1 - Food trucks

The Navy Exchange (NEX) has contracted with several local food trucks to bring additional lunch options for employees aboard the station. Food trucks are located outside the NEX, VyStar Credit Union, Hangar 511, near Fleet Readiness Center Southeast on Enterprise Avenue and the Car Care Center. A variety of food options are now available.

 2 - Community Rec Rental Program

The Morale, Welfare and Recreation Community Recreation at Naval Air Station Jacksonville offers a rental program of recreational equipment for command functions and personal use. They have bounce houses, Cornhole boards, sound equipment, yard games, sports equipment, coolers, canopies, and more. 

Two 18-foot trailers specifically for command events are fully stocked with all the essentials. There is no cost for official command functions. The trailers come with 20 tables, 100 chairs, two bounce houses, two Cornhole sets, two 10x10 pop-up canopies, Ladder ball, two 120-quart coolers and an assorted sports pack of balls such as soccer, football, and basketballs. Numerous items can be added to the trailer for free or some for an extra cost. Add-ons include extra canopies, chairs, tables, gas grills, speaker systems, inflatable obstacle courses and coolers.

Items can also be rented for personal use for a nominal fee. Forms can be found at www.navymwrjacksonville.com under recreation. Reservations can be made up to six months in advance. The Community Recreation office is located in the Auto Hobby Shop, Building 622. They can be reached at 542-3681.

 3 - Free bowling at NAS Freedom Lanes

The Bowling Center is located on Gillis Street in Building 609 and offers numerous specials throughout the week including free bowling for active duty military on Thursdays from 11 a.m.-1 p.m. 

The facility offers 24 lanes with automatic scoring and bumpers for children. The flooring to the lanes is a flush surface which makes it easily accessible for children and the young at heart. The center offers open bowling, league bowling and Xtreme bowling, a high energy bowling experience with music and lights. 

The Gutterball Grill, a snack bar, is located in the center and serves food and beverages daily. The center also has a pro shop with professional fitting and drilling services.  

For more information, call 542-3494. 

 4 - Not New Shop

The Not New Shop is a thrift shop operated by the Navy Wives Club of America No. 86 at the Naval Air Station Jacksonville Main Gate, Building 13. Clothes, toys and household goods may be donated by anyone and are sold for a small fee to raise money that goes to charities such as the USO and Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society.
The shop is open Tuesdays and Thursdays from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. For more information, call 542-1582.

  5 - Family Fitness Center

The Family Fitness Center is located above the Youth Activities Center Gym in Building 2069. The fitness center provides an environment for promoting healthier lifestyles to families in the Naval Air Station Jacksonville community. The goal of the center is to keep the entire family healthy by providing an environment for families to meet their fitness needs.

A qualified fitness trainer is available to assist patrons with their fitness goals. The center offers a full circuit of Life Fitness equipment and fitness classes daily. For more information, call 778-9772/542-2930.

  6 - Manatee Point

By Hannah Simmons

Nature can be seen all around Naval Air Station Jacksonville. There are playgrounds, nature trails, as well as an area where you can look for manatees. Manatee Point is located on the bank of the St. Johns River. Fishing is allowed on the north side of Casa Linda Lake and the St. Johns River. Fishing permits are required for anyone between the ages of 15-65 and can be purchased at Mulberry Cove Marina. Fishing is strictly catch and release only. 

Parks and picnic grounds are located in multiple locations around the base. There are shelters, restrooms, barbeque pits, ball fields and playground equipment. Reservations are required and can be made up to six months in advance.  

For more information contact: 542-3260.  

 7 - Skeet shooting range

By Reggie Jarrett

Editor, Jax Air News

For those who like to do some shooting during their lunch hour (and who doesn't?), Naval Air Station Jacksonville has the Skeet and Trap Facility on base.

The facility is operated by MWR and is open to all authorized MWR patrons. A round of skeet or trap is $3.50 and includes 25 targets. There is an additional charge for ammo.

The facility has 12 gauge and 20 gauge shotguns available for use.

Annual memberships are available for $12 per year. Members are allowed to bring guests to the range and are also allowed to bring their own guns. Individual shooting classes are also available.

All of the workers, including the range masters, are volunteers.

"We are here to help grow the sport and to give something back," said Henry Warren, club president and one of the range masters. "We are also here for the Sailors on the weekend who want to do something different than playing golf."

The range is located on Perimeter Road and the hours of operation are Wednesdays 9 a.m.-1 p.m. and Saturdays and Sundays 9 a.m.-3 p.m.

For more information, call Henry Warren at 904-864-1003 or email warrencw01@gmail.com.

 8 - Greater Jacksonville USO 

By Hannah Simmons 

Staff Writer 

The United Service Organization (USO) provides care and comfort to the US military and their families. For over 76 years the USO has been the top organization assisting men and women in the US military. There are more than 200 USO centers across the US, extending to countries on every continent in the world. 

In 1941, President Franklin D. Roosevelt sought after the unification of service associations in hopes of creating one organization to nurture and encourage the U.S. Armed Forces. The Salvation Army, Young Men's Christian Association, young Women's Christian Association, National Catholic Community Services, National Travelers Aid Association and the National Jewish Welfare Board collectively came together as the USO.

The USO is a private organization, not associated with the federal government. Their mission is adapting to the diverse needs of military members and their families, whether they are deployed overseas or at home. 

The Greater Jacksonville Area USO is responsible for more than $1 million amenities across various platforms. Some of the services they offer are connecting families via Skype, assisting with homecoming celebrations and deployments, distributing USO Care Packages, and providing discounted and free tickets for concerts, sporting events, theme parks and attractions. 

Free dinners called "No Dough" are offered every month for young service members and families at the Fleet Reserve Association #91 located at 5391 Collins Road. Many local restaurants sponsor the event offering healthy meals. 

A Vintage USO Stars and Stripes Dinner and Dance will be held Feb. 17. Tickets are $75 per person benefiting the USO. 

Currently, the USO has tickets to the Jacksonville IceMen minor league hockey games. Commands can receive 25 free tickets for each home game. 

The USO continues to add and adjust services according to the needs of military members. For further information, email info@usojax.org or call 778-2821.