APO, AE 09720
Phone (DSN) 314-535-4138
Fax (DSN) 314-535-3426
Location: Lajes Field is a Portuguese Air Base, located on the island of Terceira. The nine inhabited islands of the Azores archipelago are located in the North Atlantic Ocean, about 2,300 miles east of Washington, D.C. and about 900 miles west of Lisbon, Portugal. Together, they form an autonomous region of Portugal. Lajes Field, known as the "Crossroads of the Atlantic,"provides an important mid Atlantic link for US and allied forces to Europe, Africa and the Middle East. The volcanic origin of all the islands is revealed by their volcanic cones and craters. Pico, a volcano that stands 7758 feet high on the island of the same name, has the highest altitude in the Azores. The nine islands of the archipelago are divided in three Groups: The Eastern Group of São Miguel and Santa Maria; the Central Group of Terceira, Graciosa, São Jorge, Pico and Faial, and the Western Group of Flores and Corvo. Lajes Field's homepage.
Basic Allowance for Housing (BAH) - To verify the amount of dependents for BAH, remember to HAND-CARRY copies of marriage license and birth certificate for each child.
Cost of Living: Moving to Lajes Field is very expensive and living is expensive as well.
Weather: Fall and winter are very windy and rainy. Gale force winds have occurred. Ensure you have good quality rain gear such as boots and rain jacket with a hood; in the wind, an umbrella is useless. Summer is breezy and it can get humid. The mild temperatures make sunburn a hazard - UV rays can be dangerous on the island.
Special Installation Messages:
As of September 2013, Lajes Field has been designated as single/unaccompanied. Family members may visit for short periods but the military member needs to find out about visa requirements and Portuguese base passes before their arrival.
INPROCESSING: The first duty day after arrival it is vital that you inprocess through Military Personnel (or Civilian Personnel for government civilian employees) where you will be scheduled for the three-day newcomer's orientation; check in with the main gate to get your Portuguese base pass; check in with Unaccompanied Housing; and also start processing your voucher with Finance. Be aware that newcomer's orientation has three portions: a day of required briefings (Tuesday), an island tour (Wednesday) and then a day for Resiliency Training (Thursday). Only people exempt from Resiliency Training are: Commanders, Chief Master Sergeants; people who bring documentation of completing Resiliency Training from their losing base (make sure your Unit Training Manager has documented training in ADLS or bring an MFR from your trainer) or airmen right from technical training going to First Term Airmen's Center (FTAC). Civilian employees have the option to attend or not. Please DO NOT schedule any household goods delivery or other appointments until you have scheduled or attended all three activities.
Local Currency: The medium of exchange on Lajes Field is the US dollar (pennies are not used!). Local currency is the European Euro. The rate changes each business day and is affected by the US dollar's strength in foreign money markets. Euros are available for purchase at the exchange, Top of the Rock Club, Outdoor Recreation (ATM) and bank ATMs located in the Portuguese terminal (713).
Population: Approximately 1800 Airmen (Military-600; Civilian-30; Local Nationals-791 and approximately 400 remaining family members on island as of December 2014).The Lajes Field community is very similar to a small town in the United States. It is a very close knit community with many opportunities to get involved in educational, social, recreation and cultural programs.
Area Population: Island population: 50,000
Base Transportation: VEHICLES: Used vehicles, affectionately called ‘island bombs' are available for purchase - the price can vary depending on when the Portuguese inspection expires and how much work needs done so the vehicle will pass. Manual transmission (‘stick shift') is more common than automatic. Off base local roads can be narrow, so some US vehicles such as SUVs may have a difficult time traveling in towns. Gasoline can be expensive; only ‘super' is available on base. Be aware that diesel fuel is not sold at the base gas station - it is only available off base and is much more expensive than regular gasoline. The rules for side window tint are very strict, especially if the tint is not done at the factory - this may cause your imported vehicle to fail inspection. You will need to purchase international vehicle insurance and the form to carry in the vehicle is on green paper. Companies such as USAA or GEICO will mail the form to you which can take weeks to arrive or - you can print it off at Airman & Family Readiness Center on green bond paper (if they have any) OR you can have the company email the information to: email@example.com
Electric Appliances: Power off base is 220 volts, on base is 110. Appliances will work, except electronic clocks will run very slow. Off-base, 110 volt appliances will need a converter plug/adapter which can be purchased for a couple of dollars at the exchange. On base, televisions need HDMI capability to use local cable service - either as a multi-function system or using a converter. If you are want to live in on-base housing and plan to get cable TV/Internet/phone bundle, make sure to ask your sponsor to pick up at least three of the European-to-American converter plugs for you in advance! The exchange often sells out of them.
Cell Phones: If coming from the ConUS, cell phones will not receive the US carrier signal. If the device uses a SIM card and is unlocked, a local SIM card can be purchased to use Portuguese cell service. Ask your US carrier if your service can be suspended while you are at Lajes - and briefly turned on if you are on leave back to the US. Or see if the carrier will cancel your contract without a fee by sending in a copy of your orders. There are several programs you can use with a smart phone or a land line phone to allow you to call the US using a wi-fi connection. An option for local phones in base housing is to BRING WITH YOU a land-line phone that will accept two lines - one will ring for your Portuguese number, and one will ring for a stateside number if you purchase a program, such as MagicJack (no Air Force Official commercial endorsement is being made), to keep a US phone number.
Lodging: Phone: Commercial 011-351-295-57-5178 or DSN 312-535-5178
Reservations for PCS and TDY are taken 24 hours a day. Non-official lodging reservations can be made up to 30 days in advance. Number of days of stay depends on the existing occupancy rate.
Housing: Phone: 011-351-295-57-3507; DSN: 314-535-3507
Official Housing Website: Lajes Field offers government housing in two different locations: Beira Mar (Enlisted) and Nascer do Sol (Officer and Enlisted). Our inventory consists of: 456 housing units. Approximately 65 % of Beira-Mar housing has been renovated. Nascer do Sol housing was built in the last seven years. The 456 units include 90 officer-housing units and 366 enlisted housing units. These housings unit types are 2, 4, 6 and 8-plexes as well as stairwell housing. Buildings have no more than 2 floors. Housing amenities include: Central Air Conditioning and Heating, and Bedrooms with Built in Closets, Cable Ready, Ceiling Fans, Window Coverings, Automatic Garage Door openers (Nascer do Sol), Laundry Room with Washer and Dryers (Electric), Storage Room, Balcony/Patio, min-blinds, Smoke Detectors, and Walking Trails. The inbound pet policy is pets are are considered in Beira Mar and Nascer do Sol, but not permitted in dormitories - before shipping a pet, know what your housing situation will be. The base kennel closed 30 September 2014. Government furniture is available - beds, dressers, nightstands, dining tables & chairs, bookshelves, desk, couch, arm chair, lamps, china cabinet/hutch, etc.
For more information contact the Housing Office at 011-351-295-57-3507; DSN: 314-535-3507.
Dorms/Unaccompanied Housing: All dorms are managed by the Central Dormitory Management Office. Their inventory consists of 2 Dormitory 2+2 style rooms. The rooms are available to personnel arriving on unaccompanied orders. The requirements for residing in the dorms are subject to change based on the occupancy levels. All authorized personnel will be provided with Government Furniture support.
DINING FACILITIES "CHOW HALLS" - There are no military dining facilities at Lajes so all personnel must provide their own cooking and eating utensils. The Ocean View is the 24-hour feeding facility, serving hamburgers, chicken, pizza, ice cream, etc.
Airman and Family Readiness Center: Phone: 011-351-295-57-4138 or DSN 314-535-4138.
Your Lajes Airman & Family Readiness Center (A&FRC) serves as a focal point for personal readiness and provides core functions such as information and referral, counseling and follow-up; coordination and consultation with other base and civilian agencies to strengthen base policies and programs; assistance for base leadership to meet personal and family needs; and life education and skills programs. It is professionally staffed to provide numerous programs and services. For more information please visit the Lajes Field Support Squadron Airman & Family Readiness webpage.
Defense Service Network (DSN) Dialing Instructions
The DSN is the provider of long-distance communications service for the Department of Defense (DoD). Every installation has a special DSN number and the numbers vary by world-wide location. In order to place a call using DSN, the caller must be using a military phone on an installation. Cell phones cannot dial DSN numbers. When dialing a DSN number from a United States installation to another United States installation, it is unnecessary to dial the DSN 314 area code. When dialing a DSN number to/from overseas locations, the DSN area code must be included.
Medical Services: 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. For more information view the Lajes Field Support Squadron Medical webpage. As of September 2013, Lajes Field has been designated as single/unaccompanied.
Pet & Kennel Information: The inbound pet policy is pets are considered in Beira Mar and Naser De Sol, but not permitted in the dormitories - before shipping a pet, know what your housing situation will be. The Base Kennel has closed as of 30 September 2014.
There is no base veterinarian. There is also a Portuguese form that must be completed by a USDA vet when bring pets from the States no more than 10 days before leaving the US.
Shipment Guidelines: DOD regulations limit pet shipment to passengers in PCS status only. Pets are defined as dogs and cats only. You are limited to two pets per family, unless moving under the Space-Available Pet Program. On AMC flights: pets, including the container are authorized up to 150 lbs. Pets, including the container, weighing more than 150 lbs. are NOT authorized on AMC missions. The member is responsible for all costs involved in shipping a pet.
Be aware that pet space is limited on all flights, so requests for reservations will be made on a first-come, first-served basis.
For more detailed information, visit Lajes Field Support Squadron Pets webpage.
For more detailed information about transferring to Lajes visit Lajes FSS or let us help you plan your move!
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