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Autec Complex Navy Base - Military BAH

The Autec Complex Navy Base is located in central Andros Island, Bahamas (ASD). This military base serves as one of the largest Navy bases in the world and has been used by the military since the early 20th century.

In addition to being a significant naval base, Autec Complex Navy Base is also home to several different naval organizations, including Naval Air Systems Command, Naval Space Surveillance Systems Center, Naval Supply Systems Command Detachment Chesapeake, and Naval Air Warfare Center Aircraft Division Detachment Patuxent River (NAWCAD).

Autec Complex Navy Base has over 1 million square feet of office space, including executive offices, conference rooms, and computer labs. The main campus also includes an auditorium and recreation center where members can enjoy free Wi-Fi while relaxing with friends or family.

Brief History

The U.S. Navy's need for a large region to test various weapons and equipment grew vital in the 1940s and 1950s. World War II provided an opportunity for the Navy to discover this necessity.

Professionals were chosen in 1958 to determine the best location for such a base. The location was chosen because of its relief and wonderfully natural environment and features.

The location was U-shaped and sheltered by several islands and reefs. The only significant connection to the ocean was on the northern side. The environment was ideal—it was shielded from natural ocean disturbances, making it an excellent location for tests and exercises.

In March 1964, the Navy began constructing its Main Base and downrange tracking sites on Andros Island. An initial cadre of officers and men arrived by U.S. Navy LST in August 1965, followed by Commander G. P Barney as the first permanent Officer-in-charge of Andros Ranges in October 1965.

In the fall of 1965, a contract was awarded to RCA Service Company for maintenance and operations at AUTEC. Work on the complex electronics installation was completed by the fall of 1966.

Temporary U.S. Mainland Headquarters opened at Orlando Air Force Base in September 1966, with Captain L. L. Jackson Jr serving as Prospective Commanding Officer until a permanent location could be found for the base's headquarters on land donated by Palm Beach County commissioners.

The base was entirely built by 1974. Since then, it has remained among the world's most advanced and sophisticated laboratories. The constant improvements and upgrades stayed in touch with technology, ensuring an appropriate evolution of the AUTEC Complex over the years.

Did you Know - At Autec Navy Base Andros, both Bahamian and U.S. dollars are accepted. The Finance Office is open Monday through Friday, 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., for cashing checks, paying rent, and accepting payroll checks. The base has no automatic teller machines (ATMs), so bring your checkbook. You can purchase goods from the retail store using MasterCard or Visa credit cards.

Living off Base and the House-Hunting Process

The cost of living is higher in Andros than anywhere else in New Providence. This makes it more difficult for people not working for the Navy to afford land here.

There are several places outside Autec Complex Navy Base that might appeal to you as a place to live:

The Village of Fresh Creek

Fresh Creek is another popular location for ex-pats living in the Bahamas. The village has a population of about 500 people and is located near the runway at Autec Complex Navy Base, making it easy to get around by car if you rent one during your stay in Fresh Creek Township.

Several grocery stores in Fresh Creek offer everything from fresh produce to meat products, dairy products, and canned goods so that you can stay well-stocked even if you choose not to cook meals at home every night. For those who want to cook at home, many restaurants offer local and international cuisine options nearby at reasonable prices.

The Village of Little Bay

This used to be an idyllic little village with great views over Nassau Harbor and New Providence Island. Still, it is now being developed as a luxury residential area for wealthy residents and foreign investors.

The village has some lovely beaches on both sides of its main road, which runs east to west along its waterfront.


Freeport is located on the south side of Andros Island and has everything you need to live here comfortably. You can find everything from grocery stores, banks, pharmacies, and restaurants everywhere in Freeport.

There are also many friendly neighborhoods with good schools for your children. Freeport is also close enough to Nassau to take the ferry when needed or wanted.

Benefits of living Off-base Autec Complex Navy Base

If you are interested in living outside Autec Complex Navy Base and want to know the benefits of it, here is a list of the advantages:

Military Discounts at Local Businesses

Many local businesses offer military discounts, especially if you live near a military base. You can find out about these discounts by asking other service members or visiting local businesses in person.

For example, some restaurants offer 10% off meals for service members and their families. Some stores offer 20%-50% off products when they're purchased with a military I.D. card. Other businesses offer complimentary coffee or soft drinks if you show your I.D. card at the register.

The Rent Is Cheaper

Another benefit is that it will be cheaper than living inside Autec Complex Navy Base. The average rent for homes in the area is $1,079 per month — which is almost half what it costs to live on base (the average rent price is $2,217 per month).

That means that by moving off-base, you could save over $1,000 each month in rental expenses alone! This allows you to save money on rent or mortgage payments and have more money for other things like groceries or entertainment.

There Is More Space

The rent may be cheaper, but more rooms are available outside Autec Complex Navy Base. This means that if you are looking for a place with more space, living outside Autec Complex Navy Base will suit your needs better.

You Can Have Pets at Home

While pets are not allowed inside Autec Complex Navy Base, they are allowed outside the camp area. If you have a pet and want to keep it with you at all times, living outside Autec Complex Navy Base would be ideal for your needs.

Autec Complex Navy Base Military BAH

If you are a military member stationed at the base, you are entitled to receive the Autec Complex Navy Base - Military BAH (Basic Allowance for Housing). This monthly payment is made to service members who live off-base or in privately owned housing. BAH payments are designed to help offset the cost of housing, which is often higher than on-base.

BAH is calculated using a formula that considers the local civilian housing market conditions, average rental rates, and utilities in the area.

To Receive BAH, You Must Meet the Following Criteria:

  • Be on active duty (including Active Guard/Reserve or Active Duty for Special Work) in the U.S. Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, Coast Guard, and Public Health Service, including the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy.

  • Be assigned a permanent duty station within the CONUS (Continental United States) or OCONUS (Outside Continental United States).

  • Not be on terminal leave when you move into a new permanent duty station unless you are in an overseas area and intend to return there within 12 months after your return to CONUS.

  • Be legally married to a person who meets the above criteria.

Happy soldier outside his home with family

Factors That Affect How Much BAH You Get

BAH is a military benefit that pays for housing costs. It's based on rank, pay grade, dependency status, and where you're stationed.

Here are some of the factors that affect how much BAH you get:


The amount of BAH depends on your rank. For example, if you are an E-6 Service Member with dependents, you will receive $1,627 per month in Hawaii and $1,506 per month at other locations.

If you are an O-5 Service Member with dependents, you will receive $2,914 per month in Hawaii and $2,740 per month at other locations.


This includes where it is located within the United States and overseas locations such as Guam or Germany. For example, if you are an E-4 Service Member with dependents and are stationed in San Antonio, Texas but want to move to Hawaii for work purposes, then your BAH would increase from $1,170 per month to $1,627 per month because the cost of living is higher there than where you currently live.

Whether You Have Dependents or Not

If you have dependents, then you will receive more money. The amount is calculated according to the number of dependents and their ages. For example, if your child is under 12 years old, they get full BAH.

If they are between 12 and 18 years old, they get 80% BAH. If you have three children aged 0-12, you will get 100% BAH for each.

Basic Allowance for Housing (BAH) and V.A. Loans

BAH are a fantastic method to obtain a VA mortgage when you don't have enough money for a down payment. They're also helpful if your credit isn't as strong as you'd like or if you have bad debt from past mistakes.

BAH can help you buy a home with a down payment as low as 3.5 percent of the purchase price of your home. The loan amount is determined by your income and the type of property you want to buy, but it will likely be less than $1,000,000.

The BAH entitlement may be increased to pay for a home. For example, if your monthly entitlements are $2,500, it can be grossed up by 25% resulting in a monthly qualifying income of $3,125. Such entitlements are only available to veterans, making taking a home mortgage genuinely advantageous.

To use your BAH in calculating your mortgage payment, you will need an estimated figure from the Department of Defense (DoD). You can find this information on MyPay, which DoD's Defense Manpower Data Center operates. The MyPay system allows users to create an account and track their pay information throughout their military career, including BAH amounts and allotments.

Benefits of the Basic Allowance for Housing and V.A. Loans

The VA loan is a mortgage program for military service members and veterans. It offers several benefits, including no down payment or private mortgage insurance.

Here are some of the top benefits of a V.A. loan:

No Down Payment

V.A. loans are one of the best loan programs available because they don't require putting money down on your home purchase. You must ensure that you have enough money to pay closing costs and funding fees (about 2% of the loan amount).

If you're buying a $300,000 home, you'll want to have at least $6,000 saved up before applying for a V.A. mortgage.

No Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI)

No private mortgage insurance (PMI). In most cases, you won't have to pay for PMI, which protects your lender against loan default. Lenders usually require borrowers to carry PMI if they make down payments of less than 20 percent.

No Income Limits

The VA does not have any income limits. This means that if you are approved for a V.A. home loan, you can purchase a home of any price, anywhere in the U.S., regardless of your income level.

No Prepayment Penalty

With some mortgages, if you pay off your loan early, your lender will charge you an additional fee (or "prepayment penalty").

This can cost thousands of dollars over the life of your loan and make paying off your home early less attractive than keeping it open longer to save money on interest payments — even though it may be in your best financial interest to do so!

Lower Interest Rates

Lower interest rates and fees for veterans with service-related disabilities or those receiving disability compensation from the V.A. Active military duty members who have been disabled during combat also qualify for unique mortgage benefits if they meet specific requirements.

Tax Advantages

Flexible underwriting guidelines. V.A. lenders follow federal guidelines that allow them more flexibility in assessing creditworthiness than many other lenders have.

This means it's easier for qualified borrowers to get approved for V.A. loans than conventional mortgages with similar credit scores and debt levels.

BAH Concerns

BAH is an excellent benefit for service members and their families, but this program also has some downsides. Here are some of the most common BAH disadvantages:

PCS or Family Changes

If you have to move because of a permanent change in the station (PCS), you may find that your BAH isn't enough to cover the costs of your new location.

For example, if you're moving to a more expensive city or state, you might not be able to find an affordable home in your area. In this case, it would be wise to negotiate with the military before your PCS and ask for additional BAH based on your specific situation.

Ability to Rent or Sell

Another disadvantage of BAH is that there's no guarantee that you'll be able to rent or sell your current home at a profit once PCS orders come through.

You could end up losing money on the sale of your home if you're forced to sell it within a few months after taking possession of it due to PCS orders from the military.

BAH Isn't Enough for Certain Areas

The BAH rate varies based on where you are stationed. For example, if you're stationed in Hawaii, your BAH will be higher than if you were stationed in Kansas (or any other state).

But even within those states, there can be wide variations in the cost of living and the amount of money needed to live comfortably.

If you want to know whether your BAH will be enough for where you're going next, use a Cost of Living Calculator! It'll show how much extra money you need for a comfortable life depending on which state/location you're headed.


Off-base housing is becoming more popular with military members and their families thanks to these arrangements' financial advantages. One such arrangement is the Autec Complex Navy Base - Military BAH and V.A. loan, which has many advantages over a traditional mortgage.

The BAH entitlement can be grossed up to purchase a house. For instance, if your monthly entitlements are $2,500, it can be grossed up by 25% resulting in a monthly qualifying income of $3,125. Such entitlements are only available to veterans.

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