March Air Reserve Base in Riverside, California, is home to 4th Air Force and the 452d Air Mobility Wing.
This base has some 8,000 Guard, Reserve, and active duty military members supporting the mission alongside nearly 1,800 civilians. There is a strong military community in the area. Some estimate the total military community in and around March ARB is approximately 70,000 strong.
Find information about March ARB, 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
March Air Reserve Base is the home of 4th Air Force, which is responsible for training and equipping Reservists all across the nation. It is also the home of the Defense Media Center, which supports and maintains the Armed Forces Network. Important missions and major units include:
- 144th Fighter Wing
- 452nd Air Mobility Wing Contracting Office
- 452nd Air Mobility Wing Flight Chief
- 452nd Air Mobility Wing Public Affairs Office
- Blue Eagles Honor Guard
- Civil Air Patrol, Squadron 45
- March Joint Powers Authority
- Air Force Audit Agency
- Defense Media Center
- 653rd Regional Support Group
In 1918, an area in California known as Alessandro Flying Training Field was redesignated as March Field, in honor of Second Lieutenant Peyton C. March, Jr. who died in a flying accident. March was, at the time, being prepped to serve as a training site for World War One pilots.
In record time (some 60 days, according to some sources) the area had a dozen aircraft hangars, six barracks, and much more. The base had been active just over half a year when the November 1918 armistice was signed, but that did not stop training at the base. But changes were already in the works in the form of reduced funding and training activities; the base would close in 1923.
Like many military bases, March would close, reopen, get redesignated, etc. March reopened in 1927 and over the years many types of aircraft would operate there including the B-29 Superfortress, the C-119, even the first B-52 B bomber and the first KC-135 could be found there.
In 1982, the base would host an Air Refueling wing featuring the then-new KC-10 tanker. 22d became an air refueling wing with the new KC-10 tanker. The California Air National Guard also found a home at the base, but in 1993 the Base Realignment and Closure Commission chose March to be “realigned”.
That meant the deactivation of the 445th Airlift Wing operating there at the time as well as the 452nd Air Refueling Wing. As part of this realignment, 1996 was the year March officially became March Air Reserve Base.
Main Address And Phone Numbers
452nd AMW Public Affairs
14560 2nd Street
March ARB, CA 92518-1852
Important March ARB Phone Numbers
- Emergency 911
- Home Community Care (HCC) (951) 655-3507
- ID and CAC Card Processing (951) 655-3028
- March Field Air Museum (951) 902-5949
- NAF Human Resources Office (951) 655-7342
- Special Morale and Welfare Funds (951) 655-5241
- Suicide Prevention Hotline (800) 273-8255
- Adult Education Center (951) 655-4441
- Airman and Family Readiness Center (951) 655-5350
- Base Lodging (951) 655-5241
March ARB is about an hour (depending on traffic–expect delays) to Los Angeles, and is a great location to discover Hollywood, So-Cal beach culture, and a thriving music scene. But the real issue with being assigned to a Southern California military base are cost of living and transportation issues. Many military housing officers and family support activities warn that these expenses can be daunting for junior enlisted members and senior NCOs alike, depending on circumstances.
If you are being assigned to March ARB is is important to get the advice of your sponsor for issues regarding housing, advance pay, BAH and BAS, etc.
Southern California is notorious for being an expensive housing market and you should assume rents and sale prices as much as 40% higher than the national average depending on the location and condition of the property.
While it’s true that the Basic Allowance for Housing (BAH) for the area, it may not cover your entire housing expense. Talk to your sponsor about these issues as early as possible.
Inprocessing and Check-In
Those assigned to March ARB should receive a sponsor package from the gaining unit. Those who perform weekend Unit Training Assembly duty will in process at the Military Personnel Flight on the Saturday of the first UTA. During in-processing, your sponsor will help you to accomplish inprocessing.
Those PCSing to March AFB as permanent party members should contact their sponsor at the gaining unit for instructions. If you do not get a sponsor in a timely manner after receiving orders to March ARB, contact the gaining unit for more information.
March ARB has no medical facilities. You will need to coordinate with your TRICARE rep to arrange coverage in the local network or at one of the military bases in the TRICARE West area. Call 888-874-9378 or 844-866-9378.
The Airman & Family Readiness center can help locate child care resources; there is no Child Development Center at March ARB. However, the USAF Services Home Community Care program is available for Reserve and Guard members on UTA weekends–this includes free child care but reservations must be made in advance. Call 951-655-3507 or DSN 312-447-3507.
All those assigned to March ARB are directed to track and manage their household goods shipments via the Defense Personal Property System at Move.mil.
Dependent And Retiree ID Card Renewal, Replacement, New Issue
Contact the Military Personnel Section at March ARB for information on ID card appointments, availability, and current requirements. Be advised that you will be required to provide two forms of acceptable, unexpired ID for most services. Call 951-655-3028.
There are no DoD schools located at March ARB. School choice will be determined in part by the address where the family lives. In the local area there are several school districts; contact the specific district you are interested in learning more about for information on registration requirements, immunization rules, etc. The area school districts include:
- Moreno Valley Unified School District
- Val Verde Unified School District
- Riverside Unified School District
- Alvord Unified School District
March ARB does not provide on-base housing. Visit the Air Force Housing website to learn more about local, on-the-economy housing choices. Keep in mind that housing expenses in the Riverside area are higher than in many other areas of the country. Be sure to discuss housing, utilities, and related issues with your sponsor or gaining unit command support staff.
PCS and TDY Lodging
Temporary lodging is available at the March Inn, but these rooms fill up fast for UTA weekends. It is best to make reservations as far in advance as possible for this reason, but be prepared to accept a statement of non-availability and find accommodations off base if you cannot get temporary lodging due to Reserve weekend activities. Call the March Inn for reservations at 951-655-5241 or DSN 312-447-5241.
The usual ride-sharing and commercial taxi/shuttle services are available for the local airports–the closest international airport to the base is LA/Ontario International (about 39 miles away). Coordinate with your sponsor as your arrival may be complicated by rush hour traffic, which in the area is a formidable thing to be reckoned with. Ask your sponsor about the best options for arrival into the Riverside area.
Vehicle Registration And Driver’s License
The State of California requires compliance with its Evidence of Financial Responsibility (EFR) laws. If you operate a privately owned vehicle you must carry proof of auto insurance for at least $15,000 for death or injury to any person, $30,000 for death or injury (more than one person), and $5,000 property damage coverage.
Those who do not carry the mandatory insurance coverage are subject to fines as high as $2,000 depending on the number of offenses and if you have an accident while not properly insured, the California DMV may suspend your license and impound your car.
When operating a privately owned vehicle on March ARB, your military ID card, state vehicle registration, a valid state driver’s license (along with all required proof of insurance) must be with you when driving on base.