Grand Forks Air Force Base
The vision of Grand Forks Air Force Base is to generate world-class support for the Global Hawk High Altitude ISR mission and seamlessly operate and sustain the High Frequency Global Communication System.
In 1954, the Department of Defense chose Grand Forks as the site for an Air Defense Command base. Community-minded citizens donated $65,000 toward the purchase of a 5,400-acre tract of land. The actual construction of the base began in February 1956. By 1960, the Air Force had stationed the KC-135 and the F-101 B fighter interceptor. Two years later, the first B-52 bomber arrived and by the end of the decade, Minuteman II Intercontinental Ballistic Missile became operational.
Over the next few decades, the base saw the departure of the fighters and the switch from B-52s to B-1 bombers. Some of the biggest organizational changes included the inactivation of the Strategic Air Command and the re-designation of the base’s Bomber Wing as the 319th Air Refueling Wing in the early 1990’s. In 1998, all the Minuteman III missiles were shipped to other locations and the silos were imploded, leaving aerial refueling as the base’s primary mission. At one time, the Warriors of the North at Grand Forks Air Force Base supported 48 KC-135 Stratotankers under the Air Mobility Command, making it the first supertanker wing in the Air Force.
There are 1,542 Active Duty, Reserve, Guard, and civilian personnel assigned to Grand Forks Air Force Base.
Airmen and civilian “Warriors of the North” reporting for in-processing at Grand Forks Air Force Base should proceed to your unit orderly room with an endorsed copy of your orders. Civilians are to report to their Civilian Personnel Office. The Visitor Control Center is the 24-hr main arrival point for Grand Forks AFB and is located at 226 Steen Blvd., Bldg. 812. (open 7:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Monday thru Friday (closed Saturday Sundays and Holidays), and is a tremendous resource for support in contacting your sponsor as well as obtaining general information about Grand Forks AFB and the surrounding area.
If arriving during duty hours, contact your assigned unit or squadron upon arrival. Your new CSS will in-process you, inventory your records and schedule your mandatory in-processing and Newcomer’s Welcoming/Orientation briefings. Have your hand-carried records and orders with you.
Important documents to be hand carried should include but are not limited to the following; a copy of orders, identification and/or social security card(s), vehicle registration(s) and proof of car vehicle(s) insurance. If arriving from overseas, hand-carried documents should also include the following items; vehicle shipping papers, shot immunization records, household inventories for household goods and claims and as well as school records for all children.
As part of the in-processing checklist, all newly arrived inbound are required to attend the GFAFB Newcomer Orientation held the first Thursday of the month at the Airman & Family Readiness Center starting at 7:30 a.m. Spouses and children are ALWAYS welcomed to attend the orientation which includes a Global Hawk “Scope of the Mission Tour”. Call the Airman and Family Readiness Center at 701-747-3241 for additional orientation.
If Grand Forks AFB is your first duty station after Basic and Tech School Training then you should either contact your sponsor or report to the Warrior Inn Lodging Office, located at 632 Holzapple St., Bldg. 117 and notify your respective sponsor/Squadron of your arrival. Your Sponsor Unit representative will meet and escort you to your unit personnel office and then to the Military Personnel Section, Bldg. 101 on Steen Blvd. for in-processing. During in-processing, you will be scheduled for the First Term Airmen’s Course (FTAC).
The FTAC is located in the Walker Warrior Professional Development Center, 259 Tuskegee Amn. Blvd., building 139. Completion of this course is a requirement for Airmen arriving at their first duty assignment in the Air Force. You will be assigned to FTAC for a total of 5 calendar days. You are also required to complete the Newcomer’s Orientation, held every 1st Thursday of each month at the Airman & Family Readiness Center starting at 0730. At the Newcomer’s Orientation you will also complete your initial Equal Opportunity and Victim Prevention Training.
The FTAC program is structured to assist Airmen in transitioning from training to a mission-oriented environment. The course reinforces military lessons First Term Airmen learn and experience in Basic Military Training and during technical training to prepare Airmen for their role in supporting the mission. The First Term Airman Course creates an environment for Airmen to develop a warrior spirit and an expeditionary mindset.
Newcomers’ Welcome/Orientation is usually held the 1st and 1st Thursday of each month. Please check with the Grand Forks A&FRC on 701-747-3241 or your unit CSS for any changes to this schedule. This event is held at the Airman & Family Readiness Center. We ask you to be there before 7:30 a.m. (briefings begin at 7:30). This orientation is mandatory for all arriving permanent party AF members and Department of Defense civilians. Spouses and children are ALWAYS welcomed and encouraged to attend.
Visit the Airman and Family Readiness Center, Bldg. 207, 575 Holzapple St. 701-747-3241, for maps and newcomer information, family member employment assistance, Child Care for PCS vouchers, Heart Link (AF orientation for spouses), budget assistance, financial classes, emergency assistance and any questions you may have.
Grand Forks International Airport (GFK) is served by Delta Air LInes with several daily round trips to the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport. The airport is about 13 miles from the base, which is about a 20-minute drive by car.
The newly renovated Warrior Inn at Grand Forks AFB is located at 632 Holzapple Street (Bldg. 117) is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Call and make reservations for temporary lodging as early as possible to include reservations for your pets.
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
To be enrolled in a North Dakota school, a child must be at least five years old by September 1st. Check with the local school district for other requirements.
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/.
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.
North Dakota Department of Human Resources (701) 328-2310
North Dakota Department of Health (701) 328-2372
North Dakota Department of Child and Family Services (701) 328-2316
Circle of Friends Humane Society (701) 775-3732
Grand Forks Police Department (701) 787-8000
Grand Forks Public Library (701) 772-8116
Base Operator (701) 747-3000
Airman & Family Readiness Center (701) 747-3241
Barracks (701) 747-3175
Chapel (701) 747-5673
Child Development Center (701) 747-3042
Commissary (701) 747-3083
Dental Clinic (701) 747-5393
Dormitory Management Office (701) 747-6563
Education Center (701) 747-3316
Exchange (701) 594-5542
Hospital Appointments (701) 747-5601
Housing Management Office (701) 747-3035
ID/CAC Card Processing (701) 747-6411
Legal Office/JAG (701) 747-3606
Library (701) 747-3046
Main Gate (701) 747-4270
Military Clothing Sales (701) 747-4828
Pharmacy (701) 747-5382
Relocation Assistance Services (701) 747-3241
School Liaison Office (701) 747-3162
Snow Line (701) 747-SNOW
Temporary Lodging (701) 747-7200
Unaccompanied Housing (701) 747-5677
Veterinary Services (701) 747-3375
Warrior Inn/Lodging (701) 747-7200
Welcome/Visitor’s Center (701) 747-5070
On-base housing at Grand Forks AFB is privatized and managed by Balfour Beatty Communities. There are 577 military family housing units. Please contact the Housing Office at 701-594-8000 as soon as possible after receipt of your orders.
Rental units near Grand Forks Air Force Base are offered in duplexes, townhouses, and single-family homes as well as apartment units. Military personnel can use their BAH allotments to buy or rent a residence in the surrounding community near Grand Forks Air Force Base. For more information about available properties, call the at Housing Management Office (HMO)701-747-3035.
Single service members, if they are eligible, will be assigned a room in the dorm. There are currently 344-bed spaces available for Unaccompanied Airman Housing. For availability and eligibility requirements contact the Dormitory Management office at 701-747-6563/5677/3493 or DSN 312-362-6563/5677/3493.
The newer neighborhoods in Grand Forks are located in the southern and western portions of the city.
19.4 miles from base
Located near the Columbia Mall with plenty of nearby amenities, this neighborhood is 20 minutes from base.
21.1 miles from base
Just west of the Red River, this large community offers plenty of hosing options for rent and for sale.
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Grand Forks has four very distinct seasons and great variation in temperatures over very short periods of time. The city has long, cold, and snowy winters. Summers are often warm to hot and often quite humid with frequent thunderstorms. Although warm weather normally ends soon after Labor Day, a few warm days sometimes occur as late as October. Spring and autumn are short and are highly variable seasons.
The warm season lasts for 4.1 months, from May 16 to September 19, with an average daily high temperature above 68°F. The hottest day of the year is July 25, with an average high of 82°F and low of 59°F. The cold season lasts for 3.4 months, from November 26 to March 6, with an average daily high temperature below 29°F. The coldest day of the year is January 15, with an average low of -0°F and a high of 16°F.
The wetter season lasts 4.5 months, from May 2 to September 16. Grand Forks receives about 21 inches of rain per year. The average snowfall for the year is about 47 inches, with the December and January receiving about 10 inches of snow each month.
Grand Forks Air Force Base is in Grand Forks County, North Dakota, approximately 16 miles west of the city of Grand Forks. The city sits on the Minnesota border, across from its sister city of East Grand Forks. Along the Red River, the Greenway is a system of waterfront parks and trails. Lincoln Drive Park has gardens and multi-use trails. The North Dakota Museum of Art displays contemporary works from around the world. Performances at the Empire Arts Center include drama and musicals. The Greater Grand Forks Greenway is a large park that runs the length of the Red River in the city. It includes an extensive path system, large festival grounds, ski trails, and wildflower gardens.
Grand Forks AFB is located in the Heart of the Red River Valley at the junction of the Red Lake River and the Red River of the North. The Grand Forks area has 43 miles of biking, hiking and inline skating trails as well as a great mix of sporting events, and an energetic arts scene. The Rural Bicycle Loop is a 100-mile paved route beginning and ending in Grand Forks, including Highway 2 and the cities of Mekinock, Emerado and Mayville. The North Star Trail, planted in the thick woods of Turtle River State Park, is a 10-mile scenic loop that combines rolling hills, flatlands and stream crossings. Grand Forks AFB is also home to Grand Sky, America’s first commercial Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) business and aviation park.
The quality of life in this community has been ranked by Money Magazine as one of the top communities in the nation. According to Bankrate’s rankings, which equally weighted weather, cost of living, crime, quality of healthcare, state and local taxes and general well-being, North Dakota scored in the top 5 (ranked 4th) in the country for best states for retirees. Plus, its residents report the highest level of general well-being in the country. In addition to the thousands of career opportunities available, North Dakotans enjoy an excellent quality of life. North Dakota offers family-friendly communities, great schools, arts, entertainment and retail options, world-class outdoor recreation opportunities and the lowest commute time in the country.
In addition, Grand Forks is home to the University of North Dakota, which has a population of over 13,000 students.
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