Military Base Guide: Little Rock Air Force Base, Arkansas
Little Rock Air Force Base in Little Rock, Arkansas, is an Air Mobility Command Base where the 19th Airlift Wing serves as host unit. At press time, more than 13 thousand people, including military, DoD civilians, and contractors, work at the base.
According to the Department of Defense, Little Rock AFB has “the largest C-130 fleet in the world with responsibilities ranging from supplying humanitarian airlift relief to disaster victims to airdropping supplies and troops into hostile areas.”
314th Airlift Wing, 189th Airlift Wing of the Arkansas Air National Guard, and the 913th Airlift Group of the Air Force Reserve are all partner agencies at Little Rock AFB.
Little Rock AFB (LRAFB) opened in 1955, partly thanks to a donation of land by those who lived nearby. In the earliest days of the base, it was a Strategic Air Command (SAC) operation, hosting the SAC 384th Bombardment Wing and the 70th Reconnaissance Wing.
By the time the Cold War was underway, Little Rock was positioned to be a major part of America’s nuclear deterrent force; Little Rock AFB was responsible for 20 Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles or ICBMs.
The Cuban Missile Crisis would be an important time for the base; the LRAFB 384th Bomb Wing deployed 11 Boeing B-47 Stratojets to civilian airports during the crisis. That same year, 1962, Strategic Air Command would create the 308th Strategic Missile Wing, an important part of the LRAFB ICMB program.
The 1970s saw the first C-130 Hercules aircraft operating from the base; it would not be long before Strategic Air Command gave up control of the base in favor of Tactical Air Command.
That wasn’t a change in name only; the mission began shifting toward C130 cargo/transport aircraft and ultimately, Little Rock became a Military Airlift Comand base (MAC) in 1974.
The Gulf War found Little Rock AFB flying C-130 squadrons out to support the war; the same year 314th Tactical Airlift Wing was redesignated as the 314th Airlift Wing (314 AW).
The base changed hands, major command-wise, multiple times until the base became a training installation for C-130 crews. As such, the base falls under Air Education and Training Command; today, Little Rock Air Force Base is the main C-130 Hercules training base for C-130 pilots, navigators, flight engineers, and loadmasters across all branches of military service.
Little Rock is home to the Clinton Presidential Library, the Little Rock Central High School National Historic Site, and while the University of Arkansas Razorbacks are in Fayetteville, they are much beloved all over the state, including Little Rock.
The local area includes many attractions centered on outdoor activities; Pinnacle Mountain State Park and Riverfront Park are both must-see destinations in the area. Scavenger hunt tours are popular here- an informal way to get to know the local area. Scavenger hunt tours are big business here; many competing companies offer these fun activities when the season is in full swing.
There is plenty of local shopping in the River Market District and if you need a bike-riding trail, the Arkansas River Trail awaits.
Mission and Units
Little Rock AFB is home to the 19th Airlift Wing, mentioned above as being “the largest” C-130 fleet in the world.”
The base is also the home of the 314th Airlift Wing, the 189th Airlift Wing of the Arkansas Air National Guard, and the 913th Reserve Airlift Group. Another activity, 29th Weapons Squadron, is a “geographically separated unit” part of the USAF Weapons School at Nellis AFB, Nevada. The 29th provides advanced training for C-130 pilots.
Other important units at Little Rock Air Force Base have included:
- 19th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron (19 AMXS)
- 19th Airlift Wing (19 AW)
- 19th Civil Engineering Squadron (19 CES)
- 19th Communications Squadron (19 CS)
- 19th Component Maintenance Sqdn (19 CMS)
- 19th Comptroller (19 CPTS)
- 19th Contracting Squadron (19 CONS)
- 19th Equipment Maintenance Sqdn (19 EMS)
- 19th Force Support Squadron (19 FSS)
- 19th Logistic Readiness Squadron (19 LRS)
- 19th Maintenance Operations Squadron (19 MOS)
- 19th Medical Group (19 MDG)
- 19th Medical Operations Squadron (19 MDOS)
- 19th Medical Support Squadron (19 MDSS)
- 19th Mission Support Group (19 MSG)
- 19th Operations Support Squadron (19 OSS)
- 19th Security Forces Squadron (19 SFS)
- 29 Weapons Squadron
- 314th Maintenance Group (314 MXG)
- 314th Operations Group (314 OG)
- 34th Combat Training Squadron (34 CTS)
- 373rd Training Squadron (373 TRS), DET 4
- 48th Airlift Squadron (48 AS)
- 50th Airlift Squadron (50 AS)
- 53rd Airlift Squadron (53 AS)
- 61st Airlift Squadron (61 AS)
- 62nd Airlift Squadron (62 AS)
- 714th Training Squadron (714 TRS)
- 96th Aerial Port Squadron (96 APS) (AFRC)
In-Processing and Check-In
As part of your check-in process at Little Rock Air Force Base, expect an in-processing appointment at the Walters Community Support Center.
At this appointment, you will have a variety of appointments, including the Traffic Management Office for your household goods, Military Personnel Station, Finance, and Medical Group. This must be accomplished within 72 hours of arrival.
The Little Rock AFB Child Development Center offers childcare services for children six weeks to five years old. The Infant Toddler Center also offers care for children between six weeks and two years old. Weekly care is available but there is a waiting list; go to Militarychildcare.com to sign up.
Due to high demand, full-time care may require you to join a waiting list, but child care is also offered through approved on-base private homes participating in the Family Child Care program (FCC).
To enroll your child in any Little Rock AFB child care programs, expect to be asked for the following:
- Current Immunization
- Completed CDC Contract
- DD Form 2652 (fee application)
- AF Form 1181 (patron registration)
- Household income information
- USDA Food Form
- Credit Card number on file
Call 501-987-3156 or DSN 312-731-3156 to learn more about child care in an FCC home.
According to the DoD, if you have orders to Little Rock Air Force Base you should review your housing options at the Air Force Housing official site or call the Privatized Housing Office at Little Rock AFB at 501-987-8227 or 501-987-6429.
The Little Rock Base Housing Office can help you with a variety of PCS-related housing issues:
- Shared rentals
- On and off-base housing options
- Listing your own properties for rent to other military families
- Contacting other base housing offices
Related: Military Housing Allowances (with a calculator)
PCS and TDY Lodging
If you travel on orders to Little Rock Air Force Base, you have Temporary Lodging (TLF) options for up to two bedrooms. You may need to discuss your arrival with the reservation desk if you need more space.
If you travel with pets, know that your options may be more limited, and you must make reservations to accommodate your animals. All pets must be accompanied by proof of current rabies shots. If you are on PCS orders, you may stay in TLF for 30 days maximum.
Call 1-888-AF LODGE (1-888-235-6343) for more information.
Clinton National Airport/Adams Field is the closest airport to Little Rock Air Force Base. Roughly 20 miles from the base, you may find the usual taxis, shuttles, ride-sharing, and other services may be available depending on the day and time of arrival.
If you aren’t sure about navigating the local area, discuss your arrival with your sponsor.
Vehicle Registration And Driver’s License
No base decals are required to operate a privately owned vehicle on base at LRAFB, and no on-base registration is required. All vehicles must be properly insured, seat belt use is mandatory, and if you want to operate a motorcycle on base, you may be required to take a safety course.
Military members may be permitted to use out-of-state driver’s licenses if current. Family members are required to get an Arkansas driver’s license within 30 days of arrival in the state.
Those living on base at Little Rock AFB with school-age children may send them to Lester Elementary School, Jacksonville Middle School, or Jacksonville High School. There is also an on-base charter school option called Flightline Upper Academy School, a middle school in the Jacksonville Lighthouse Charter School District. Demand for this program may be high; expect a waiting list.
Families who live off-base will send their children to schools based on where they live; contact the Little Rock AFB School Liaison Office at 501-987-1941 for assistance registering new students.
To enter Kindergarten in the State of Arkansas, students must be five years old by 1 August of the current school year.
State law requires immunizations:
Colleges and Universities
The Jacksonville-Little Rock Air Force Base University Center is a partnership between the city of Jacksonville and Little Rock Air Force Base. According to DoD literature, “The facility offers more than 46,000 square feet of educational space,” and if you seek higher education while stationed at Little Rock Air Force Base, your options may include the following:
- Webster University
- University of Arkansas, Fayetteville
- Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University
- Southern Illinois University, Carbondale
- Park University
- Arkansas State University-Beebe
Contact the Little Rock Air Force Base Education Office/University Center at 501-987-3417 to learn about your options at the University Center or any of the individual schools represented.
Related: Military Tuition Assistance
Little Rock Air Force Base
Little Rock AFB, AR 72099-5288
- (501) 987-1110
- DSN 312-731-1110
Important Little Rock Air Force Base Contact Numbers
- 24-hour Check-in Point – (501) 987-6753
- Air Force Aid Society (501) 987-6801
- Airman & Family Readiness Center (501) 987-6801
- American Red Cross (877) 272-7337
- Central Appointments, 19th Medical Group (501) 987-8811
- Child Care, Family Day Care (501) 987-3156
- Child Development Center (501) 987-6130
- Civilian Personnel Office (501) 987-3212
- Consolidated Dorm Management Office (501) 987-1011
- Exceptional Family Member Program (501) 987-8480
- Housing Referral Office (501) 987-6429
- Information and Referral Program (501) 987-6801
- Legal Office (501) 987-7886
- Lodging Office (Razorback Inn) (501) 987-6753
- Military Personnel Section Customer Support (501) 987-6831
- Personal Financial Management Program (501) 987-2667
- Relocation Counseling (501) 987-6801
- School Liaison Officer (501) 987-2667
- Sexual Assault and Prevention Response (501) 987-7272
- Suicide Prevention Hotline (800) 273-8255
- Transition Assistance Program (501) 987-6801
- Traffic Management Flight (501) 987-3582
- Civilian Personnel Office (501) 987-3212
- Little Rock AFB Child Development Center (501) 987-6130
- Little Rock AFB Infant/Toddler Center (501) 987-6070
- SNAIC – EFMP Enrollment (501) 987-6801
Related: Military Spouse Benefits Guide
About the author
Joe Wallace is a 13-year veteran of the United States Air Force and a former reporter/editor for Air Force Television News and the Pentagon Channel. His freelance work includes contract work for Motorola, VALoans.com, and Credit Karma. He is co-founder of Dim Art House in Springfield, Illinois, and spends his non-writing time as an abstract painter, independent publisher, and occasional filmmaker.