The U.S. Military has had a presence in the general location of Offutt AFB since the opening of Fort Crook in 1896. Since then, the site has been rebuilt, reorganized and has changed names twice: first as Offutt Field under the Army Air Corps, and then as Offutt AFB under the then new U.S. Air Force. Offutt was named for a Nebraska-born military pilot named Jarvis Offutt. Offutt died in 1918.
The largest unit on Offutt AFB is the 55th Wing. The mission of the 55th Wing is multi-pronged, covering reconnaissance, intelligence, surveillance, command and control, and electronic attack for Air Force operations around the world. The 55th Wing has several subordinate units including the Mission Support Group, the Communications Group, the Electronic Combat Group, the Medical Group and the Operations Group. The Air Force Weather Agency is also located on Offutt AFB.
Offutt AFB is 10 miles from Omaha, Nebraska. Immediately across the river from Omaha is Council Bluffs, Iowa. Within the two cities, a wide variety of entertainment, recreation and shopping venues enhance the livability of the area. The Omaha Civic Auditorium hosts large-scale events such as concerts, theater performances and even the circus. As for nightlife, many Omaha bars feature karaoke, as well as beer clubs, UFC matches and dance parties. Council Bluffs has casinos such as the Horseshoe, Ameristar and Harrah’s casinos.
Although there are no major league teams in the local Omaha area, residents enjoy travelling to Kansas City to see the Royals and the Chiefs, or to Minnesota to see the Twins, the Vikings the Timberwolves and the Minnesota Wild Hockey Team. College sports teams from Creighton University and University of Nebraska also offer exciting sports action.
The Bellevue Public Schools serve Offutt AFB with three elementary schools on the base, as well as middle and high schools within the community of Bellevue. Central Elementary, Lewis and Clark Middle School and Bellevue West Senior High School are among the highest rated schools in the Offutt area. Hospitals include Bergan Mercy Medical Center, Boys Town National Research Hospital, Children’s Hospital, Creighton University Medical Center, Douglas County Hospital and Glenwood Resource Center.
On-base housing has been privatized and is managed by Rising View Properties. Housing is available for military members of all ranks and their families on a space-available basis. There are many inexpensive off-base houses and apartments to choose from within the Bellevue and Omaha areas. Temporary lodging facilities are available on base; reservations are required. A limited number of units are pet-friendly. If one of these units is not available, pets can be boarded at local kennels.