U.S. Air Force Considerations

Corneal Refractive Surgery (CRS) is available to eligible Active Duty and Air Reserve Component (ARC) members to reduce dependence on optical eyewear and enhance operational performance. There are several active Air Force Laser Refractive Centers. These laser refractive centers are distributed across the United States:

  • Lackland AFB, TX
  • United States Air Force Academy, CO
  • Keesler AFB, MS
  • Wright Patterson AFB, OH
  • Travis AFB, CA
  • Andrews AFB, MD
  • Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, AK

Also depending on your duty station and command, you may be eligible to travel to one of these centers. Sometimes it is permitted to visit and have surgery at one of the Department of Defense (DoD) laser refractive centers operated by the United States Army or Navy if it is more practical for travel and mission requirements.

To effectively utilize CRS resources, Air Force personnel are assigned to one of three management groups:

  • Trained Aviation and Aviation-Related Special Duty (AASD) personnel
  • Applicants to AASD
  • Warfighter personnel

Active Duty and ARC members who are eligible for Active Duty Elective Surgery Benefits are authorized to receive corneal refractive surgery at any DoD CRS Center and post-CRS management at their local military treatment facility at no cost. Individuals not eligible for Active Duty Elective Surgery Benefits are authorized for treatment and post-CRS management at any civilian CRS Center at the member’s own expense.

Location authorizations for CRS are prioritized into three categories:

  • Priority I
    • Air Force AASD career fields
    • Does not include aviators permanently disqualified or cross-trained from aviation
    • EOD personnel
  • Priority II
    • Personnel whose routine military duties require wear of night vision goggles, eye protection, or respiratory protection (does not include nuclear biological chemical mask worn only for deployment)
  • Priority III
    • Personnel who do not meet the above criteria

For the latest information on specific eligibility requirements for CRS in the Air Force, you can visit the following sites:

USAF Corneal Refractive Surgery Program (CAC Access)

USAF Corneal Refractive Surgery Program (Public Access)