Aviano Air Base is tucked away in the Dolomites Mountains in Northern Italy known for its ski resorts, mountain lakes, and being a small town of about 9,000 citizens at about 4,000 above sea level. Aviano is also within an hours drive or train ride to Venice.
Overview / Mission
Aviano Air Base is located approximately 50 miles north of Venice, Italy, and nine miles from Pordenone, the closest large town in Northern Italy’s agricultural area. Located in the Po Valley with beautiful mountain views. The 31st Fighter Wing’s mission includes:
- Conducting air and space combat support operations in Europe’s Southern region
- Conducting regional and expeditionary operations under NATO, SACEUR or national tasking with conventional and non-conventional munitions
- Maintaining an air control squadron capable of air surveillance, control, and communications
- Providing command, control and support functions
There has been an American presence in Aviano since the end of World War II. In 1954 the Italian and American governments signed a joint use agreement and by 1955, HQ United States Air Forces in Europe (USAFE) had moved its Italian operations to Aviano. The base went through a period of hosting rotational fighter squadrons, but with the declining use of the Italian live fire range, the rotational squadrons became a thing of the past. Aviano became a war reserve material storage base and played a big part in Desert Storm. In 1992, HQ 16th Air Force and the 401st Fighter Wing moved from Torrejon Air Base, Spain to Aviano. In 1994 the 401st FW was deactivated and the 31st FW reactivated.
Things to Do
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Population/Major Units Assigned
The host wing at Aviano AFB is the 31st Fighter Wing, home to two F-16 fighter squadrons — the 510th and the 555th. The 31 FW includes a maintenance group, a mission support group, a medical group, and an operations group.
Aviano is unique because it is spread throughout the community in several areas, rather than centralized onto one installation. Soldiers stationed at Aviano work and play side by side with the local Italians. It is common to be greeted at the front gate by an Italian Soldier, a National Guard member or an Active Duty AF member.
Visiting / Living on Aviano Air Base
The Mountain View Lodge is conveniently located on the Flight Line (Area F) close to the Commissary, BX, Consolidated Club, and the Dragon Fitness Center.
The TLFs has a living room area and a fully equipped kitchen comprised of American size flat surface stove/oven, dishwasher, refrigerator (with ice maker), dishes/pots/pans, etc. and a small laundry area with a European size washer and dryer. Entertainment is available with satellite TV and DVD players – also, each room is fully equipped for internet connection.
TLF does accept pets. There are units for occupants PCSing with pets for an additional charge. Should these units be occupied but other rooms available, you will not be issued a statement of non-availability if you have a pet and decide to stay off-base. Kennels are available in the area.
Since there is no on-base housing at Aviano, Build to Lease (BTL) housing and Government Rental Housing Program (GRHP) leased housing is available. These programs work similarly to on-base housing programs at other locations. BTL quarters are no different than the government-owned family housing you would find in the United States.
Under this program, your landlord is the USAF, and the government pays all rent and utilities. There are no deposits, hook-up fees, registration or taxes. The Facilities Management Element of the Housing Flight is your point of contact for all maintenance and repair needs. You are responsible for damages caused to the unit.
Dormitory space for unaccompanied E-3s and below varies with your squadron of assignment. Currently, two rooms share one bathroom and some have kitchenettes.
Aviano has a full range of educational opportunities for children beginning with Italian Asilos for pre-schoolers and continuing through graduate programs offered by American universities.
The DODDS system has over 1,200 students currently enrolled in classes. Aviano Elementary School, Aviano Middle School, and Aviano High School are part of the Department of Defense Dependent Schools Mediterranean Region. The Sure Start Program is available for three and four-year-old children whose sponsors are E4 and below.
The School Liaison Officer (SLO) serves as the link between the installation, school, and community. If you are interested in applying for the free and reduced lunch program, please call the SLO or visit your respective school office to pick up an application.
Adult educational opportunities are available in Aviano. College courses are offered at various times to accommodate work schedules and facilities for long distance learning are also available.
Child care services on Aviano Air Base are available through many programs offered at the Child Development Center (CDC) and the School Age Program (SAP). The programs are offered either at Area 1 or the annex facility at the flight line in Area F and are available for children ages six weeks through 5 years. Part day enrichment is offered at the flight line center. Sure Start is available through the DoD Elementary School.
Dependent children, ages 6 weeks to 12 years of age, of active duty personnel, DoD civilian personnel, reservists on active duty or during inactive duty training, DoD contractors and Coast Guard personnel assigned to or living on the installation are eligible to use the CDC and School Age Programs.
When you arrive on base, contact or drop by the CDC or Youth SAP to activate your application.
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The School Age Program (SAP) is a program offered at the youth center and includes full day camps during non-school days and before/after school care on school days and is available for children in the 1st to 6th grade.
Aviano’s 31st Medical Group is located on the base and has Flight Medicine, Acute Care, Family Practice, Pediatrics, Immunization, OB/GYN, Orthopedics, Internal Medicine, Optometry, Laboratory, and Pharmacy. The Pordenone hospital in the nearby town of Pordenone is the primary Emergency Room and offers a variety of medical services that may be used by Aviano AB members. The base Dental Clinic offers general dentistry to active duty personnel and their family members.
If you are not ever going to be stationed in Aviano, do yourself a favor while you are active duty and take a MAC flight to Italy and visit Aviano any time of the year. It is a beautiful destination.