Keesler AFB Community
Our Military at Keesler Air Force Base
at Keesler Air Force Base
Biloxi, Mississippi, home of Keesler Air Force Base, is nestled against the coastline of the Mississippi Sound. Just to the south of Keesler is the Mississippi Gulf Coast, fronted with 26 miles of man-made beach. To the north lies the Back Bay of Biloxi. Fourteen miles to the west is Naval Construction Battalion Center Gulfport, home of the Atlantic Fleet Seabees. New Orleans is about 90 miles to the west, while Mobile, Alabama, is about 60 miles east of the base.
Keesler AFB is one of the principal technical training wings in the United States Air Force. The base has been a major training center from its inception. During World War II, more than 142,000 aircraft mechanics and 336,000 recruits received training at the installation. Today, Keesler’s training center handles nearly 31,000 students annually, with 400 courses covering 37 career fields. In its status as a lead joint training installation, Keesler trains not only Air Force personnel, but Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Coast Guard, and other military and civilian federal agency personnel as well. The base encompasses 1,784 acres, including a training annex.
The base’s host unit is the 81st Training Wing. The base is also home to the 2nd Air Force, the 403rd Wing (Air Force Reserve) and the 85th Engineering Installation Squadron.
Keesler AFB has overcome many obstacles and changed with the times, always meeting the needs of its mission as well as its reputation as a good neighbor. This commitment to excellence is reflected in the men and women of Team Keesler, extending well beyond the confines of the base and into the local community.
Keesler’s population includes approximately 7,500 military and student personnel, 3,700 civilian personnel and 3,800 family members.
Keesler AFB’s total impact on the local economy in fiscal 2017 totaled about $1.57 billion. It is one of the largest employers in Harrison County with more than 11,000 employees. In fiscal 2017, the base had a military and student personnel payroll of more than $500 million and a civilian personnel payroll of more than $209 million.