Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort

Marine Aircraft Group 31 (MAG-31)
Geiger Blvd, Beaufort, SC 29904
Marine Corps logo


Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort is located in the heart of the South Carolina low country, and is among the United States military’s most important and most historically colorful installations. It is located about three miles northwest of the central business district of Beaufort, a city in Beaufort County, South Carolina. The Air Station, known as Merritt Field, started in the 1940s as Naval Air Station Beaufort, an auxiliary air station supporting advanced training of anti-submarine patrol squadrons to ensure the security of shipping along the Eastern seaboard.

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 its supported commands and their missions.

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.

MCAS Beaufort, nicknamed “Fighter Town,” 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.

MCAS Beaufort currently hosts all active duty USMC F/A-18 air operations on the East Coast, said aircraft and squadrons being assigned to Marine Aircraft Group 31 (MAG-31). The mission of the Marine Aircraft Group (MAG-31) is to conduct anti-air-warfare and offensive air support operations in support of Fleet Marine Forces from advanced bases, expeditionary airfields, or aircraft carriers and conduct such other air operations as may be directed.

Located about 10 miles south of MCAS Beaufort is MCRD Parris Island, which is a training facility for new Marine recruits.

There are over 4,700 active duty, military families, DoD personnel, civilians, and retirees assigned to MCAS Beaufort.



Beaufort 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 served by the Beaufort County Airport located 6.2 mi southeast of MCAS Beaufort.

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.

New arrivals must take their original orders to their command to be endorsed before visiting the Installation Personnel Administration Center (IPAC). If checking in after working hours or on the weekend, check in with the Air Station Officer of the Day (OOD) in Building 601, MCAS Headquarters, duty desk. A mandatory Welcome Aboard Brief is held the 3rd Wednesday of every month at the O’Club. The brief begins at 10:30 am. Spouses are encouraged to attend.


TRICARE Information and News


For a full list of community health centers, visit the Health Center Program at


Check the US News Health directory online at to find the best doctor for your family.


The American Dental Association provides a list of dentists near you on their website


To be enrolled in a South Carolina school, a child must be at least 5 years old by September 1st of the school year. For more details, you should contact the local school district. 

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


Beaufort County School District (K-12)
Laurel Bay Community Schools (DoD Schools – Pre-K to 8th Grade)

You can learn more about Bolden Elementary & Middle School by contacting their office at (843) 846-6112. Additionally, you may contact the Laurel Bay Schools Administration Building at (843) 228-6128.

For an outline of the school standards in South Carolina, visit the South Carolina Department of Education website.

If your child is preparing to attend college, this information on scholarships may be helpful.


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.


Child Care Aware:

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.


Military Children and Teens Resource Guide


The City of Beaufort

Beaufort County, South Carolina

Beaufort Human Resources (843) 525-6016
Helps families live safe, healthy and successful lives. It fulfills this mission by providing children, youth, families and adults care, services and treatment to thrive in their homes and communities.

Beaufort County Social Services (843) 255-6080
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.

Humane Association of the Lowcountry (843) 255-5010
Handles pet adoptions, pet licensing, lost and found animals, and more.

Beaufort County Health Office (843) 525-7615

Beaufort County Sheriff’s Office (843) 255-3200

Beaufort County Library – Beaufort Branch (843) 255-6456
Water and sewer services are provided by the Beaufort-Jasper Water and Sewer Authority (BJWSA). City trash and recycling pickup are coordinated by Waste Pro and are billed through BJWSA. South Carolina Electric & Gas Company (SCE&G) provides electricity and power services to the city. Charter, Hargrayand CenturyLink provide telephone, digital, and cable television services to the city.

Local Internet Providers in Beaufort County:
Comcast Xfinity

Local Cable TV Providers in Beaufort County:

Station Operator (843) 228-7121  

Chapel Office (843) 228-7422  

Dental Clinic (843) 228-7512  

Exchange (843) 228-7769  

Finance Office (843) 228-8423  

Housing Office (843) 228-6000  

ID/CAC Card Processing (843) 228-7941  

Legal Office (843) 228-7385  

Lodging at Irby’s Inn (843) 228-7676  

Medical Clinic (843) 228-7424  

Military Clothing Sales (843) 228-7769  

Privatized Family Housing (877) 749-3724  

Relocation Office (843) 228-6401  

School Liaison Office (843) 228-6128  

Veterinary Services (843) 228-3317 

Visitor Center (843) 228-3650  


On-base housing at MCAS Beaufort is privatized through Atlantic Marine Corps Communities at Tri-Command. You can apply for housing in person at Building 1140, Beaufort, or contact the Military Housing Office (MHO) at (843) 228-6000 for more information. To check for eligibility and availability, you can visit this page.

For off-base housing, there are many communities with single-family housing, duplexes, and apartments for rent. Visit Beaufort Online for more information about housing and things to do in the area.

Cottage Farm
4.1 miles from MCAS Beaufort

Cottage Farm is a safe, quiet neighborhood near the Spanish Moss Trail that is close to schools and shopping with a great view of the river.

Royal Pines
4.3 miles from MCAS Beaufort

Located on Lady’s Island, this safe and family-friendly community offers large lots near the Country Club with great schools nearby. 

Submit information about your neighborhood

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Be sure to let our partners know you found them at Report to Base!


Beaufort experiences warm, humid summers and short, windy and mild winters. The summer temperatures range from the low 90s to low 70s.The hot season lasts from May 25 to September 16, with an average daily high temperature above 84°F while the cool season is from December 1 to February 28, with an average daily high temperature below 66°F. The temperatures during the winter typically range from the low 60s to high 30s.

The area is generally humid, especially in summer, but this is moderated to an extent by being on the sea coast. Ocean storms do come ashore from time to time, including major Atlantic tropical depressions and, occasionally, hurricanes. Beaufort is susceptible to high tides, flooding, and hurricanes, though they rarely do extensive damage.

Over the course of the year, the temperature usually varies from 42°F to 90°F and is rarely below 29°F or above 96°F. Typically, the area is wet and partly cloudy year round. On average, Beaufort gets 48 inches of rain per year; it does not snow in this area. The most pleasant months in Beaufort are October, April, and May. In addition, there are 216 sunny days per year, with the U.S. average being 205 sunny days.

The average cost of living in Beaufort, SC is 105, which puts it 9% higher than the average of South Carolina and 5% higher than our nation’s average. This simple outline of the cost of living index was formulated using prices of: goods and services (weighted 33%), housing prices (weighted 30%), groceries (weighted 13%), utilities (weighted 10%), transportation (weighted 9%), and health care (weighted 5%). Thus, goods/services, along with housing influences the majority of the cost of living index. The price of daily goods and services is a valuable and reliable number to be aware of when considering the general price of the city’s goods. In the case of Beaufort, SC, the price of goods and services are 5% higher than the average of South Carolina as well as 12% higher than the nation’s average.

MCAS Beaufort is situated near three local communities, including Beaufort, Hilton Head, and Bluffton. Beaufort County has a population of over 160,000 people. Beaufort is located on Port Royal Island, in the heart of the Sea Islands and South Carolina Lowcountry. The city is also known for its military establishments, being located in close proximity to MCRD Parris Island and the U.S. Naval Hospital Beaufort.

Renowned for its scenic location and for maintaining a historic character by preservation of its antebellum architecture, Beaufort was named the “Best Small Southern Town” by Southern Living Magazine. Remnants of the original English colonial settlement of Beaufort can be found in the downtown or historic district area. In fact, 304 acres of the town have been designated as a National Historic Landmark. In addition, Beaufort has been named by some sources as one of “America’s Best Art Towns” and The University of South Carolina Beaufort has a performing arts center which attracts regional and national acts to the community.

Beaufort is also a tourist destination known for its history, architecture, and events. Major festivals and arts events include the Home Water Festival, a two-week festival in the middle of July; and the Shrimp Festival, celebrating the local and traditional industry, in the first weekend in October. Also, the Beaufort International Film Festival is a popular event held in mid-February each year that screens independent films.

Take a historical horse drawn carriage ride downtown and learn more about the history of this charming and historic part of South Carolina. Visit “The Anchorage”, which is also known as the William Elliott House. This historic home in the Beaufort Historic District, was built in 1776 and has been listed on the National Register of Historic Places. In fact, the Beaufort area has close to 70 sites listed on the National Register of Historic Places, in addition to the downtown area being listed as a historic district.

Enjoy the lowcountry cuisine, the many unique lighthouses, and the scenic coastal views Beaufort has to offer. Other local outdoor activities include fishing, boating, kayaking, and biking.

Some other notable attractions and local sites include Hunting Island State Park, the Beaufort History Museum, the Henry C. Chambers Waterfront Park, and the Hunting Island Lighthouse.

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