Grand Forks Air Force Base is in the Red River Valley, approximately 16 miles west of the city of Grand Forks, North Dakota and north of Emerado, North Dakota.
One of the few stateside Air Force Bases not built during World War Two or previously operated as an Army facility, Grand Forks is home to the Air Mobility Command 319th Air Base Wing and the 69th Reconnaissance Group.
Find information about Grand Forks Air Force Base, North Dakota including the main commercial and DSN numbers for the base, information on basic services, base transportation, lodging for TDY and PSCing personnel, and inprocessing.
Grand Forks AFB Mission & Units
The mission of Grand Forks Air Force Base includes Global Hawk operations. Global Hawk is a surveillance drone developed by Northrop Grumman; Grand Forks mission support for this drone includes launch, recovery, and remote piloting. Important units at Grand Forks Air Force Base include:
- 319th Civil Engineering Squadron (CES)
- 319th Communication Squadron (CS)
- 319th Comptroller Squadron (CPTS)
- 319th Contracting Flight (CONF)
- 319th Force Support Squadron (FSS)
- 319th Logistics Readiness Squadron (LRS)
- 319th Medical Operations Squadron (MDOS)
- 319th Medical Support Squadron (MDSS)
- 319th Operations Support Squadron (OSS)
- 319th Security Forces Squadron (SFS)
- 348th Reconnaissance Squadron
- 69th Maintenance Squadron
Grand Forks AFB History
Named after the nearby community, Grand Forks AFB, North Dakota has a unique place in Air Force history as a base not built in anticipation of or response to World War Two, and being a base that was created after the Air Force became a separate branch of service in 1947.
Construction on the base started in 1955 and opened in 1957, immediately becoming part of the Cold War under Air Defense Command as an interceptor base. In the early days of the base it functioned as a a Semi Automatic Ground Environment (SAGE) Data Center which consisted of networked Air Force, General Surveillance Radar systems and FAA systems to created centralized data and early warning of a potential Cold War-era style (anticipated) nuclear attack.
Later, the base housed Safeguard Anti-Ballistic Missiles, and in the mid-1960s the base was home to Minuteman II ballistic missiles. But in the 1990s, big changes were coming for Grand Forks Air Force Base; in 1992 it was placed under Air Combat Command at first, but transferred under Air Force Space Command in 1993.
The mission over the years would include missile silo operations, plus both conventional and nuclear arms carried by the B-1B bomber operated by the 219th Bomb Wing.
The 1995 Base Realignment And Closure (BRAC) commission made several changes in the Grand Force AFB mission. The base’s 321st Strategic Missile Wing was set to deactivate in 1998 and the base’s Minuteman ICBM silos were imploded from 1999 to 2001. The Grand Forks missiles were transferred to Malmstrom AFB in Montana.
Ten years later, BRAC affected Grand Forks once more. The base could have been closed, but instead was realigned; as part of that realignment Grand Forks lost its’ KC-135 Air Refueling mission, but later gained the drone surveillance program known as Global Hawk. The Grand Forks mission today is in support of Global Hawk operations including launch and recovery, remote piloting, etc.
Grand Forks AFB Contacts
Main Address And Telephone Number
Grand Forks Air Force Base
Steen Blvd. Front Gate/Visitors Center
Grand Forks AFB, ND 58205
- DSN 312-362-4270
Important Contact Numbers
- Emergency – 911
- ID/CAC Card Processing – (701) 747-6411
- Information and Referral Services – (701) 747-3241
- Legal Services and JAG – (701) 747-3606
- Welcome/Visitors Center – (701) 747-5070
- Base Operator – (701) 747-3000
- Suicide Prevention Hotline – (800) 273-8255
- Temporary Lodging – (312) 747-7200
- Dental Clinic – (701) 747-5393
- Barracks/Single Service Member Housing – (701) 747-3175
- Hospital/Medical Treatment Facility – (701) 747-5601
- Housing Office/Government Housing – (701) 747-3035
- Women, Infants and Children (WIC) – (701) 775-3667
- Airman and Family Readiness Center – EFMP Family Support – (701) 747-3241
- Child Development Center (CDC) – (701) 747-3042
- Child Care Community – Resource and Referral – (701) 747-3041
- Family Child Care/Child Development – (701) 747-3158
- SNAIC – EFMP Enrollment – (701) 747-6806
- Family Advocacy-Family Life Skills Support Center – (701) 747-4344
- Family Center – (701) 747-3241
- New Parent Support Program – (701) 747-6806
- School Age Program – (701) 747-3150
- Youth Activities Center – (701) 747-4042
- Victim Advocate Services – (701) 747-6806
- Military Travel Pay – (701) 747-6302
- Legal/Claims Office – (701) 747-3606
- Dental Clinic – (701) 747-5393
- Sports and Fitness Center/Health & Wellness Center – (701) 747-3384
- Hospital/Medical Treatment Facility/Clinic – (701) 747-5601
- Barracks/Single Service Member Housing – (701) 747-3175
- Housing Management Office – (701) 747-3035
- Temporary Lodging/Billeting – (701) 747-7200
- Privatized Housing – (701) 594-8000
- ID/CAC Card Processing – (701) 747-6411
- Household Goods/Transportation Office – (701) 747-3457
- Relocation Assistance Services – (701) 747-3241
- Transition Assistance Services – (701) 747-6456
- Welcome – Visitors Control Center – (701) 747-5070
Grand Forks AFB Surrounding Area
Grand Forks is in the Northern Tier, which means close proximity to Canada, plenty of outdoors attractions including hunting and fishing, and a lot of winter weather. The city of Grand Forks is the third largest in the state.
Harsh winters and spring flooding are issues for those living in the local area; those with privately owned vehicles should look into having them winterized before cold weather months begin.
The city is home to the University of North Dakota, and features the Alerus Center and Ralph Engelstad Arena for live entertainment. Grand Forks’ oldest cultural attractions include the North Dakota Museum of Art and Chester Fritz Auditorium.
The River Cities Speedway features sprint car racing and related automotive-themed events; the Grand Forks area is also known for its’ Japanese garden on 11th Avenue and markets aplenty in the Grand Forks Town Square.
The base is 78 miles from the nearest Canadian border services area; have your passports ready to enter Canada and the remaining 36 miles or so to Winnipeg.
It’s also just over five hours to the Minneapolis area-Paisley Park Studios, where the late musical prodigy Prince lived and recorded so much of his work. This attraction is a private estate tour that requires ticket purchases in advance-don’t make the five hour drive without buying tickets first!
Grand Forks AFB Inprocessing and Check-In
All new arrivals to Grand Forks Air Force Base are directed to check in with their gaining unit orderly rooms with an endorsed copy of PCS orders. In-processing may take several days according to the Grand Forks AFB official site; be sure to hand-carry all medical and dental records, finance documents, leave forms, etc.
Temporary lodging may be at a premium and advance reservations for temporary lodging are strongly encouraged. There is a mandatory Newcomer Orientation twice a month at the Grand Forks AFB Airman & Family Readiness Center.
The Grand Forks AFB official site warns those traveling to the base on PCS orders to have their sponsor arrange billeting in advance. “It is important that your sponsor arranges for your billeting, otherwise you may risk not being reimbursed for your lodging expenses.”
Those PCSing to Grand Forks without a sponsor are directed to call the Customer Service Section of the Military Personnel Flight (701-747-6411 or DSN 312-362-6411) or call the Airman & Family Readiness Center at 701-747-3241 for assistance with billeting.
Grand Forks Services
Grand Forks AFB is served by the The Grand Forks Clinic, which does not feature an emergency room, but does offer routine and acute care Monday through Friday. Appointments are made at 701-747-5601. Services at the clinic include the following:
- Ambulance Services
- The Behavioral Health Optimization Program (BHOP)
- Diagnostic Imaging (X-ray)
- Exceptional Family Member Program (EFMP)
- Family Health
- Flight Medicine
- Mental Health
- Physical Therapy
The clinic’s description on the Grand Forks AFB official site includes “comprehensive primary care and limited referral and space-available specialty care” for eligible TRICARE-enrolled patients.
Grand Forks AFB has a Child Development Center (CDC) for children ages 6 weeks to 5 years. This CDC offers care on a sliding-scale fee, calculated based on total family income. The CDC is open on weekdays and features hourly and weekly care. Reservations can be made two weeks in advance for weekly child care.
A waiting list may apply; parents are encouraged to contact the CDC as soon as an assignment to Grand Forks AFB is known to see what may be needed to get on the waiting list or begin care upon arrival. The following forms may be required with your application:
- AF Form 1181
- Child Participation Form
- Food Application (for free or reduced meals)
- Supervision Guidelines
- DD Form 2606
All new arrivals should track and manage their household goods shipments via the Defense Personal Property System at Move.mil; you can also call the Grand Forks Inbound TMO for assistance at (701) 747-3457.
Dependent and Retiree ID Card Renewal, Replacement, New Issue
The Grand Forks AFB Military Personnel Section handles all requests for dependent and retiree ID card issues as well as active duty CAC cards and related services. Unlike some other bases that prefer appointments for these services to be scheduled via RAPIDS, the Grand Forks AFB official website directs new arrivals in need of these services to contact the Personnel Section directly by calling 1-747-4136/5317 to book an appointment.
Walk-ins are discouraged as waiting times can be over an hour long per each ID card need.
Grand Forks Schools
The school situation at Grand Forks AFB is said to be unique. The base itself has a preschool, a Gifted and Talented program, Head Start classes, and Special Needs programs. There is a combined school on base; The Nathan F. Twining Elementary and Middle School for grades K-8th.
High school students attending public school will be eligible to attend one of two area facilities based on the student’s address. Neighboring communities including Emerado, Larimore, Hatton, Thompson and Northwood are serviced by separate school districts.
Students residing in these surrounding communities may request approval for open enrollment through the Grand Forks School District. It’s best to contact the Grand Forks School Liaison Office about school choices as there are planned school construction projects in various stages of completion at Grand Forks and the surrounding area. Call 701-747-4484 or DSN 312-362-4484 for assistance.
Grand Forks Housing
Housing at Grand Forks AFB is privatized on base and is operated by Balfour Beatty Communities. Contact the Housing Office at 701-594-8000 as soon as you are in receipt of PCS orders. Waiting lists may apply during peak PCS season or based on mission demands. Contact the Housing Office as soon as possible.
Off-base housing is also available in the local community-contact the Grand Forks AFB Housing Management Office at 701-747-3035 before making any legally binding agreement for housing in the area.
Unaccompanied service members or qualifying “geographic bachelors” may be eligible for dorm housing; there are more than 340 beds available for Unaccompanied Airman Housing. For availability and eligibility requirements, incoming military members must contact the Dormitory Management office at 701-747-6563 or DSN 312-362-6563 for waiting list procedures, sign-up, etc.
Grand Forks PCS and TDY Lodging
The Warrior Inn serves the Grand Forks AFB community with temporary lodging for PCS and TDY personnel and families. According to the Grand Forks official site, “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 PCS orders, TDY orders where applicable, or order number, date of orders, and the issuing agency. All reservations are made on a first-come, first served basis.
Pets are not allowed at the Warren Inn. Call the lodging office at the Warrior Inn, 701-747-7200 or DSN 312-362-7200 for reservation information.
Grand Forks Transportation
At the time of this writing there is no on-base mass transportation available. Travel from the airport to the base may require a rental car, airport shuttle, sponsor pick up, etc.
Grand Forks Vehicle Registration And Driver’s License
All vehicles entering Grand Forks Air Force Base are subject to search, 100% ID checks, sobriety tests, and other enforcement activities. The Grand Forks AFB official site makes a point to note that radar detectors and dashboard cameras such as GoPro cams or other “action cameras” is strictly prohibited.
All vehicles must comply with North Dakota state law including seat belt use, cell phone laws, mandatory insurance minimum coverage laws, etc. A base decal or vehicle registration are not required. Motorcycle operators under a certain age may be required to take a safety class prior to operating on the base.