Flying Space-A via Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst: 7 Things to Know

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A New Jersey ANG tanker from McGuire AFB performing a refueling mission.

Looking for a Space-A flight to Germany? How about Spain or the U.K.? You can take a “military hop” to all of those places from Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst.

McGuire is one of the most active Space-A bases on the East Coast. It has regular flights in all directions, including frequent missions to Europe. Centrally located within a 60- to 90-minute drive of numerous civilian airports, McGuire is also convenient if you need to fly commercial to or from other parts of the country.

Here’s what you need to know when flying Space-A via the JB Mcguire-Dix-Lakehurst passenger terminal.

If you are new to Space-A flying, read this Quickstart Guide to Space-A Military Flights first to get a basic understanding of how the process works.

1. McGuire has regular flights to and from bases all over the U.S. and in Europe.

The military passenger terminals with the most frequent flights to and from McGuire are: Baltimore Washington International (BWI) in Maryland, JB Andrews (Maryland), JB Charleston (South Carolina), Travis AFB (California), RAF Mildenhall (England), Ramstein AB (Germany), and Naval Station Rota (Spain).

JB McGuire also has regular, but generally less frequent, flights to and from Pope AFB (North Carolina), Wright-Patterson AFB (Ohio) Dyess AFB (TX), Nellis AFB (Nevada), and JB Pearl Harbor-Hickam (Hawaii).

Please note that these are only the most frequent flights based on historical data. All Space-A flights are determined by mission needs, which change constantly.

Visit McGuire’s page on the AMC website to see their current schedules.

2. JB McGuire has three base lodging facilities, but only the McGuire AFB location is walking distance from the passenger terminal.

The All American Inn manages all three locations. The McGuire AFB lodging facility is less than a mile from the passenger terminal. The Fort Dix lodging facility (also called the Doughboy Inn) is just over 5 miles from the McGuire pax terminal. The Inn on the Lakehurst side is approximately 20 miles from the terminal.

This page has contact information for The All American Inn. For rooms on McGuire AFB and Fort Dix, call the McGuire location. Please note that if you are assigned a room on Fort Dix, you must still report to the main reception at the McGuire location to check in.

If base lodging is full, there are many hotels within a short distance of the base. Click here to find hotels near McGuire AFB.

3. JBMDL is accessible to several civilian airports.

The closest airport to McGuire AFB is Trenton-Mercer (TTN) in New Jersey. It’s 25 miles and about 40 minutes by car. Frontier is the only airline servicing TTN.

Philadelphia International (PHL) is a 1 hr+ drive (50 miles). Newark Liberty International (EWR) is slightly farther (about 60 miles) and also about a 1-hr drive.

The Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst “Newcomers Welcome” page lists several public transportation options in the section entitled “How do I get to JB MDL?”

A shuttle service that is not listed on the page is Berry’s Enterprises (now called One Team, One Fight). The phone number for this veteran-owned service is (848) 224-2252.

Contact individual services for rates, but in general, you can expect to pay $50 – $65 for a shuttle ride to TTN, $90 – $110 to PHL, and $125 – $140 to EWR. Most providers also service the New York airports, and rates are upwards of $200.

If you want to save money and have time, you can get to any of the civilian airports using buses and/or trains. The journey will take 2 – 4+ hours, depending on the airport and chosen modes of transportation. Use Rome2Rio to explore the options and to see schedules and costs.

4. Rental cars are the primary local ground transportation option.

JBMDL has a base shuttle that services the terminal.

If you want your own wheels, Hertz has the closest McGuire AFB rental car locations. They had a location in the Fort Dix Exchange, about 2 miles from the passenger terminal, but it closed indefinitely due to COVID-19. The location in New Eqypt is the next closest.

5. McGuire has short- and long-term parking for passengers selected for a flight.

The short-term lot is for stays of up to 30 days and is located next to the terminal. The long-term lot is near the base fitness center, about 0.5 miles from the terminal, and is available for a maximum of 60 days at a time.

To park in either lot, you must obtain a parking pass from terminal staff after you are selected for a flight.

6. The McGuire passenger terminal is open 24 hours.

The McGuire AFB pax terminal is one of the few military passenger terminals that is open 24/7. It has a large passenger waiting area, a USO, a family lounge, and a teen lounge. The USO is open 24 hours but staffed based on availability of volunteers.

Please note that passengers are prohibited from lying across the seats or on the floor of the terminal. The USO has a few comfortable chairs to recline if you want to sleep.

7. The McGuire passenger terminal has several dining options.

The Extender Eatery (aka the Flight Kitchen) is adjacent to the passenger terminal and is open weekdays from 0600 to 1830. It is closed weekends and holidays.

The terminal also has vending machines, and the USO offers snacks. If volunteers are staffing the USO, they may offer sandwiches or other light meals.

Other dining options close to the terminal are Pudgy’s Sport Pub (0.6 miles) and Subway (0.9 miles). Also, retirees are authorized to eat at Halvorsen Hall Dining Facility (0.7 miles).

Final Advice for Flying Space-A via McGuire

For the smoothest journey, use the information above to research your logistics in advance. Decide how you will get to/from the base, familiarize yourself with the lodging options, and plan ahead to ensure you don’t go hungry while waiting for your flight!

JBMDL is one of the top locations on the East Coast for Space-A flight opportunities, especially to Europe. If you live in a part of the country that does not have many active air bases, and you want to know where to fly commercial to start your Space-A travel, McGuire is a great choice. Hope to see you out there soon!

Related Reading:

Flying Space-A to Ramstein: 11 Things You Need to Know

Flying Space-A to Rota: 7 Things You Need to Know

More Space-A location guides!

Cover photo courtesy of U.S. Air National Guard.

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2 thoughts on “Flying Space-A via Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst: 7 Things to Know”

  1. Bird in hand in Mildenhall still operates as a hotel. I stayed there in the ending of May this year. Nice place to visit nearby is Bury St Edmund and Cambridge.

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