Installation Info: Zip Code: 33762, Area Code: 727
Established in 1934, Air Station Clearwater grew slowly over time until the Coast Guard's mission began to include drug interdiction. Since then, the station has grown considerably and is kept quite busy. It is located on the Gulf of Mexico, just north of St. Petersburg, Fla.
The station deploys aircraft across a wide area for a number of missions: law enforcement, search and rescue, flight services, logistics, environmental protection, and support of Navy missions.
There are 530 active-duty personnel on base, along with 20 civilians. Housing is provided at nearby MacDill Air Force Base in Tampa, as is temporary lodging and a commissary. A small exchange stands on post at Clearwater.
Health care is provided by appointment only at an on-base health and dental clinic. Any services beyond outpatient care are provided at MacDill. The Morale, Welfare and Recreation department at Clearwater provides ticket packages to Florida amusement parks, camping gear, boats and trailers. Schools are run by the Clearwater school district. No childcare is provided on base.
Both St. Petersburg and Tampa are cities of about 250,000 and the greater metropolitan area numbers around two million. The beach communities of Indian Rocks, Largo and Dunedin are especially popular with winter visitors. Sarasota, 57 miles south, is the traditional winter home of the Ringling Brothers circus. The amusement parks of Orlando are less than 100 miles to the northeast.