Grand Forks AFB


Grand Forks AFB is approximately 16 miles west of Grand Forks, North Dakota and is located just North of Emerado, North Dakota. It 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 and is also home to the University of North Dakota. Grand Forks AFB is also the home of the Air Mobility Command’s 319th Air Base Wing.

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Grand Forks Air Force Base was established on 1 December 1955, with construction beginning in the fall of that year. It was occupied for use on January 28, 1957. It was named after the neighboring city of Grand Forks. Grand Forks AFB was established in 1955. The 319th Air Base Wing is commanded by Colonel Timothy E. Bush and the wing Command Chief Master Sergeant is CMSgt David E. Carlson.

During the early 1950s, as the Cold War between the United States and the Soviet Union continued, the US Air Force announced plans to build an Air Defense Command (ADC) fighter-interceptor base in eastern North Dakota. The Defense Department chose Grand Forks as the site for the new installation in 1954, and the citizens of Grand Forks donated money toward the purchase of 5,400-acres of land 15 miles west of the city. Contractors began construction of the base with grubbing operations for the 12,350-foot runway on 5 February 1956. During that same month, the Air Force announced it would build up Grand Forks AFB to support Strategic Air Command (SAC) bombers and tankers as well as ADC fighter-interceptors.

On 8 February 1957, the ADC activated the 478th Fighter Group (FG) at Grand Forks Air Force Base. This unit would serve as the host unit for a fighter-interceptor squadron, an air defense sector operation and SAC units.


Grand Forks Afb’s mission is to help individuals and families understand the adventure of the Air Force life comes with opportunities and challenges they can meet.  Some of it will be fun.  Some of it will be work.  Much of it will be tough.  There will be long and short family separations, unexpected PCS moves, missed holidays—some brutal weather, and occasionally sick kids.  Some of the challenges will be unique to military families but most will be part of growing as an individual and developing as a spouse, parent, neighbor, employee, and/or a valued adult member of society.


As of the 2010,  the base had a total population of 2,367. Grand Forks Air Force Base is now comprised of more than 6,300 individuals; 2,450 Active Duty Military, 2,800 family members and 600 civilian employees and 700 retirees.

Base Transportation

For family members and civilians there is no regular transportation service into the city of Grand Forks. Transportation for children attending school on and off-base there is bus service provided by a local carrier. All other transportation is provided for military use only.


Settling into your new location and your new unit takes time. Your sponsor will provide you with a Sponsor Packet containing a CD with extensive information on Grand Forks AFB and the community, as well as area maps. If you don’t hear from your sponsor, you can contact Customer Service at DSN 312-362-6411 or Commercial 701-747-6411, opt. 5.

Temporary Quarters

Temporary lodging may be necessary when you first arrive on Base and while you are waiting assignment to on Base housing. If you have decided to stay on Base, there is usually a waiting list at the housing office. You can make reservations at the local Grand Forks AFB hotels while you are waiting. You will be contacted as soon as on Base housing becomes available. Incoming military and DOD civilians who need temporary lodging facilities on base can make reservations in advance. A 30-day maximum occupancy is allowed for incoming PCS members, although extensions may be granted depending on the situation. All reservations must be accompanied by a copy of your PCS orders or order number, date of orders, and issuing headquarters. Reservations are conditional until orders are provided or information confirmed. Priority is based on a first-come, first-served basis. Pets are not allowed in lodging at the Warrior Inn. Alternate arrangements will need to be made in advance. A list of boarding kennels and veterinarians are available from your sponsor. Call the lodging office at the Warrior Inn, 701-747-7200 or DSN 312-362-7200, for current rates and availability.

Grand Forks AFB is utilizing nearly 800 military family housing units. Privatization is scheduled to be in place fall 2009. Please contact the Housing Office at 701-747-3035 or DSN 312-362-3035 as soon as possible after receipt of orders, either directly or through your sponsor. Before military members seek off-base accommodations, they are encouraged to check with the Housing Office.

The Grand Forks AFB Child Development Center (CDC) provides care for children between the ages 6 weeks to 5 years old.

Relocation Assistance

Personnel who are in Permanent Change of Station status, or bona fide house-hunters on permissive Temporary Duty assignment, may make reservation requests with the Lodging Office up to three months in advance of the date of arrival. Reservation requests are accepted on a first-come, first-served basis without regard to rank. Personnel or their sponsors, who are PCSing to Grand Forks may make the request for reservations. A copy of PCS orders must be provided to the lodging office before or at the time of registration. For relocation assistance services, please call 701-747-3241, DSN – 312-362-3241. For inbound personnel,,the Airman and Family Readiness Center needs to be one of your first stops upon arrival at Grand Forks AFB. he following are a few of the services the Grand Forks Airman and Family Readiness Center offers:

Critical Installation Information

The cost of living for Grand Forks (83) is below the national average (100), so Grand Forks is less expensive than the average city. The average home price ($166,308) is 53% below the national average home price ($359,352), with property taxes running approximately 48% below the national average. Rental average for 1 bedroom apartments is $533 and 2 bedroom apartments average $735. The Temporary Living Facility (TLF) is currently $41.50 per day. There is no cost of living allowance for Grand Forks. The base operator’s phone number is 701-747-3000 or DSN 312-362-3000.

The biggest and most recent change was the 2005 Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) that called for the realignment of the base’s tanker mission by the end of 2010. The BRAC also called for the establishment of an unarmed aerial vehicle mission to be carried out by a joint active duty/Air National Guard associate unit.

Prior to the arrival of winter (December, January and February), it is strongly recommended that you prepare your car for the winter weather which might include a block heater. Often, failure to do so may result in expensive repair and towing costs and a lot of frustration.

If you desire on-base child care, you (or your sponsor) should check with the Child Development Center (CDC) for availability. We recommend you do this in advance of your departure from your current location.  This will allow the CDC to prepare for additional staffing and add you to a “waiting list” if necessary. Of course, if you are a single parent this is especially important.

Passports and Visas

Ensure member and/or dependents have the required passports and/or visa prior to final out-processing. Member and/or dependents are not allowed to final out-process without the required passports/visas in hand for themselves (if applicable) and/or dependents. Members electing the accompanied tour will not be permitted to out-process without having the required passports/visas in hand for themselves (if applicable) and/or dependents.

These actions are necessary to prevent unforeseen hardships to the military members and their families. Therefore, as a last reiteration, it is essential, members do not out-process without having the appropriate passports/visas for themselves (if applicable) and/or dependents.

Contact Information

Phone 701-747-4270
Phone (DSN) 312-362-4270
Fax 701-747-4171
Fax (DSN) 312-362-4171