Installation Overview: Ellsworth Air Force Base, South Dakota

Ellsworth Air Force Base is located near Rapid City in Meade County and Pennington County, South Dakota. Ellsworth AFB is home to the 28th Bomb Wing of the Air Combat Command (ACC), operating the B-1B Lancer. The base is named in memory of Brig Gen Richard E. Ellsworth, commander of the 28th Strategic Reconnaissance Wing, who lost his life in the crash of an RB-36 in March 1953.

The host wing is the 28th Bomb Wing which includes an operations group, a maintenance group, a mission support group, and a medical group. The base controls all airspace 40 miles around its area, including all landings at nearby Rapid City Regional Airport, Rapid City, South Dakota. It is an emergency landing site for the NASA Space Shuttle orbiter and its Boeing 747 Shuttle Transport Aircraft.

The mission of the 28th Bomb Wing is to provide rapid, decisive and sustainable combat air power and expeditionary combat support. As home to the B-1B, the 28th Bomb Wing provides operational support in areas such as security forces, personnel and administration, civil engineering, communications, supply, transportation, chaplain, recreation and food services.

Here is the official website for Ellsworth Air Force Base.

Location/Driving Directions

Ellsworth is located 12 miles east of Rapid City on Interstate 90. There are two exits that service Ellsworth -- Exit 63 and Exit 67B. New arrivals should use Exit 67B. The Visitor Center or Main Gate personnel will direct you to the Pine Tree Inn, where you can contact your new unit and arrange temporary accommodations.

If arriving at the Rapid City Regional Airport, travel on route 44 west to Campbell Street, turn right to E North Street, turn right to Interstate 90 east. Travel east on Interstate 90 until you reach either Exit 63 or 67B.

Main Phone Numbers

Ellsworth maintainers continue work through the snow. Photo courtesy U.S. Air Force; photo credit: Airman 1st Class Corey Hook

Base Operator DSN: 675-1110 (605) 385-1110

(BILLETING) PINETREE INN (605) 385-1362 DSN: 675-1362

BASE DENTAL CLINIC 605-385-3657 DSN: 675-3657


BASE VET CLINIC 605-385-1589 DSN: 675-6091

CENTRAL APPOINTMENTS 605-923-6700 /800-379-2304

CHILD CARE FOR PCS PROGRAM 605-385-4663 DSN: 675-4663

CHILD DEVELOPMENT CENTER (605) 385-2488 DSN: 675-2488

DENTAL APPOINTMENTS 605-385-3657 DSN: 675-3657

ELLSWORTH DORM MANAGER 605-385-2567 DSN: 675-2567


FAMCAMP 605-385-2997 DSN: 675-2997

FAMILY HOME DAYCARE (605) 385-4270 DSN: 675-4270

HEALTH AND WELLNESS CENTER (HAWC) (605) 385-2349 DSN: 675-2349

HOUSING OFFICER 605-385-2576 DSN: 675-2576



YOUTH CENTER 605-385-2277 DSN: 675-2277

Population/Major Units Assigned

Ellsworth Honor Guard. Photo courtesy U.S. Air Force; photo by: Airman 1st Class Corey Hook

Ellsworth AFB is home to the 28th Bomb Wing and the B-1B Lancer aircraft. Their mission is to put bombs on target. Every Airman in this Wing, whether its maintaining their people, equipment, pulling a trigger or aiming crosshairs, puts bombs on target.

Ellsworth AFB serves approximately 3,611 military members, 3,879 family members, 2,596 retirees and 420 civilians.

Temporary Lodging

The Pinetree Inn. Photo courtesy U.S. Air Force

Ellsworth AFB Lodging is through The Inns of Ellsworth, located at 2349 Risner Drive, Ellsworth AFB, SD 57706. The Inns of Ellsworth consist of 3 bldg's which offer a variety of rooms. One, the Aspen Inn, contains Temporary Lodging Facilities for PCS personnel and families, some of which are designated pet-friendly. Each TLF accomodates a family of 5, and all are equipped with modern appliances. One room handicap-equipped.

For Reservations you may call: (605) 385-2844/1362 DSN: 675-2844/1362.

Temporary lodging does fill up fast, so reservations should be made as soon as you now your arrival date. From May through September, lodging is limited at times due to a number of members PCSing. All personnel can contact the reservations clerk at DSN 675-1362 to make reservations for temporary living. South Dakota summers bring many tourists and temporary housing is extremely limited between Memorial Day and Labor Day. Off-base commercial rates for hotels or motels during this time are higher. It's best to make advance reservations. During August, off-base lodging is almost nonexistent due to several events that happen annually in the local community.


Housing on Base- Centennial Estates. Photo courtesy U.S. Air Force

Ellsworth Air Force Base has 2,084 Military Family Housing units. Of this total, 1,881 are available for enlisted and 203 for officers. Housing facilities in the surrounding communities offer something for everyone. . The Ellsworth housing office is located at 3025 Lincoln Drive Ellsworth AFB, SD 57706. Phone: (605) 385-2576.

All active duty military members who are eligible for Basic Allowance for Housing (BAH) at the "with dependent" rate are eligible for military family housing. A housing application, DD Form 1746, must be completed in order to be placed on the housing waiting list. Waiting lists are established for all categories of housing in accordance with current policy and directives. Within these designations, waiting lists are maintained by house size, the number of bedrooms for which the member is eligible based on grade and the size of the family.

Military Family Housing occupants are authorized 2 pets (canine or feline). All pets must be registered and licensed with the Base Veterinarian Office within 30 days of arrival or acquisition of the the animal. (See Related Subject, Veterinary Services.) Requests to house unusual/exotic pets in Military Family Housing will be coordinated with the Support Group Commander.

Unaccompanied housing at Ellsworth AFB consists of 742 rooms in six dorms. Single occupancy of all rooms is in effect. The main floor of each dorm has a game room, kitchen, and laundry room. Each floor has a TV room. Dorm residents share a volleyball court, horseshoe pit, barbecue grills and picnic tables in the pavilion area between the dorms.

If you plan on living off base, financial preparedness is a must. Be prepared to pay your first and last months' rent ranging from $450 to $800, depending on your choice of rentals. Deposits range from $200 and South Dakota law allows landlord's to request up to a month's rent (and most usually do).

Child Care

McRaven Child Development Center. Photo courtesy U.S. Air Force

The McRaven Child Development Center curriculum offers a wide variety of developmentally appropriate activities for ages six months through completion of kindergarten. The Child Development Center has been accredited by the NAECP since May 1996. The Marazon system is being used in some classrooms. Creative curriculum is used all other classrooms.

Hourly care children will be accepted on a space available basis only. Reservations are accepted up to one week in advance. Reservations may be made by calling 605-385-2488 or DSN 312-675-2488.
Full-time care may be contracted for up to one year at a time. If you are interested in full-time care, contact the Child Development Center at your current base and obtain an AF Form 3501. Complete the form and mail it to: 28 SVS/SVY, 1314 LeMay Boulevard, Ellsworth AFB, SD, 57706. You will be assigned a place on the waiting list based on the date that the form is received at the center.
Before a child's first admission, a parent or sponsor must present the child's immunization record and complete an AF Form 1181 (Child Care Permanent Record).

Rates for full-time care are based on annual income. Proof of income is required before being assigned a rate. Hourly care is available at $2 per hour per child. Weekly care is paid in advance and hourly care is due when the child is picked up.

The School Age Program program includes before school, after school, and full day care/camp programs for children 6-12 years of age. During the summer months the activity rooms are expanded into the local community and the Black Hills where the children camp, fish and play.

The Family Child Care Program provides quality care for children 6 weeks to 12 years of age. The program provides full day, part day, hourly, evening, weekend and overnight care for children 6 weeks to 12 years of age in the homes of licensed family child care providers.


A Local Community High School. Photo courtesy U.S. Air Force

Incoming families are encouraged to register their children in school as soon as possible. Children who live on base or in Box Elder, are eligible to enroll in the Douglas Public School District. For those children living in or around Rapid City, they are eligible to register into the Rapid City Area Schools District. Please check with the schools for further details.

The schools are open from mid-August to mid-June. During other times of the year, registration information may be obtained by calling the Douglas Public School District at 605-923-0000 or the Rapid School District at 605-394-4037 for Elementary Education or 605-394-5147 for Secondary Education.

When registering children in school, parents need to provide the record of attendance and grades from previous schools, if available, and birth certificate for kindergarten registration. Shot records are also needed when registering kindergartners. South Dakota law requires a TB test prior to enrollment in any school. Rapid City Registration: New students contact the Elementary Education Office for grades Kindergarten through grade 5, 605-394-4037, or the Secondary Education Office for grades 6 through 12, 605-394-5147.

Depending upon which school district you will be attending, the school year begins in about the last week of August and ends in late May or early June.

Douglas Schools are located adjacent to Ellsworth AFB and provide public school services for the dependents of Air Force personnel living on or near Ellsworth AFB, as well as the population living in the Box Elder/Rapid Valley areas and surrounding rural areas (encompassing 146 square miles). The district enrolls approximately 2,400 students, 50% of whom are dependents of Air Force personnel.

The Douglas District has a K-12 curriculum with a full range of academic offerings. The district has a broad, varied, and well-directed activities program. Class size is limited to 18 in elementary and 25 in middle and high school. All day every day kindergarten provides a positive learning experience for students in a safe and caring atmosphere. Douglas has the only AFJROTC program in South Dakota. Students learn the basics of aerospace education and leadership, for more information call 605-923-0030.

Medical Care

Ellsworth Air Force Base Hospital. Photo courtesy U.S. Air Force

The mission of the 28th Medical Group is to provide community-focused quality health care services for all beneficiaries by professionals ready for global response and to ensure a safe environment. This includes medical and dental care, aerospace medicine and public health services for all personnel at all satellite, tenant or assigned units. In addition, the 28th Medical Group carries on education activities and participates in disaster exercises related to rendering care to the sick and injured.

The 28th MDG does not have an emergency room. Ambulance services are available 24/7 for in-flight emergencies, emergencies on base and emergencies requiring transport from the base or the MDG to Rapid City Regional Hospital.

Active duty personnel are the first priority of medical services. They are entitled to receive complete and unqualified treatment. Family members are the second priority and are entitled to medical services, contingent upon the availability of space, facilities and capabilities of the medical staff.

Active Duty may call for appointments beginning at 6:30 each morning. The appointment line opens for all other beneficiaries at 7 am.

The Pharmacy has a 24 hour automated telephone refill system for prescription refills. Prescriptions can be picked up the next duty day after 12:00 noon. Prescriptions not picked up will be returned to stock 7 days after they were filled.

The dental flight is a full service dental clinic. The clinic's mission is to maintain active duty personnel in top dental health and ready to deploy at all times.