By Chris Walker


Welcome to El Centro, California! Naval Air Facility El Centro (NAF El Centro) is located along the California-Mexico border in the Imperial Valley and is about midway between San Diego, CA, and Yuma, AZ. The base traces its beginnings to 1943 when the airfield was commissioned as an airbase with perfect weather conditions for pre-combat flight training. Today, the base is a training base for pilots of all services to hone their skills as aerial warfighters as well as a parachute training center for the US and allied commandos and special operations forces. Today NAF El Centro covers more than 1800 acres of training area with two long runways supporting flight operations. The base itself is relatively small in size with about 101 housing units aboard the installation. Continue reading for our in-depth guide on Naval Air Facility El Centro to help aid you in your transition to your new home. 1. Where Is Naval Air Facility El Centro? 2. Google Map View 3. Getting There – Directions to the Base 4. Entering Naval Air Facility El Centro and Amenities 5. Where Should I Live Near Naval Air Facility El Centro? 6. What Schools Are Near Naval Air Facility El Centro? 7. What’s the Weather Like in Naval Air Facility El Centro? 8. Things To Do Near Naval Air Facility El Centro

Where Is Naval Air Facility El Centro?

The base is located in central California, just outside the town of El Centro.

Naval Air Facility El Centro

2024 Bennett Rd. NAF El Centro, CA 92243


: 1 (760) 339-2673

NAF El Centro Map

NAF El Centro Directions

The nearest airport is the El Centro International Airport which is about 25 miles away from the base. There are no shuttles to the base, but rental cars are available as well as taxis.

Driving Directions from El Centro International Airport

From San Diego, CA

  1. Take CA-94 E for 1.2 miles
  2. Merge onto I-8E to Drew Rd in Imperial Country. Stay on I-8 for 103 miles
  3. Take Exit 107 for Drew Rd toward Seeley
  4. Follow Drew Rd, County Hwy S80/W Evan Hewes Hwy for 1.1 miles
  5. Turn left onto Bennett Rd

From Yuma, AZ

  1. Get on I-8 W and continue for 60 miles
  2. Take Exit 111 for Forrester Rd
  3. Turn right onto the ramp to Westmorland/NAF El Centro
  4. Turn right onto Bennett Rd

NAF El Centro Transportation Office

When moving, the Personal Property Processing Office (PPPO) will arrange for the delivery of your household goods. Whether you are doing a Do It Yourself (DITY) or government move with a moving company, PPPO will organize all aspects of your move and is where you will submit your claim for reimbursement for the move.

NAF El Centro Traffic Management Office

Bldg 214 C St NAF El Centro, CA, 92243


: 1 (760) 339-2474

NAF El Centro PPPO Office Hours

  • Monday through Friday:


Entering Naval Air Facility El Centro and Base Amenities

Guards will conduct a 100% ID check at all gates. All visitors must have a valid military ID or proceed to the visitor control center for a pass. Due to current COVID measures, be sure to show your IDs with the barcodes facing the guard so that they may scan them without touching them. Pass information and entry requirements can be found here.

Check-In Procedures for Incoming Personnel

Upon arrival at El Centro, contact your sponsor. If arriving after duty hours, report in the following duty day. In-processing will be conducted through your command and your sponsor should have the check-in procedures and information for you.

You will be directed to the appropriate processing section and should bring:

  • Copies of your orders
  • Medical and dental record
  • Military ID and driver's license
  • Vehicle registration and title
  • Dependent information (marriage certificate if you got married in transit, childrens’ birth certificates, etc.)

NAF El Centro Visitor Center

NAF El Centro Main Gate

2024 Bennett Rd. NAF El Centro, CA 92243


: 1 (760) 339-2673

NAF El Centro DEERS Office

In order to schedule an appointment with the ID Card or DEERS office, use this link.

NAF El Centro ID Card Section/DEERS

CPOIC CSD Bldg 214 C St NAF El Centro, CA 92243


: 1 (760) 339-2623

NAF El Centro DEERS Hours

  • Monday through Friday

    : 0730-1600

NAF El Centro Gate Hours

You must have a valid driver’s license, valid insurance, paper registration, smog check for any vehicle registered outside of California. Motorcycles require a valid motorcycle license and BRC/ARC certification.
  • Main Gate:

    Open 24/7
NAF El Centro Commissary

NAF El Centro Commissary

Pick up groceries, dine, and shop in the department store-style exchanges located conveniently on base.

NAF El Centro Commissary

2nd St, Bldg 210 NAF El Centro, CA 92243


: 1 (760) 339-2558

El Centro Commissary Hours

  • Sunday

    : 1000-1700
  • Monday

    : 0900-1830
    • (0830-0900 for physically disabled patrons)
  • Tuesday

    : 0900-1830
    • (0830-0900 for physically disabled patrons)
  • Wednesday

    : Closed
  • Thursday

    : 1100-1830
    • (1000-1100 for physically disabled patrons)
  • Friday

    : 0900-1830
    • (0830-0900 for physically disabled patrons)
  • Saturday

    : 0900-1830
    • (0830-0900 for physically disabled patrons)

El Centro NEX

Bldg. 201 NAF El Centro, CA 92243


: 1 (760) 339-2950

NAF El Centro Exchange Hours

  • Monday through Saturday

    : 0700-2000
  • Sunday

    : 0900-1800

NAF El Centro Barber Shop

Main Exchange Barbershop

Bldg 201 NAF El Centro, CA 92243


: 1 (760) 339-2597


  • Monday through Friday

    : 0900-1800
  • Saturday

    : 0900-1700
  • Sunday

    : Closed

NAF El Centro Post Office

There is no post office on base. The nearest US Post Office is located:


1801 Park St, Seeley CA 92273


: 1 (800) 275-8777


  • Monday through Friday:

    0900-1300 & 1400-1600

NAF El Centro Finance Office

The Finance Office offers financial help to all service members and their families. Please call ahead to make an appointment.

NAF El Centro Personal Financial Management

1605 3rd St, Bldg 401, Room 119 NAF El Centro, CA 92243


: 1 (760) 339-2482 Active duty, dependents, and retirees are eligible for legal assistance in most areas. For a full list of what services the office can perform and which services on which they can only provide legal advice, check their website here.

Legal Services Office

1605 3rd St, Bldg 401, Room 119 NAF El Centro, CA 92243


: 1 (760) 339-2482

NAF El Centro Library

Most military bases and their respective libraries have plenty of online classes and educational opportunities. Stop by and ask about services offered and check out videos and books in the online collections.

NAF El Centro Library

MWR Office/Community Recreation Center Bldg 202 NAF El Centro, CA 92243


: 1 (760) 339-2559 Hotels Near El Centro, CA

Hotels Near El Centro, CA

Navy Gateway Inns & Suites

2200 Bennet Rd NAF El Centro, CA 92243


: 1 (760) 592-0360


: 24/7 Where Should I Live Near Naval Air Facility El Centro?

Where Should I Live Near Naval Air Facility El Centro?

If you’re considering living on base, check out the available on-base housing options. Otherwise, read on to find out more about living off base.

Cities Near Naval Air Facility El Centro

The naval facility is located near the towns of El Centro and Imperial, CA. Brawley, CA, is another option slightly further north.

Best Places to Live Near Naval Air Facility El Centro

El Centro

A town of 43,699, is right near the border and a military base as well as along a major freeway (I-8) makes this town a little busier and slightly rougher around the edges. The crime rate here is 2% higher than the California average but the cost of living is 30-40% lower with the median home value around $164,900.


Imperial is a small town of about 16,583 with a low crime rate. The median home value is around $194,000 making it very affordable on a military salary.


Brawley, a town of 25,776 is a smaller community with a lower cost of living though with slightly higher crime rates at 8% higher than the California average. The medium home value is $150,100 making it a cheaper option in the area. Look for homes and apartments for rent or sale on AHRN.com.

Hot Tip: Look for base homes and apartments for rent or sale, and find BAH, PCS, TLA & ETS military housing information at AHRN.com.

NAF El Centro Schools

NAF El Centro Schools

Students who reside on NAF El Centro will attend the Seeley Union School District and high school-age students will attend the Central Union High School District, specifically Southwest High School.

Seeley Union School District

1812 West Rio Vista Seeley, CA 92273


: 1 (760) 352-3571

Central Union High School District

351 W Ross Ave. El Centro, CA 92243


: 1 (760) 336-4500

Southwest High School

2001 Ocotillo Dr. El Centro, CA 92243


: 1 (760) 336-4100 Suggested read: NAF El Centro Schools: Daycare – High School NAF El Centro Weather

NAF El Centro Weather

Like most places in the Mojave Desert, El Centro has sweltering hot and arid summers with temperatures as high as 115 degrees in the peak of August days. Winters are cool and dry with temperatures very rarely making it below 35 degrees. Skies are clear year-round with only light winds peaking in mid-May around 9 mph. Make sure you pack plenty of sunscreen and water whenever venturing outside. In this type of climate, you can dehydrate very quickly and sunburn very easily making long, light clothing a priority even in summer to protect against the relentless sun.

Things To Do on NAF El Centro

Nearby Attractions

El Centro is surrounded by pristine Californian wilderness and rich indigenous culture.

Chena Hot Springs

Located 1.5 hours east of El Centro, the resort has hotel rooms, a campground, a dining hall, and even a small airfield for sightseeing tours. Activities include the hot springs, visiting sled dogs, and a year-round ice museum.

Aurora Borealis

If visiting between August 31 and April 21, set your alarm for 1 am to watch the incredible natural phenomenon of the northern lights.

Running Reindeer Ranch

A family-owned ranch that lets you get up close and personal with reindeer! Check out the ranch, see baby calves, and walk with them through a beautiful birch forest.

Denali National Park

One of the wildest and beautiful parks in the country. You can hike, camp, visit sled dog’s kennels, and enjoy the splendor of the California Range. NAF El Centro Restaurants

NAF El Centro Restaurants

Here are three top restaurants located near the base recommended by TripAdvisor.

1. Burgers and Beer, American

260 N Imperial Ave. El Centro, CA 92243


: 1 (760) 353-4431 Great for game day or a family outing, the name says it all. Pub food at its best and plenty of beers on tap.

2. Famous Dave’s Bar-B-Que, American, BBQ

3103 S Dogwood Rd. El Centro, CA 92243


: 1 (760) 352-9044 A classic roadhouse style barbecue restaurant with baskets of fries, biscuits, gravy, vegetables and meat galore!

3. The Courtroom, American

841 W Main St El Centro, CA 92243


: 1 (760) 335-3660 Classic brewpub food with shepherds pie, toasted sandwiches, vegetables, salads, and entrees. Connect with military-trusted businesses and deals exclusively at MyBaseGuide.com. Hot Tip: Connect with military-trusted businesses and deals exclusively for Naval Air Facility El Centro at MyBaseGuide.


Moving out to the desert can be a scary proposition but with the Navy’s help, you can make the transition a little easier. Be sure to make use of the resources on base and lean on your sponsor for help in your transition. This guide should help get you started in your new home so you can focus on taking in the incredible desert landscapes and surrounding areas!

The appearance of U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) visual information does not imply or constitute DoD endorsement.




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