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Installation Overview


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.


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.


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 1,793 DoD personnel and their families as well as Portuguese military personnel.


Having a sponsor is KEY to PCSing to Lajes. A sponsor will provide needed information prior to PCSing and will meet the member and family upon arrival and provide transportation to lodging. 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. Personnel should consider arriving ahead of their families to secure housing before their family arrives, especially if their sponsor has been unable to secure billeting reservations. 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. Right Start begins with a personal brief by the Wing Commander or Vice Wing Commander as well as the Command Chief. This mandatory day of briefings is designed to inform you on the mission, introduce you to key support agencies and base policies. Spouses are encouraged to attend! Morning refreshments are provided. There is also an opportunity to receive your Portuguese driver's license while attending 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 and spouses are encouraged to join-in. The tour will be provided by 65 Services professional tour guides.

Critical Installation Information

Foreign Spouses coming to the Azores

Any military member whose spouse is NOT a U.S. citizen SHOULD contact the MPF at Lajes upon receipt of assignment notification to obtain the correct information on whether or not their spouse will need to obtain a Portuguese Visa prior to their arrival at Lajes.

Important Documents to Hand Carry

Copies of PCS Orders, Military records, medical/dental records, dependent passports, Marriage and birth certificates, immunization records, school records of family members, 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 drivers license to get their Portuguese license. Spouses looking for employment should bring a resume. However, employment is very limited.

Passports and Visas

Ensure member and/or dependents have the required passports and/or visa prior to final out-processing. Member and/or dependents are not allowed to final out-process without the required passports/visas in hand for themselves (if applicable) and/or dependents. Members electing the accompanied tour will not be permitted to out-process without having the required passports/visas in hand for themselves (if applicable) and/or dependents.

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.

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 Club. Additionally, money order services are available at the Post Office and Exchange.


Voltage in the work place and military family housing is 110. In off-base homes, 50Hz is used. Frequency dependent equipment is affected. Please check with your sponsor if you have questions.

Restricted Weight Allowance

Lajes Field has a restricted weight allowance. Base housing is not furnished. 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.

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)

Command sponsored families are eligible for two EML trips per year. This grants individuals a higher category while traveling Space "A." Currently, EML destinations are the US and Italy. The AMC Passenger Terminal at Lajes is the best source for correct information on the subject.

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.

U.S. Air Force Services
Comprehensive information on all Air Force service member and family issues.

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.
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. », 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 »

Additional Resources

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Military Crisis Line

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