Pre-planning is essential for newcomers moving to Grand Forks AFB. There are many excellent sources of information on military web sites designed to help you plan your move.
Military HOMEFRONT contains resources for everyone who is relocating from one duty station to another. The web site includes a section on planning PCS moves, as well as a section with information on 350 military installations worldwide.
Military OneSource provides information about a wide range of subjects including relocation, child care, personal finances, and emotional support during deployments.
Grand Forks' website is updated weekly with news and information about your new home base.
The Defense Personal Property System provides an on-line web site to help you schedule movement of your household goods, in conjunction with your Traffic Management Office, at http://www.move.mil.
The Automated Housing Referral Network, enables you to see and compare off-base homes and rental properties that are currently on the market in the Grand Forks area.
The 319th Force Support Squadron website enables you to review what child care and youth programs and recreation and leisure activities are available at Grand Forks AFB. In essence, a wide source on information on Grand Forks AFB is just a key stroke away.
There are a number of actions which you should take as soon as you receive Permanent Change of Station (PCS) orders...actions such as arranging movement of your household goods, requesting on-base family housing (if desired), arranging temporary quarters for when you house hunt, arranging mail delivery, and enrolling your children in the on-base Child Development Center program (if appropriate).
Newcomers are encouraged to contact their local Personal Property office as soon as possible after receiving orders to arrange shipment of household goods. Most of this process can now be accomplished on line using the Defense Personal Property System.
All single Airmen, E-4 and below with less than three years service, must reside in on-base dormitories. All Airmen, E-4 and above with more than three years of service, can live either in a dormitory or off base. Military families can apply to live in on-base housing or reside in the local community. A few single officers, in key essential positions, must live on-base; while other bachelor officers must reside in the local community. Applications for on-base housing can be submitted to the Housing Referral Office as soon as orders are received. See "Housing" for details.
Temporary lodging can also be requested up to three months in advance of your date of arrival. Reservation requests are accepted on a first-come, first-served basis without regard to rank. Reservations can be made by calling the Warrior Inn at (312) 747-7200 or DSN (312) 362-7200.
Families awaiting personal property shipment to arrive can use the Airman and Family Readiness Center's Loan Locker while staying in temporary lodging. Items available include kitchenware, baby furnishings, futons, and other household items. The Center also provides newly arriving families with free child care for up to 20 hours through on-base licensed Family Care Providers. The Center can be contacted at (312) 747-3241 or DSN (312) 362-3241.
Military families moving to Grand Forks AFB are encouraged to contact the Child Development Center upon receiving their PCS orders in order to register their children in the program. The Center can be reached at (312) 747-3042 or DSN (312) 362-3041.
All new personnel should hear from a gaining command sponsor shortly after receiving orders. If not, contact your gaining unit and ask for your sponsor's name and phone number or call Customer Service at (312) 747-6411.
Before departing home, remember to hand carry important paperwork such as military service record, PCS orders, passports, leave and earning statement, proof of car registration and insurance, marriage certificate, immunization records of children, household good inventory lists, and military ID cards While traveling, be sure to document all travel expenses for reimbursement at Grand Forks AFB.
Before moving to Grand Forks AFB, newcomers must provide their current post office with an address where mail can be forwarded. This can be obtained by contacting the Grand Forks AFB Base Locator's Office. The Locator staff will provide newcomers with a post office box mailing address which can be used until a new address is established at Grand Forks.
The Base Locator's Office can be contacted to obtain this information at (312) 747-3344 Monday - Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturday from 8 a.m. to noon. The Locator's Office is located at 592 Holzapple Street. The base Post Office is located next door, at 590 Holzapple Street, Grand Forks ND 58207 and is open Monday - Friday from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. In addition to mailing parcels and letters, the base Post Office rents mail boxes and sells stamps. It also provides delivery to Family Housing on base. The Post Office phone number is (312) 747-3339.
Warrior Inn offers quality lodging services to military personnel and their guests, including Temporary Living Facilities, Visitor Quarters, and Distinguished Visitor Quarters. Included is an in-house fitness center and laundry facility. All quarters are non-smoking.
To make a reservation, call (312) 747-7200 any time or visit http://dodlodging.net. The Warrior Inn is located at 632 Holzapple Street, Building 117. Listed prices may change as of October 1 of each year. Lodging guests must provide a valid credit card at time of check-in.
Temporary Living Facilities
The Warrior Inn has 27 Temporary Living Facilities (TLF) for military families moving to Grand Forks. They come equipped with nearly everything a family needs to feel at home including a kitchen, TV and VCR, iron and ironing board. Cribs and high chairs must be requested.
Ten of these TLF's sleep up to 7 people, have their own washer and dryer, and include stove microwave combination units, dishwasher and refrigerator along with a vacuum, broom and mop, and vacuum cleaner.
Seventeen TLFs, with kitchenettes, sleep a maximum of four people. Laundry rooms are available upstairs and downstairs in this building.
Four TLFs are designated pet friendly, but you must call ahead to make sure a room is available. A $10 pet fee will be charged per day. If a pet room is not available for the time you request, the front desk does have a kennel listing for the local area.
Personnel who are in Permanent Change of Station status or bona fide house-hunters on permissive Temporary Duty assignment, may make reservation requests with the Warrior Inn up to three months in advance of arrival date. Reservation requests are accepted on a first-come, first-served basis without regard to rank. The $41.50 per night cost is reimbursable when filing your travel voucher which must be accompanied by lodging receipts.
Reservation requests accepted by the Warrior Inn cannot be confirmed until a space is available; check with the Warrior Inn seven days before arrival to determine the status of your reservation. In-bound personnel may be allowed to stay in TLFs for a period not to exceed 30 days. Outbound personnel may be allowed access to the TLFs on a space-available basis only for a period not to exceed 30 days. Stays beyond this time must be approved by the unit commander and will be approved on a case-by-case basis.
Warrior Inn has 44 two-room Visitor Quarters, with private baths, for both TDY and PCS officers and enlisted personnel to enjoy. All guests have free WIFI and access to an in-house fitness room. Rates are $39 per night.
Distinguished Visitors Quarters (06 and above)
Reservations for Distinguished Visitors Quarters must be made through the base Protocol Office by calling (312) 747-5055. Rates are $53.25 per night at the Dakota House and $48.25 at the Main Lodge.
Grand Forks AFB is located 15 miles west of Grand Forks—the third largest city in North Dakota with a population of approximately 53,000 people. The base is 20 miles west of the Minnesota border, 75 miles north of Fargo, North Dakota, and 75 miles south of the Canadian border. The city of Grand Forks is home to the University of North Dakota, and has been ranked by Money Magazine as one of the top communities in the nation. It is located in the heart of the Red River Valley at the junction of the Red Lake River and the Red River of the North.
If driving, the base is located just north of U.S. Highway 2 which runs east-west between Minot, ND, and Grand Forks. Interstate 29 runs north-south, beside the North Dakota/Minnesota border, from South Dakota through Fargo and Grand Forks to Canada.
If flying, Grand Forks International Airport is located only 14 miles from the base and is serviced with daily Delta flights from the Minneapolis Airport. Although listed as an "International" airport because of its proximity to Canada, the airport currently has only two gates. A new terminal building is scheduled to be completed in 2011.
It is no longer necessary to acquire a base decal or register your vehicle if you are stationed at Grand Forks AFB. Military and DoD ID cards are scanned at entry gates to grant base access.
Visitors still need to obtain a base pass by visiting the Visitors Control Center, located near the main gate at 80 Steen Blvd, Building 812. The Visitors Center is open Monday - Friday from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m., but is closed weekends and holidays. Authorized visitors can still be issued a pass at other times at the main gate. All vehicles entering or leaving Grand Forks AFB are subject to search.
North Dakota state law requires drivers to have sufficient liability insurance and a valid driver's license in order to operate a vehicle. State law also requires that driver and passengers must always wear seatbelts while driving. Access complete state information on insurance, driver's licensing and where and how to register your vehicle by visiting the State Department of Motor Vehicles website.
Motorcycle operators on base must complete an approved motorcycle safety course, wear a helmet with face shield or impact resistant goggles, and wear a brightly colored/contrasting shirt, jacket or vest which is reflective at night. Long sleeves, full fingered gloves, long pants, and sturdy footwear are also required. Headlights will be on while the motorcycle is in operation.
Civilian All-Terrain Vehicles (ATVs) will not be operated on Grand Forks AFB. Government ATVs may be operated for official use only. The rider must have a valid license and wear all appropriate clothing and safety gear.
All persons must comply with the following base policies when on Grand Forks AFB:
• Speed Limits - The base speed limit is 30 MPH unless otherwise posted; 20 MPH in housing areas; 15 MPH in school zones and through gates; and 10 MPH in parking lots.
• Pets - Microchip identification is mandatory for all dogs and cats that reside on base. Owners will register their pets with the base veterinarian within 30 days of arrival and annually thereafter when they receive rabies and distemper vaccinations. Pets will be confined in a fenced area or kennel or be on a leash whenever in public areas.
• Parking - There are NO assigned parking areas on the street in housing. Street parking is on a first come basis. The only assigned parking areas are garages and driveways. Do not park against the flow of traffic, within 20 feet of a stop sign or yield sign; within 15 feet of a fire hydrant or dumpster, or within five feet of a driveway.
• Bicycles - Helmets must be worn at all times; passenger seats must be permanently attached; and riders must keep one hand on the bike at all times. Bicyclists must follow all signs and rules, and are not permitted to carry more persons than for which the bike is designed. When operated at night, bikes must have an operational white headlight and red tail light, visible from a distance of 500 feet.
• Children in Vehicles - Children less than 7 years old or weighing less than 70 pounds must be in a child restraint system (car seat). Children under the age of 5 will not be left unattended in a vehicle.
• Children's Supervision - Children less than 9 years old should be supervised at all times while children 9-10 should not be left unsupervised for more than 2 hours. Older children may be left alone for longer periods. Children 12 years of age and older may baby-sit younger children, but should complete the base child-care training course.
• Curfew - Dependents, 17 years of age or younger, will not be outside of their quarters during curfew. Curfew hours are Sunday - Thursday from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. and Friday - Saturday from Midnight to 6 a.m.
• Loud Noise - Base quiet hours are from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. Be considerate of your neighbors; make face-to-face contact to attempt to resolve issues prior to calling Security Forces.
• Recreation Vehicles will not be parked in housing for more than 24 hours before or after use.
• Cell Phones must have a hands-free device to be used while driving. A cell phone with speaker phone capability does not constitute hands-free if it is being held.
• Radar Detection Devices are not authorized for use on Grand Forks AFB.
The 319th Security Forces Squadron also offers a number of programs designed to improve security operations on the base.
• OPERATION Ident-A-Kid - Photographs and produces a brief ID sheet for minor children living on base to assist in the ID and safe return of lost children.
• OPERATION Home Watch - Security Forces will conduct checks of housing units assigned to personnel on leave or deployed, to provide a visible deterrence and minimize the opportunity for theft of private property.
• OPERATION CRIMESTOP - Report crimes in progress or crimes that have occurred on the installation by calling 747-7070. This can also be used for reporting an incident that occurred off the installation if involving a military member.
• OPERATION EAGLE EYES - An antiterrorism initiative from AFOSI designed to prevent terrorism by encouraging and enable military members and citizens to report suspicious activities. To schedule a briefing or report suspicious activity, contact the OSI at (312) 747-3852.
For additional information on any of these programs, contact Security Forces at (312) 747-4203.
When you receive your Permanent Change of Station (PCS) orders, you should contact your sponsor to help arrange your temporary lodging reservations and receive a Grand Forks AFB information packet. It is important that your sponsor help arrange for your billeting; otherwise, you may risk not being reimbursed for your lodging expenses. If you have not been assigned a sponsor, contact the Customer Service Section of the Military Personnel Flight at (312) 747-6411 or DSN 312-362-6411.
Prior to departing your home station, remember to hand carry important documents to include: a copy of orders, identification card, social security cards, vehicle registration(s) and proof of car(s) insurance. If arriving from overseas, hand carried documents should include: vehicle shipping papers, shot records, household inventories for household goods and claims and school records for all children.
During normal duty hours, new arrivals should first report to their unit of assignment where they will begin in-processing. As part of this procedure, your orderly room should provide you an Initial Duty Assignment (IDA) worksheet. After all unit and base personnel in-processing is completed, and if approved by the commander, members may be granted permissive leave for house hunting. Be sure that a leave form is completed by the unit.
If you get married before you PCS, you must inform your commander and follow the procedures exactly as they are given. The military will not pay for travel and housing of your spouse if you do not follow proper procedures.
Base in-processing is then conducted by the 319th Military Personnel Flight Monday through Friday beginning 7:30 a.m. in building 101. Members are required to be in uniform.
In-processing members must bring the IDA worksheet provided to them by their unit orderly room, and the envelope provided them by their previous Outbound Assignments Office. The actual in-processing will take approximately 15-30 minutes to complete. However, Customer Support will provide members with a base in-processing checklist which must be completed and returned to customer support within 30 days of arrival. In addition, all newcomers will be scheduled to attend a Wing Orientation.
First term Airmen, reporting to their first duty station, will also be scheduled for a week-long training program at the First Term Airmen Center. During that time, they will receive in-processing briefings as well as base and community information, and ancillary training.
At in-processing, members will complete all paperwork related to the move. As part of this process, the member's ID cards will be updated to reflect their new duty assignment.
As part of the "Medical Right Start" program, newcomers are oriented to the services provided by the 319th Medical Group and are educated on how and when to access care.
Beneficiaries are also informed of their TRICARE options, and enrollment is transferred. Medical and immunization records are also reviewed to determine health care needs. This program is mandatory for all active duty members, but dependents and retirees are also welcome.
Civilian employees should report to the Civilian Personnel Office weekdays between 7:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. to in-process. The civilian Personnel Office is located on the second floor of Building 101.
The Newcomer's Orientation Seminar is a Commander Directed Program. It is designed for all inbound military personnel, spouses of military members and civilian employees who recently arrived at Grand Forks Air Force Base.
Extensive amounts of information on North Dakota will be provided by many on and off base agencies during the information fair to help you become involved during your assignment at Grand Forks AFB. The major goal of the seminar is to provide useful information about living in this region of the United States while having fun and staying safe.
The seminar is offered the first Thursday of every month from 7:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. in the Airman & Family Readiness Center. Whether you're returning to Grand Forks or arriving for the first time, why not attend the Newcomer's Orientation and find out more about your new home.