Installation Overview --Offutt Air Force Base, Nebraska

1
Overview

State flags welcome those entering the Kenney Gate at Offutt. Photo courtesy U.S. Air Force

Offutt Air Force Base is a U.S. Air Force installation near Omaha, and lies adjacent to Bellevue in Sarpy County, Nebraska. It is home of the 55th Wing, the Fightin' Fifty-Fifth, and a several tenant units. Offutt's diverse missions and global responsibilities put it on the cutting edge of the Air Force's transformation. Each branch of the US military is represented among the military and federal employees assigned here. Offutt is a beautiful community seated near the Missouri River in the rolling hills of southeastern Nebraska.

Offutt Air Force Base was named in honor of World War I pilot 1st Lt. Jarvis Offutt who was an Omaha native. Offutt's legacy includes the construction of the first two bombers to drop atomic bombs and over 40 years as the headquarters for the former Strategic Air Command (SAC) and home for its associated ground and aerial command centers for the U.S. in case of nuclear war during the Cold War.

In 2005, Offutt began several major renovations. The on-base Wherry housing area was demolished for replacement with new housing. A new fire house, AAFES mini-mall, and U.S. Post Office were completed in 2006. Additionally, the Air Force Weather Agency broke ground on a new facility which was completed in 2008.

Official website for Offutt Air Force Base

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Location/Driving Directions

Offutt AFB is ten miles south of downtown Omaha. Offutt is located in Bellevue, Nebraska, just six miles south of Interstate 80, just off US Hwy 75, the Kennedy Freeway, at the Intersection of Capehart Rd and US Hwy 75.

Omaha is served by Eppley Air Field, which lies north of the downtown area. If you are renting a car and driving to Offutt, head south of Abbot Drive and follow the signs to I 480 East. Once you enter I 480 East, stay to the far right for about 1 mile across the river and exit onto I 29 South toward Kansas City. Again stay to the right for about 1½ miles and exit onto I-80 West. After crossing the river again, go about 2 miles and follow the signs to US 75 South toward Bellevue. Then follow directions above to the Kenney or SAC gates of Offutt AFB. There is no public transportation or shuttle service from the airport to the base. There are taxis you can take, however.

If driving from the East, West, or North, take Interstate 80 to US Highway 75 South, the Kennedy Freeway to Bellevue. To enter the Kenney Gate, go south approximately six miles and exit at Nebraska Highway 370. Turn left and go under the overpass to the second exit (Offutt AFB/Ft Crook Rd). Turn right off the exit, get into the left lane and turn into the Kenney Gate (with all the flags).

To enter the SAC Gate, go south approximately seven miles and exit at Offutt AFB/Capehart Rd. Turn left. The SAC Gate is straight ahead approximately one mile. The Visitor's Center is at the SAC gate.

If driving from the South, exit Interstate 29 at exit number 42 in Iowa, and turn west on Iowa Highway 370. Go four miles. Cross the Bellevue Toll Bridge (toll is $1.00 one way). Continue straight on Nebraska Highway 370 (Mission Blvd). At the 4th stoplight (Lincoln Rd), turn left and enter the base straight ahead. This is the Bellevue Gate.

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Main Phone Numbers

Photo courtesy U.S. Air Force; Photo credit: Charles Haymond

Base Operator DSN 271-1110 (402) 294-1110

America First Communities - Privatization of Housing (402) 991-9840 / (402) 991-9820

Appointments - Active Duty, Family Members, and registered Retirees 402-293-6500

Camping Reservations 402-294-2108 DSN: 271-2108

Child Development Center 402-294-2203 DSN: 271-2203

Child Enrichment Center 402-294-2203 DSN: 271-2203

Clinic Central Appointments 402-293-6500

Dental Clinic 402-294-5712 DSN: 271-5712

Family Child Care Homes 402-294-9016/7 DSN: 271-9016/7

Health and Wellness Center (HAWC) 402-294-5977

Housing Office 402-294-6242 DSN: 271-6242

Lodging Office, Offutt Inns 402-294-2506 DSN: 271-3671

Offutt Education Center 402-294-5716 DSN: 271-5716

Offutt Youth Center 402-294-5152 DSN: 271-5152

TRICARE Service Center 402-293-6500

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Population/Major Units Assigned

Deployed members of the 55th Wing. Photo courtesy U.S. Air Force

Offutt’s host unit is the 55th Wing, the largest wing within the Air Force’s Air Combat Command. Additionally, the base is home to many significant associate units, including US Strategic Command Headquarters, the Air Force Weather Agency, the Omaha operating location of the Defense Finance and Accounting Service, and many others.

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Temporary Lodging

Offutt has sixty temporary lodging facility units. Photo courtesy U.S. Air Force

Personnel planning to arrive at Offutt are encouraged to make reservations as soon as possible to increase their possibility of obtaining temporary quarters. The reservation desk is open 24 hours a day but the Group Reservation desk is open Monday through Friday from 8 am to 4:30 pm (CST). Reservations can be made by calling DSN 271-3671 or commercial 402-294-3671.

The maximum lengths of stay in the TLFs are as follows: Inbound personnel may be allowed to stay for a period not to exceed 30 days. Outbound personnel may be allowed access to the TLFs on a space-available basis only for a period not to exceed 30 days. Stays beyond this are handled on a case-by-case basis. Personnel in PCS status or on Temporary Duty to Offutt must present a copy of their orders upon check-in just for verification; a copy will not be kept.

All guests checking in using a credit card will sign the guest registration form that advises them lodging is authorized to apply any unpaid charges to their credit card. All visiting quarters long-term guests, whether paying by cash, check or credit card, will return to the front desk at the 5-day mark to verify and pay their lodging bill. Cash/check paying guests will pay in advance for remaining days of occupancy. Credit card paying guests will have their credit card processed for charges incurred over the past 15 days.

All Temporary Lodging Facilities (TLF) guests staying over 15 days, whether paying by cash, check or credit card, must come back to the front desk at the 15-day mark. Cash/check paying guests will pay in advance for remaining days of occupancy. Credit card paying guests will have credit cards processed for charges incurred over the past 15 days.

The TLF is non-smoking. Temporary Lodging has four TLF units designated to accept pets. Each guest staying on one of the pet friendly TLF units will be required to sign a Guest Pet Policy Agreement upon check-in.

If you are unable to reserve one of the pet friendly TLF units, Temporary Lodging offers a list of local kennels.

Check-in location for all lodging on Offutt. If you arrive by taxi, keep the taxi while you check in, because none of the actual billeting rooms are located at this facility, and you will need transportation.

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Housing

Historic senior officer quarters near the parade ground on Generals Row. Photo courtesy U.S. Air Force

Offutt AFB is privatizing with Rising View, a partnership of Omaha-based companies with experience in all areas of real estate development and management. Rising View's mission is, "Neighbors Helping Neighbors."

Rising View has initiated an intensive renovation and construction project. Rising View plans to demolish the oldest housing and build 914 housing units (a combination of three and four bedroom Junior, Senior NCO, Company Grade, Field Grade, and Senior Officer Units) and will perform major renovations in 484 housing units.

When you arrive at Offutt, you must in process your unit and have the Housing Management Office (HMO) to verify your eligibility for military housing. You may then stop by the Rising View office in the same building to start the house hunting process.

Advanced applications to new duty stations can be done via FAX before arrival on base. Visit the Housing Office at your losing base for assistance with completing the application. The effective date of your advance application is the first day of the month prior to your reporting (sign-in) month and can be received any time during the month prior to your stated arrival date in order to receive the advanced date of application. If you do not submit an advance application, you may apply as a walk-in upon your arrival. Wait times are from 0-60 days. You will be required to sign a one-year lease.

There is currently a total of 956 dorm rooms on Offutt AFB for E-4s with less that three years and below. All rooms are single occupancy at the present time.

Off-base options for single members include several apartment complexes within 5 miles of the base, and a neighborhood of small single family rental houses. Most require a year's lease, but a few are shorter duration. There are a few furnished apartment, but most are unfurnished.

Rising View currently has 20 accessible homes, 9 in Coffman Heights, 3 in original and 8 in new homes in Capehart housing. A total of 42 new accessible homes will be built in the next few years. A family with special needs has priority over other families for the accessible home. In fact, a family without a special need may be forced to move if they occupy an accessible home.

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Child Care

Pearl, a mime, lets Kaydence Erickson, 3, smell a rose after giving her a clown nose during their performance at the Offutt Youth Center. Photo courtesy U.S. Air Force; Photo credit: Josh Plueger

The Offutt Child Development Center (CDC) is located in Building 5096 at 25th Street and Kennedy Drive. They can be reached at 402-294-2203. The Center is DoD certified.

There is an additional CDC location on base now that can house 396 children. The Enrichment Center Pre-School has also moved into the new building.

The CDC provides full-time care for children 6 weeks through five years old on a space available basis. Hourly care for children 10 months to 10 years of age is available but reservations are required and space is limited. Additional programs include the Offutt Enrichment Center's developmental preschool for ages 3 - 5, Extended Duty Care and the Give Parents a Break program.

The CDC has a waiting list. To get your name on the list before you get here, visit the CDC at your losing base and ask for an Air Force Form 2606. The form can then be mailed or faxed to the Offutt CDC.

Fees are figured on DOD Uniformed Fees and Charges and are based on total family income.

 

Offutt has 28 providers who do child care in their homes under the Family Child Care Program - most in base housing. When you arrive on base, you may pick up a current list of providers from the Airman & Family Readiness Center (A&FRC).

The A&FRC can also give you a certificate for 20 hours of free child care for each of your children, to be used during the first 60 days you are on station. This is an Air Force Aid Society outreach program for Air Force active duty only, and all ranks are eligible.

The Youth Center offers a before and after school activities program for 130-135 children, ages 5-12. The program includes transportation to and from eight elementary schools in the local area. It is important that immunizations are current.

Air Force Aid Society (AFAS) will pay up to a limit of $500 for respite care of a special needs family member. The family must apply for the respite care assistance through the Family Advocacy office at the Ehrling Bergquist Clinic, 402-294-7886. A certificate is issued, which they then bring to the A&FRC where a casefile will be opened. The family can then arrange for the respite care (not available on base) and the provider is reimbursed with an AFAS check.

The Bellevue Schools offers an early childhood development through activities like drop-in playgroups, homemade toy crafts, learning to read and other parental support. Family nights and home visits are available to help newcomers settle into the community. You can contact the schools office at 402-293-4000 or talk to them while you're at the Offutt Welcome Center located in the BPS headquarters building.

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Schools

The Leonard Lawrence Elementary School. Photo courtesy U.S. Air Force

Children residing in base housing attend Bellevue Public Schools , the fourth largest school district in Nebraska. The district operates 15 elementary schools (3 in Capehart housing), 2 middle schools, 2 high schools and a special school for moderate to profoundly handicapped children. Some families chose to live 20-30 miles from the base, so their children might be in the school districts of Council Bluffs or Glenwood, Iowa, or Murray, Springfield, or Gretna, Nebraska.

There are numerous parochial and private schools in the Omaha metro area. A full listing appears in the telephone book yellow pages.

All school systems in the area have extensive special education programs. Once you know which system your children will attend, you can contact the special education department to discuss your child's needs.

The Bellevue Offutt Homeschool Group serves more than 100 homeschooling families in the Offutt area. They host monthly meetings, mom's night out, field trips, special speakers, park days and holiday parties. They also sponsor a teaching co-op throughout the year. For questions concerning Nebraska's homeschool laws please refer to the Home Educator Network homepage or the Nebraska Christian Home Educators Association website .

For further information, you may call the Offutt Welcome Center at 402-827-8554.

The Education and Training Center provides educational opportunities to assigned active duty military members, their adult family members, and Department of Defense civilian employees. Air Force counselors are available to assist military personnel in planning educational programs and setting vocational goals. Education advisors assist with Community College of the Air Force registration and program planning. Veterans Affairs representatives are available to explain current programs and initiate requisite paperwork. Complete testing facilities are available, to include CLEP, DANTES and other specialized tests. Information pertaining to financial aid is available to all personnel. There are 15 vocational, junior colleges, colleges and universities in the Omaha metropolitan area with many academic programs available.

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Medical Care

Ehrling Bergquist Super Clinic. Photo courtesy U.S. Air Force

The Ehrling-Bergquist Clinic offers medical care services on a priority basis. First priority of care is to active duty military. Second priority is to family members of active duty, with retired military and family members enrolled in TRICARE Prime next and TRICARE for Life retirees on a space available basis.

Dental care services are available to active duty military only.

Ehrling Bergquist Clinic provides medical services for eligible beneficiaries enrolled in TRICARE Prime. All other beneficiaries are seen on a space-available basis.

Upon arrival at Offutt AFB, you should transfer enrollment for your family members to our region and select a Primary Care Manager (PCM) in this area. To transfer enrollment, you must contact the local TRICARE Service Center at 402-232 -2273 or stop in at the office located at in Ehrling Bergquist Clinic.

Upon arrival at Offutt AFB, the TRICARE contractor will coordinate the enrollment transfer with the contractor in the old location. Enrollment in this region is effective when the contractor receives a completed enrollment application and the enrollee has successfully disenrolled from the region in which they resided. If you disenroll your family before your departure to Offutt, there would be a gap in Prime coverage.

There are no emergency services at the Ehrling Bergquist Clinic. The Acute Care Clinic (ACC) is open 10:00 am to 8:00 pm, and patients are seen by appointment only - no walk-ins. Appointments can be made by calling 402-232-2273 starting at 6:30 am for appointments in the ACC starting at 10:00 am that day. The closest emergency room is at Midlands Hospital, located at 84th St and Hwy 370 in Papillion.