Dear TSgt Jones,
Congratulations on your assignment to MacDill Air Force Base! My name is TSgt Smith (call me Dan) and I've been assigned as your sponsor. I'm sure you will find this to be one of the best assignments of your career.
We work at a 24-hour satellite communications facility in the 6th Communications Squadron. We have a GSC-39 terminal and a full DCSS with STEP site capabilities. Since you're a TSgt, you'll most likely be working regular day staff hours, Mon-Fri, with me and our other TSgt, TSgt Johnson. Our NCOIC is MSgt Asceves and our Commander is Maj Hightower. There are 30 people in the workcenter and most of them are 3-levels right out of tech school so your experience will definitely be welcome.
Housing off-base is plentiful although most people spend 30 minutes or more commuting as the base is on the edge of town. A lot of people who work on base choose to live in Brandon which is a newer community consisting of mostly military residents. The waiting list for on-base housing has been about a year so you'll probably want to look for off-base housing as soon as you arrive. Rents around Tampa range from $800-$1500 depending on what kind of apartment or house you want. Base housing is satisfactory and many of the houses have a million-dollar view of Tampa Bay. Don't forget to apply in advance for base housing here at your current duty station. It'll shave months off your wait for base housing (if you choose to move on base).
This base boasts two Major Commands: United States Special Operations Command and United States Central Command. In addition, the base hosts the 6th Air Refueling Wing. Supporting these interests provides challenges and opportunities for advancement enjoyed by relatively few. The base itself is one of the best in CONUS. It has a newly renovated gym, a bowling alley, an auto hobby shop, a theater, two chapels, a large child care center, and its own elementary school. It also has its own private beach and a marina where you can rent boats and fishing gear. Next to the beach is a trailor /camper park and a skeet range. In addition, it has one of the largest and nicest golf courses on the East coast!
The Tampa area is a large metropolitan area that merges with St Petersburg. Between these two large cities you can find anything you want. Within minutes of the base you can attend football games at the Raymond James stadium, hockey games at the Times Forum, and baseball at the St Petersburg Sun Dome! Disneyworld, Seaworld and all the other popular attractions in Orlando are just an hour away and we have our own Busch Gardens and a world-class zoo right here in Tampa!
Well, again welcome to MacDill AFB and if there's anything I can do to assist you with this move, please let me know. I can make reservations for you on base at TLF if you send me a copy of your orders. My address is 8711 Bayshore Dr, Tampa, FL, 33624 or you can fax it to our shop fax at (813) 828-XXXX or DSN 968-XXXX. My phone number is (813) 964-XXX. Feel free to call me anytime with questions. I look forward to meeting you.
P.S. If you give me your arrival time, I'd be glad to pick you up at the airport.
TSgt John J. Smith, USAF
Training NCO, SATCOM/SCMJ