Vance Air Force Base is located roughly 65 miles northwest of Oklahoma City and Tinker Air Force Base; Vance AFB is a comparatively smaller operation but it has a very important mission; training military pilots across the Air Force, Navy, and Marine Corps. Flight training operations at Vance also include flight operations for pilots from other nations.
Find information about Vance Air Force Base including the main commercial and DSN numbers for the base, information on basic services, base transportation, lodging for TDY and PSCing personnel, and inprocessing.
Vance AFB Mission & Units
The host unit at Vance is the 71st Flying Training Wing, which falls under the Air Force’s Air Education And Training Command (AETC). According to the official site, the mission of the 71st includes training military pilots, building Air Force leaders and to “meet taskings in support of national defense objectives”.
The 71st Flying Training Wing works with active duty, National Guard, Air Force Reserve and the air forces of allied nations.
Important missions and units at Vance include:
- 71st Flying Training Wing
- 71st Medical Group
- 71st Mission Support Group
- 71st Operations Group
- 71st Medical Operations Squadron
- 71st Medical Support Squadron
- 71st Installation Support Squadron
- 71st Operations Support Squadron
- 71st Student Squadron
- 3rd Flying Training Squadron
- 8th Flying Training Squadron
- 25th Flying Training Squadron
- 33rd Flying Training Squadron
Vance Air Force Base History
Ground broke on the land that would eventually become known as Vance Air Force Base in Oklahoma on July 1941. At the time the project was initiated by the Army Air Corps and didn’t even have a formal name; it was known informally as the Air Corps Basic Flying School and the facility was used to train Army pilots in two-seater training planes known as Fairchild PT-19s.
In 1942 the installation was name Enid Army Flying School (after the city it’s located near), but it was also known as Woodring Field. The post was formally activated in February of 1942 and approximately a year later the 31st Flying Training Wing began its’ training operations there, graduating more than eight thousand pilots during the course of World War Two. After the war ended, the flying field was deactivated.
The Air Force would become a separate branch of military service in 1947, and soon after the installation would be transferred and renamed Enid Air Force Base. In 1949 it was redesignated as Vance Air Force Base, named after a Medal of Honor awardee who was also considered a local war hero, Lieutenant Colonel Leon Robert Vance, Jr.
Once the installation became Vance Air Force Base, a number of trainer aircraft were used to bring pilots up to speed on air operations. They included the AT-6, the T-33 Shooting Star and the T-37 Tweet. Later the T-38 Talon would be used, but in the 1960s the Air Force would begin transitioning to a new regime for its’ undergrad pilots known as UPT- the Undergraduate Pilot Training (UPT) system.
Fast forward to 1995 when Air Force officials announced another move to a training program called Specialized Undergraduate Pilot Training , which began using the Beechcraft T-6 Texan II and later the T-1A Jayhawk. The Jayhawk was used to train students on jet tanker, transport aircraft, and reconnaissance aircraft. Vance trainees in the fighter, bomber, and other fixed-wing operations would learn on the T-38 Talon.
Vance would become a joint training environment with the United States Navy and United States Marine Corps starting in 1996. Today the same multi-service environment is an important aspect of the training operations at Vance, with student pilots getting primary T-6 training there before moving on to other aspects of flying training at Vance or at other installations.
Vance AFB Contacts
Vance AFB Main Address And Telephone Numbers
Vance Air Force Base
200 Fields Street
Enid, OK 73705
- DSN: 312-448-7400
Important Contact Numbers At Vance AFB
- Emergency – 911
- Suicide Prevention Hotline – (800) 273-8255
- Public Affairs Office – (580) 213-7476
- Airman and Family Readiness Center – (580) 213-6330
- Command Post – (580) 213-7384
- Visitor Center – (580) 213-5528
- DEERS – (580) 213-7500
- Pass and Registration – (580) 213-6791
- Child Development Center – (580) 213-7310
- Retiree Affairs Office – (580) 213-7859
- Finance Customer Service – (580) 213-7498
- Legal Office – (580) 213-7404
- Sexual Assault Response Coordinator – (580) 213-7272
- Clinic Central Appointment Desk – (580) 213-7416
- Pharmacy – (580) 213-7783
- TRICARE – (580) 213-6343
- Dental Clinic – (580) 213-7307
- Cherokee Lodge – (580) 213-7358
- Family Housing – (580) 234-0498
- Housing Management Office – (580) 213-7259
- Education Center – (580) 213-5155
- Base Training – (580) 213-6502
- Testing – (580) 213-7388
Vance AFB is only 65 miles away from Oklahoma City, which features the NBA’s Oklahoma City Thunder and professional horse racing at Remington Park. OKC is famous for its’ Bricktown district, billed as the former home of Buffalo Bill Cody’s Wild West Show and today as the location of a major tourist redevelopment plan. There are museums, restaurants, family-friendly attractions in Bricktown and much more.
Closer to the base, the city of Enid has arts and entertainment at the Gaslight Theatre, you can explore the Railroad Museum of Oklahoma, or the impressive Leonardo Children’s Museum which is a Davinci-themed center for children and adults alike offering a variety of activities, exhibits, and special events.
Inprocessing and Check-In
At Vance AFB, in-processing procedures will depend on the policies of your gaining unit. The Vance official site urges all inbound PCS troops to coordinate travel with the sponsor assigned by your gaining unit. All new arrivals are directed to report to the Housing Referral Office “no later than your first duty day to complete in-processing”
Those headed to Vance on TDY orders for pilot training or other temporary duty should plan on the first stop upon arrival (during normal duty hours) to be at Building 690, Room 34 where you will be given further instructions and checklists for inprocessing purposes.
Vance Air Force Base Services
Medical services are limited at Vance; the 71st Medical Group provides medical care via its’ appointment system only and there is no inpatient or emergency care available. Call the 71st Medical Group to schedule an appointment at 580-213-7416. Two civilian hospitals in the Enid downtown area offer full-range care; Bass Integris Hospital and St Mary’s Mercy Hospital. Both of these facilities accept TRICARE.
Vance Air Force Base offers both Family Child Care (FCC) in private homes on-base and care in the Child Development Center (CDC). Care at the CDC if offered for children from six weeks to five years of age. Family Child Care is more flexible as an option for those with children between six weeks and 12 years old.
You can coordinate child care in both FCC and CDC facilities by utilizing MilitaryChildCare.com, which is an official Department of Defense website for military families seeking child care. You can use this site for Vance Air Force Base or any other military base you may be assigned to.
Contact the Vance Air Force Base Child Development Center to learn what current policies are for waiting lists and other requirements. It’s not safe to assume child care is available without pre-arranging your first CDC or FCC care; contact the CDC as soon as your orders are available to get on waiting lists or sign up for care. Call them at 580-213-7310 or DSN 312-448-7310.
Inbound personnel coming to Vance Air Force Base with household goods are directed to track and manage their shipments via the Defense Personal Property System at Move.mil. You can also get local assistance from Vance AFB Inbound TMO by calling 580-213-7470.
Dependent And Retiree ID Card Renewal, Replacement, New Issue
Technically speaking, all ID card services should be scheduled via the RAPIDS system for each military base; at the time of this writing the Vance AFB RAPIDS official page is minimally populated showing only contact information and a telephone number; until that changes it is best to contact the Pass and Registration office directly by calling (580) 213-7500.
Walk-in service is accepted but appointments are preferred. You will be required to furnish two unexpired forms of ID and in the absence of official military or federal government ID, any state-issued ID cards may be required to be REAL ID Act-compliant.
Military members may be required to be present during dependent ID card renewal or replacement operations unless a power of attorney or other acceptable replacement is available. Call first to learn what documentation may be required at Vance AFB in cases where the sponsor is unavailable.
There are no DoDDs schools operating at Vance AFB. Most who reside on-base will send their school-age children to Eisenhower Elementary School which is technically located on-base, but is not operated by the Department of Defense. Children living off-base will be sent to public school based on residence/zip code. There are three area public school districts, four private elementary schools, and one private middle/high school to choose from.
You can get assistance from the Vance Air Force Base School Liaison Officer, who is available to help in a variety of ways:
- Locating schools in the local area
- Helping military parents understand the policies and procedures of local school systems
- School referrals
- Help families manage educational challenges
For more information call the Vance AFB School Liaison at 580-213-6285.
Government housing at Vance AFB is privatized and operated by Hunt Military Housing. As soon as your orders are available contact the Vance AFB Family Housing Office at 580-234-0498 or visit the Family Housing website.
Those PCSing to Vance AFB who are married to other military members but are geographically separated AND in the ranks between E1 and E4 with less than three years of service will be assigned on-base lodging in the unaccompanied dorms; this is also true of unmarried service members between E1 and E3 or E4s with less than three years of military service.
Waiting lists and other considerations may apply; contact the housing office as soon as your relocation to Vance is known to learn current procedures.
Those who are TDY to Vance for training or other purposes will be assigned lodging according to the policies of the schoolhouse or the gaining unit for TDY purposes.
PCS and TDY Lodging
Temporary lodging at Vance is provided by the Cherokee Lodge. It is open to active duty members and their families, retirees and their families, and DOD civilians on orders. Active duty military will have booking priority. You can make reservations online via dodlodging.net or call during normal duty hours: 580-213-7358.
Pets are not allowed in Cherokee Lodge facilities, but they have provided pet boarding facility contact information for pet boarding operations in Enid:
- The Groom Closet Pet Center, 580-242-1930
- Enid Pet Hospital, 580-237-3377
- Olson Animal Hospital, 580-237-6901
- Wheatland Animal Clinic, 580-237-1245
You will be required to provide pet immunization records to use these facilities. Remember to book your lodging and any required pet boarding as far in advance as possible since TDY season and other peak reservation times may affect your ability to get temporary lodging.
There are several airports near Enid and Vance Air Force Base:
- Will Rogers World Airport
- Tulsa International Airport
- Wichita Dwight D. Eisenhower National Airport
- Lawton-Fort Sill Regional Airport
The Will Rogers World Airport in Oklahoma City is the closest major airport but you should still expect an 80-mile drive from there to Vance AFB. That is one reason why it’s important to coordinate travel with your sponsor from Vance; ride sharing, local taxis, and other options will be expensive given the travel time from OKC, Tulsa, Wichita, or the Lawton-Fort Sill airports.
Vehicle Registration And Driver’s License
Vance AFB began enforcing Department of Homeland Security REAL ID Act measures in 2018; the REAL ID Act requires states to issue ID cards or driver’s licenses with special security features designed to permit access to federal installations, military bases, etc.
If you have an active duty, dependent military ID, retired military ID card, or if you carry a Department of Defense civilian ID card, the Vance AFB official site says you are “not affected by the REAL ID Act requirements”
However, those who do not yet have a military ID card are required to make an appointment or walk in to the Visitor Control Center or consult the DHS official website to learn if your current civilian picture ID (driver’s license or state ID card) is compliant or not.
You are not required to register a privately owned vehicle on Vance Air Force Base to get access, but current military identification cards are required. No expired IDs will be permitted. All vehicles must carry minimum insurance, safety equipment, etc. Motorcycle operators may be required to take safety training classes in order to ride two-wheeled motor vehicles on base.