Scott Air Force Base is a United States Air Force Base in St. Clair County, Illinois. The wing's mission is to develop and care for Airmen and their families while fostering base and community partnerships as well as to provide unrivaled air mobility operations through Total Force Integration partnerships with the Guard and Reserve.
The weather in St. Clair County is often chilly in the winters, capping at around 30 degrees. Summers often reach temperatures of 90 degrees while both Spring and Autumn comfortably rest around 60 to 70 degrees. See full climate report.
History of Scott AFB
In 1917, the United States War Department agreed to lease 624 acres of land just east of the Mississippi River. Soon after, the new airfield was named “Scott Field” after Corporal Frank S. Scott who was killed in an airplane crash caused by engine failure over College Park, Maryland.
World War I
Initially, the Air Base was a training ground for pilots in World War I, but after the war, the base switched to working with Army Balloons, aerial photography, and weather experiments. The base grew to nearly 1,900 acres by the end of the 1930’s and additional barrack as well as a hospital were constructed.
World War II
At the start of World War II, the base became busy once again, this time to train radio operators. The radio school’s slogan at the time became “The Best Damned Radio Operators in The World!” and by the wars end produced over 77,000 radio operators and mechanics. Additional hangars and landing strips were also created at the time as flight training was still occurring on site.
In 1948, Scott Field was renamed Scott Air Force Base its primary focus shifted to air mobility and again switched focuses to airlifting in the 1960’s. By the 1970’s, Scott Air Force Base became well known for its skills in airlifting cargo and people. In recent years, pilots of the base have come to the aid of national disasters such as the September 11th Terror Attacks when they ensured military planes had sufficient fuel and in 2005 during Hurricane Katrina to airlift victims out of the destruction.
Scott AFB has its own pharmacy which is open Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. through 5 p.m. An automatic refill call line is available at 1-618-256-7400 and general questions can be answered at 1-618-256-7400.
Lodging is available on base at the Scott Inn and Essex House. Rates range from $60 to $75 depending on the style of room which is reserved. Pets are allowed at Scott Inn for a fee of $10 per day. For reservations, call 618-256-1844. Some favorably mentioned hotels nearby include The Hilton Garden Inn O’Fallon, The Holiday Inn Fairview Heights and the Dury Inn Suites O’Fallon. All are about five miles from the base.
Education near Scott AFB
One of the most notable colleges near the Base is Southwestern Illinois College and is one of ninety-four colleges in the United States with a VA VetSuccess on Campus Counselor. Class sizes are average at about 19 students and 98% of their health care students go on to receive their desired certificates.
A detailed list of districts and placement for local school aged children can be found here.
The Scott AFB FCC Program offers in-home child care in on-base or off-base affiliated homes for children ages 2 weeks to 12 years. This program can be contacted at 618-256-8047.
Morale, Welfare, and Recreation
The base has a number of activities and programs for its personnel.
Some more recent outdoor activities have included archery training, obstacle courses, kayaking, Frisbee golf, and zip-lining. Event tickets discounts are available to personnel such as Disney, Universal Orlando, and Six Flags. Fitness facilities are open 24 hours a day and aerobic classes as well as intramural sports teams are often popular on base.
A calendar of events can be found here.
Things to Do
The town of Belleville, Illinois offers many friendly attractions and events throughout the year. Some of these events include motorcycle swap meets, gun and knife shows, a strawberry festival, craft beer walks antique festivals, and celebrations for nearly every holiday. Please visit their city website for more details.
A short 30 minute drive west is St. Louis, Missouri; the capitol of the state. Several notable attractions are the ever famous Gateway Arch, The Saint Louis Zoo, Missouri Botanical Gardens, Forest Park, Cathedral Basilica of Saint Louis, and The Muny – the world’s largest and oldest outdoor musical theater. Baseball fans can also watch major league games at the Saint Louis Cardinals’ stadium while beer lovers can get a tour of the Anheuser-Busch Brewery where Budweiser is brewed.
A one and a half hour drive will bring history buffs to Springfield, Illinois where President Lincoln’s Illinois home can be visited as well as the tomb where he is buried. The Lincoln Presidential Library Foundation is too located in Springfield and several large parks, including Washington Park Botanical Gardens, makes the beautiful region worth a visit as well.