth center presents activities in collaboration with 4-H Clubs.

The Youth Center also operates an accredited before- and after-school care program for children in grades Kindergarten through 5. This program includes transportation to and from on-base schools, meals, snacks and supervision.

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Schools

Doug Valley Elementary. Photo courtesy U.S. Air Force

There are over 10 school districts in the Colorado Springs area. If residing on the Academy, children will attend District 20 schools. Elementary age children attend one of the two on base elementary schools; Pine Valley or Douglass Valley Elementary, middle school students attend Eagle View, and high school students attend Air Academy High School.

Children entering kindergarten must be five years old on or before 15 September of the year they are to enter kindergarten. Some schools offer full day kindergarten for free others provide half-day kindergarten at no charge but require payment for full day. All new students must provide a birth certificate, Social Security card, and proof of immunization against DPT, polio, measles, rubella, mumps, and Hepatitis B. Please check with the school you wish your child to attend to see if original documents are required.

Many schools, especially in Districts 20 and 11--have overflow issues; more children than available positions. In these situations, other schools nearby which are not filled to capacity are designated overflow schools and children are then registered there. Whether a child may attend the neighborhood school is often determined by the date on your rental contract or purchase date of your house. Check with the individual school to determine if there is an overflow issue and what documents will be required. If students need to go to a school other than their neighborhood school due to overflow, bus transportation is provided ONLY to the officially designated overflow school.

If you are interested in home schooling your children, there is a home school support group that can assist you. Please call the Airman and Family Readiness Center for the specific information.

Colorado Springs is home to several private and charter schools and accredited higher education institutions. If you prefer to enroll your child in a private school, there are a large number of secular and non-secular schools from which to choose.

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Medical Care

USAF Academy Hospital. Photo courtesy U.S. Air Force

The 10th Medical Group at the U.S. Air Force Academy provides healthcare services to 65,000 beneficiaries, including support to the 4,000-member cadet wing. Primary goals are to ensure wartime readiness and optimize the health and wellness of our current and future air and space leaders.

The Academy Hospital is a modern, well-equipped, 55 bed facility. The medical staff provides care in all major medical specialties. The hospital offers the latest technologies including CT, MRI, ultrasound, laparoscopic and arthroscopic surgery. A newly established cardiac rehabilitation facility and special procedures clinic support recovering patients who require unique medical attention.

The hospital also operates an appointment-based clinic in Fairchild Hall to provide medical care for cadets, active-duty servicemembers and faculty and staff members assigned to the cadet area. The acute care clinic is open 24 hours. The clinic is located near the family practice clinic and can be reached from the main lobby. Patients who believe they have a serious medical emergency should call 911 or seek care at the nearest emergency department, as the clinic does not offer emergency services. Phone: 719-457-CARE (2273)

In addition to the pharmacy in the hospital, there is a pharmacy annex located in the Community Center Complex that offers a call-in prescription refill service available by calling (719) 472-3784.

There are three separate dental clinics on the Academy that provide oral health care to eligible beneficiaries on a space available basis. Information about the TRICARE Dental Program can be obtained by calling (800) 866-8499.