1. What is the Tri-County Region?
The counties of Berks, Chester, and Montgomery make up this group. Nearly 13,000 military members live and work there.
2. What is the River Region?
North of Montgomery, the Coosa and Tallapoosa rivers join to form the Alabama River. Locals consider Montgomery and the surrounding communities of Prattville, Millbrook, and Wetumpka to be the River Region.
3. When is the Air & Space Show?
Maxwell AFB is home to the cherished tradition of the yearly Air & Space Show. The event is held in April and hosts well known names such as the Thunderbirds and Wings of Blue in addition to festivities and historic planes to tour.
4. How many entrance gates are there on Maxwell AFB and Gunter Annex?
Maxwell AFB has three gates with distinct operating days and hours: Maxwell Boulevard Gate, Kelly Street Gate, and Day Street Gate. Gunter Annex operates two gates separate from Maxwell AFB: Congressman Dickinson Dr. Gate and Dalraida Road Gate.
Base Location and Information
Military Installations in the Maxwell Area
Maxwell AFB is located in Central Alabama, in north-northeast Montgomery, Alabama. Gunter Annex is about 17 miles northeast of the main sites of Maxwell AFB. Less than 3 hours' drive time gets you to Atlanta, Georgia, for a weekend getaway, while Birmingham, Alabama, serves as an easy day trip about 1.5 hours away.
The city center of Prattville is 10 miles northwest of the base, and the city center of Millbrook is approximately 10 miles to the northeast. Also northeast of the base is Wetumpka, AL at about 25 miles distance.
Montgomery has a thriving downtown with surrounding neighborhoods that have unique personalities and residents. The art and music scene as well as nightlife activities prevail downtown, but many military families enjoy living in Prattville, Millbrook, and Wetumpka.
This area is also known as the Tri-County Region. The counties of Berks, Chester, and Montgomery form the group and house about 12,500 active duty members, Reservists, civilians and contractors.
Military members appreciate the affordability of the region, long lasting warm seasons, and easy access to plenty of recreational activities, especially when the heat and humidity crank up. River activities flourish as the Coosa and Tallapoosa rivers join to form the Alabama River which runs north of Montgomery. Kayakers, canoers, boaters, and families hoping to wade in riverside find plenty of opportunities in the River Region.
The Greg Shelton Wing Walker team performs during the Heritage to Horizon Air Show, April 8-9, 2017, Maxwell Air Force Base, Ala.
An Air Force base wouldn’t be complete unless there was an air show to feature! Each year in April, Maxwell hosts the Air & Space Show. The free, full day show features aerial displays, planes from WWII, and the return of the beloved United States Air Force Thunderbirds. Also look for perennial favorite, Wings of Blue, the USAF’s sky diving team.
The Air Force Thunderbirds perform during the Heritage to Horizon Air Show, April 8-9, 2017, Maxwell Air Force Base.
Life at the Max is the catch-all publication that serves the Maxwell population. Both online and in print, Life at the Max provides vital base information directly related to servicemembers and their families. Readers find community news, event schedules, and directories. Various force support topics are highlighted, such as: education, career information, and lodging. Newcomers find guidance on how to maximize the Air Force lifestyle on Maxwell. Standard offerings like food and fitness outlets and shopping opportunities are listed.
Map via Air University
Getting Around the Maxwell Area
Maxwell has three gates with distinct operating days and hours.
- Maxwell Boulevard Gate has 24/7 access.
- Kelly Street Gate is open Monday through Friday 0600-1800. Closed weekends holidays and AETC Family days.
- Day Street Gate Monday through Friday, 0600-1400, all traffic;1400-1800 outbound traffic only. Saturday through Sunday, 0600-1400 all traffic. Closed holidays and AETC Family Days.
Gunter Annex has two separate entrances from Maxwell.
- Congressman Dickinson Dr. Gate has 24/7 access.
- Dalraida Road Gate Monday through Friday 0600-1400 all traffic; 1400-1800 outbound traffic only. Saturday-Sunday, 0600-1400 all traffic. Closed holidays and AETC Family Days.
Aerial view of Montgomery, Alabama.
Depending on your home’s location, Montgomery Transit supplies bus transport to Maxwell on routes 6, 7, and 12.
Because of its central location in Alabama and within the U.S., Maxwell has direct access to multiple major state and federal roadways, starting with Montgomery’s intersection of I-85 (East) and I-65 (North and South).
Residents notice an uptick in traffic as summer beach months approach. I-65 provides the shortest distance to popular beach towns like Gulf Shores, Alabama, and Pensacola and Panama City, Florida. When the major interstates are jammed from an abundance of traffic due to road work, accidents, or holiday traffic, smaller state-operated roads such as U.S. Route 31, U.S. Route 231, U.S. Route 331, U.S. Route 80, and U.S. Route 82 are the bail out roadways.
Maxwell AFB Area Roads via Zip Data Maps
Base lodging for initial lodging needs – Air Force Inns
Maxwell AFB On-Base Housing
Maxwell Family Housing is managed by Hunt Companies. There are more than 500 historic and traditional homes situated across Maxwell and Gunter Annex.
Housing is made up of 2-, 3-, and 4-bedroom homes. Not only are active duty members offered housing, but so are those serving as DoD federal employees, National Guardsmen, and retired military members. The application for on base housing is online, but you’ll need to contact Maxwell Family Housing to discuss current wait list times.
Image via Maxwell Family Housing
Maxwell Family Housing:
400 East Maxwell Boulevard
Montgomery, AL 36113
Maxwell AFB Housing Management Office: 953-2781/9406/9446
Maxwell AFB Off-Base Housing
On base housing is limited, so the majority of military families live in off base housing. Rental homes tend to be the most in demand, especially for students assigned to Maxwell for shorter lengths of time. Due to the low cost of living and affordable housing in the area, those permanently assigned to Maxwell often consider purchasing a home.
Geobachelors, or spouses that leave their families at previous cities or duty stations while they complete their time at Maxwell, are common. They tend to find apartments, shared homes, and vacancy in military housing on Maxwell.
Military families headed to Maxwell AFB are pleased to find the cost of living affordable in the cities surrounding the base. Montgomery provides the big city feel with downtown living next to cultural activities, while popular cities such as Prattville and Millbrook offer suburban conveniences.
Wetumpka is desirable for those looking for land and privacy and the chance to get away from work-life stress. Most commutes are less than 10 miles from Maxwell AFB, but the range can widen to near 20 miles if access to a home with land is important.
Maxwell AFB Area Weather & Climate
Wilderness Park in Prattville. (Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class William Blankenship)
Alabama is in the heart of the Deep South and the weather lives up to its southern tradition. High heat and humidity begin late spring and run until about the end of September. The remaining fall and winter months are quite pleasing and temperate. Winter months can easily see temperatures in the 70s. The state of Alabama is classified as humid sub-tropical, with the northeast section of the state in the mountains usually much cooler.
Thunderstorms occur year-round, but are most common in the spring and summer. Tornadoes do occur here, as the state sits in the region of the U.S. known as "tornado alley." The southern portion of the state can also see hurricanes. Connect with Maxwell-Gunter AFB Weather Resources to stay up to date on severe weather alerts and preparedness.
Year-round activities near Maxwell are abundant. In addition to the iconic and must-see Civil Rights era memorials and museums, the region features a variety of things to do even during the hottest or wettest of days.
Outside, families enjoy u-pick farms like Sugar Hill, festivals such as the Penton Farms Pumpkin Festival, outdoor concerts played by the Montgomery Symphony, and of course the annual Alabama National Fair each October. With history dating back to 1854, the fair is a constant draw of attendees, not only from Alabama, but neighboring and distant states.
Gulf Coast beaches in Florida and Alabama are just a few hours' drive away!
Maxwell AFB-Gunter Annex Area Schools
Students unloading at Maxwell AFB elementary/middle school.
The Department of Defense Education Activity manages the Maxwell AFB Elementary/Middle Schools that serve students Pre-K through grade 8. Students who live on Maxwell in grades 9-12 attend Carver Senior High School, and Gunter students attend Lee High School--both of which are part of the Montgomery County Public School System.
Maxwell AFB E/MS School Info
800 Magnolia Blvd, Bldg 538
Maxwell AFB, AL 36112-6147
DSN Phone: 493-6533
Montgomery County via US Census Bureau
Students at Maxwell have the option to attend schools that are on base or within three adjacent school districts: Pike Road School System, Autauga County Schools, and Elmore County Schools.
Montgomery Public Schools operates a magnet school program and the newly established LEAD Academy is a charter school in Montgomery.
Military families also have the options of private and homeschool education in the area.
- Montgomery Catholic Prep School
- Autauga Academy
- Prattville Christian Academy
- Elmore County Homeschool Association
- Academy Days Homeschool Co Op
The Maxwell AFB School Liaison Officer assists families who need help making the right education decision for their family.
Support For Military Families
Alabama State Capitol in Montgomery via Wikimedia Commons
The Maxwell-Gunter AFB community at large is welcoming and supportive of military families in the area, which is why you’ll find civilian community engagement all year long through various events, from job fairs, to holiday celebrations.
Spouses who hope to work while stationed here often start with the largest employers: Maxwell-Gunter AFB, the State of Alabama, Montgomery Public Schools, Baptist Health, and Hyundai Motor Manufacturing. Career guidance is also available through the Maxwell AFB Human Resources Office.
For family members who want to further their education, several institutions are available on and offline, potentially with military discounts. Maxwell is connected with multiple options: Alabama State University, Huntingdon College, Trenholm State Community College, and Troy University. Auburn University at Montgomery is also nearby.
More helpful links:
More Maxwell AFB Area Info
Please note: outside links are for informational purposes and do not constitute endorsement.