By Carla Olivo, USMC Spouse
Maxwell AFB is considered the “intellectual center for airpower education.” The base, also known as Maxwell-Gunter Air Force Base, occupies the site of the first Wright Brothers’ flying school, which was built on this site in 1910. Maxwell Air Force Base is under the Air Education and Training Command (AETC) and is the headquarters of Air University (AU). It is also the U.S. Air Force’s center for Joint Professional Military Education (PME). The host wing for Maxwell-Gunter is the 42d Air Base Wing whose mission is to ensure Airmen are ready to deploy in support of U.S. military operations worldwide.
The Air Force Reserve Command’s 908th Airlift Wing is a tenant unit and the only operational flying unit at Maxwell. The 908th AW and the 357th Airlift Squadron operate eight C-130H Hercules aircraft in support of combatant commanders worldwide.
Comprised of about 4,000 military and civilian personnel, Air University is the largest tenant unit on base. Air University graduates more than 50,000 resident and 160,000 non-resident officers, enlisted and civilian personnel each year. AU operates more than 650 academic, professional military and continuing education programs. This includes the Air War College, the Air Force Institute of Technology, Air Command & Staff College, and the School of Advanced Air and Space Studies, among others.
Gunter Annex is a separate installation under the 42nd ABW and was consolidated under Maxwell AFB in 1992 to create a combined installation known as Maxwell/Gunter AFB. Maxwell AFB is also home to the Federal Prison Camp, Montgomery, a minimum-security facility for male inmates.
WHERE IS Maxwell AFB?
The base is centrally located 82 miles south of Birmingham, and 162 miles from Atlanta, Georgia.
A population of more than 12,500 active duty, reserve, civilian and contractor personnel, have a significant economic and cultural impact on the River Region. The city of Montgomery, known as “Best Hometown in the Air Force,” is the capital city of Alabama and the county seat of Montgomery County. It sits alongside the Alabama River and is the second most populous city in Alabama behind Birmingham.
Maxwell AFB HOUSING
There are a variety of housing choices in and around Maxwell AFB. The Maxwell Housing Management Office (DSN 493-5718 or 334-953-5718) is a good place to ask questions. Hunt Companies manage the 750 homes between Maxwell AFB and the Gunter Annex which make up Maxwell Family Housing.
- Central AC/Heat
- Ceiling fans
- Energy efficient appliances
- Gated community
- 24-hour emergency maintenance services
- Pest Control
- Landscaping services
On-base housing provides walk-able neighborhoods with easy access to the community center, parks, a pool, and playgrounds. There are also youth centers, fitness centers, a BX/Commissary, Child Development Center, swimming pools, barber shop, beauty shop, and Post Office.
Additionally, Maxwell AFB has a DOD elementary and middle school for Pre-k to 8th grade for Maxwell and Gunter AFB housing residents. On-base Maxwell residents are authorized for Carver Senior High and Gunter residents are approved for Robert E. Lee High School.
To read reviews from fellow mil-families on Maxwell Base housing or local off-base neighborhoods, click here.
BAH & COST OF LIVING
The cost of living in Montgomery is 8% below the national average. Most military families find the cost of housing to be very reasonable. The average rent for a 1-bedroom apartment is $759 and $889 for a 2-bedroom apartment. The median home value in Montgomery is $118,000.
WEATHER Montgomery Al
Summers are long and hot in this part of Alabama. The good news is the cold winters are short! Temperatures are highest over the summer months, usually reaching the 90’s. The warmest months are May, June, July, August, and September.
During the winter months, temps rarely drop below 25°F. The coolest months are December, January, and February, with an average low of 39°F and a high of 58°F.
CULTURE & CUSTOMS
Maxwell AFB is close to the Montgomery Metro area, with recreational activities, entertainment, dining, shopping, and cultural events to enjoy.
Montgomery is known as the birthplace of the Civil Rights Movement, so history buffs will be especially excited. The Rosa Parks Museum, the Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts, and the Alabama State Archives and History Museum are three great museums to start.
The Alabama National Fair, during the first week of October, celebrates this deep southern state with a Choral Festival, an In-Flight Frisbee Dog Show & Dock Diving Show, Kachunga & The Alligator Show, Creative Living Center, and many other attractions with lots of fun and enjoyment.
AREA ATTRACTIONS Near Maxwell AFB
The First White House of the Confederacy features civil-war era items donated by the family of Jefferson Davis. Davis was the one and only President of the Confederacy serving from 1861 to 1865.
Permanently housed in the Carolyn Blount Theatre, one of the ten largest Shakespeare festivals in the world is based in Montgomery. Productions are staged up to 14 times a year, including up to three Shakespeare productions.
Riverfront Park is a popular venue for concerts and other events. There is a splash pad and access to the river for boating. Locals like to pack a picnic lunch and watch the boats go by. For sports fans, there are baseball games at Riverwalk Stadium.
Eastbrook Antique Hall features rare antiques and estate-sale finds. The main floor houses antiques, with the second floor set up as a Flea Market.
A downtown Montgomery museum dedicated to country star Hank Williams is a favorite of country music fans. This attraction is home to his infamous blue Cadillac, his 1947 Gibson guitar, autographed albums, and his stage costumes.
Whether you are here to fill a school slot or a duty station assignment, your time at Maxwell AFB will be memorable. Use PCSgrades as a resource for discovering the local area.