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United States Marine Corps
Cunningham Street & Drayton Street
Beaufort, SC 29906
The cost of living in Beaufort is less than average for the US, but housing costs may be high for junior enlisted families. Contact the Military Housing Office for detailed information regarding Beaufort and the surrounding area. (843-228-6000, DSN 312-335-6000)
Beaufort is susceptible to high tides, flooding, and hurricanes, although, they seldom cause severe damage. It is wise to have renter's insurance if renting off-base or living in government housing. A list of insurance companies offering renters insurance is available at the Housing Office.
Cost of community housing (off-base housing) is relatively high in the Beaufort area. This is particularly true for Junior enlisted families requiring two or more bedrooms, who face greater out-of-pocket expense. Beaufort is located in close proximity to valuable resort property, and plays host to three military facilities located in a sparsely populated, rural setting.
It is important to hand carry your medical/dental records, copy of official orders, school records (for you and your children), personnel file (SRB), training records, birth certificates, Social Security cards, pink slips/titles for vehicles, resumes, insurance papers, passports, warranties, road hazard insurance papers, and prescriptions.
Information regarding pets:
South Carolina law requires you to turn on your car headlights whenever there is any restriction to visibility while driving. This includes rain, fog, smoke, as well as at dawn and dusk.
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 312 area code. When dialing a DSN number to/from overseas locations, the DSN area code must be included. For additional information, please contact the telephone office (843-228-7036, DSN 312-335-7036)
The Mission of Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort is to continue supporting establishment operations for 2nd Marine Aircraft Wing, attached II MEF units, and Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island/Eastern Recruiting Region in order to set the conditions for the enduring success of our supported commands and their missions.
From plantation farm to fighter base, the Air Station's history holds special significance in South Carolina. MCAS Beaufort, nicknamed "FighterTown," holds a significant place in the history of the South Carolina.
The Air Station site was formerly the location of several prominent plantations, including Clarendon and Edgerly. The Laurel Bay military housing area, located four miles from the Air Station proper, is said to contain portions of the Bull and DeVeaux Plantations. British troops landed at Laurel Bay in 1779, during the Revolutionary War and battled Americans at Grays Hill.
More than a century and a half later in the summer of 1941, the Civil Aeronautics Authority proposed to establish an airport at the present Air Station site. As a result of a selection board on August 5, 1942, approximately 5,800 acres of land were purchased by the government for construction of a Naval Auxiliary Air Station. Construction began during December 1942 and was completed in August 1943. On June 15, 1943, the airfield was commissioned Naval Air Station Beaufort. During World War II, the Air Station supported advanced training and operations of anti-submarine patrol squadrons over the United States' southeastern seaboard.
Deactivated in 1946, it was reactivated as a Marine Corps Auxiliary Airfield in 1956, and designated a Marine Corps Air Station March 1, 1960. The airfield was named Merritt Field in September 1975, in honor of retired MGen. Louis G. Merritt, USMC. This dedication was the result of a resolution passed by the South Carolina General Assembly.
Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort is located in the heart of the South Carolina lowcountry, and is among the United States military's most important and most historically colorful installations. The Marine Corps Air Station is located in the southeast corner of South Carolina's lowcountry, within Beaufort County. MCAS Beaufort is situated 65 miles south of Charleston and 50 miles north of Savannah, Georgia. Beaufort is considered a high cost of living area.
The base covers 6,900 acres, of which 5,800 are located east of Highway 21 and include operational facilities. The remaining acres contain the Laurel Bay military family housing area four miles west of the Air Station main gate. Another 5,200 acres at the Townsend Bombing Range in McIntosh County, GA also belong to MCAS Beaufort. The Georgia Air National Guard, through an agreement, carries out day-to-day management of the range. The base operator's phone number is 843-228-7100, DSN 312-335-7100. To view an overview of this base, visit the MCCS South Carolina website or contact the Information and Referral Program at 843-228-7351, DSN 312-335-7351.
There are no shuttles or public transportation from Charleston International Airport or Savannah/Hilton Head International Airport to MCAS Beaufort. If you need transportation from either airport upon arrival, please contact, The Operations Duty Officer at 843-228-7301, 843-228-7302, 843-228-7303 DSN 312-335-7301, 312-335-7302, 312-335-7303.
From Charleston International Airport To MCAS-Beaufort
Leaving airport get on I-526 (Mark Clark Expressway) heading South. When I-526 ends take a right at the stop light. This will put you on US17 South. When you come to Jacksonboro you will veer to the left (still on US17 South) following signs to Beaufort. You will stay on US17 for approximately 50 miles altogether. At Garden's Corner, you will take a left on Hwy 21 South towards Beaufort. MCAS is on the left at the second stoplight.
Beaufort from Savannah International Airport or from I-95 Northbound to MCAS
Leaving airport get on I-95 North. Take Exit 8, Beaufort/Hilton Head. Go 5 miles on four(4) lane road. Take left toward Beaufort. Go 3 miles to stop sign. Take a left on hwy 278. Go 1 mile and turn right on Hwy 170. After about 10 miles and 2 bridges, you will come to a stop light, intersection of Hwy 170 and 802. Turn left. Go to the next stop light and turn left on Hwy 21 North. MCAS-Beaufort will be 2 miles down on the right (You can turn on the ramp or at the stop light).
Leaving airport get on I-95 North. Take Exit 8, Beaufort/Hilton Head. Go 5 miles on four(4) lane road. Take left toward Beaufort. Go 3 miles to stop sign. Take a left on hwy 278. Go 1 mile and turn right on Hwy 170. After about 10 miles and 2 bridges you will come to a stop light, intersection of Hwy 170 and 802. Turn left. Go to the next stop light and turn left on Hwy 21 North. MCAS-Beaufort will be 2 miles down on the right (You can turn on the ramp or at the stop light).