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Department of the Air Force
104 E. Simpson Street
Joint Base Charleston, SC 29404
The cost of living in Charleston is 11.5% higher than the national average.
Cell phone use while driving on the AB and WS is restricted to hands-free usage.
Vehicle insurance in South Carolina is expensive, so be sure to research rates in advance so that you have sufficient funds available.
The state-of-the-art Child Development Center offers parents of children 6 weeks to five years old a variety of wonderful child care options. The Youth Center for school-age children has a multitude of programs, activities and camps. Personnel relocating to JB Charleston who have a need for child care must request care at MilitaryChildCare.com. This single online gateway provides access to comprehensive information on military operated and military subsidized child care options available worldwide. Once in the site, the sponsor will be asked to create a household account and password unique to his/her family. When space is available in the facility of choice, MCC will send a notification message to the email provided. A Resource and Referral Representative will follow up with information on the registration and orientation process. Please visit the site to request care in any of the Joint Base child care programs.
Parents of school age children are encouraged to do their research regarding schools and education in the tri-county area. Where you live determines what public schools your child(ren) will attend. The school section of this document has more detailed information on the local schools.
Since Charleston, SC is on the Atlantic Coast we are naturally in an area where Hurricanes are a possibility. Hurricane season is 1 Jun through 30 Nov. New residents should plan accordingly which includes preparing a hurricane supply kit, review your homeowner's insurance and seek information on hurricane safety. Also refer to South Carolina's annual hurricane guide during the hurricane season.https://www.scemd.org
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.
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.
The 437th and 315th Airlift Wings provide rapid global mobility using the largest fleet of the C-17 Globemaster III. They bring armored vehicles, medical efforts, paratroopers and cargo where it’s needed.
The 628th Air Base Wing and the Naval Support Activity provide installation support services to 67 distinct organizations/mission partners, ALL service branches, and approximately 90K service members, retirees, and families. Approximately 20% of all jobs in the Charleston Metropolitan area are tied to Joint Base Charleston. Joint Base Charleston contributes $11.1 billion annually to the local economy.
The Navy Nuclear Power Training Command, (NNPTC), trains Navy officers and enlisted in the science and engineering of the design, operations, and maintenance of the naval nuclear propulsion plants. More than 3K sailors graduate and continue on to the Nuclear Power Training Unit, (NPTU). At NPTU, students receive hands on training with two moored nuclear training submarines. These students will go on to execute the DoD’s no-fail nuclear mission.
Joint Base Charleston is a hub for the storage, maintenance, and export of military supplies and armored vehicles. Military cargo is loaded aboard Navy pre-positioning ships and supplied around the world.
The Naval Health Clinic provides health care services to 12K enrollees and 5K naval nuclear students.
Naval Information Warfare Center (NIWC) creates innovative solutions for the modern-day warfighter. Some of these solutions include satellite systems, undersea surveillance, and remote sensors.
Additionally, the Coast Guard partners with Joint Base Charleston units on river security and law enforcement operations.
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.
Commissioned in 1941, 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.
In 2022, the population of South Carolina is reportedly estimated at 5,217,037. Charleston County, where Joint Base Charleston is located, is the third most populated county in the state at 419,841.
The Joint Base Charleston team serves more than 90,000 Active Duty Military, Reserves, Government Employees and Contractors and Military Family Members. Because of our mild climate and moderate cost of living, Charleston has a very large population of retirees. Joint Base Charleston serves members from all military branches. Tenant units include 1st Combat Camera, AFOSI Det 310, Area Defense Counsel, and Air Force Audit Office.
Joint Base Charleston (Air Base) 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. Joint Base Charleston (Weapons Station), approximately 10 miles from the Air Base and 15 miles from downtown Charleston, is in the town of Goose Creek in Berkeley County. Both are 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 several Commands in Charleston, as does the Coast Guard. The greater metropolitan region has a population of over 700,000 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.
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.
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 Joint Base Charleston (Air Base) 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) located at 214 Arthur Drive 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 (large sealed envelope), your in-processing worksheet (from gaining unit) and a copy of your orders. The MPS Customer Support Section will rely on your unit's Commander's Support Staff to schedule you for the mandatory Newcomers Orientation workshop hosted by the Military & Family Readiness Center. 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 CSS will assist you with completing required paperwork relating to in-processing.
To the Weapons Station
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 843-794-7000 or DSN 312-794-7000.
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.
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 approximately 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)
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.
843-963-1110 or DSN 312-673-1110
Online phonebook can be found here: JB Charleston Base Phone Directory July 2020