There was a joke that went around years ago told by those stationed at Ellsworth to newcomers who would incredulously ask, "Why Ellsworth?" The standard reply was, "It beats Thule!" Although ...
A service member assigned to TDY (Temporary Duty) or who has PCS (Permanent Change of Station) orders to Ellsworth Air Force Base, located near Rapid City, in South Dakota will be with a unique military community; it’s home of the 28th Bomb Wing Squadron, which is one of two squadrons that base and fly the B-1B Lancer Long-Range Strategic Bomber.
For those in transit or assigned here, there is government housing and unaccompanied housing on-base and local housing off-base. Tip: Those looking to live off base can check out the DoD sponsored website (AHRN.com) for rentals near military installations. There are also four pet-friendly lodging units available for those who have them.
Those that have children will find on base the Douglas School District which serves kindergarten through 12th grade. Also a Child Development Program and Family Child Care Program is available on base to serve smaller children 6 weeks on up.
Military dependents and spouses who accompany the service member to Ellsworth AFB have job preference for openings on base. Otherwise, there are jobs available off base. The job unemployment rate in South Dakota is at 4.4 percent, which is ranked third lowest in the U.S. (BLS, 2012)
For family entertainment, located just 7 miles east of Rapid City on Interstate I-90 is the Air and Space Museum. Admission is free. Small kids may also like the Dinosaur Park which is also close to the base and is free. Just take I-90 exit 57 and go towards 940 Skyline Dr. to get there.
The average annual temperature in South Dakota is 45.2 °F. The temperature does rise in the summer: normal July temperature, 74°F.