Nellis Air Force Base is an Air Combat Command base located less than ten miles from Las Vegas. Nellis AFB is known for its advanced air combat training for fighter jets, bombers, command-and-control, and many other airframes. The base is described as a “major focal point” for this type of training.
There are roughly 10,000 people employed at the Nevada base. Nellis is also the home of the Air Force Thunderbirds precision aerial demonstration team as well as the Combined Air and Space Operations Center-Nellis.
Find information about Nellis 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
Nellis Air Force Base falls under Air Combat Command, and combat aviation training is its primary mission. Nellis hosts a major military exercise multiple times a year called Red Flag, which puts air combat pilots to the test in a two-week program. A related exercise called Green Flag West is for close air support training.
Important missions and units at Nellis include, but are not limited to, the following:
- 11th Reconnaissance Squadron
- 12th Combat Training Squadron
- 15th Reconnaissance Squadron
- 17th Reconnaissance Squadron
- 18th Reconnaissance Squadron Det 6
- 22nd Intelligence Squadron DET 1
- 232d Operations Squadron
- 232nd Operations Squadron
- 30th Reconnaissance Squadron
- 39 Squadron RAF
- 414th Combat Training Squadron
- 422nd Test & Evaluation Squadron
- 42d Attack Squadron
- 432d Aircraft Maintenance Squadron
- 432d Maintenance Group
- 432d Maintenance Squadron
- 432d Operations Group
- 432d Operations Support Squadron
- 432d Wing
- 432d Wing Mission Support
- 432d Wing Operations Center WOC
- 432nd Wing
- 505th Operations Group
- 507th Air Defense Aggressor Squadron
- 53rd Elec. Warfare Grp. Det. 1
- 53rd Test & Evaluation Grp.
- 547th Intel. Squadron
- 549th Combat Training Squadron
- 555th Red Horse Squadron
- 561st Joint Tactics Squadron
- 563rd Rescue Group/ OL-A
- 57th Adversary Tactics Group
- 57th Adversary Tactics Support Squadron
- 57th Aircraft Maint. Squadron
- 57th Maint. Group
- 57th Maintenance Squadron
- 57th Wing
- 58th Rescue Squadron
- 64th Aggressor Support Squadron
- 65th Aggressor Squadron
- 66th Rescue Squadron
- 6th Combat Training Squadron
- 757th Aircraft Maint. Squadron
- 78th Reconnaissance Squadron
- 820th Red Horse Squadron
- Nellis Support Center
- Nevada Test & Training Range
- USAF AMMOS
- USAF Warfare Center
- USAF Weapons School
- USAFADS Thunderbirds
The Nellis Air Force Base story starts with an area known during World War Two as the Las Vegas Army Airfield. The airfield was used as a flight training center in 1941, expanding its services to gunner training soon after. By the time the base started training B-17 crews there was training support for multiple airframes and in 1945 emphasis changed to preparing B-29 gunners before becoming a demobilization point for troops returning home from World War Two.
The facility would be deactivated in 1947 for a short time before being reactivated and made into a subordinate facility for a nearby base until being transferred into the then-brand-new United States Air Force and redesignated as Las Vegas Air Force Base. At this time pilot training began there for advanced single-engine pilots.
The 3525th Aircraft Gunnery Squadron was activated in1949, with the base hosting the very first USAF Gunnery Meet, followed by the opening of the Aircraft Gunnery School in 1949.
More changes were in store, but among the most significant–the base was redesignated yet again as Nellis Air Force Base in 1950 and pilot training began for those headed overseas to serve in the Korean War. During this time, Nellis began fighter-bomber training and there was an Air Force Air Crew School established there to train on F-80s and other airframes. In 1958, Nellis fell under the jurisdiction of Tactical Air Command.
By the end of the Cold War, many Air Force reorganization efforts were happening. Tactical Air Command had been inactivated and the base was transferred to Air Combat Command. The Nellis AFB story has ever since involved training for air crews including Nellis pilots who fly as “aggressors” for military aerial combat exercises and training. Today’s missions at Nellis AFB continue the tradition of air combat training but with the added dimension of unmanned aerial vehicles and other late-20th and early 21st century innovations.
Nellis AFB Main Address And Phone Numbers
4311 N Washington Blvd
Nellis AFB, NV 89191
Important Nellis AFB Phone Numbers
- Barracks Single Service Member Housing (702) 652-1840
- Base Operator (702) 652-1110
- Civilian Personnel Office (702) 652-9255
- Emergency 911
- Emergency Relief Services (702) 652-3327
- Hospital Medical Treatment Facility (702) 404-1142
- ID CAC Card Processing (702) 652-6844
- Information and Referral Services (702) 404-0864
- Legal Services JAG (702) 652-5407
- Personnel Support Office (702) 404-1752
- Suicide Prevention Hotline (800) 273-8255
- Housing Management Office (702) 652-1840
- Nellis Family Housing (702) 677-3660
- Temporary Lodging Office (702) 652-2711
- Mike O’Callaghan Fed. Medical Facility (702) 653-2273
- VA Facilities (702) 653-2273
- Welcome Visitors Center (702) 652-3216
Located around 10 miles from Las Vegas, Nellis Air Force Base offers many options to those stationed there. Once you arrive as a PCSing or TDY newcomer, you will have a hard time choosing where to begin exploring Las Vegas and its casinos, live entertainment, and outdoor desert adventures. Major League hockey, football, and women’s basketball beckon to sports fans with the Las Vegas Knights, Las Vegas Raiders, and the Las Vegas Aces respectively.
Vegas is also a serious player in college sports with UNLV and the Las Vegas Bowl; there is also the Las Vegas Motor Speedway for NASCAR fans.
Nellis AFB is roughly an hour away from Creech Air Force Base, located close to the town of Indian Springs. Nellis is also about 30 minutes from Henderson, which is the second largest city in Nevada.
This area features nature walks and outdoor fun, Grand Canyon helicopter tours, Hoover Dam kayaking, and casino action for those who want to experience Vegas-style gambling. There is a thriving arts and culture scene in Henderson including the Clark County Heritage Museum and the Firelight Barn Dinner Theater.
Inprocessing and Check-In
All new arrivals to Nellis AFB are directed to check with their sponsor for the most current check-in procedures, but in general those arriving during normal duty hours will check in with their gaining unit.
Those who arrive after duty hours must check in at the 24-hour arrival point in the Lodging Office. Those who have permissive TDY for house hunting on their orders are required to sign in first–your gaining unit is responsible for authorizing your PTDY. Call the Nellis AFB Military Personnel Section Customer Service number at 702-652-5212 or DSN 312-682-5212 for more information.
Health care on Nellis AFB is provided by the 99th Medical Group via the Mike O’Callaghan Military Medical Center. Operated in partnership with the VA Southern Nevada Healthcare System (VASNHS), this is a 50-bed medical center featuring an emergency room and the following clinics / services:
- Alcohol and Drug Abuse Prevention and Treatment (ADAPT)
- Anesthesia and PACU / SDSU
- Appointment Line
- Cancer Program / Cancer Registry
- Case Management
- Critical Care Unit (CCU)
- Ear-Nose-Throat (ENT)
- Emergency Department
- Exceptional Family Member Program (EFMP)-Medical
- Family Advocacy
- Family Health
- Flight Medicine
- Family Medicine Residency (FMR)
- Gastroenterology (GI)
- Health Promotion Operations
- Infectious Disease
- Internal Medicine
- Maternal Child Care (Labor & Delivery)
- Mental Health
- Nutritional Medicine
- Occupational Therapy
- Patient Administration
- PHA / PIMR Center
- Physical Therapy
- Public Health / Force Health Management
- Referral Management Center (RMC)
- Residency Opportunities
- Sleep Lab
- Women’s Health (OB/GYN)
Make an appointment or get more information at (702) 653-2273.
Child care at Nellis AFB is provided by Child Development Centers (CDC). There are multiple facilities on base but they have high demand; waiting lists apply and you will need to register as early as possible. CDC care at Nellis is for children six weeks through five years of age with full-day and hourly child care options available.
All parents are directed to sign up for Nellis child care via the Military Child Care official site.
Licensed Family Child Care homes are also an option–you can learn more by calling the Nellis Family Child Care office at (702) 652-4400.
All inbound PCSing airmen should track and manage their household goods shipments to Nellis AFB using the Defense Personal Property System at Move.mil. You can also call the Nellis Air Force Base “Traffic Management Office” in the Transportation Office at (702) 652-6683 or DSN 312-682-6683.
Dependent And Retiree ID Card Renewal, Replacement, New Issue
All ID card services at Nellis are by appointment only at press time. Make an appointment by using the RAPIDS system (search for Nellis Air Force Base) or by calling (702) 652-6844. Two unexpired forms of ID are required for most services and your government-issued photo ID may be required to be REAL-ID Act compliant.
Nellis Air Force Base features an on-base charter school; the Coral Academy of Science Las Vegas, is open to those in Kindergarten through 7th grade. This school does not feature open registration at the time of this writing–signups for the school are done by lottery. Call the Nellis AFB School Liaison Office (702-679-0439) for instructions on how to sign up for this lottery. Las Vegas is served by the Clark County School District–said to be one of the largest in the country featuring well over three hundred thousand students.
The Clark County School District features more than 350 schools including more than 260 elementary schools, more than 50 middle schools and over 60 high schools. When registering for these schools you will need to provide originals of documentation such as birth certificates and other requirements–copies are not accepted.
Housing at Nellis AFB is privatized and operated in conjunction with the Nellis Military Housing Office (MHO). All new arrivals are directed to use the Air Force Housing Website to begin the housing process in advance of a PCS to the base; you must contact the MHO before entering into any agreement for housing.
You will use the Air Force Housing site to get on waiting lists for on-base housing where applicable and for exploring your off-base options. Those who want on-base housing must have the following forms:
- Application for Housing DD Form 1746
- Sex Offender Disclosure
- Privacy Release Act Statement
- Hunt Application form
- Nellis MHO Brief
- MHO Move-In Checklist
Unaccompanied and single service members who are between the ranks of E-1 to E-3 (also E-4s with less than 3 years of service) will be assigned housing in the barracks. Unaccompanied Airmen in the rank of E-4 with greater than 3 years of service or more will be permitted to use housing in the local community.
Contact the Nellis Military Housing Management Office at 702-652-1840 or DSN 312-682-1840 for assistance.
PCS and TDY Lodging
All temporary lodging services at Nellis AFB are extremely competitive due to the high volume of military exercises and TDYs to the base. You will need to make reservations as far in advance as possible for best results–do NOT wait until the last moment to reserve TLF or you may be required to get a certificate of non-availability to stay off base. You cannot be reimbursed for off-base lodging without this certificate.
Furthermore, for those who completed basic training and technical school and are PCSing to Nellis AFB as their first duty assignment, be advised that you may not be authorized for reimbursement for temporary lodging. Contact your finance office to inquire about TLF expenses under these circumstances and know what you are obligated to pay before you arrive.
All who need temporary lodging at Nellis should call the Lodging Office, 702-652-2711 or DSN 312-682-2711 to make arrangements. Pet-friendly facilities are likely not available; ask your sponsor in advance of your need.
The usual ride sharing and commercial transportation options may be offered at the airport for those flying in depending on the time of day, demand, and other variables. It’s best to discuss transportation from the airport with your sponsor and make prior arrangements, especially if you are arriving during rush hour.
Nellis offers round-trip shuttle bus service; ask your sponsor about availability and operating times (which may vary depending on mission requirements and demand). Some new arrivals may wish to learn more about or take advantage of the park-and-ride facility located on U.S. 95 off of Exit 93 in northwest Las Vegas for car pool use.
The nearest airports to Nellis are McCarran International Airport (15 miles away) and Boulder City Municipal Airport (22 miles away).
Vehicle Registration And Driver’s License
Nevada state law requires all vehicles to be state-registered after relocating to the state. If you become a citizen by registering to vote or by other means, you may be required to register a vehicle. Check with your sponsor to learn what the most current state laws are in this area as they are subject to change.
The State of Nevada does not automatically renew or extend expiration dates on licenses for military drivers so you will need to manually renew or extend your license. New arrivals to Nellis AFB may be required to register their vehicles on base and must furnish proof of current registration, minimum required liability insurance, and a valid driver’s license.