Westover Air Force Base
439th Airlift Wing
2255 Westover Rd, Chicopee, MA 01011
Westover Air Reserve Base hosts the largest Air Reserve Base in the world in terms of area, has been in operation since 1940 and served as a bomber training base and port of embarkation/debarkation during World War II. Following the war, the base was a staging point for the Berlin Aircraft, a headquarters of the Military Air Transport Service system until April, 1955. From that time until 1974, the base was a major Strategic Air Command installation. Since May 19, 1974, Westover has been an Air Force Reserve Command base. From then until October 1987, the 439th Tactical Airlift Wing operated the C-130 Hercules and C-123 Provider aircraft. The wing converted to C-5As in 1987, and the unit eventually became designated as the 439th Airlift Wing. The installation was named for Major General Oscar Westover who was commanding officer of the Army Air Corps in the 1930s.
Nearby, with a population of 55,298, Chicopee uses the nickname “Crossroads of New England” as part of a business-development marketing campaign, a nickname that West Springfield also uses. The name reflects the city’s convenient location among a number of metropolitan areas and its transportation network. In 1848, Chicopee, which for more than two centuries had been a part of the Town of Springfield, was separated and organized as a distinct town. Political factions in Springfield wanted that jurisdiction to remain a town, rather than become a city and take on a mayoral form of government. By partitioning Chicopee, those political factions prevented Springfield from becoming a city until 1852. The result was that Springfield lost 2/5 of its land area and nearly half of its population when Chicopee was created.
The nearest airport is Bradley International Airport located 30 miles from base.
Directions from Bradley International Airport:
Get on Bradley International Airport Con from Bradley International Airport
Take I-91 N to MA-116 S/Chicopee St in Chicopee
Take exit 3 from I-391 N
Take Granby Rd, Westover Rd and Patriot Ave to your destination
Entering Westover ARB into most GPS devices will not get you to a valid gate. To reach the Main Gate, please enter 2255 Westover Rd, Chicopee, MA 01011 into your GPS. This address is for a nearby business, disregard the turnoff for the business and continue straight on Westover Rd. The main gate will be on your left just prior to the road dead ending.
In the winter months of Westover Air Force Base, October through April expect black ice or snow/ice and the roads. Good wipers, plenty of windshield wiper fluid, and a full tank of gas are critical.
TRICARE Information and News
For a full list of community health centers, visit the Health Center Program at https://findahealthcenter.hrsa.gov/.
Check the US News Health directory online at https://health.usnews.com/doctors/search to find the best doctor for your family.
The American Dental Association provides a list of dentists near you on their website https://findadentist.ada.org/.
FOR THE CHILDREN
In Massachusettes, the compulsory school age is 6 while the kindergarten entrance age is determined by the Local Education Agency.
In 2010, the majority of states, the District of Columbia, and the Department of Defense Education Activity adopted Common Core State Standards that provide a consistent set of educational expectations for students, regardless of ZIP code. When a family moves, a student’s education is often disrupted because the student may be forced to repeat material or learn at a different level at the new school. With common standards across states, this disruption will be reduced — of particular interest to military families. For more information, visit http://www.corestandards.org/.
There are a lot of different elementary, middle schools and high schools to choose from depending on where you and your family reside. Here’s a list of all of the different options.
Also, if you have a child that is preparing to attend college, University of Massachusetts Amherst, Westfield State University, and Western New England University may be of interest to them along with information on scholarships.
FOR THE SERVICE MEMBER
Current service members can attend college in their off-duty time and have their military branch pay the tuition. Learn about the Military Tuition Assistance Program. Use the Tuition Assistance (TA) DECIDE tool to help you make the best use of your tuition assistance dollars.
If you were or are in the military, you may be eligible for Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) education benefits. If you are a spouse or dependent, you may be eligible too.
Online course options: edX – Founded by Harvard University and MIT, offers high-quality courses from the world’s best universities and institutions to learners everywhere. Whether you are interested in computer science, languages, engineering, psychology, writing, electronics, biology, or marketing. Enroll today!
When moving to a new location, it is important to know who to call when you have an emergency or you need help. Below are some organizations you will find useful.
Under the site’s “Child Care 101” tab you’ll find information related to locating quality child care, the types of child care available to you and how to evaluate the child care providers you visit. There’s also a special section for the military child on the website covering topics such as military fee assistance, payments and provider services.
Massachusetts Social Services (413) 534-3698
Strives to create communities where children grow up safe from abuse, neglect and dependency, where adults are protected from domestic violence and where parents can be strengthened in their capacity to keep their family safe.
Massachusetts Department of Health (617) 624-6000
Massachusetts Humane Society (413) 781-4000
Chicopee Police Department (413) 594-1700
Airman & Family Readiness 413-557-3024
Airman and Family Readiness Center 413-557-3024
Airshow Vendor Questions 413-557-2899
Barber Shop 413-557-2080
Base Club/Dining Facility 413-557-2039
Base Contracting 413-557-3508
Base Exchange 413-593-0232
Base Lodging (Flyers Inn) 413-557-2700
Base Operator 413-557-1110
Base Shoppette/Gas Station 413-557-3869
Bowling Alley 413-557-3990
Civil Air Patrol 413-330-8311
Civilian Pay 413-557-7291
Commander’s Hotline 413-557-3774
Communications Squadron Focal Point413-557-7999
Conference Center 413-557-3595
Contracting Office 413-557-3508
Customer Service (military IDs) 413-557-3874
Drug Demand Reduction Manager 413-557-2649
Education/Training Office 413-557-3440
Explosive Ordnance Disposal 413-557-3509
Fire Department 413-557-3818
Fitness Center 413-557-3958
Four Seasons (MWR) 413-557-2192
Historian (UTAs only) 413-557-2075
Honor Guard 413-557-3342
IG Complaint Program 413-557-3137
Information Protection 413-557-2310
Inspector General 413-557-3137
Law Enforcement Desk 413-557-3557
Legal Office 413-557-3513
Lodging (Flyers Inn) 413-557-2700
Maintenance Group 413-557-3816
Mental Health 413-557-2456
Military Housing 413-331-3205
Military ID/DEERS 413-557-3874
Military Personal Customer Service (Mil ID/Deers) 413-557-3874
Mission Support Group 413-557-3044
On-Base Lodging (Flyers Inn) 413-557-2700
Operations Group 413-557-2204
Outdoor Recreation/Four Season 413-557-2192
Pass & ID 413-557-2012
Passenger Terminal 413-557-3453
Pioneer Valley USO 413-557-3290
Public Affairs/Media Relations 413-557-2020
Reserve Pay 413-557-7291
Retiree Activity Office 413-557-3918
Retiree Information Office 413-557-3918
Security Forces 413-557-3557
Sexual Assault Response Coordinator 413-557-7272
Shoppette/Gas Station 413-557-3869
Snowline (inclement weather) 413-557-3444
Space “A” Flight Information 413-557-2549
Space “A” Travel 413-557-2549
Tour Questions 413-557-2020
Travel Pay 413-557-7291
Visitor’s Center/Vehicle Pass413-557-2012
Westover Club 413-593-5531
Seeing Westover is an Air Reserve base it does not accommodate any on-base housing. For Off Base Military Housing call (413) 331-3205.
5.6 miles from base
In 1641, Willian Pynchon expanded his 1636 holdings by buying the land from the Chicopee River north to the Willimansett (Nipmuc for “good berries place” or “place of red earth”) Brook. Land sales in Chicopee were recorded in 1659, but apparently no homes were built immediately. Now you can enjoy a nice walk to Rivers Park, golfing at Callaway Golf, or a nice walk along the Connecticut River. There are also some delicious restaurants to visit, such as Cavalier, Jennifer’s Kitchen, and Dunkin.
2.4 miles from base
Fairview is the northern-most neighborhood (village) in Chicopee and originally included the lands that are now part of Westover ARB. Primarily agricultural, Fairview was known for its tobacco farms. After 1939, Westover helped to rapidly develop the village into a residential and commercial district. Memorial Drive (Route 33) flows North-South connecting Chicopee Falls with South Hadley. Some local attractions include Fairview Memorial Park, Giovanni’s Pizza Shop, Buffalo Athletic and Social Club, Westover Building Supply and Frontera Grill.
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In Chicopee, the summers are warm and wet, the winters are freezing, and it is partly cloudy year round. Over the course of the year, the temperature typically varies from 17°F to 84°F and is rarely below 1°F or above 92°F.
The warm season lasts for 3.6 months, from May 29 to September 16, with an average daily high temperature above 74°F. The hottest day of the year is July 21, with an average high of 84°F and low of 63°F. The cold season lasts for 3.3 months, from December 1 to March 11, with an average daily high temperature below 44°F. The coldest day of the year is January 29, with an average low of 17°F and high of 34°F.
The wetter season lasts 3.5 months, from May 2 to August 18, with a greater than 29% chance of a given day being a wet day. The chance of a wet day peaks at 37% on May 30. The drier season lasts 8.5 months, from August 18 to May 2. The smallest chance of a wet day is 21% on January 29.
Compared to other cities in Massachusetts and cities across the country, the cost of living index in Chicopee, MA is 105, which is 20% lower than the Massachusetts average and 5% higher than that for the entire country.
The index is comprised of the following criteria: cost of retail goods and services (33%), groceries (13%), health care (5%), housing (30%), cost of public/private transportation (9%) and utilities (10%).
The Great New England Air Show is an annual two-day air show held at Westover Air Reserve Base. 300,000 visitors attended in 2008 to a show that featured the USAF Thunderbirds. Approximately 210,000 attended the highly anticipated 2012 show, Although no major jet team headlined the show, military demonstrations by the F/A-18F Super Hornet, F-15C Eagles, V-22 Osprey, B-2 Spirit Stealth Bomber, and a locally based C-5 Galaxy along with civilian aerobatics and warbirds kept spectators entertained; over 60 aircraft were on static display making it the biggest airshow to take place at that location since 1974. The next air show is scheduled for July 14 and 15, 2018 celebrating the 78th anniversary of Westover ARB with the US Navy’s Blue Angels headlining in their first appearance at the base.
The Sword Game is an annual football game that began in 1964 after the founding of Chicopee’s second high school, Chicopee Comprehensive High School. It is held every fall between Chicopee High School and Chicopee Comprehensive High School. The city’s mayor presents the winning team with the Mayor’s Sword, a sword that was manufactured in the 1890s by Ames Manufacturing Company in Cabotville.
The World Kielbasa Festival is a four-day fair featuring Polish food, polka dancing, games, and rides. The original K-Fest was held by the Chicopee Chamber of Commerce’s Fireball Club and ran from 1974 until 1997. It was dormant for years, and then revived and held at Szot Park in May 2015. In May 2016, Chicopee’s Kielbasa Festival became part of a larger cultural event when it was moved to the Big E grounds in West Springfield.
Frank J. Szot Memorial Park is a focal point for community events in the city with accommodations for baseball, basketball, and picnicking. The stadium is typically used for local and regional soccer and football games. Features include a pond, one WWII and one Cold War era tank, several war monuments, and a fountain. Chicopee Memorial State Park is located in the Burnett Road neighborhood and used to be known as the Cooley Brook Reservoir and Watershed, the Chicopee Memorial State Park has been developed into a high use active recreation area.
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