Important Documents to Hand Carry
Copies of PCS Orders, Military records, medical/dental records, Marriage certificates, immunization records, if applicable. Also hand carry HHG 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. All personnel will reside on the local economy during their tour. There is no on-base housing but there is a small lodging operation.
A Non-Appropriated Fund Food Facility and a small commissary are the dining options on base. Please check www.lajesfss.com for current hours of operation and menus.
Passports and Visas
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.
Lajes Field is a dependent restricted tour. However, some personnel decide to bring family on their own costs. More information about bringing dependents to Lajes Field is available at www.lajesfss.com
Cost of Living
The local currency is the EURO. The rate changes each business day and you will receive a cost-of-living allowance for the difference in buying items on the local economy.
On Base Transportation
There is no shuttle bus service on base. POVs can be purchased and manual transmission is the most common, although some automatic vehicles are available. The price can depend on when the Portuguese inspection expires. Renting a vehicle can be expensive. The base gas station does not sell diesel fuel. You can ship a vehicle to Lajes Field – check with TMO on the restrictions. You will be required to install a fog light and pass a local vehicle inspection.
There are no banking facilities at Lajes Field, there is a cashier's cage at the TORC to cash checks and get EUROS.
American Cell Phone carriers may 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,' an inexpensive SIM card can be purchased locally to continue using the phone. Pay-as-you-go cell phones are also available for purchase.
Voltage in the work place is 110 volts and off-base apartments mostly use 220 volts/50Hz. Frequency dependent equipment will be affected. Please check with your sponsor if you have questions. Some electronics, such as televisions, computers, etc., will work fine if they are dual voltage. You can also use a transformer. However, be aware that a transformer pulls the full power even when nothing is plugged into the transformer. Do not plug U.S. electronics into the local electric sockets using just an adapter or it could be damaged.
Restricted Weight Allowance
Lajes Field has a restricted weight allowance but 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 until your shipment arrives. Beds, dressers, couches, tables & chairs, etc. are available. M&FRC also has dish kits to loan out.
Medical assistance is offered through two Independent Duty Medical Technicians (IDMTs). Most medical and dental service is arranged with off-base providers. 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.
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.
There are approximately 600 DoD personnel, local national employees and Portuguese military personnel.
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 56,000.