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Though Air Force bases are considered to be some of the best installations among all the services, the branch still has a number that fall below par. Unlike other services, where most complaints stem from life on and off post, most issues with the Air Force’s bases come from being the cost of living in the areas and high rates of crime.
Task & Purpose polled more than 1000 of its readers on the worst military installations in terms of living. Here are the five worst Air Force installations where you can be stationed, according to their responses.
Dyess Air Force Base
Located just outside Abilene, Texas, Dyess Air Force base was voted the worst among Task & Purpose readers. This post is responsible for training all Air Force B-1 crews and is commonly referred to as the “Home of the B-1.” Residents report that the base is small and there’s nothing to do in the area, unless you want to drive to Dallas or Houston. Housing on post often has long waitlists and living off base means more crime. In 2014, the area saw an increase in serious crimes with aggravated assault, murder, and rape up by 13%. The summers are upward of 100 degrees. According to some respondents, it’s an overly religious area with a high number of evangelical Christian churches.
Los Angeles Air Force Base
Home of the Space and Missile Systems Center and the 61st Air Base Group, Los Angeles Air Force base is situated in El Segundo, California. There are no schools on base. Being that it’s Los Angeles, and very close to LAX airport, it’s a fairly pricey area — especially if you choose to live off post. Traffic is notorious for being some of the worst in the entire country. Some residents have taken to calling the area “Smell Segundo.” The main issue, however, is really the money. Basic allowance for housing is nowhere near enough to foot the bill of an area that has a housing purchase median cost of $766,000.
Joint Base Anacostia-Bolling
Near Washington, D.C., Joint Base Anacostia-Bolling is unpopular among airmen. Perhaps this is due to D.C.’s abysmal traffic, the ridiculous cost to rent or buy a house, and the high levels of crime associated with Anacostia. While living on post is extremely safe — the base is home to the Defense Intelligence Agency — living off post is a different story. Housing on base can be good, but inhabitants say it depends on a service member’s rank, and the D.C. school system has a less-than-stellar reputation. Also, according to residents, the smell from a nearby water treatment plant makes the area very undesirable, especially during the hot and humid summers.
Travis Air Force Base
Travis is in Solano County, California. While most residents acknowledge that it has nice, temperate weather, there isn’t much else said about it. Most families report that the base is a black hole that you never leave. The fact that it feels like a prison has earned it the nickname “AlcaTravis.” There are reportedly dicey areas off post, but most families who live on base have few complaints.
Hanscom Air Force Base
Compared to the other bases on this list, Hanscom is in an area with good schools and low crime. However, the area of Bedford, Massachusetts, is extremely expensive. Being that it’s the only active-duty base in the Northeast, housing on post is limited, forcing service members and their families to live elsewhere. The winter weather in the area can be pretty brutal as well. Some military families go so far as to live in New Hampshire and commute to work.
A Minnesota Army National Guard UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter with three Guardsmen aboard crashed south of St. Cloud on Thursday, said National Guard spokeswoman Army Master Sgt. Blair Heusdens.
At this time, the National Guard is not releasing any information about the status of the three people aboard the helicopter, Heusdens told Task & Purpose on Thursday.
The Pentagon's latest attempt to twist itself in knots to deny that it is considering sending up to 14,000 troops to the Middle East has a big caveat.
Pentagon spokeswoman Alyssa Farah said there are no plans to send that many troops to the region "at this time."
Farah's statement does not rule out the possibility that the Defense Department could initially announce a smaller deployment to the region and subsequently announce that more troops are headed downrange.
The Navy could deploy a second carrier to the Middle East if Trump orders an Iran surge, top admiral says
The Navy could send a second aircraft carrier to the Middle East if President Donald Trump orders a surge of forces to the region, Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Mike Gilday said on Thursday.
Gordon Lubold and Nancy Youssef of the Wall Street Journal first reported the United States is considering sending up to 14,000 troops to the Middle East to deter Iran from attacking U.S. forces and regional allies. The surge forces could include several ships.
I didn't think a movie about World War I would, or even could, remind me of Afghanistan.
Somehow 1917 did, and that's probably the highest praise I can give Sam Mendes' newest war drama: It took a century-old conflict and made it relatable.
An internal investigation spurred by a nude photo scandal shows just how deep sexism runs in the Marine Corps
"I will still have to work harder to get the perception away from peers and seniors that women can't do the job."
Some years ago, a 20-year-old female Marine, a military police officer, was working at a guard shack screening service members and civilians before they entered the base. As a lance corporal, she was new to the job and the duty station, her first in the Marine Corps.
At some point during her shift, a male sergeant on duty drove up. Get in the car, he said, the platoon sergeant needs to see you. She opened the door and got in, believing she was headed to see the enlisted supervisor of her platoon.
Instead, the sergeant drove her to a dark, wooded area on base. It was deserted, no other Marines were around. "Hey, I want a blowjob," the sergeant told her.
"What am I supposed, what do you do as a lance corporal?" she would later recall. "I'm 20 years old ... I'm new at this. You're the only leadership I've ever known, and this is what happens."
She looked at him, then got out of the car and walked away. The sergeant drove up next to her and tried to play it off as a prank. "I'm just fucking with you," he said. "It's not a big deal."
It was one story among hundreds of others shared by Marines for a study initiated in July 2017 by the Marine Corps Center for Advanced Operational Culture Learning (CAOCL). Finalized in March 2018, the center's report was quietly published to its website in September 2019 with little fanfare.
The culture of the Marine Corps is ripe for analysis. A 2015 Rand Corporation study found that women felt far more isolated among men in the Corps, while the Pentagon's Office of People Analytics noted in 2018 that female Marines rated hostility toward them as "significantly higher" than their male counterparts.
But the center's report, Marines' Perspectives on Various Aspects of Marine Corps Organizational Culture, offers a proverbial wakeup call to leaders, particularly when paired alongside previous studies, since it was commissioned by the Marine Corps itself in the wake of a nude photo sharing scandal that rocked the service in 2017.
The scandal, researchers found, was merely a symptom of a much larger problem.