Nestled in the majestic Black Hills, Ellsworth Air Force Base, South Dakota, is 10 miles east of Rapid City and just outside of Box Elder. The base — home to the 28th Bomb Wing — is one of only two B-1B Lancer bases in the world.
Ellsworth is surrounded by numerous scenic sights. From the picturesque Badlands to the east, to the Black Hills in the west, to the grazing buffalo and pristine lakes of Custer State Park, this is a region of great natural beauty. Legendary sites such as the National Mount Rushmore Memorial, Crazy Horse Memorial, Fort Meade, historic Deadwood and Devils Tower are a short distance beyond the base’s main gate. The area has a rich history that includes Crazy Horse, Sitting Bull, Gen. George Custer, Wild Bill Hickok, Calamity Jane and Jack “Crooked Nose” McCall to name but a few.
Western South Dakota and the Black Hills offer a myriad of activities, especially for those who enjoy nature and the outdoors. Opportunities for fishing, boating, snow and water skiing, hunting, hiking and camping await those who appreciate being outdoors. Whatever the season, Ellsworth and the Black Hills can be a wonderful place to work and live.
Ellsworth’s population of approximately 10,600 includes military members, family members and civilian employees. The base’s two closest neighboring cities are Box Elder with a population of approximately 9,000 and Rapid City with a population of more than 75,000. There are also about 3,800 military retirees in western South Dakota.
The base and western South Dakota are on Mountain Standard Time.
This begins at your unit. Service members should report, with their sponsors, to the Rushmore Center and the 28th Forces Support Squadron Customer Service section upon their arrival. Personnel will be inprocessed and scheduled to attend the Right Start program or the First Term Airman Center (FTAC), a mandatory briefing for all newly arrived service members designed to minimize the time and appointments needed to introduce them to the base and organization quickly. Spouses are welcome at Right Start and encouraged to attend. Right Start is at the Dakota’s Club, 2838 Arnold Drive, directly behind the Shoppette. Bring all no-fee passports you may have if coming from an overseas location.
There are income tax advantages associated with moving costs. Keep records and receipts on all expenses associated with a move (travel expenses; meals and lodging; meals and lodging while occupying temporary quarters; expenses attributable to the sale, purchase or lease of a residence; etc.). Certain moving costs may be deductible when you file your income tax return. Additionally, South Dakota does not have a state income tax for residents. If you have specific questions, please contact the Ellsworth Air Force Base Legal Office at 605-385-2329 to schedule a legal assistance appointment.
Upon arrival, check with the Traffic Management Office regarding household goods or hold baggage shipped to Ellsworth. Call the office at 605-385-5828/6597.