Installation Overview -- Joint Base San Antonio - Fort Sam Houston


Soldier doing fitness at Joint Base San Antonio
Courtesy Army Medicine / flickr

The 2005 Defense Base Closure and Realignment Commission (BRAC) Report to the President required the relocation of installation management functions and the establishment of Joint Base San Antonio (JBSA). 

JBSA is situated in San Antonio, (Bexar County), the seventh largest city and known as "Military City USA." Encompassing JBSA are United States Army Fort Sam Houston, the United States Air Force Randolph Air Force Base and Lackland Air Force Base, which were merged on 1 October 2010, becoming the largest single DoD installation / enterprise. 

The base operates under the jurisdiction of the United States Air Force 502d Air Base Wing, Air Education and Training Command (AETC), which is a United States Air Force unit that provides installation support for Joint Base, San Antonio. The 502d activated on 1 August 2009. The wing's three Mission Support Groups perform the installation support mission at each major installation in the San Antonio area.

The mission of the wing is to meet the needs of all three installations of JBSA, their missions, and people and to optimize installation support while maximizing opportunities for greater joint military and community cooperation. This mission is carried out through the Mission Support Group located on each JBSA base.

This overview will cover Joint Base San Antonio – Fort Sam Houston (JBSA-FSH)

Fort Sam Houston was founded in 1845, and named for General Sam Houston, hero of the battle of San Jacinto and first president of the Republic of Texas. Fort Sam Houston is unique among Army posts. On one hand, it is a major, active military installation and plays a vital role in the defense of the United States. On the other hand, it contains some of the oldest structures on any Army installation. Two of those sights are the Pershing House and The Quadrangle. This blend of old and new gives today's soldiers a share of the post's history which dates back more than 150 years.

Fort Sam Houston, the "Home of Army Medicine", has a major medical treatment facility, medical research, and education activities, as well as medical training and operations commands that support worldwide Army medical care for Soldiers and their families. The installation is located in the vicinity of San Antonio, Texas. San Antonio is known as "Military City USA" because of having five military installations located in its perimeter. The city shares a wonderful rapport with members of the military community.

The U.S. Army has maintained a presence in the San Antonio since 1845 when the Army first used the Alamo complex as a headquarters and leased buildings in San Antonio to support smaller cavalry posts in Texas and throughout the Southwest. Fort Sam Houston was founded and named after General Sam Houston, hero of the battle of San Jacinto and first president of the Republic of Texas. The installation has performed five distinct and important roles: that of a headquarters, logistical base, mobilization and training site, garrison and provider of medical support. Fort Sam Houston is unique among Army posts as it is a major, active military installation and plays a vital role in the defense of the United States as well as being one of the Army's most historic, responsible for over 900 buildings and site features eligible for inclusion in the National Register of Historic Places.

The primary mission at Fort Sam Houston is medical training and support.

Location/Driving Directions

Fort Sam Houston (called "Fort Sam" by locals) is located on the northeast side of San Antonio, Texas.

From San Antonio International Airport by car

Go West on Airport Blvd toward Airport Exit, turn Right onto S. Terminal Dr, turn Left onto US-281N /McAllister FWY. Merge onto US-281 S via the ramp on the Left toward Downtown San Antonio. Take the I-35N exit towards Austin on the left, exit on Walters Street, turn left onto Walters St. Go Straight on to Decal or Visitor Gate.


The taxi stand is outside from the baggage claim area. The taxi fare from the airport to Fort Sam Houston is between $20 -$22.

Some interesting places to visit are the Alamo, the Riverwalk, the Missionsthe Alamodome, Seaworld of San Antonio and Fiesta Texas Theme Park.

Population/Major Units Assigned

Joint Base San Antonio Best Warrior Competition
Courtesy U.S. Army IMCOM / flickr

As a whole, Joint Base San Antonio supports a population of 80,000 and supports students at three installations annually of up to 138,000.

In 2012, the Joint Base San Antonio – Fort Sam Houston (JBSA-FSH) population served was broken down as having 36,976 Total Force Active Duty and DOD Civilians; 48,415 Family Members, and 76, 580 Retirees – for a total population of 161,971.

The primary mission at JBSA-FSH is as a medical training a support. The post is the home of the U.S. Army North, Institute of Surgical Research, Army Medical Department Center and School, Army Medical Command, U.S. Army South, U.S. Veterinary Command, Great Plains Regional Medical Command, Installation Management Command, Military Entrance Processing Station, 5th Recruiting Brigade, San Antonio Military Medical Center (SAMMAC) and 502nd Air Base Wing. Fort Sam Houston provides facilities and support for the activities of garrison units and other tenant organizations.

JBSA-FSH provides facilities and support for the activities of garrison units and other tenant organizations. The post also supports the thousands of Army Reserve and National Guard soldiers who train there year round.

Together with Camp Stanley, Camp Bullis is part of the Leon Springs Military Reservation. Camp Bullis has provided firing ranges, training areas, and logistics support to JBSA-FSH and other active and reserve component units in South Texas for nearly 100 years. Its most frequent users are the Army Medical Department Center and School, Defense Medical Readiness Training Institute, Air Force Ground Combat Skills School and Army units stationed at Fort Sam Houston. There are currently 130 military personnel stationed at Bullis.

Main Phone Numbers

Operator:  (210) 221-1211 - DSN (312) 471-1211 [services are limited, now mostly automated]

Billeting Office:  (210) 357-2705 ext 5000
Camp Bullis Guest House: (210) 295-8141
Central Registry (HSC Spouse & Child Abuse):  (210) 221-0670
Child Development Center:  (210) 221-4058/5002 (DSN) (312) 471-4058/5002
Child Care Center:  (210) 221-5002
Clinic Information Desk:  (210) 916-3400
Dental Clinic, Budge:  (210) 808-3736/3735 (DSN) 312-421-4095
Dental Clinic, Rhodes:  (210) 295-4095  (DSN) 312-421-2600
Elementary School:  (210) 368-8800
Fisher House:  (210) 916-6000
Fort Sam Houston Independent School District (Superintendents Office) :  (210) 368-8700
Guest House:  (210) 357-2705
Health Benefits/Tricare Advisor:  (210) 808-3500/2729  DSN (312) 470-3500/2729
Housing Referral Services Office:  (210) 295-8519 /  (210) 295-8539 /  (210) 295-8569
Lincoln Military Housing:  (210) 270-7638 / (210) 295-8519
MEDCOM:  (210) 221-8434
MEPS:  (210) 295-9044 / 9045
Military & Family Readiness Center:  (210) 221-2418/2705
Military Special Education:  (210) 368-8770
Post Exchange:  (210) 225-5566
Robert G Cole High School:  (210) 368-8730
School Liaison Officer:  (210) 221-2214 / (210) 221-2256  DSN (312) 471-2256/2214
Unaccompanied Personnel Housing (UPH) :  (210) 221-2381 / (210) 295-8564 DSN (312) 471-2381
Unaccompanied Personnel Housing (UPH), Benner Barracks:  (210) 221-0190
Unaccompanied Personnel Housing (UPH), Okubo Barracks:  (210) 916-1134
Unaccompanied Personnel Housing (UPH), NCO Barracks:  (210) 221-3901
Youth Center (Bldg 1630) :  (210) 221-4882

Temporary Lodging

Single service members and geographic bachelors seeking on-base quarters must contact the Billeting Office at 210-357-2705 ext 5000.

The Temporary Lodging Facility Guest House is privatized and managed by the InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG). All the IHG Hotels are pet-friendly. Guests are limited to two pets per room and pets may not exceed 80 pounds. A non-refundable $75 per room cleaning will be charged to the guest's account upon check-in. In addition, there is currently a charge of $7 per night after the FIRST WEEK. The regular room fee is $79.50 per night. For reservations or additional information, you may log IHG Army Hotels website or call 210-357-2705 ext 5000. "Wounded Warriors and their families have priority for lodging at Fort Sam Houston."


Military family housing
Official Navy Photo

Joint Base San Antonio – Fort Sam Houston (JBSA-FSH) housing is privatized and managed by Lincoln Military Housing. There are eight housing areas with 2-5 bedroom homes available for all ranks. Call 210-270-7638 or visit the Family Housing website.


The Residential Community Initiative (RCI) is a family housing privatization program. RCI is a DoD program designed to enhance the quality-of-life for service members and their families by improving the existing installation family housing conditions, eliminating any housing shortages and improving neighborhood "amenities" (i.e., playgrounds, outdoor athletic courts, walking/ running trails, etc.).

The privatization of Fort Sam Houston housing took effect on March 1, 2005. The Partnership, between the Department of the Army and Lincoln Military Housing, is called Fort Sam Houston Family Housing, LP (FSHFH), which owns and operates military housing on post. The FSHFH partnership will construct, improve and maintain Fort Sam Houston family housing for the next 50 years, and assume responsibility and control over every aspect of family housing operations on post. The operation and maintenance of family housing are managed by Lincoln Military Housing (LMH) who manages Fort Sam Houston Family Housing (FSHFH). RCI provides oversight of LMH.


All Soldiers desiring on-post housing must complete a housing application prior to being placed on the wait list. When a home becomes available, LMH will contact the soldier and make an offer. If the housing is accepted, a lease must be signed by the service member. The lease will authorize the start of Basic Allowance for Housing (BAH) and start of an allotment to be paid as monthly rent. The rent will equal the BAH at the "with dependents" rates for the senior service member authorized to live in the home.

Currently at JBSA-FSH, Unaccompanied Housing (UH) is provided for unaccompanied Airmen in the ranks of E-1 to E-3 and E-4 with less than 3 years of service and for unaccompanied Soldiers in the ranks of E-1 to E-5. Each Service Member is provided a shared suite with private sleeping room, furnishings, bed linens and supplies required for comfortable living. (Room arrangements may vary depending on location). Unaccompanied Airmen in the rank of E-4 with greater than 3 years of service and above and unaccompanied Soldiers in the rank of E-6 and above will move into housing in the local community.

The permanent party UH is located on main post and the Medical Center Annex. The three facilities are centrally managed in three story buildings. Benner Barracks is located on the main post and consists of 288 barracks spaces in the 1+1 configuration with kitchenette. The new NCO Barracks is located directly across the street from Benner Barracks and consists of 96 barracks spaces in the 1+1 configuration with full kitchens. Located on the Medical Center Annex is Okubo Barracks consisting of 296 barracks spaces in the 1+1 configuration with kitchenettes.

If you are going to be looking for off-post housing, you will find the cost of living in San Antonio is the lowest among large U.S. cities, according to the Greater San Antonio of Chamber of Commerce. The local cost of living is presently 5.5% below the national average. However, housing rental costs are high.


The newcomer to San Antonio is often surprised to find the city has so many public school districts, each independently administrated and accredited by the Texas Education Agency in Austin. The San Antonio metropolitan area has approximately 23 independent school districts (ISD). Every school district has a school board and a superintendent. Funding is by state and federal funds, and by local property taxes levied by each school district.

In a recent policy change, children from active duty military families are automatically eligible to enroll in the public school pre-kindergarten programs in their districts. If the military member leaves the military, the child will be allowed to remain in the program until it is completed. There are other education alternatives. Private schools abound in San Antonio with a wide range of tuition rates. A number of churches offer day care, preschool, enrichment programs, and classroom education all on the same premises. There are also private schools dedicated to specific target groups such as the gifted programs.

Because there are literally hundreds of schools in the San Antonio area, it is not feasible to offer detailed information such as student-teacher ratios, individual school standings, and more. To research this data, please go to the TEA website. It has an A-Z index that will allow parents to research districts, schools, test scores, rankings, policies, and more.

Joint Base San Antonio

Fort Sam Houston (JBSA-FSH) has one elementary school, one middle school and one high school on post, overseen by Fort Sam Houston Independent School District. Phone: (210) 368-8700. Fort Sam Houston ISD boasts some of the highest average student test scores on college entrance exams. Other school districts include the Randolph Field ISD and North East ISD.

As of 2 April 2012, the Department of Public Works adjusted the school zone signs. The signs were changed from 2:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m. Officials say the time change will better reflect the ending of the school day for middle and high schools city-wide.

The state of Texas allows homeschooling with few restrictions. The San Antonio area has a large and active homeschooling population with many support services for parents who choose this option. For more information contact the School Liaison at 210-652-3060 or the TEA.

The Fort Sam Houston School Liaison Officer (SLO) is located at 502D FSFC/Y, 2010 Stanley Road, Bldg. 2797, Fort Sam Houston, TX 78234 and may be contacted at (210) 221-2214 or (210) 221-2256, or DSN 471-2256/2214

In Texas, children must be five years old on or before 1 September to be enrolled in the kindergarten program. Children must be six years old, on or before September 1 of the year the child enters the first grade.

Enrollment Requirements

Certificate of immunization, copy of birth certificate, Social Security card for the student, report card from the previous school, other school records from the previous school.

Child Care

Joint Base San Antonio – Fort Sam Houston (JBSA-FSH) has two-day care centers with both offering hourly care, full-time care, a preschool program and before/after school care for children between six weeks and five years of age. Family Child Care (FCC) offers age-appropriate care for children 4 weeks through 12 years of age in approved homes. Phone: 210-221-5002.

The Youth Center offers an extensive program of activities that include sports, camps, lock-ins, dances, workshops and seminars, classes, field trips, homework center, computer lab and much more. Call 210-221-3502 In addition to the Youth Center, a Teen Center provides a number of programs designed to help teens successfully transition to adulthood and to instill character and leadership qualities in them. There are several programs associated with the new Teen Center to include: Torch Clubs, Keystone Clubs, Smarts Girls, Passport to Manhood, National Fine arts Exhibit Program and more. For information call 210-221-3630.

The JBSA-FSH CDC offers a developmental program for children between six weeks and five years of age. The center provides meals and snacks. You may contact the CDC at 210-221-5002 or DSN 312-471-5002. The CDC is accredited by the National Association of the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) and certified by the Department of Defense (DOD).

Hours of Operation for the CDC are Monday through Friday, 5:30 a.m. - 5:30 p.m.

The CDC offers a seamless childcare and youth delivery system. At Fort Sam Houston CYS programs are:

Child Development Center

Head Start Center

Family Child Care Homes

School Age Services (Before/After School and Camps), Middle School/Teen Program

Sports and Fitness Program

CYS Liaison Education and Outreach Services (CLEOS): Outreach Services and School Liaison Services

Family Child Care (FCC) offers age-appropriate care for children four (4) weeks through twelve (12) years of age in certified FCC homes on and off the installation. Hourly, full and part-time, extended and long-term care is offered. The FCC program offers family members self-employment opportunities, which includes no-cost training and start-up support. Some FCC homes are accredited by the National Association of Family Child Care (NAFCC). For more information on the FCC program, you may contact the FCC office at 210-221-3828 or DSN 312-471-3828.

The School Age Services Program is located in Building 1705 off Winans Road. The SAS Program is accredited by the National After School Association and certified by Department of Defense and offers a Before and After School Program, Open Recreation Program, Reserve Hourly Care, Seasonal Camps (Spring, Fall, Winter, and Summer) and Teacher In-Service Camps for children in first through sixth grades.

The Before School Program operates Monday-Friday from 6 a.m. until school begins on Fort Sam Houston Elementary School regular school days. The After School Program begins at the release from school and until 6 p.m. daily. All children using the School-Age Services Program must be registered with Child and Youth Services Central Registration.

Youth Services - To assist you with the transition, the Fort Sam Houston Youth Center will send you an information packet concerning youth issues upon request. Please call the Youth Center at 210-221-4882.

Medical Care

Brooke Army Medical Center
Official Army

The San Antonio Military Medical Center (SAMMC) is the Army's most modern health care facility and the Army's only Level 1 Trauma Center. There are 450 inpatient beds of which 48 are ICU beds and 40 are dedicated to the Institute of Surgical Research. The hospital includes 12 operating rooms, five oral surgery suites, four dental rooms. The hospital information: 210-916-4141, DSN 312-429-4141.

SAMMC is one of the Nation’s premier medical facilities, offering highly sophisticated medical care for service members, family members, civilians, and veterans. SAMMC is a 425-bed, state-of-the-art medical facility, playing a critical role in patient care, as well as taking care of Wounded Warriors in Transition from the Global War on Terrorism. The medical center is also the only stateside DOD Level I Trauma Center and receives more than 5,700 emergency room visits each month. Co-located on the BAMC campus is the world renowned Army Institute of Surgical Research, which operates the only DOD Burn Center — the Army Burn Center.

The Fort Sam Houston Installation Hospital - Brooke Army Medical Center is a modern state-of-the-art, health care facility that provides Level 1 Trauma and Graduate Medical Education. The physical appearance and efficiency of space throughout the hospital creates a user-friendly, high-quality health care environment for patients, their families and health care providers.

Located in the eastern sector of Fort Sam Houston, this ultra modern facility, incorporating many high technology features, is six times larger than the old Main Hospital. The Medical Center complex houses seven buildings, with a total of 1,473 million square feet of operational space and one million square feet of interstitial space. It includes a medical treatment facility, a medical research laboratory, and a central energy plant. The multi-storied medical treatment facility is the primary structure in the medical complex. There are 450 inpatient beds of which 48 are ICU beds and 40 are dedicated to the Institute of Surgical Research. The Hospital is capable of expanding to 651 beds if needed to support wartime mobilization.

The hospital includes 12 operating rooms, five oral surgery suites, four dental rooms, a diagnostic and therapeutic radiology center, a same-day surgery suite and the requisite outpatient clinic and ancillary support services. The auditorium on the fourth floor seats 278 and the dining facility on the lower level seats 198.

The Brooke Army Medical Center (BAMC) has transitioned to San Antonio Military Medical Center (SAMMC) and Wilford Hall Medical Center changed the name to Wilford Hall Ambulatory Surgical Center on Sep 15th. SAMMC construction projects included a new 760,000-square-foot consolidated tower, renovations to BAMC, a 5,000-space parking garage, central energy plant and the Fort Sam Houston Primary Care Clinic at a total cost of about $802.3 million. SAMMC will be the largest inpatient health care facility in the Department of Defense and will continue to be military's only level-one trauma center.