Hanscom Air Force Base is located in Bedford, Massachusetts with sections extending into the towns of Concord and Lincoln. It is home to the 66th Air Base Group and the Air Force Life Cycle Management Center, which is responsible for life cycle management of Air Force weapon systems. The base is named after Laurence G. Hanscom, a pilot, aviation enthusiast and State House reporter who was killed in a plane crash in 1941. The base was opened in 1942.
Hanscom is tasked with developing and acquiring electronic command and control systems, which gather and analyze information about potentially hostile forces. Hanscom AFB also hosts the Massachusetts National Guard Joint Force Headquarters, which became operational in 2012; the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Lincoln Laboratory and other Department of Defense research laboratories. It supports approximately 130,000 retired military personnel, annuitants and next of kin living in the New England and New York areas as well as many reserve, National Guard and active duty military personnel. The base covers 846 acres, or 4.04 million square feet of space and employs 9,936 individuals as of March 2015.
Hanscom Field is a civilian airport adjacent to the Air Force Base. Less than 1 percent of the air traffic at Hanscom Field is military aircraft.