U.S. AIR FORCE ACADEMY, Colo. - The Air Force Academy will open to the public August 2, nearly 17 months after closing to all but official business to safeguard its community during the coronavirus pandemic.
“We’re excited to welcome the community back to the U.S. Air Force Academy,” said Lt. Gen. Richard Clark, the school’s superintendent. “I’m proud of our Academy team for their incredible work to ensure a safe, successful environment for our cadets, faculty and families. Cadets have been back since last fall and we’ve learned to work in an environment focused on reducing COVID risks.”
In keeping with Defense Department guidance, all service members, federal employees, onsite contractor employees and visitors, regardless of vaccination status, will wear a mask indoors at the Academy, according to Col. Christopher Leonard, commander of the 10th Air Base Wing – the Academy’s host unit.
“El Paso County, Colorado is designated an area of high community transmission,” Leonard wrote in a memo sent to all cadets and staff members at the base, July 29.
The 10th Air Base Wing is responsible for the health and safety of service members, families, faculty and cadets who live and work on the base.
With the reopening of the base, the Academy begins a gradual transition to normal operations in hosting the public.
Academy gates open to visitors 5:30 a.m. – 10 p.m., Aug. 2. Visitors are require to have a state-issued ID, Defense Department ID or passport, and random vehicle inspections may be required. Current Defense Department and Academy rules require all individuals to wear a mask inside Academy facilities.
Masks are required for all visitors while on the Academy, regardless of vaccination status and in accordance with DOD guidance.
The Academy Visitors Center, with informational displays and presentations, opens weekdays, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Visitors are also welcome in the Arnold Hall food court and on hiking and biking trails.
Visitors may observe the cadet area from the chapel wall, athletic fields from the overlook parking areas, aircraft on permanent static display and ongoing Airmanship training.
Noon meal formations return with the start of the academic year Aug. 9.
The Falcon Athletics ticket office resumes regular hours of operation, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. weekdays, in the Cadet Field House and online.
Visit GoAirForceFalcons.com for the latest schedules, venue maps and game times. Academy Athletics opens to the public with the first intercollegiate event of the year, 6 p.m., Aug. 14 in the cadet soccer stadium, as the Falcons host Colorado in women’s soccer.
Air Force football hosts two practices open to the public, 9:30 a.m., Aug. 14 and 21 in Falcon Stadium. The Falcons open the season against Lafayette, noon, Sept. 4 in Falcon Stadium.
Ongoing closures include the Cadet Chapel (undergoing renovation), the Planetarium, and the Harmon Hall Parking Lot. In all cases, services could be limited due to COVID restrictions.
Academy officials continue to monitor and evaluate risks related to COVID closely. As needed, additional measures will be enforced to ensure the success of the primary mission of developing Leaders of characters for the Air and Space Forces.
Visit Visit www.usafa.edu/news/coronavirus for COVID-19 updates.