Also referred to as Naval Air Station (NAS) Whiting Field, this base is recognized for training and producing thousands of talented pilots each year. As one of the busiest Naval Air Stations in the Department of Defense (DoD), NAS Whiting Field is home to Training Air Wing Five, and it successfully trains more than 1,200 pilots each year.
NAS Whiting Field is found in picturesque Northwest Florida. Known for moderate weather and a relaxed way of life, we’re certain you’ll find a home and community you love. From NAS Whiting Field housing to restaurant recommendations, we’re answering your top questions about this area!
NAS Whiting Field Housing
While there is on-base housing available at NAS Whiting Field, many military members choose to live off-base in Milton, Pace, Navarre, Pensacola, and Bagdad, FL. These towns range from 5-30 miles away from the base; therefore, the commute doesn’t have to be too bad to live in a desirable neighborhood.
What are the best neighborhoods?
Santa Rosa County is a fabulous place to live, with plenty of options depending on your commute and preferences. If you are PCSing to NAS Whiting Field for Flight School, you may need to train at both Whiting Field and NAS Pensacola.
Both the Northeast Pensacola area and Pace, FL offer reasonable commutes to both bases. From that area, you can take I-10 to Milton’s NAS Whiting Field and go down Pine Forest Rd. to NAS Pensacola’s back gate or take I-110 to get downtown and use the front gate.
If you want to stay closer to NAS Whiting Field, Milton, FL is a lovely small town that offers great schools. It’s also known for having waterfront properties that are regularly put up for rent or sale!
More Like This: Check out our Military Move Checklist before you pack up and head to NAS Whiting Field! We’ve compiled our best tips and tricks to help you secure an efficient and smooth PCS.
NAS Whiting Field Community
There’s an endless amount of activities and things to enjoy in the areas surrounding NAS Whiting Field! For example, Milton is known for hosting the Blackwater River State Forest and having a cozy historical downtown area.
Although a bit further away, Pensacola is home to the National Naval Aviation Museum. Furthermore, with it being so close to the ocean, the beach is always a fun place to visit for both locals and tourists alike.
What schools are considered the best?
Santa Rosa County has some of the highest-rated schools in Florida. The district includes the towns of Gulf Breeze, Navarre, Pace, and Milton. There’s also the option to enroll children at the Naval Field Child Development Center, where activities for children ages 6 weeks-5 years are offered.
If sending your children to online school is an option, you may want to consider the Santa Rosa Virtual Franchise. It ranks “above average” in every category on greatschools.org! You can check out more specific school data at greatschools.org.
Is there anywhere that traffic is especially bad?
Afternoons between 5 and 6 PM can bring heavy traffic, especially closer to the Pensacola area. Cervantes St. near 17th, Hwy 98 in Gulf Breeze through the National Seashore, Davis Hwy near I-10, 9 Mile Rd., Brent Ln. near I-110, and Hwy 90 near Woodbine can also all be traffic hot spots during typical busy times.
Are there any stand-out local installation policies?
Yes, as Naval Air Station Whiting Field is a school command, there are some notable installation policies to keep in mind. It’s not uncommon for seniors to be extremely strict regarding uniform codes. Furthermore, there are installation policies such as no talking on cell phones or having your hands in your pockets while walking.
Where do service members report when they arrive?
It’s likely that you’ve been sent check-in directions, so locating and reading those would be highly beneficial! In most cases, you will report to the quarterdeck of your specific school or command. If you aren’t sure where you’re heading, someone in the housing office can likely help you out.
Where are the best grocery shopping locations?
The commissary and local farmer’s markets are great options! However, there are also plenty of off-base options if you are looking for some variety. If you prefer organic food options, there is both a Whole Foods and Fresh Market in Pensacola.
The Pensacola area and its suburbs have all the shopping you need. You can always stay close by for most groceries, but plan a day trip to Pensacola if you want more shopping opportunities!
What are local restaurant favorites?
David’s Catfish Housing and Grover T’s BBQ are must-try favorites in Milton. Furthermore, Milton Quality Bakery will become your favorite place for a quick breakfast treat on the way to the beach or a sweet snack. There are so many good menu items that you’ll have trouble choosing what to order!
Where do you go to grab a coffee with a friend and relax?
The beach is the best place around to sip a cup of coffee and relax with a friend! There are beaches everywhere, so it’s easy to find a good spot. Especially if you are moving from outside of the state, you’ll want to take advantage of all of the sunshine and water.
What is the best spot for date night?
If you’re staying local, Blackwater Bistro is hard to beat for a date night spot. Check for the nights they have live music, and choose the outdoor seating to enjoy the gorgeous weather! Wednesday is Military Appreciation Day and features a $1 draft beer with the purchase of a meal.
What are the best activities in town for kids?
Hit the beaches in the surrounding area for a day of playing in the water and building sand castles. The Ft. Walton beaches are perfect areas for this! There are so many national parks and fun, enriching “touristy” activities that are perfect for children.
Find Military Housing
Are you PCSing to the NAS Whiting Field area but not sure where to start with a home search? Whether you are renting or purchasing a home, AHRN is specifically designed to connect military members with exceptional housing options. Sign up today to get started with your specialized home search!