Peterson Space Force Base Colorado
Formerly an Air Force installation, Peterson Space Force Base is in Colorado Springs, a military community with five nearby bases, including Peterson. The base shares runway space with the Colorado Springs Airport as it has for the entire duration of its existence in the state.
Peterson is home to Space Base Delta 1. It supports over 100 partner agencies, including North American Aerospace Defense Command, U.S. Northern Command, U.S. Space Command, Space Operations Command, and the 302nd Reserve Airlift Wing.
History of Peterson Space Force Base
Peterson SFB was originally opened in 1942 as Colorado Springs Army Air Base. This base was in charge of photo-reconnaissance during World War Two. The same year the base opened, the first Colorado resident to die in a flight accident made headlines; Lieutenant Edward Peterson was a 14th Photographic Reconnaissance Squadron member who died when his F-4 crashed. In 1942 the base was redesignated in his honor as Peterson Army Air Base.
About a year later, Peterson began expanding; bomber training began at the installation, and by 1944 the base added pilot training to the mix.
But it wouldn’t last. The base was deactivated in 1945. Two years later, the creation of the Air Force as a separate entity brought Peterson back to life as an Air Force Base. After serving as a Strategic Air Command airfield for a few years, the base was deactivated yet again in 1949.
Skip ahead to 1951 to find Peterson alive and well again with a redesignation to Peterson Air Force Base in 1975.
The future of Peterson began being written in 1982 when the Air Force activated a brand new major command or MAJCOM, Air Force Space Command. This milestone included the activation of the 1st Space Wing in 1983.
Fast-forward to the present, and we see Peterson redesignated yet again as a Space Force base; in 2020, the 21st Space Wing was reorganized as part of Space Base Delta 1, with Peterson AFB being redesignated as Peterson Space Force Base in the summer of 2021.
Peterson SFB Surrounding Area
If you have never been assigned to a military base in Colorado, there are some unique challenges in this state. Colorado, like California, is a pioneering state regarding legal recreational marijuana.
In spite of cannabis being legal at the state level here, military members are still obligated to obey federal law. But Colorado is not a one-note state, so to speak, where local culture is concerned.
For local craft beer lovers, those PCSing to the area have enjoyed a wide range of options, including Colorado Mountain Brewery at the Roundhouse and Cerberus Brewing Company. Attractions in the surrounding area include the beauty of Cheyenne Mountain and the nearby attraction Shrine Of The Sun.
You can get breathtaking helicopter tours, go on foot to Pikes Peak, or explore The Garden of the Gods. Denver is a reasonable drive from Colorado Springs, less than 90 minutes away, depending on the weather and traffic.
Related: Comprehensive Military Benefits Guide
Mission and Units
Since the dawn of the Space Force, some Air Force bases, including the former Peterson AFB, underwent major changes as part of converting to Space Force operations. Essential missions and units at Peterson have included:
- 21st Aerospace Medicine Squadron
- 21st Civil Engineer Squadron
- 21st Communications Squadron
- 21st Comptroller Squadron
- 21st Contracting Squadron
- 21st Dental Squadron
- 21st Force Support Squadron
- 21st Logistics Group
- 21st Logistics Readiness Squadron
- 21st Medical Group
- 21st Medical Operations Squadron
- 21st Medical Squadron
- 21st Medical Support Squadron
- 21st Mission Support Group
- 21st Operations Group
- 21st Operations Support Squadron
- 21st Security Forces Squadron
- 21st Space Wing
- 302nd Reserve Wing incl 52 AS
- 367th USAF Recruiting
- 561st Network Operations Squadron
- 721st Communications Squadron
- 721st Medical Squadron
- 721st Security Forces Squadron
- 721st Support Group
- HQ Air Force Space Command
- NORAD USSPACECOM NORTHCOM
Related: Active Duty Military Benefits Guide
In-Processing and Check-In
Those traveling to the base on PCS orders should check in with their unit Commander Support Staff (CSS).
For those who are PCSing with no CSS to check in with, report to the 21st Military Personnel Section in Building 350 during normal duty hours. For assistance, call 719-556-0008 or DSN 834-0008. All new arrivals after duty hours must check in with the Peterson TLF instead.
Peterson SFB Child Care
Child care at Peterson AFB is in high demand, and waiting lists may apply. It Care is offered on base by a pair of Child Development Centers. CDC care is for children between six weeks and five years old with current immunizations.
Options may include full daycare and hourly care, but due to high demand, it may be wise to explore other childcare options, such as the Peterson SFB Family Child Care program offering licensed care in on-base homes.
Explore your childcare options here when you get your orders to Peterson AFB. Call 719-554-9573 or DSN 312-692-9573 for more assistance.
All military bases in the Colorado Springs area have privatized their housing programs. Visit the Air Force Housing website to submit applications for waiting lists or get more information on housing at Peterson Space Force Base.
PCS and TDY Lodging
If you travel to the area on PCS or TDY orders, contact the Pikes Peak Lodge for temporary lodging at Peterson Air Force Base.
Pet facilities are limited, those traveling on official orders have priority, and if there is no room at the Lodge, you should obtain a certificate of non-availability before paying for off-base options. Exploring your reservation options as soon as you have orders to the area is best.
For reservations, call 888-AF LODGE or 888-235-6343, Ext. 738.
Related: PCSing Overseas as a Military Spouse
You’ll find taxi, shuttle, and ride-sharing services from the local airports, but much depends on when you arrive.
Plan your PCS travel with your sponsor and discuss your arrival logistics, especially if you are flying into Denver airport and need transportation to Petersen, which is about an hour and a half away.. Rush hour conditions in Denver may add significant driving time.
Vehicle Registration And Driver’s License
To operate a motor vehicle on base, you must have an unexpired license and registration, you must show proof of insurance, and you are subject to 100% ID checks and vehicle searches.
Some drivers may qualify to register as non-residents.
This has advantages; you’ll need to obtain a form from the Judge Advocate’s office or your command support staff indicating the driver is a non-resident service member exempt from paying Colorado state vehicle tax.
Before choosing to do so, remember that registering to vote at the DMV (after relocating to Colorado) makes you a state resident and you may be subject to Colorado state vehicle taxes as a result.
No DoD schools are operating on Peterson SFB. There are also no local school districts operating at Peterson AFB or nearby Schriever SFB.
There are numerous school districts in the county, including:
- Ellicott School District 22
- Falcon District 49
- Colorado Springs School District 11
- Academy School District 20
New student registration requirements include but may not be limited to:
- Birth certificate, passport, or dependent ID
- Immunization records (within 30 days)
- Proof of residency
- Individualized Education Plan (IEP), where applicable
- Information about the student’s previous school
- Children entering kindergarten must be five years old on or before October 1.
Colleges and Universities
There are several four-year colleges and universities in the area, and multiple alternative options including:
- Colorado State University
- University of Colorado Springs
- Colorado Technical University
- Colorado College
- Pikes Peak Community College
- National American University
Peterson Space Force Base Contacts
Main Base Address And Phone Numbers
Peterson Space Force Base
1334 W. Stewart Avenue
Colorado Springs, CO 80916
Important Peterson SFB Phone Numbers
- Base Operator (719) 554-7321
- Civilian Personnel Office (719) 556-4775
- Emergency 911
- Emergency Relief Services (719) 556-6141
- ID CAC Card Processing (719) 556-0008
- Information and Referral Services (719) 556-6141
- Legal Services JAG (719) 556-4871
- Personnel Support Office (719) 556-0007
- Suicide Prevention Hotline (800) 273-8255
- VA Facilities (719) 327-5660
- Welcome Visitors Center (719) 556-6660
Related: Ultimate Guide to GI Bill Benefits
About the author
Joe Wallace is a 13-year veteran of the United States Air Force and a former reporter/editor for Air Force Television News and the Pentagon Channel. His freelance work includes contract work for Motorola, VALoans.com, and Credit Karma. He is co-founder of Dim Art House in Springfield, Illinois, and spends his non-writing time as an abstract painter, independent publisher, and occasional filmmaker.