When you come to Edwards Air Force Base you don’t just become a part of a world-renown engineering center—you become a member of a tight-knit community who all share your same passions and goals. Edwards has the infrastructure, facilities, recreation, culture and amenities that provide you with every thing you, and your family, need. And, some of the best natural attractions and vacation destinations in the nation are within easy reach of the base.
Learn what makes Edwards Air Force Base such a special place to live and work by reviewing our base attractions.
South Base, with 119 acres of runways, is home to the Bomber Test Squadron where the legendary B-52 was put through its paces, and where you’ll find the extremely rare third-generation stealth bomber—the B-2 Spirit.
Benefield Anechoic Facility
The largest facility of its type in the world, its vast open space has enough room to suspend a full-size fighter aircraft in midair. The floor space contains thousands of individual cones of radar absorbing material (RAM). Its purpose is to test an aircraft’s systems and avionics in a shielded chamber that stimulates free airspace.
The Avionics Test and Integration Complex
This area is comprised of three core facilities and other buildings, including the Benefield Anechoic Facility. All told, the environment encompasses: Modeling and Simulation (M&S), System Integration Laboratories (SIL), Hardware-in-the-Loop (HITL), Installed Systems Test Facilities (ISTF) and Measurement Facilities. Our professionals here direct structured testing in state-of-the-art facilities. They engage realistic simulations and stimulations in test conditions, as well as those encountered in flight—a greater variety of testing and evaluation work is conducted at this complex than perhaps any other place at Edwards.
The Air Force Research Laboratory Directorate
This is a specialized facility dedicated to advanced research. It includes 19 liquid rocket engine stands, 13 solid rocket motor pads, a chemistry research lab, electron microscope lab, a satellite integration facility with clean rooms, a centrifuge facility and more.
NASA Dryden Flight Research Center
This is NASA’s primary installation for aeronautical flight research. Its charter is to research, develop, verify and transfer advanced aeronautics, space and related technologies. A number of milestones were first developed here:
- The first aircraft to break the sound barrier, the X-1
- Supersonic and hypersonic flight
- Fly-by-wire, supercritical, and forward-swept wing aircraft
- Research that brought about the space shuttle.
- High-speed wing warping technology currently in testing
If it’s a breakthrough concept, it’s being tested first at Dryden.
Rosamond and Rogers Dry Lake Beds
The largest of their kind in the world, they are what make Edwards the most uniquely suited location on Earth for aircraft flight testing. These dry lakebeds are the widest, longest and smoothest in the world—providing aircraft of all types the safest landing area possible.
The dry lakebeds cover 65 square miles, and their longest runway is an astounding seven miles long. All branches of service use the lakebeds for their most promising test missions.
USAF Test Pilot School
The very test pilots you will work with as a non-military engineer earn their wings at the USAF Test Pilot School. They learn everything there is to know to push the most sophisticated emerging aircraft and systems to the very limit of their capabilities.
Ridley Mission Control Center
When you have a flight test scheduled, this is where you will coordinate your flight and monitor its data. The environment here serves as the command and control center for all flight test missions at Edwards. Activities can include attending a mission briefing with your test pilots. Ultimately, you will monitor your flight in one of the center’s seven mission control rooms.
The club offers Flight and ground instruction and aircraft rentals, and it has exclusive use of the runway at South Base, providing for easy access to clear blue California skies and to numerous quick vacation getaways.
Whatever your interests, you will find the information you need here. The latest learning materials, books, periodicals, videotapes, music (CDs and cassettes), DVDs, computers with Internet access, Wi-Fi and quiet areas are available.
Skills Development Center and Auto Hobby Shop
This center is for serious hobbyists and gear heads. The Wood Shop provides a wide range of equipment, woods for purchase and portable tools for your projects. Ceramics offers a broad spectrum to potters and ceramists alike, including pouring and firing. We also feature framing, heat sublimation and engraving services with state-of-the-art equipment.
Change your oil or replace your entire engine—you can do it all at the Auto Hobby Shop. Work stalls, lifts, computer analyzer for American-made cars and full tool sets are all at your disposal. If you need some assistance there are skilled mechanics on duty ready to help.
Information, Tickets and Travel
Purchase discount tickets here for amusement parks, specialty tours, trips to Las Vegas and more. Tickets and Tours also offers hotel, cruise, and vacation package discounts throughout the year.
Muroc Lake Golf Course & Sandbagger Grill
A championship-level golf course covering 185 acres with 18 holes at par 72. A pro shop, driving range, chipping, pitching and putting surfaces are available for use. The Sandbagger Grill offers casual dining on-site.
Rosburg Fitness & Sports Center
Reach your fitness goals with:
- Intramural, extramural and varsity programs
- Hammer Strength equipment, fixed weight equipment and free weights
- Exercise machines, ab rollers, gravity boots and stretch racks
- Warm up/stretching room
- Large locker rooms
Additional facilities include softball fields, tennis courts, football and soccer fields, and outdoor running tracks.
High Desert Lanes Bowling Center & Strikezone Snack Bar
The High Desert Lanes Bowling Center offers something for everyone with 20 lanes, automatic scoring, Glow and Colorama bowling for all ages. Join a league or enjoy open bowling with friends and family. You’ll find everything you need for a great night of bowling: shoes, balls, pro shop and a snack bar.
Oasis Community Center, Pool and Lounge
Games for check-out, ping pong tables, foosball tables, pool tables, dart boards, air hockey and video games, computers, Internet access, big screen TVs and a Panda Express—you’ll find it all at the Oasis Community Center.
The center also coordinates and assists with events such as concerts in the park.
Oasis Aquatic Center & Aerobic Center
The Aquatic Center is a favorite for both recreational swimmers and serious lap swimmers. Open open year-round, it boasts a 25-meter heated indoor pool and offers swimming lessons.
Arnold Park is an ideal place to spend the day outside. You’ll find playground equipment, covered picnic areas, a stage and more. The park often hosts community gatherings and is available for rental. In addition, there is the Drop Zone Skate Park—the ultimate place for skateboarders of all levels.
Outdoor Recreation Building
Whatever you outdoor activities you like to do, you’ll find the equipment you need right here. Going camping? All the items are available at your fingertips. The same can be said for skiing, hiking, climbing, gardening—the list is almost endless. In addition, you can sign up for programs including scuba lessons, ski trips, hiking, fishing, etc. If that’s not enough, check out the climbing wall (and climbing classes) located outside the Aquatic Center.
Scorpion’s Nest Paintball Field
With plenty of spots to hide and plan your attack, the Scorpion’s Nest Paintball Field offers hours of fun navigating the terrain, obstacles and open spaces to avoid getting “blasted” by your enemies. You can rent all the equipment you’ll need at the Outdoor Recreation Building on base.
Rod and Gun
This is the oldest continuously operated Rod & Gun activity center in the Air Force with life members such as Chuck Yeager and Jimmy Doolittle. This area offers two skeet ranges, four trap fields, sporting clays and archery. You’ll also have access to a 100-yard rifle and pistol range. Reduced rates are available through yearly membership. Member fun shoots are scheduled throughout the year.
Riding Center and Stables
The Riding Center and Stables offers 52 stalls for private horse boarding, complete with feed and tack storage rooms. You can enjoy the clubhouse with patio and view horse jumping, or relax and have an outdoor barbeque. The facility has a lighted main riding arena, trails, three large exercise pens and four round pens. The Riding Center and Stables also sponsors horse shows, parades and desert trail rides.
Branch Memorial Park
Everyone needs an oasis where they can sit, relax and soak things in. Branch Memorial Park offers a setting that is ideal for picnics, outdoor reading, or just kicking back and relaxing. The Branch Park pond is the perfect place to get away for some afternoon fishing. The park is also available for rental.
Child Development Center
Your child will get the finest care and be stimulated to learn and develop in a genuine, caring environment for children six weeks to five years old. The center is NAEYC Accredited and DoD certified.
The center operates under the philosophy that each child is an individual. That’s why the top-notch staff makes every effort to encourage your child’s special gifts, talents and abilities. This center is a wonderful resource for young and growing families.
Child Care Options
On base is a Family Child Care referral service for parents with children ages two weeks through 12 years. This service refers and monitors in-home childcare delivered by licensed providers on base and in affiliated homes off base.In addition to standard daily child care, you can receive referrals for special circumstances, including when you child is ill, or when you need hourly, evening, or weekend child care.
The Children’s Library
The Children’s Library is specially designed for kids with low bookshelves that are easy to reach, Internet access and story times.
Youth Activities Center
Moms, dads and kids ages five through 18 love the Youth Activities Center. There is a nationally accredited school-age program, plus after school drop-in activities as well as directed programming for youths nine to 14.
Professional instruction is available through the center for:
Youth Sports and Fitness Program:
- Flag Football
A computer lab is open daily. In addition, a 4-H Adventure Camping Trip is planned every year.
For more fun, consider the Sonic Splash Pool next to the center. With fast and twisting slides, a kiddie pool and much more, it’s a favorite destination for kids—and for adults who are young at heart.
The Teen Center is designed to allow teens to have a place of their own. It provides after-school and weekend activities for teen ages 13 – 18, in grades seven through 12.
The center participates in the Youth Employment Skills Program, Congressional Awards Program, and other Boys and Girls Club programming. As a reward for their community service, top teens from Edwards travel to Orlando, Florida to meet with other teens from around the world.
Family Fitness Center
The family-friendly fitness center features free weights, saunas, cardio training, Cybex fixed weight machines and personal trainers. After a tough workout soothing massage therapy sessions are available by reservation.
Also located inside the center is the Jungle Zone, an Amazon forest themed recreation area perfect for active kids.
Center of Excellence
Before- and after-school programs offered through the Center of Excellence include mentoring and tutoring, vocational educational programs, life skills training and programs that supplement those offered by the school district. The center also has a gifted and talented student education program. The center facilitates educational tours, shadow programs, internships, student volunteer opportunities and student temporary employment program.
Five colleges, including Cerro Coso, Chapman University, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, Southern Illinois University and Webster University, are currently situated in the Center.
Main Exchange Food Court
Located on Main Base, the Main Exchange Food Court offers a wide selection of dining options including:
- Charley’s Steakery
- Popeye’s Chicken
- Anthony’s Pizza
- Robin Hood
- Taco Bell
- Baskin Robins
Starbuck’s and Burger King are located in the Commissary parking lot.
On Base Dining Options:
- Strike Zone Snack Bar
- Sandbagger Grill
- Pizza Hut
- Subway – two locations
- Panda Express
- Mary’s Place
The local community is made up of Palmdale, Lancaster and Rosamond. This area offers exceptional schools, a booming and affordable real estate market, one of the fastest growing areas in the nation, and excellent communities in which to live and grow.
Within easy reach of Edwards are some of the nation’s best natural attractions and premier vacation getaway destinations. As one of our engineers put it, “We’re in the middle of everything.”
Activities and Attractions
- Wind surfing
- Fine dining
- National music acts, concerts and entertainment
- Mountain biking
- Hiking and camping
- Sea World
- Six Flags Magic Mountain
- Universal Studios
- World-class ski resort and vacation destinations: Mammoth Mountain, Snow Summit, Mount Baldy and Big Bear Lake
- Los Angeles
- San Diego
- Las Vegas
- Napa Valley
- Catalina Island
- Monterey and Big Sur
- Tehachapi Valley