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Where is best place for airmen to be based in US? Think corn, not Hawaii

ST. LOUIS — Scott Air Force Base is one of the best places for airmen to be stationed, according to an Air Force Times analysis of 68 bases in the U.S.

The military newspaper said Monday that it had evaluated and weighed regional housing prices, school performance, on-base health care, crime, commissary size, commutes and other quality-of-life indicators.

“When we tallied up the results, some surprising bases rose to the top of our list,” the report states.

Scott tied with Wright-Patterson Air Base in Ohio for the No. 1 slot.

Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland in Texas, Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson in Alaska and Luke Air Force Base in Arizona filled out the rest of the Top 5.

Oddly, Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam in Hawaii was ranked No. 47.

Air Force Times quotes Col. Kyle Kremer, commander of Scott’s 375th Air Mobility Wing, about the draw to Southern Illinois: “It’s kind of a hidden gem out there. You can pick and choose what works for you and your family. It’s unlike any other place I’ve been stationed.

“Depending on what lifestyle you prefer, you have the full spectrum,” he added: “You can live to the east of the base, in the middle of corn fields. A number of people who work on base live in downtown St. Louis, particularly young couples without kids, [and] can go see the Cardinals, the Rams, Fox Theatre, all St. Louis has to offer. And then there’s the typical outstanding suburban life in the Fairview Heights area.”

According to the report, the median home cost around Scott is $57,400, a far cry from coastal areas, which helps explain why Los Angeles Air Force Base is at the bottom of the list, at No. 68.

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