MacDill Air Force Base, Florida is an Air Mobility Command located just short of ten miles from Tampa. The area is a military-friendly community and is situated on the southwestern portion of the Interbay Peninsula.
This Air Force Base has four groups responsible for air refueling and airlift support to Unified Commands hosted at the base: United States Central Command and United States Special Operations Command.
Find information about MacDill AFB, including the main commercial and DSN numbers for the base, information on basic services, base transportation, lodging for TDY and PCSing personnel, and inprocessing.
Mission & Units
MacDill Air Force Base falls under Air Mobility Command. It supports the AMC airlift and air refueling mission worldwide. The base is home to two major commands: United States Central Command and United States Special Operations Command. The base is host to more than 50 tenant units.
Important missions and units at MacDill include:
- 290th Joint Communications Support Squadron (FL Air and Army National Guard)
- 310th Airlift Squadron
- 45th Aeromedical Evacuation Squadron (Air Force Reserve)
- 6th Aerospace Medicine Squadron, Bioenvironmental Engineering
- 6th Air Mobility Wing
- 6th Aircraft Maint Squadron
- 6th Civil Engineering Squadron
- 6th Communication Squadron
- 6th Comptroller Squadron
- 6th Contracting Squadron
- 6th Dental Squadron
- 6th Force Support Squadron
- 6th Logistics Readiness Squadron
- 6th Maint Operation Squadron
- 6th Maint Squadron
- 6th Maintenance Group
- 6th Medical Group
- 6th Medical Operations Squadron
- 6th Medical Support Squadron
- 6th Mission Support Group
- 6th Operation Group
- 6th Operation Support Squadron
- 6th Security Forces Squadron
- 91st Air Refueling Squadron
- 927th ARW(Air Force Reserve)
- Joint Communication Support Element (JCSE)
The earliest days of MacDill history saw the base open in 1939 as Southeast Air Base. Construction began in September of 1939 and was formally dedicated in April 1941 as MacDill Field.
Colonel Leslie MacDill was a World War One pilot who was killed in an aircrash in 1938. MacDill is named in his honor.
In 1939, the U.S. War Department had serious concerns about shipping lane problems associated with Nazi U-Boat attacks in areas like the Gulf of Mexico. When the flightline opened for business at the base, MacDill became part of the U.S. defense strategy in the Gulf of Mexico.
Another pre-World War Two activity at MacDill involved something known as Project X, which included shipping routes to deliver combat aircraft to reinforce troops in the Philippines. MacDill was responsible for sending 15 LB-30 and 63 B-17 aircraft during this time.
Once America was firmly involved in World War Two, MacDill played an important role in the training of bomber crews. Once World War Two ended, many U.S. bases would change missions, become realigned, or experience brief closures.
MacDill was not immune to this; B-29 aircrew training was being scaled back, and MacDill was used to help returning bomber groups transition to peacetime operations.
SAC, Then TAC, Then MacDill On The Chopping Block
In 1946, Continental Air Command was redesignated as Strategic Air Command (SAC), which later resulted in the activation of the 307th Bombardment Group as MacDill Field’s host unit.
SAC trained Air Force units in anti-submarine warfare until that mission was fully assumed by the U.S. Navy. 1947 saw the group start a B-29 transition training school and standardized combat training for all SAC units. This all happened just prior to the Air Force becoming its own branch of service.
MacDill AFB went on the chopping block in 1960, scheduled to close thanks to a phaseout program of the base’s B-47 bomber program which had started in 1950. The base was thought of (and designated as) surplus, but the events of the Cuban Missile Crisis reminded DoD leadership of MacDill’s strategic importance.
In 1962, MacDill AFB transferred from SAC to Tactical Air Command (TAC) and the bomber mission would be transferred to McCoy AFB. SAC would be a tenant at MacDill for some time but the base would become known as a fighter base.
CENTCOM and SOCOM
Big changes would come in the 1980s. The Rapid Deployment Joint Task Force was activated and later redesignated (in 1987) to United States Central Command (USCENTCOM). That same year, United States Special Operations Command (USSOCOM) opened for business at MacDill.
The 80s saw the Florida base threatened by the Base Realignment and Closure Commission (BRAC), but MacDill has survived repeated attempts to close or redefine it. Skip ahead a few decades to another important phase in the base’s history in January 2001.
That’s when the 310th Airlift Squadron (310 AS) was activated at the base, supporting both United States Southern Command (USSOUTHCOM) and Central Command (USCENTCOM)
A 2008 BRAC decision saw Air Force Reserve Command’s 927th Air Refueling Wing (927 ARW) move from Selfridge Air National Guard Base, Michigan to MacDill AFB. Today, MacDill Air Force Base is an Air Mobility Command base supporting global airlift and air refueling missions around the world.
Main Base Address and Telephone Number
MacDill Air Force Base
6801 S. Dale Mabry Hwy
MacDill AFB, FL 33621- 5313
Important MacDill AFB Contact Phone Numbers
- Airman & Family Readiness Center (813) 828-0145
- Airman & Family Readiness Center (Brandon) (813) 655-9281
- Beneficiary Counseling Assistance Coordinator (813) 827-9900
- Customer Service (ID/CAC) (813) 827-9400
- Lodging Office (813) 828-4259
- MacDill Family Housing (813) 840-2600
- Military Crisis Line and Suicide Prevention Hotline (800) 273-8255
- School Liaison Office (813) 828-0146
- Traffic Management Flight (813) 828-2600
- Child Development Center 1 (813) 828-3332
- Child Development Center 2 (813) 828-2244
- Child and Youth Registration and Referral (813) 828-3332
- Family Child Care/Child Development Homes (813) 828-7760
- Youth Center – School Age Care (813) 828-5971
- SNAIC – EFMP Enrollment (813) 827-9487
- Spouse Education, Training and Careers (813) 828-0142
- Family Advocacy (813) 827-9172
- Family Advocacy – New Parent Support Program (813) 827-9172
- U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services (USCIS) (1-800) 375-5283
- Personal Financial Management Program (PFMP) (813) 828-0141
- Victim Advocate (813) 935-2015
- TRICARE Service Center (813) 827-9900
- Fitness Center (813) 828-4648
- Brandon Medical Clinic (813) 828-2273
- MacDill Medical Group (813) 828-2273
- Bay Pines Healthcare System (727) 398-6661
- James M Haley Veterans Hospital (813) 972-2000
- Housing Management Office (813) 828-5404
- Billeting/ Lodging Office (813) 828-4259
- NAF Human Resources (813) 828-2911
- DEERS Enrollment (813) 828-2252
- Tinker Elementary School (813) 840-2043
- Robinson High School (813) 272-3006
- Airman & Family Readiness Center – School Liaison Office (813) 828-0146
- Monroe Middle School (813) 272-3020
- Tickets & Tours (813) 828-2478
- Household Goods/Transportation Office (813) 828-6722
MacDill Air Force Base is roughly ten miles from Tampa, Florida. There is much to do for major and minor league sports fans (Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and the Tampa Bay Rays, plus many minor league teams coming and going over the years), and those who love live entertainment, theme parks such as Busch Gardens or local boat and fishing tours.
Tampa has art galleries and creative-themed destinations including the Tampa Museum of Art, CASS Contemporary, and the Hyde Park Art Center. You can find plenty of fine dining. Those who want a quick first impression of the area can sign up for a Ybor City Food Tour, a pub tour via The Brew Bus, or even a look in on local craft breweries such as Yuengling or Cigar City Brewing.
MacDill AFB is just over an hour away from Orlando, Florida and roughly 70 miles to Disney World. Many people choose to drive on Interstate 4 to Disney and a party of four is said to be able to take ride-sharing from Tampa to Disney for roughly $100 (at the time of this writing).
Inprocessing and Check-In
All inbound PCS and TDY personnel are directed to contact their gaining unit Commander Support Staff to request specific in-processing and check-in procedures where applicable. You will likely report to your gaining unit or training site when arriving during normal duty hours. Those who arrive after 4:30 P.M. or on holidays/weekends must report to the MacDill Inn, which is considered a 24-hour check-in point after normal duty times.
MacDill has limited healthcare services and there is no emergency service on-base. On-base healthcare is provided by the 6th Medical Group, which operates an outpatient medical facility. Those who need surgical care or other complex services will be referred to other area military facilities or approved non-military providers.
No emergency services are provided on-base. Contact your TRICARE representative if you prefer in-network care options in the local area.
MacDill has three Child Development Centers on-base. Enrollment for CDC care is offered on a “priority basis for children 6 weeks to 5 years.” MacDill CDCs participate in the Florida Voluntary Pre-Kindergarten Program for eligible children. Call the Child Development Center at 813-828-3332 or DSN 312-968-3332 to learn about current waiting list times and sign up requirements.
Track and manage your inbound household goods shipments to MacDill AFB, Florida, via the Defense Personal Property System at Move.mil. You can also get assistance from the MacDill TMO at (813) 828-6722.
Dependent And Retiree ID Card Renewal, Replacement, New Issue
Schedule all ID card services via the MacDill AFB RAPIDS system. Limited walk-in hours are available, but appointments fill up fast; it’s best to schedule your appointments well in advance of any need.
Some RAPIDS functions at MacDill have been converted to self-service; ask ahead of time to learn what may be options for you.
Hillsborough County School District provides education services for MacDill Air Force Base, including the following schools:
Grade K – 5
Tinker Elementary School
8207 Tinker Street
MacDill AFB, FL 33621
Grade 6 – 8
Monroe Middle School (Off-base)
4716 Montgomery Avenue
Tampa, FL 33166
Grade 9 – 12
Robinson High School (Off-base)
6311 South Lois Avenue
Tampa FL 33616
On-post students attend Tinker, Monroe Middle School, or Robinson High School. Busing is provided for Monroe Middle School and Robinson High School. Off-post, three Tampa Bay Area schools may also be options.
Call 813-828-0146 or visit the MacDill School Liaison Office for more information about current transfer policies, immunizations, etc.
There is a variety of housing options available at MacDill and the local area; the MacDill Government Housing official site has the most current eligibility and application procedures, waiting lists for on-post housing, etc. Unaccompanied airmen should view the MacDill unaccompanied housing for single service members for availability, eligibility and application procedures.
Unaccompanied service members up to the ranks of E4 with three years of service or less may be required to seek on-post housing first before being authorized BAH in the local community.
PCS and TDY Lodging
MacDill AFB officials routinely counsel their troops (inbound and outbound) that May, June, July, and August are “extremely high PCS months” at the base. If you have official travel to MacDill Air Force Base during these months, call the Traffic Management Flight in advance at 813-828-6722 or DSN 312-968-6722 or toll-free 1-800-432-7131. MacDill is a very busy base.
MacDill Inn handles all Temporary Lodging (TLF) at MacDill at 813-828-4259 or DSN 312-968-4259. Ten pet-friendly rooms are available; these rooms cost extra. PCS season makes it likely you will need a certificate of non-availability from the MacDill Inn so you can stay off-base and be reimbursed on a travel voucher.
The usual ride-sharing and commercial taxi/shuttle services are available at local airports depending on the time of day and other factors.
Tampa traffic can be difficult at and right before rush hour; it’s best to coordinate with your sponsor if you aren’t sure of arrival times, routes from the airport, etc. PCS season is also a factor for both incoming flights and transportation, but also for lodging and other immediate post-PCS travel needs in the local area.
Vehicle Registration And Driver’s License
Car insurance costs in the Tampa area may be higher than you might expect, and certain rules make issues here a bit more complicated; any driver operating a privately owned vehicle in Florida for more than 90 days (consecutive or not during a 365- day period) is required by state law to buy personal injury protection and property damage liability insurance coverage.
MacDill AFB has ended its requirement to register privately owned vehicles on base. However, you must carry a current, valid military ID and the following:
- State Vehicle Registration
- State Driver’s License
- Insurance Certificate
- Armed Forces ID Card or Base Pass
- All Documents must be valid & current
Out-of-state service members bringing a vehicle to Florida may be required to pay and register depending on the size and nature of the vehicle. Visit the official site of the Florida Highway Safety and Motor Vehicle Department.