In 1940, the War Department began scouting for a potential depot location in the central United States. In 1941, Oklahoma City was selected, and the Oklahoma City Air Depot was built.
At the site, Douglas Aircraft produced C-47 Skytrains and A-20 Havocs during World War II. Production stopped in 1945.
In 1948, the base was named after Major General Clarence L. Tinker. During the early 1990s, Tinker AFB assisted in Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm. In 1992, the Naval Strategic Communications Wing One relocated to Tinker AFB.
Tinker AFB manages aircraft and aircraft components, including software. The United States Navy maintains the shore-based Strategic Communications Wing One on Tinker AFB. The base hosts the 72d Air Base Wing and several other units. The Air Force, Navy, and the Department of Defense all maintain a presence on base.
Oklahoma City, the capital of Oklahoma, is historically and economically connected to Tinker AFB. The city is home to many museums and theaters, including the Oklahoma City Museum of Art. Parks and botanical gardens are also popular recreational spots in the city. Baseball teams are a popular attraction in Oklahoma City, with the Oklahoma City RedHawks being one of the most watched teams.
Tinker AFB is roughly three hours away from Dallas, a major travel destination for residents of the Oklahoma City area. Dallas is a popular choice for conventions and other events. Other reasons to visit Dallas include the food, the Dallas Cowboys professional football team, and cultural exhibits.
Tinker AFB does not operate K-12 schools on base, so students attend one of the many school districts in the Oklahoma City metropolitan area. Private school options are also available. The 72d Medical Group provides medical services to service members and family enrolled in Humana Prime.
Privatized housing on base is managed by Balfour Beatty Communities. The Air Force Housing website contains information about options and availability. Rental and buyer properties are available off base. Housing costs in the area are generally lower than the national average.
Temporary Housing is available at the Indian Hills Inn. Campground lodging spaces are also available.