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Installation Overview

Location

Lajes Field is located on the Azores Islands, a group of islands located in the North Atlantic Ocean about 2,200 miles east of New York City and approximately 900 miles west of Lisbon, Portugal. Lajes Field is located on the northeast tip of Terceira. The island measures roughly 8 miles by 15 miles and is somewhat oval in shape and is almost entirely bordered by high cliffs. Island population is approximately 50,000.

History

The first Americans arrived in 1944, to construct a runway. Over the years, Lajes has provided support to US and NATO operations, and Operations DESERT SHIELD/STORM. In March 2003, The Atlantic Summit, hosted by the Portuguese government brought many distinguished visitors to the island, including U.S. President George W. Bush. For more information on our history visit Lajes Field's homepage.

Mission

As part of the United States Air Force Europe (USAFE) command, the Lajes Mission is to provide world class service to people to enable, bed down and posture expeditionary forces that are ready to fight and win.

Population Served

There are approximately 1,000 DoD personnel and their families as well as Portuguese military personnel.

Sponsorship

Having a sponsor is KEY to PCSing to Lajes. A sponsor will provide needed information prior to PCSing and will meet the member upon arrival and provide transportation to lodging. The sponsor should ensure the newcomers get a temporary base pass issued upon arrival, and go to the Visitor's Center the next duty day to get pictures taken - the temporary pass is valid for less than a week. A sponsor can assist with a lodging reservation. Contact the Airman & Family Readiness Center at 011-351-295-57-4138 or DSN 314-535-4138 if you do not have a sponsor. If you provide your sponsor with a copy of orders, they will obtain a Post Office box for you 30 days prior to your arrival.

Temporary Quarters

Due to the increase of incoming personnel during the summer months (May-August), base temporary quarters are extremely limited and the waiting time for housing may be longer than usual. Hotels/motels are limited and expensive. Lodging is located in Bldg. T-166 and can be reached by calling 011-351-295-57-5178 or DSN 314-535-5178.

Relocation Assistance

Air Force personnel are required to in-process through their unit and Military Personnel Element (MPE). Right Start is held every other Tuesday and should be scheduled by the MPE. Personnel will report to the Airman and Family Readiness Center, Bldg. T-126, at 7:30 a.m. on the assigned Tuesday for the two-day Right Start/Newcomer's Orientation. Bring a copy of PCS orders to Right Start for medical in-processing. This mandatory day of briefings is designed to inform you on the mission, introduce you to key support agencies and to base policies. If you have a valid driver's license, you will receive a Portuguese license at Right Start.

Community Orientation Tour: A great way to get to know the island and see some of the magnificent sites Terceira Island has to offer is through the tour offered in conjunction with your Right Start briefing. Each military member must attend Right Start upon arrival The tour is provided by 65th Force Support professional tour guides.

Critical Installation Information

Important Documents to Hand Carry

As of September 2013, Lajes is Single/Unaccompanied tour. Copies of PCS Orders, Military records, medical/dental records, , Marriage certificates, immunization records, if applicable. Also hand carry HHGS inventory/TMO paperwork, vehicle shipment, and any receipts or information needed to complete a travel voucher. All individuals must bring their valid stateside driver's license to get their Portuguese license.

Dining

There is no military dining facility on base for those in unaccompanied housing. The Oceanview Island Grill is open 24/7. The Bowling Center Snack Bar is open for breakfast (Tuesday-Friday) and lunch (Monday-Sunday) except Portuguese Holidays. The Top of the Rock Club (TORC) coffee shop is open for breakfast Monday-Friday and lunch is available Monday-Friday as well. The Lounge is open afternoons and evenings Tuesday-Saturday. Closed Sunday, Monday and Portuguese holidays.

Passports and Visas

As of September 2013, Lajes is Single/Unaccompanied tour. It is recommended to purchase a tourist passport (blue cover) to use when flying out of Lajes on leave - this can take several weeks to arrive, so plan ahead. Ensure member has the required passport and/or visa prior to final out-processing. Members are not allowed to final out-process without the required passports/visas in hand for themselves.

These actions are necessary to prevent unforeseen hardships to the military members and their families. Therefore, as a last reiteration, it is essential, members do not out-process without having the appropriate passports/visas for themselves (if applicable) and/or dependents.

Cost of Living

The local currency is the EURO. This rate changes each business day.

On base transportation

There is no shuttle bus service on base. POVs can be purchased; manual transmission is the most common though automatic vehicles are available. The price can also depend on how much longer the Portuguese inspection will last. Renting a vehicle can be very expensive.

Banking Facilities

The Pentagon Federal Credit Union has a branch at Lajes. They do not make over-the-counter transactions in cash. Personal checks may be cashed at the Base Exchange and The Top of the Rock Club (TORC). Additionally, money order services are available at the Post Office and Exchange.

Communications

American Cell Phone carriers will not have reception in the Azores so members should ask their carrier to suspend their account for the duration of their tour. If the phone is ‘unlocked,' a SIM card can be purchased locally to continue using the phone. Pay-as-you-go cell phones are available for purchase. If a member is in base housing and purchases a cable/phone/internet package, calling to the States after 9 pm (Lajes time) for a specified number of minutes per month is free.

Electricity

Voltage in the work place and military family housing is 110. In off-base homes, 50Hz (220 volts) is used. Frequency dependent equipment is affected. Please check with your sponsor if you have questions. Electronics such as televisions, computers, etc will work. Electric Clocks, clocks on cofeemakers, etc, will not keep time properly.

Restricted Weight Allowance

Lajes Field has a restricted weight allowance. Government furniture is available. Contact your nearest TMO for weight allowances and your sponsor for more information on items that can be borrowed from TMO or A&FRC until your shipment arrives. Beds, dressers, couches, tables & chairs, etc. are available. Base housing is furnished with major appliances.

Medical Needs

Due to the limited medical care available, individuals with unusual medical problems or who are on special medications should check with their overseas clearance section prior to departure.

Environmental Morale Leave (EML)

Unaccompanied members are still allowed two Environmental and Morale (EML) trips at this time; one to ConUS and one overseas. This allows grants individuals a higher category while traveling Space "A." Currently, EML destinations are the US and Italy. Military Personnel Section has a worksheet to complete and turn in with a portion of the Leave authorization, 315-535-1366.

 


Associated Links

Military OneSource
Provides access to 24/7 counseling, information and referral for service families.

Defense Travel Management Office /Per Diem
Per Diem official website with information on allowances, travel regulations and lodging websites.

DS Logon (formerly DEERS)
TRICARE beneficiaries can electronically link to their medical records, pay and human resource systems and other websites.

Defense Finance and Accounting Service
The authoritative source for pay issues.

DoD Schools
Provides complete information on all Department of Defense Schools run by DoDEA.

Military K-12 Partnership
Provides comprehensive information for all students.

DoD Commissaries
The Defense Commissary Agency operates a worldwide chain of commissaries providing groceries to military personnel, retirees and their families in a safe and secure shopping environment.

Stars and Stripes
Current editions for European, Mid East and Pacific newspapers.

The CIA World Factbook
Provides infomation on locations overseas.

OSD Reserve Affairs
Provides benefits and services designed to enhance and maintain the quality of life for noncommissioned and petty officers.

AF Wounded Warrior Program
Provides benefits and services available to wounded warriors and families.

USAF Home Page
Provides comprehensive resources and information on all Air Force issues.

Military ID/CAC Card -- Locator
Find all military ID and CAC card facilities worldwide.

Air Force Reserve Command
Information on all reserve affairs and family issues.

Air Force Services Agency
Find information on all AF installations worldwide.

MilitaryKidsConnect.org
Department of Defense-sponsored website for kids impacted by the deployment of parents and caregivers.

USA4 Military Families
Seeks to engage and educate state policymakers, not-for-profit associations, concerned business interests, and other state leaders about the needs of military members and their families.

Explore the links to the left for in-depth information.

Need personal assistance?

Call your relocation manager »

Or, for 24/7 assistance, call Military OneSource. »

MilitaryOneSource.mil, No question is too big or too small 800-342-9647

Plan My Move, Take control of your PCS move

Do you have orders?

Request a Sponsor »


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