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Charleston Air Force Base

Charleston, South Carolina

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Base History \ Arrival


Joint Base Charleston (AB) is located about 10 miles from downtown Charleston, South Carolina, on approximately 3,400 acres of land within the North Charleston city limits in Charleston County. We’re located in the heart of the Lowcountry, the portion of historic South Carolina where pine and oak forests meet with the natural beauty of Intercoastal Waterway marshes and gorgeous barrier island beaches. With a rich military history and a moderate cost of living, the area has attracted many military retirees that now call the Lowcountry home. The Navy has 42 Commands in Charleston, as does the Coast Guard. The greater metropolitan region has a population of 500,000 and we enjoy a great relationship with civilian communities where we actively participate in many civic, social and cultural events. The base operator's phone number is 843-963-1110 or DSN 312-673-1110.

History

Air Force

The first flight took off from Charleston Army Air Field in 1931. The Air Force officially named its facility as Charleston Air Force Base in June 1953. For a thorough history of the installation, visit the installation’s homepage.

Navy

Commissioned in 1941, the Naval Weapons Station (NWS) Charleston had two distinct missions: as home for two strategic submarine squadrons and a tender, and as an ordnance station with capacity for more than 60 million pounds of conventional ordnance. The ordnance mission continues today, and Joint Base Charleston - Weapon Station is the only military installation in the continental U.S. with completely unencumbered explosive safety arcs. The Weapons Station has expanded its mission and DoD support role, and today is a training center for the Naval Nuclear Power Training Command, Nuclear Power Training Unit and other tenants. For more information on NWS, please visit the installation's homepage.

Mission

The 628th Air Base Wing has two operational groups consisting of 10 squadrons and one wing staff directorate. We also host the 437th Airlift Wing, the 315th Airlift Wing (Air Force Reserve). 17 Air Force mission partners and 36 mission partners at the Weapons Station. Together we provide a large part of Air Mobility Command's global reach airlift capability. We are a key element in overseas contingency operations and in worldwide humanitarian operations. JB Charleston (AF) is home to the Air Force’s the C-17 Globemaster III.

Population Served

The Joint Base Charleston team serves more than 80,000 Active Duty Military, Reserves, Government Employees and Contractors and Dependents. Because of our mild climate and moderate cost of living, Charleston has a very large population of retirees. Joint Base Charelston also serves members from other military services. Tenant units include 1st Combat Camera, AFOSI Det 310, Area Defense Counsel, and Air Force Audit Office. JB Charleston - WS is home to the Naval Nuclear Power Training Unit; an engineering center, with the Space and Naval Warfare Systems Center and as the Army logistics hub, the busiest CONUS surface port in the defense transportation system.

Sponsorship

A sponsor is someone from your new command who is assigned to assist you with settling into your new location.

Air Force

Your sponsor or gaining unit will provide you with a Sponsor Packet with extensive information on JB Charleston (AF) and the community, as well as area maps. If you do not hear from your sponsor, you can contact the Airman and Family Readiness Center for assistance at 843-963-4406 or DSN 312-673-4406. If your sponsor does not meet you upon arrival, the 24-hour check-in point is the Inns of Charleston 843-963-3806 or DSN 312-673-3806.

Upon receiving PCS orders, contact the local base Postal Service Center and complete an AF Form 624 for a change of address. The temporary mailing address for JB Charleston (AF) is: Rank/Name, PSC 1 Box 8000, General Delivery, Joint Base Charleston, SC 29404-5361.

Navy

If you have not been assigned a sponsor or have not been contacted by your sponsor, you may request one by contacting your new command or by using the Sponsor Assignment Aid on the Stay Navy web site. Each separate tenant command is responsible for its own sponsorship program. For more information on requesting a sponsor, contact the administrative offices for your command (see Major Units Listing tab).
All mail should be forwarded to your gaining command's address. Your sponsor can make arrangements for holding your mail until your arrival.

Directions

Directions to Installations

To the Air Base

Charleston International Airport services the tri-county area and is in close proximity. In fact, the base and airport share runways.

  • There are no military shuttles or mass transit that runs from the airport to the base.
  • Rental cars are available on-site. Commercial transportation is available from the airport to the base via taxi.
  • Yellow Cab taxi service is available from the airport to JB Charleston (AB). Yellow Cab taxi is the only taxi service authorized to pick people up from off base and drop them off at their final destination on base. The number for Yellow Cab is 843-577-6565.

Driving Directions

From Charleston International Airport, take the access road to Michaux Parkway and turn right. Proceed to Dorchester Road at intersection (light) turn right onto Dorchester Road. The Main Gate is approximately 1.5 miles on the right on Dorchester Road.

From I-95 take, I-26 East to Ashley Phosphate Road, exit 209 A. Turn right onto Ashley Phosphate Road then turn left onto Cross County Road (go 2.2 miles). Then turn left onto Dorchester Road (go 0.8 mi) and make a left on W Hill Blvd.

Upon arriving at JB Charleston (AB) base introduction information can be provided at either base gate or at the base lodging office. This information covers key facilities and phone numbers a newcomer should find helpful. The Inns of Charleston (lodging) on Hill Boulevard is the 24-hour arrival point. Those arriving after normal duty hours, on a holiday, or weekend should report there to sign in. 

Newcomers arriving on weekdays between 9:00 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. must report to their units prior to reporting to the Military Personnel Section (MPS) Customer Support Section (Building 503, Room 112) for in-processing on the day of arrival. The following documents are required for in-processing at the MPS Customer support Section: your in-processing package (a large sealed envelope), your in-processing worksheet (from gaining unit) and a copy of your orders. The MPS Customer Support Section will schedule newcomers for the mandatory Quick Start briefing. Newcomers arriving after normal duty hours, on a holiday, or weekend or after 3:30 p.m. each business day must turn in their in-processing package at the MPS Customer Support Section on the next duty day after visiting their gaining unit following arrival. Your sponsor or unit INTRO monitor for will assist you with completing required paperwork relating to in-processing.

To the NWS

Airports

From Charleston International Airport

Exit airport and head for I-526 east (also known as the Mark Clark Expressway). Exit I-526 at the North Rhett exit, turn left onto N. Rhett and drive approximately 4.5 miles. Turn right onto Red bank Road at the third light - the base is straight ahead.

There is no shuttle from Charleston International Airport. However there are numerous taxi services from the airport. Be sure to save your receipt for reimbursement when you report in.

Please contact your gaining command to make arrangement for a sponsor to meet you for checking in during and after working hours. JB Charleston-WS's Quarterdeck is not manned 24/7. JB Charleston-WS is primarily an open base with many facilities outside the gate. If you are unsure of where you should "check in" for your new command at JB Charleston-WS, call the Base Quarterdeck for directions and guidance as to proper check-in procedures and ask for further assistance/directions from the guards at the gate. They can be reached 24 hours a day by calling 843-764-7901 or DSN 312-794-7901.

Driving Directions to Joint Base Charleston - Weapons Station

From Points South or North

Exit I-95 to I-26 east. Follow the directions listed below.

From Points West

Exit I-26 to Hwy. 78 (exit 205). Travel east for 2 miles, staying left at the fork and traveling another 2 miles, through a traffic light. After a few yards on the overpass, turn right at the Hwy 52 West/Goose Creek exit. Travel Hwy 52 (Rivers Ave) for 1.5 miles and at the first light turn right onto Redbank Road - base is 3 miles ahead.

From Charleston International Airport

Exit airport and head for I-526 east (also known as the Mark Clark Expressway). Exit I-526 at North Rhett (Exit 19) and turn left onto North Rhett and drive approxiamately 5.6 miles. Turn right onto Redbank Road at the third light - base is straight ahead.

Directions to the JB Charleston-WS South Annex (Naval Consolidated Brig, Space & Naval Warfare Systems Center (SPAWAR), US Army 595 Transportation Terminal Group, or Surface Deployment & Distribution Command (South Atlantic Outport)

From Charleston International Airport

Exit airport and head for I-526 east (also known as the Mark Clark Expressway). Exit I-526 at North Rhett (Exit 19) and turn left onto North Rhett. At the first light, turn right onto Remount Road. At the flashing red stop light, the gate to the JB Charleston-WS, South Annex will be on your left.
From Points South

Exit I-95 to I-26 east (to Charleston). Exit I-26 at Remount Road (exit 212), turn right onto Remount Road and travel for approximately 1.5 miles . The gate to the JB Charleston-WS, South Annex will be on your left.

From Points South and North

Exit I-95 to I-26 east (to Charleston). Exit I-26 at Remount Road (exit 212A), turn onto Remount Road and travel for approximately 1.5 miles . The gate to the JB Charleston-WS, South Annex will be on your left.

Directions to the USCGC Hamilton and Oak, Vessel Support Facility (VSF), NESO, and Fisheries

From I-26 East take exit 215 and turn left onto Dorchester Rd (0.7 miles); when Dorchester Rd ends, turn left onto Rivers Ave (Hwy 52) for 0.2 miles; at the first light, turn right onto McMillian Ave (go 0.8 miles); drive past the guard shack and at the end of McMillan Ave turn right onto Hobson Ave (1.6 miles), finally turn left to parking at Pier P (PAPA).

Directions to the Coast Guard Sector

At the end of I-26 East take a right onto Hwy 17 South (go 1.1 miles), turn left onto Lockwood Dr (which eventually turns into Broad St) and travel 1.2 miles; turn right onto Chisholm St for 0.1 mile; turn right onto Tradd St 1000 ft and at the end of the street (before it makes a sharp left turn to become Murray Blvd) the base will be on the right.