Fairchild Air Force Base
92nd Air Refueling Wing, 141st Air Refueling Wing
7 W. Arnold St., Fairchild AFB, WA 99011
Fairchild Air Force Base is named after General Muir S. Fairchild, who had died in 1950 due to a heart attack while serving as USAF Vice Chief of Staff. Fairchild came into operation in 1942 with the onset of World War II. The citizens of Spokane had raised $125,000 to buy 2,400 acres in donation to the War Department (eventually falling into the hands of the Air Mobility Command’s Eighteenth Air Force). The location of the base was chosen due to a few strategically advantageous conditions, such as better weather conditions (as compared to western Washington), a distance of 300 miles from the coast, and the Cascade Mountains providing a natural barrier from a possible Japanese attack.
In 1947, the base was transferred to the Strategic Air Command and assigned to the 15th Air Force with the In November 1950, the base received its current name in memory of Air Force Vice-Chief of Staff, General Muir S. Fairchild, a native of Bellingham, Washington. In 1994, Fairchild AFB was transferred to Air Mobility Command and the assigned wing was redesignated as the 92 Air Refueling Wing.
Additionally, Fairchild AFB is home to the 141st Air Refueling Wing, which is a part of the Spokane Air National Guard. This 900-member unit, nicknamed “The Ace of Spades”, provides the core aerial refueling capability for the United States Air Force and the Air Guard.
Fairchild AFB is located in Spokane county about 12 miles west of Spokane and just under 300 miles west of Seattle. A few additional local communities are Cheney, Airway Heights, Spokane Valley and Coeur d’Alene in Idaho (about 35 miles east of Spokane).
There are 21,375 Officers, Enlisted, Guard, Civilians and Retirees assigned to Fairchild Air Force Base.
If you are traveling west on I-90, continue through Spokane and take exit 277. This exit will take you to Highway 2 heading west. Continue on Highway 2 through Airway Heights and Fairchild is approximately 3 miles from Airway Heights on the left hand side of the road. You will see signs indicating where to turn into the base.
The Spokane International Airport (GEG) is just 7 miles from Fairchild AFB, which is about a 15-minute drive west by car.
Fairchild AFB is located approximately three miles west of Airway Heights, WA. If you drive west on Highway 2, turn left at the Fairchild AFB signs and proceed through the Visitor’s Center or the main gate.If you are traveling west on I-90, continue through Spokane and take exit 277. This exit will take you to Highway 2 heading west. Continue on Highway 2 through Airway Heights and Fairchild is approximately 3 miles from Airway Heights on the left hand side of the road. You will see signs indicating where to turn into the base.
If you are heading east on I-90 driving toward Spokane take exit 277B onto Highway 2 heading west. This exit is before you actually go into Spokane. Continue on Highway 2 through Airway Heights and Fairchild is approximately 3 miles from Airway Heights on the left hand side of the road.
If you are arriving by the bus/train station, head west on I-90, then take Exit 277 onto Hwy 2. Travel west towards Airway Heights. Fairchild AFB is located 3 miles past Airway Heights.
If you are taking the Spokane International Airport (GEG), take West Airport Dr. towards Hwy 2. Travel west towards Airway Heights. Fairchild AFB is located 3 miles past Airway Heights.
Personnel arriving by car in the winter months should ensure their vehicle is winterized, emergency items are on hand, and that drivers are familiar with safe winter driving.
There is no curfew in Spokane, but the curfew on the base are as follows: ages 15 and under, 10:00 p.m. – 5:30 a.m.; ages 16 – high school graduation, 11:00 p.m. – 5:30 a.m. (exceptions may be made for chaperoned events or for work related reasons).
1. The following hours are established as curfew for juveniles under the age of 16: 2200 – 0530, seven (7) days a week.
2. The following hours are established as curfew for juveniles, ages 16 and 17: 2300 – 0530, seven (7) days a week.
3. Juveniles may exceed these hours, whether escorted or not, if they are returning from a chaperoned function on or off base or place of employment or with parental permission; however, they must proceed by the most direct route to their assigned quarters. They may also exceed these hours if they are sent on an errand by their parents, guardians, or other persons having the legal charge of such minor(s). After returning from any function, errands, or place of employment, minors will not be allowed to remain on the street, in, or upon any unoccupied premises or grounds within the limits or control of Fairchild AFB.
4. Persons 18 years of age and older, though excluded from the curfew, are prohibited from congregating in crowds within the streets when their actions or conduct are annoying other residents or their actions are such that they constitute an act of vandalism, malicious mischief, harassment, etc
TRICARE Information and News
For a full list of community health centers, visit the Health Center Program at https://findahealthcenter.hrsa.gov/.
Check the US News Health directory online at https://health.usnews.com/doctors/search to find the best doctor for your family.
The American Dental Association provides a list of dentists near you on their website https://findadentist.ada.org/.
FOR THE CHILDREN
In the state of Washington, students must be 5 years old on or before August 31 to enroll in kindergarten. But state law doesn’t require that students enroll in school until they’re 8, so parents can keep them at home or in child-care programs for an additional year, or more, if they choose.
In 2010, the majority of states, the District of Columbia, and the Department of Defense Education Activity adopted Common Core State Standards that provide a consistent set of educational expectations for students, regardless of ZIP code. When a family moves, a student’s education is often disrupted because the student may be forced to repeat material or learn at a different level at the new school. With common standards across states, this disruption will be reduced — of particular interest to military families. For more information, visit http://www.corestandards.org/.
The Military Family Housing Office located 210 E. Bong Street will be able to assist you with finding schools in the area. You may also contact them at (509) 247-5185 for information about both housing and local public schools in and around Spokane.
If your child is preparing to attend college, this information on scholarships may be helpful.
FOR THE SERVICE MEMBER
Current service members can attend college in their off-duty time and have their military branch pay the tuition. Learn about the Military Tuition Assistance Program. Use the Tuition Assistance (TA) DECIDE tool to help you make the best use of your tuition assistance dollars.
If you were or are in the military, you may be eligible for Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) education benefits. If you are a spouse or dependent, you may be eligible too.
Online course options: edX – Founded by Harvard University and MIT, offers high-quality courses from the world’s best universities and institutions to learners everywhere. Whether you are interested in computer science, languages, engineering, psychology, writing, electronics, biology, or marketing. Enroll today!
When moving to a new location, it is important to know who to call when you have an emergency or you need help. Below are some organizations you will find useful.
Under the site’s “Child Care 101” tab you’ll find information related to locating quality child care, the types of child care available to you and how to evaluate the child care providers you visit. There’s also a special section for the military child on the website covering topics such as military fee assistance, payments and provider services.
Washington Department of Health (360) 236-4501
Spokane Humane Society (509) 467-5235
Spokane Police Department (509)755-2489
Spokane County Sheriff’s Office (509) 532-8911
Spokane Driver Licensing Division Page (509) 482-3882
Spokane Public Library (509) 444-5300
Cable/Internet/Phone providers in the area:
Viasat Satellite Internet
Base Operator (509) 247-1212
Chaplain’s Office (509) 247-7044
Fairchild Airman & FRC (509) 247-2246
Fairchild AFB Housing Office (509) 247-2341
Fairchild Inn/Temporary Lodging (509) 247-5519
Fairchild Main Exchange (509) 244-2832
Family Support Office (509) 247-7009
Finance & Accounting (509) 247-7020
Legal Office/JAG (509) 247-7035
Military Clothing Sales (509) 244-3324
Personnel Relocation Services (509) 247-7066
Snow Line (509) 247-5100
Veterinary Clinic (509) 247-2583
Fairchild on-base housing is priviatized and operated by Balfour Beatty Communities. They offer four different neighborhoods, each ranging from 2-4 beds and 1-3 baths, including Circle Drive, Fort Wright Village, Galena Station and Palouse Hills.
If living off base, there are a number of options to choose from. New arrivals are provided with listings of rentals/sales off base. Applications for Military Family Housing are received and military members are placed on waiting lists according to their family size.
The Military Family Housing Office located 210 E. Bong Street will be able to assist you with finding housing in the area. You may also contact them at (509) 247-5185 for information.
4.5 miles from Base
Named after the close proximity to the runways of Fairchild Air Force Base and the Spokane International Airport, here you can find Northern Quest Resort & Casino, a Wal-Mart Supercenter and the Spokane County Raceway Park, which features major automobile events.
7.3 miles from Base
With a population of a little over 5,000, Medical Lake was named as such because the Spokane tribe believed that the mud and soil from the nearby lake has medicinal value. Here, you will find Eastern State Hospital along with several nearby lakes.
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Typically, Spokane has a hot, arid climate during the summer months, with short spring and fall seasons. On average, July and August are equally warm, and the coolest month is December; July averages about 70 °F, while December averages 27.5 °F.
In addition, Spokane’s location, between the Cascades Range to the west and the Rocky Mountains to the east and north, protects it from weather patterns experienced in other parts of the Pacific Northwest. The Cascade Mountains form a barrier to the eastward flow of moist and relatively mild air from the Pacific Ocean in winter and cool air in summer. As a result of the rain shadow effect of the Cascades, the Spokane area has 16.5 inches average annual precipitation, less than half of Seattle’s 37 inches.
Most precipitation occurs during the month of December. Alternatively, the summer is the driest time of the year. The Rockies shield Spokane from some of the winter season’s coldest air masses traveling southward across Canada. The wetter season lasts 7.6 months, from October 21 to June 7, with a greater than 22% chance of a given day being a wet day.
Residents in Spokane enjoy a cost of living index of 94, with Medical Lake and Airway Heights ranking at 93, and Cheney at 95. These indices are about 20% lower than the Washington average, and 5% lower than the national average.
The following categories are used when determining the cost of living index for any given city: health care (5%), transportation (9%), utilities (10%), groceries (13%), housing (30%), and goods/services (33%).
For those living in the surrounding area, the average cost of goods and services is 8% lower than it is in Washington, and it is 2% lower than the national average.
Just 5 miles south of Fairchild Air Force Base is the town Medical Lake where you can find several nearby lakes to go fishing, such as West Medical Lake, Medical Lake, Silver Lake, Granite Lake and Clear Lake. In town, you can find a pizza restaurant, sandwich shops, Hick’s Hardware store and Denny’s Harvest Foods grocery store.
Located about 7 miles east of Fairchild Air Force Base, Spokane offers a wide array of amenities. To start, there are a number different restaurants to choose from, several being featured on Guy Fieri’s from Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives and recommended in The Wall Street Journal. One such restaurant is Nordic Smoke BBQ, a veteran run and operated catering truck offering such items as briskets, pork spare ribs, BBQ beans, and more. The location of their food truck can be seen on their Facebook page here. A few more restaurants include Chaps Coffee, Elk Public House and Durkin’s Liquor Bar.
Annually at the end of June, Spokane prepares for Hoopfest, a 2-3 day event that is the largest 3-on-3 amateur basketball tournament in the world with over 6,000 teams and 450 courts spanning 45 city blocks in downtown Spokane. The event is accompanied with food tents, interactive events, shopping and live music.
About 35 miles east of Spokane is Coeur d’Alane, Idaho. This city offers a picturesque view of Lake Coeur d’Alene and Fernan Lake, a few notable restaurants such as Meltz Extreme Grilled Cheese, Hudson’s Hamburgers, Beverly’s and Pepe Caldo Pizzeria.
There are also a number of colleges and universities in the surrounding area, including Gonzaga University, Spokane Falls Community College, Spokane Community College, Washington State University Health Sciences Spokane branch and Eastern Washington University.
For more information about things to do in the Spokane area, visit this site.
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