The Williamsburg Hampton Roads area of Eastern Virginia is home to a high concentration of military installations. The presence of each base paired with the tremendous history and natural beauty of the area have created and maintained a stable and often flourishing economy. A number of highly skilled jobs are available in the area, meaning military spouses will likely have no trouble getting to work in the area. Hampton Roads is also known for its wonderful school systems, and many throughout the region are ranked as top in the state. Each base has its own characteristics, but you’ll find that they’ve been expanded and renovated with soldiers and their families well-being in mind, ensuring that your experience while stationed there is both comfortable and fulfilling through a variety of Morale, Welfare, and Recreation (MWR) programs.
Langley Air Force Base, Hampton, VA Officially known as one half of Joint Base Langley-Eustis, this base is actually located 17 miles from its other half. Here, the mission is to ensure superiority in the air. The base occupies over 3,000 acres along the Virginia Peninsula and is one of the oldest continuously active US Air Force bases in the country. Amenities include on-base golfing, a movie theater, the Eagle’s Wing room, and much more. Langley AFB employs over 8,800 military and 2,800 civilian personnel.
Fort Eustis, Newport News, VA Fort Eustis is the other half of Joint Base Langley-Eustis. This base is used by the US Army for training activities including logistics and doctrine. The base occupies over 9,000 acres of land, including historic Mulberry Island, first settled by English colonists around the time of Jamestown. Amenities include the Fort Eustis Club, bowling, a 27-hole golf course, state-of-the-art recreation and fitness centers, the 16-bay Auto Craft Center, the Groninger Library, and numerous restaurants and other family and single activities through the Fort Eustis MWR.
Fort Monroe, Hampton, VA Fort Monroe is located on the tip of the Virginia Peninsula and is home to the Army’s Training and Doctrine Command. The fort was constructed between 1819 and 1834 as a response to the US Military’s failed campaign against Britain during the War of 1812. Upon seizing the area, British forces were able to easily access Washington D.C, leading to its capture and burning. Realizing the strategic importance of control and defense of the area, Fort Monroe was fortified and has continued to function as a leading defense for the nation’s capital.
US Coast Guard Finance Center, Chesapeake, VA Here, the Coast Guard’s financial obligations are managed by a team of administrative professionals. The center distributes funds received from the US Government throughout the Coast Guard. They also analyze sectors of spending, including individual units, and make efforts to streamline spending.
Sector Hampton Roads, Portsmouth, VA This Coast Guard facility’s mission is to support strategic goals of a maritime nature. From national defense to the natural resource protection, this unit monitors the lower half of the Chesapeake Bay and 200 miles into the adjoining Atlantic Ocean.
USCG Training Center, Yorktown, VA Here, students are trained to become the best Coast Guard personnel possible. While here, students attend classes, but also have the opportunity to participate in a number or MWR opportunities from an auto hobby shop to fishing and guided activities. The center also features a movie theater, pool, and dining facilities.
Navy Medical Center, Portsmouth, VA This hospital is the oldest continuously operating Naval medical facility. It serves families from the entire Hampton Roads region, including active duty, retired, and civilian family members. The hospital was founded in 1827 and operates under the motto “First and Finest.” The facility serves over 420,000 individuals needing medical care. The facility features an indoor pool, the Sandbar Club, a number of outdoor recreation events, single sailor events, and more.
Naval Amphibious Base Little Creek, Norfolk, VA As part of Joint Expeditionary Base Little Creek-Fort Story, this facility is operated by the US Navy as the operation headquarters for the Atlantic Fleet’s Amphibious Forces. They provide support services to over 15,000 personnel and 27 home-ported ships. MWR opportunities include family-oriented activities, private military beach access, a movie theater, bowling alley, 18-hole golf course, multiple camping areas, an on-base waterpark, numerous dining locations, recreational facilities and opportunities, and more.
Naval Air Station Oceana, Virginia Beach, VA Here, Naval personnel ensure the superior operation of the Atlantic and Pacific Fleet’s Strike-Fighter Aircraft, as well as work with other agencies to perform inter-agency operations. Things to do on base include single sailor and family-oriented activities, private beach access restricted to military personnel, a skeet and trap range, stables, a water park, camprounds, a golf course, dining locations, and more.
Norfolk Naval Shipyard, Portsmouth, VA This shipyard is home to the Western Hemisphere’s first drydocking facility. It is one of the world’s largest shipyards and specializes in military and private craft modernization, repair, and overhaul. The area features the Callaghan Center Gymnasium, a fitness team and fitness center with over 70 cardio machines, and auto hobby club, the Drydock Club, bowling, and numerous other family-oriented and single events.
Naval Station Norfolk, Norfolk, VA This US Navy Base features support to the US Fleet Forces Command in the Atlantic and Indian Oceans as well as the Mediterranean Sea. Here, over 100,000 flight operations, 150,000 passengers, and over 264,000 tons of mail and cargo depart annually through this station. The station features a bowling at Pierside Lanes, numerous clubs, a child and youth program, aquatics and fitness centers and activities, Liberty and Single Sailor Programs, a movie theater, parks and recreational outings, as well as a sailing course and marina access.
Naval Support Activity, Norfolk, VA Here, the largest concentration of administrative facilities and fleet headquarters, outside of the national capitol, are located. Over 6,000 personnel are employed at the facility, including US Fleet Forces Command, Joint Staff Hampton Roads, US Marine Corps Forces Command, Naval Submarine Forces, Atlantic, and Naval Surface Forces, Atlantic. The facility offers bowling centers, recreation facilities, park and picnic areas, camping, a golf course, liberty programs, a number of galleys, fitness and sport centers, and intramural sports as part of its MWR offerings.
Naval Weapons Station, Yorktown, VA This station is surrounded in the rich natural beauty of Yorktown paired with its historical importance. Here, over 37 tenant commands are hosted and a number of Naval and other groups ensure storage and supply of necessary weapons for the US Atlantic Fleet. Recreational opportunities include bowling, fishing, golf, parks, recreational lodging, tickets, travel, and tours, food and beverage locations, wilderness challenges, fitness programs, and a number of other support services.
No matter which base you may be assigned to, each features a number of wonderful offerings to ensure an enjoyable lifestyle on-base for soldiers and their families. In addition to on-base amenities, military installations in the Hampton Roads region also feature the unique ability to explore all Coastal Virginia has to offer. Busch Gardens, Water Country, and other attractions are all located within a short drive from anywhere in the area. Over 400 years of history are ready to be explored, and the famed Historic Triangle of Jamestown, Yorktown, and Williamsburg features live re-enactments of plantation life, battlefield victories, and more. Experience cultural features of some of the nation’s leading museums, enjoy a waterside concert, or catch a big one on a fishing excursion miles into the Atlantic. No matter which installation you may be assigned to, the beauty of Williamsburg and the Hampton Roads region are right at your doorstep.