Andrews Air Force Base Guide

Getting to Andrews

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Andrews enjoys a varied but fairly moderated climate. The summers are usually warm and humid with July being the warmest month. The average daily temperatures range from 65 to 87 degrees Fahrenheit. Extreme maximum temperatures sometimes reach more than 100 degrees. During midsummer, thunderstorms occur on about one third of the month. Fog can be a problem throughout the year, most often in the early morning hours. During the winter months, it rains frequently and light snowfalls can be expected, with an occasional heavy snowfall. January is the coldest month during winter. The average daily temperatures range from 29 to 45 degrees. Annually, the average precipitation is 43 inches and average snowfall is 20 inches. In general, all four seasons can be enjoyed in the region.

The Military Personnel Flight helps newcomers in making a smooth transition to Andrews through a well-established sponsorship program. Having a sponsor enables servicemembers to take some of the worry out of moving. Gaining units will assign a sponsor close to the same AFSC, marital status and rank.

Good communications with the sponsor is key to a successful transition to Andrews. With advance notice and preplanning, sponsors can make arrangements for lodging and general delivery postal arrangements. Additionally, he or she will be available to greet new members of the Andrews family when they arrive and give a tour of the base and local area.

Members within 30 days of departure who haven't been informed of their sponsor should call the MPF customer service section at commercial 301-981-2276 or 301-981-2277, or DSN 858-2276 or 858-2277.

Family Moving
To help sponsors do a good job, advise them early of special interests in housing, schools, activities or other areas. The sponsor can help with lodging and in-processing, as well as assisting members in settling into the new working and living environment.

When moving day arrives, double-check closets and shelves to be sure they are empty. Traveler's checks, rather than carrying large sums of cash, are also a wise choice. Be sure to hand carry any jewelry and valuable documents rather than packing them with household goods.

Make plans for transporting any pets. If unhappy or nervous, they can be very poor traveling companions - veterinarians may be able to give advice on how to make their trip more comfortable.

Finally, let a close friend or relative know the route and schedule, which will be traveled. Included overnight stops. Use that person as a message center. Also provide this information to the appointed sponsor.

Directions by Air or Train
If planning to come to the Washington, D.C., area by commercial airlines, there are three airports, which are close to the area: Ronald Reagan Washington National, Dulles or Baltimore-Washington International airports. Ronald Reagan Washington National is the closest airport to Andrews.

If traveling by train, book passage to the New Carrollton Train Station, rather than Union Station in downtown Washington, D.C. The New Carrollton, or Beltway Station is only a few miles north of the base, off the Capital Beltway exit 19, and is much more convenient for newcomers who arrange for their sponsors to meet them on arrival. To make train reservations, call 800-USA-RAIL.

When planning an itinerary, remember the Air Force cannot provide government transportation to the base from area airports, bus terminals or train stations. There is ample taxi service available, but in Washington, D.C., as in most major urban centers, taxi fares are high. Travel fares range anywhere from $20 to $80 depending from the place of departure.

Directions by Car
Andrews is located approximately 10 miles southeast of Washington, D.C., in Prince George's County, Md., and borders the communities of Camp Springs, Clinton and Morningside.

The most common way to approach Andrews is on Interstate 95⁄495, usually referred to as the Capital Beltway. Whether you're approaching Andrews from Virginia or Maryland, use Maryland exit 9, Allentown Road, Andrews AFB, State Route 337. If coming from Virginia, make a left where the exit intersects with Allentown Road. The main gate is just a few hundred yards on the right. If approaching from Maryland, make a right turn from Exit 9, onto Forestville Road, go across the overpass and make another right onto Allentown Road. Make a left at the first traffic light, Suitland Road, to enter the main gate.

Andrews can also be accessed by taking either exit 7 or 11, if an exit was made too soon or late. From exit 7, take the 7A marked ‘‘Branch Avenue, Waldorf, Route 5. Stay on Branch Avenue for approximately one mile and make a left turn onto Allentown Road, Route 337.

When taking exit 11, take the off-ramp marked ‘‘Pennsylvania Avenue, Upper Marlboro, Route 4. Stay on Route 4 and go to the second traffic light. Make a right onto Route 337 and follow the signs to the North Gate. The North Gate is also used for deliveries and over-sized vehicles. Be aware the North Gate hours vary.

When arriving to Andrews, by any gate, newcomers can ask a gate guard for directions to the newcomers' 24-hour arrival point located at The Gateway Inn.

Temporary Lodging
All members planning travel to Andrews are advised to make lodging reservations at least 60 days prior to their planned date of arrival. Reservations can be made in advance by calling the lodging office front desk at 301-981-4614 or DSN 858-4614, extension 0, for individual reservations. Groups of 10 should call 301-981-9668 or DSN 858-9668 for reservations. Reservations are taken 24 hours a day, seven days a week. High volume calls are between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. weekdays.

Gateway Inn room rates are $30 and $38 based on room amenities and TLF units are $43. The units are available to servicemembers making a permanent change of station move to or from Andrews, on a first-come, first-serve basis. Reservations are made up to 30 days, space permitting, for those processing in and seven days for those processing out.

The units are equipped with limited housekeeping. Pets are not allowed either in quarters or on the premises.

Members may check in at 3 p.m. or as soon as a room is available. If members who have a reservation arrive after 6 p.m., may hold the room with a valid Visa or Master Card. Extensions may also be requested at the same number. Checkout time is 10 a.m.

If no temporary quarters are available on base, the lodging office, located at Bldg. 1375, can provide a list of local hotels and motels that may offer special military rates. The base housing office, located at Bldg. 1190, can be reached at 301-981-5516, can also provide a list of short-term accommodations.

Household Goods
In the National Capital Region, the Joint Personal Property Shipping Office at Fort Belvoir, Alexandria, Va., handles all household goods for all servicemembers assigned to the area.

Immediately upon arrival, call 703-806-4900 or 800-762-7186 and leave contact information to be reached for household good deliveries. It is also wise to leave the sponsor's name and phone number or duty section phone number as an alternative way to be reached. Delivery hours for property are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Mondays through Fridays.

If household goods sustain any damage or loss during shipment, members are entitled to submit a claim for reimbursement. This is done through the base legal office located in Bldg. 1535 and can be reached at 301-981-0201.

Emergency medical treatment
Although no one likes to think about being sick or injured, it's important servicemembers know how to get medical and dental care while on leave, temporary duty or en route to Andrews.

These procedures are as follows: In the event of an emergency, civilian or military members should always go directly to the nearest emergency department. This includes, but isn't limited to any sudden illness or injury requiring immediate attention such as chest pain, shortness of breath, allergic reaction, bleeding, poisoning, burns, etc.

Before You Move, Don’t Forget...

  • Keep a detailed inventory of possessions.
  • Make and confirm lodging reservations as early as possible.
  • Give the post office a forwarding address two weeks prior to departure.
  • Change addresses with credit card companies and other billing agencies.
  • Send changes of address to magazine publishers and be aware subscription address changes usually take several weeks to take effect.
  • Notify relatives and friends of new address.
  • Have banker give a letter of introduction and credit references.
  • Stop newspaper and other home delivery services.
  • Settle bills with local utility companies. Don’t forget to get refunds of any deposits made and a letter of reference from the telephone and utility companies.
  • Transfer insurance on cars, home, etc., and check to see if personal, high-value possessions are covered during the move.
  • Take along the family address book, being sure to enter the address and telephone number of all creditors, as well as the due dates of all debt payments, in case bills are delayed or lost in forwarding mail.
  • Ask for a copy of, or transfer, children’s school records.
  • Get records from private doctors and dentists.
  • Notify clergyman and obtain any necessary documents of birth, baptism, etc.