Nellis AFB became well-known as a test base for new aircraft and today the base is still home to the Nevada Test and Training Range.
Many training exercises are held throughout the year because of the ideal weather and flying conditions in the area. There are over 300 days of sunshine per year and very little rain, making Nellis AFB an excellent training site.
The main units stationed at Nellis AFB include the USAF Warfare Center, which operates a large training facility and the 99th Air Base Wing, the 53rd Test and Evaluation Group, 57th Wing, the USAF Thunderbirds Demonstration Squadron, 505 Operations Group and the 926 Group, an Air Force Reserve Unit. There are an estimated 11,000 active duty members, along with 3,700 civilian workers and about 14,000 family members.
The nearby city of Las Vegas is known for entertainment opportunities and exciting nightlife. Eight miles from Nellis AFB, Las Vegas is easily accessible to military and their families. Major Broadway style entertainment is usually appearing in Las Vegas and famous entertainers put on shows nightly. Las Vegas is home to many shopping opportunities and a wealth of restaurants.
Recreational opportunities are found in Red Rock Canyon, about 40 miles from Nellis AFB. Visitors enjoy mountain climbing, hiking, biking and other outdoor recreational activities and beautiful scenery there. Another interesting outdoor recreation site is located in the Valley of Fire State Park.
Las Vegas is known for museums and for its rich and storied history. There are also a wealth of sports opportunities. A minor league baseball organization called the Las Vegas 51’s and the University of Nevada Running Rebels men’s basketball team are two popular examples. The 51’s are a triple-A minor league team associated with the New York Mets.
On base, schools are operated by the Clark County School District. About a third of all students in Clark County go to school on a year round basis. In addition to public schools, magnet schools are also available for students with special skills and interests. There are also youth programs open on the base for students from age 6 to 18. There is a youth center complex which has space for sports events and activities.
The two main health care facilities for military residents are the Mike O’Callaghan Federal Medical Center and a VA hospital facility run by the VA Southern Nevada Healthcare System. Both inpatient and outpatient care is offered by these facilities. Many doctors are also located throughout the community for those who want off base care.
Nellis Family Housing is situated in a new community built to become home for military and their families. Only 15 minutes from the famous Las Vegas Strip and 30 minutes away from Lake Mead, housing is designed to be family friendly and close to activities. Temporary lodging is available on a first come first served basis and is limited due to many exercises held at Nellis AFB during the year. It is advised to make reservations for temporary housing as far in advance as possible.