NER-MA-043 Hanscom Composite Squadron
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Hanscom AFB Access and Privileges

Base Access

As tenants of Hanscom Air Force Base, we are granted access to Hanscom Air Force Base for regular meetings and other activities.  There are several ways in which this occurs:

  1. Prospective Members – we sponsor prospective members (and parents/guardians of prospective cadets) to attend prospective member informational meetings as well as to facilitate attendance at regular meetings to aid in the decision of whether or not to pursue Civil Air Patrol membership.  The squadron ensures that a member with sponsorship privileges is available before such meetings to meet prospective members at the Hanscom Air Force Base visitor center parking lot.  Paper passes are provided by Security Forces and are for a variable duration, which is at the discretion of Security Forces personnel.
  2. CAP Members and Parents/Drivers of Cadets – we maintain a base access list for the squadron that is updated monthly.  Members of the squadron (and those who drive our cadets) are added to this list upon joining.  Once on our access list, you are able to get a paper pass issued 24/7/365 at either gate or the Hanscom AFB visitor center without requiring an in-person sponsor.  Once you have joined, please reach out to 1st Lt Martin Lessem to ensure that you have been added to our base access list.
  3. Defense Biometric Identification System (DBIDS) Cards – anyone who is on our base access list can be issued a DBIDS card, which allows access to Hanscom Air Force Base for 1 year.  Once you confirm with 1st Lt Martin Lessem that you are on our base access list, he will give you a Hanscom Form 66 to fill out.  Completed forms are then signed by the squadron commander.  After that, you can bring your completed and signed form to the Hanscom Air Force Base Visitor Center Monday-Friday during business hours and you can be issued a DBIDS card.

Note: We are only able to facilitate base access for members of Hanscom Composite Squadron.  Base access for members of MAWG staff, members of other MAWG units, and other CAP members is handled by Massachusetts Wing.

Important Information for Driving on Base

Hanscom Air Force Base is a federal military installation.  Included below are instructions and information related to driving on base.  Please help us to be responsible base tenants!

Your adherence to the following is mandatory:

  • All people in your vehicle who are 18 or older must have a government-issued ID
    Note: Beginning 3 May 2023, IDs that are not “Real ID” compliant (old MA driver’s licenses, for example) will not be recognized as valid
  • Your vehicle must be registered and insured; if any of these are expired you will not be allowed on base
  • If your driver’s license is expired, you will not be allowed on base and will not be allowed to drive away
  • Your vehicle is subject to search at any time
  • Firearms are not allowed on base
  • The base speed limit is 25 mph or less everywhere.  Do not exceed the speed limit by any amount!
  • Cell phone use is prohibited unless parked or using a hands-free device
  • Additional guidance can be found at the link below:

When approaching a gate:

  • Proceed slowly
  • Dim/turn off your headlights if it is dark out
  • Have your ID, and those of your passengers, ready to be presented upon reaching the gate
  • Comply with all instructions issued by Security Forces personnel

Hanscom Gates

Hours of Operation

Ruiz Gate (Hartwell Gate)

0600-2200 (6 am-10 pm)

Sartain Gate (Vandenberg Gate)


Visitor Center (by Sartain Gate)

0600-1600 (6 am-4 pm)

Monday-Friday except federal holidays

While you are on base, you may notice certain bugle calls or the national anthem being played.  Here is a brief explanation of when to expect these and what you should do:


Retreat / National Anthem


0730 (7:30 am)

1700 (5 pm)

2100 (9 pm)

Reveille is a bugle call that signals the start of the duty day

Retreat signals the end of the official duty day.  The National Anthem is played immediately after Retreat

Taps is played to signal the beginning of quiet hours on base

The flag is displayed 24/7 on Hanscom AFB, so no action is required upon the playing of reveille

If driving, you should pull over to the side of the road and stop until the end of the National Anthem

If outdoors, you should face the flag (or music) when Retreat is played and place your right hand over your heart for the duration of the National Anthem

No specific actions are required

Base Privileges

As Civil Air Patrol members, we are allowed to purchase authorized uniform items at the Base Exchange.  These items are found in the Military Clothing and Sales section in the rear right of the store.  We are not allowed to buy other items from the Base Exchange (including non-authorized uniform items such as OCPs) or shop at the Commissary.  For additional information, please see CAPR 147-1.

Flight Line Access

Qualified CAP pilots or others who need access to our aircraft can be issued a proxy badge for Gate 31 (by the fire department).  Access is coordinated through the squadron commander.

Note:  As with DBIDS cards, Hanscom Composite Squadron can only facilitate flight line access for HCS members.  Those from MAWG staff, other MAWG squadrons, or other units who require Hanscom flight line access must obtain that access through Massachusetts Wing.

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