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Naval Air Station Key West Base Guide

Naval Air Station Key West supports 20,000 or more members of various military branches, including the Navy, Marines, Air Force, Army, and Coast Guard. This premier facility provides the equipment, hangars, training, and personnel for combat fighters, Naval ships and underwater military missions.

The site is essential to support security and development of top-notch missions along the U.S. coast and beyond.  Learn more about Naval Air Station Key Wes,t including base contact information, housing, education and info on the surrounding area below.

NAS Key West History

Due to the easy access by sea, the Key West area has been home to naval travelers and fleets as far back as the 1800s, when the base here was founded to address big problems with piracy.

It was originally the Spanish governor of Havana who petitioned to found a base there. The area was a main shipping hub and attracted pirates from all over, including famous pirates like Black Beard.

When the Civil War broke out, NAS Key West prevented supplies from coming in to support the Confederacy and were also the only port in the south that was not captured and utilized by the Confederates.

NAS Key West would play an important part in World War I, which was essential in developing naval aviation anti-submarine warfare. Seaplanes also called this site home during World War II, where it supported and staffed submarines and aircraft.

Just 20 years later, NAS Key West’s strength was needed during the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis to show a united front against all threats. The site was commended by President Kennedy, thanking service members and the community for its role in ensuring national security.

Today, the presence of the Navy continues to reduce threats to help provide safe travel for merchant traffic and for all who pass through.

NAS Key West Surrounding Area

Located in the Florida Keys archipelago, Key West is a popular attraction for people worldwide and home to the southernmost point of the United States.

The area is known for its crystal-clear waters and beaches. It is a regular cruise ship stop and past home to President Truman and Ernest Hemingway and a vacation destination for families and celebrities. Some of the most visited sites are as follows:

  • Dry Tortugas National Park
  • Ernest Hemingway Home and Museum
  • Truman White House
  • Overseas Highway
  • Southernmost Point
  • U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Ingham Maritime Museum
  • Mallory Square
  • Key West Butterfly and Nature Conservatory

NAS Key West Mission and Units

Naval Station Key West’s focus is on “operational national security”, providing support for the Department of Defense and the Department of Homeland Security. Important missions and units include but are not limited to:

  • Aviation Supply Detachment (ASD)
  • Fleet Readiness Center Det. Key West
  • Joint Interagency Task Force South
  • Naval Branch Medical Clinic
  • Navy Munitions Command Det Key West
  • Special Forces Underwater Operations School
  • United States Coast Guard Sector Key West
  • Strike Fighter Squadron 106 Gladiators
  • Fighter Squadron Composite 111 Sundowners

In-Processing and Check-In

All new arrivals are directed to check in with their gaining unit unless otherwise instructed. The command recommends not bringing family members when checking in, according to DoD literature. It may be best to “wait until housing is secured” and have your family join you after. Contact your sponsor for specific check-in procedures and other details you’ll need to know on arrival.

NAS Key West Child Care

The Child Development Center in NAS Key West is in building V-4187, offering care to families for children from six weeks old to school age. Full-time and part-time care is available. For those interested in enrolling in Pre-Kindergarten, pursue opportunities for enrollment through the local public school.

To register, provide immunization records, income verification (used to determine payment rates) and documentation of recent medical evaluation. The wait list can be a few months long, so make sure to begin the process in advance.

NAS Key West Housing

Balfour Beatty Communities LLC is the partner for NAS Key West privatized housing. The area houses both military and civilian families depending on availability of lodging. To apply or be placed on the waiting list, fill out the housing application form or DD form 1746 and have accompanying documents ready like birth certificate, copies of identification and copies of orders.

Balfour Beatty Communities can be reached at (305) 292-5590.

There is limited single service member housing available at Naval Air Station Key West. The Department for Unaccompanied Personnel Housing is reachable for details at (305) 293-4127. If visiting the department in person, go to 800 Sigsbee Rd, Building V 4059 in Key West for more information, floor plans and to make arrangements.

Related: Basic Allowance for Housing Calculator

PCS and TDY Lodging

Temporary Lodging for Naval Air Station Key West is offered at MWR Navy Gateways Vacation Rentals and can be secured up to a year in advance for a stretch of up to 14 days. This site does not allow pets. For those coming into the area with pets, The Navy Lodge is the best choice to reserve.

Due to high demand in the area, make reservations as far in advance as possible if arriving with family. Those who do not make arrangements in advance may have a difficult time finding a place with enough occupancy for groups, especially during peak travel season. If the two prior listings have no vacancy, try Navy Gateway Inn & Suites for availability.

NAS Key West Commissary

811 Sigsbee Rd
Bldg. V4111
Key West, FL 33040
(305) 293-4405

The commissary at Naval Air Station Key West participates in the YES! Program, offering discounts and savings to shoppers. The Nutrition Guide Program also labels foods so customers can make healthy choices. With a day’s notice, fruit and vegetable trays can be ordered that feed from 4-6, 8-11 and 12-16 people. Only service members can shop at the commissary with a valid military ID.

NAS Key West Transportation

The nearest airport to the region is the Key West International Airport. The Key West International Airport has taxi, rideshare, and Greyhound Bus service from the airport to various destinations.

If driving from Florida City, use I-95 south to US1, following signs for Boca Chica Field at NAS. On base, there is no transportation for regular use, so a personal vehicle can be essential.

Vehicle Registration And Driver’s License

NAS Key West requires that all vehicles on base be registered at the Visitor Center at the main gate during regular business hours. To register a vehicle, bring the vehicle title, proof of insurance, government ID card, and valid driver’s license. Motorcycle drivers must provide the same documentation plus pass a motorcycle safety course and proof of status of the course. They must also wear protective gear at all times, including a helmet.


Young learners in the Florida Keys area attend Monroe County School District campuses. There are no DoD schools in the area. Service members’ children typically attend Lower Keys schools according to their address. Key West is home to a few public schools, but the on base school for elementary students is located on Sigsbee Annex Base.

Most students will attend the school they live closest to, most often Sigsbee Charter School. There is a Montessori school in the area as well, along with the private school options: Mary Immaculate School and Grace Lutheran School.

Colleges and Universities

Naval Air Station Key West, in collaboration with the College of the Florida Keys and Saint Leo University, offers two-year programs and bachelor’s degree programs for service members. At Saint Leo University, students can study Liberal Arts, Business, Computer Information Systems, and Human Resources. At the College of the Florida Keys, higher learners can graduate with a two or four-year degree or recreational and continuing education classes, including language classes.

Related: Ultimate GI Bill Guide


804 Sigsbee Road
Bldg. V4058, Sigsbee Park
Key West, FL 33040 9037
(305) 293-4408

  • Barracks/Single Service Member Housing (305) 293-4467
  • Child Development Center (305) 293-4498
  • Hospital/Medical Facility (305) 293-4600
  • Housing Office (305) 293-4466
  • ID/CAC Card Processing (305) 293-2571
  • School Liaison (305) 293-4442
  • Temporary Lodging (305) 292-7556
  • Welcome/Visitor Center (305) 293-2806
  • Youth Programs/Centers (305) 293-4437

Related: Ultimate Military Benefits Guide


About the author

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Kena Sosa is an award-winning author, filmmaker and percussionist. She
earned her BA from OLLU and her MBEGT from SMU. She published two
award-winning children’s books. Kena has written for CBS/DFW Local and
Multicultural Review Magazine. She was the Guest Editor for the Fall/Winter
2023 ChildArt Magazine issue. Kena has written for Recon Media since 2023.