The Grand Forks Air Force Base that is located in the Emerado, North Dakota is a US Air Force installation that is 26 km west of the Grand Forks. It was opened in the early 1950 and is currently hosting the 319th Air Base Wing, which was assigned to the Expeditionary Center of the Air Mobility Command or AMC. It provides a support to the base and direct operations to wing personnel, three tenants, and nine GSUs. Also, it offers facilities and equipment support for the Homeland and Security department, Customs and Border Protection department, and to the 69th Reconnaissance Group Location.

Cost of Living: 98.5 (near average, U.S. average is 100)

Automated Telephone Attendant Number: (701) 747-1110

Base Population: 2,367

City/Area Population: 434

Child Development Center

Wonder Years

2550 28th Ave S, Grand Forks, ND 58201, United States

+1 701-746-7287

Child Care Resource & Referral

2512 S Washington St # C, Grand Forks, ND 58201, United States

+1 701-772-3435

University Children's Center

525 Stanford Rd, Grand Forks, ND 58202, United States

+1 701-777-3947

Youth Program:

YES Program - Grand Forks AFB

1707 J Street, Building 121, Grand Forks Air Force Base, North Dakota

+1 701-747-3150

Airman and Family Readiness Center:

Grand Forks AFB Airman & Family Readiness Center

575 Holzapple St Bldg 207 Grand Forks Air Force Base, North Dakota

+1 701-747-3241


Office and administrative support occupations (20%)

Installation, maintenance, and repair occupations (17%)

Transportation occupations (17%)

Sales and related occupations (12%)

Law enforcement workers including supervisors (6%)

Architecture and engineering occupations (5%)

Production occupations (4%)

Base Services:

Grand Forks Afb Library

511 Holzapple St, Grand Forks AFB, ND 58205, United States

+1 701-747-3046

Gfafb Auto Skills Center

425 7th Ave, Grand Forks, ND 58205, United States

+1 701-747-3394

Medical Services:

319th Medical Group

1599 J St, Grand Forks AFB, ND 58205, United States

+1 701-747-5601


The Grand Forks AFB was first established on December 1, 1955, where the construction of the primary infrastructures (the runway), begun in the fall of the year. It was only occupied for use on January 28, 1957. And because of its proximity to the third largest city in the state of North Dakota (next to Fargo and Bismarck), it was named after Grand Forks City. Originally, Grand Forks AFB is only an air defense command fighter-interceptor base that is used due to the continuance of Cold war existing between the Soviet Union and the United States.

Founded in 1954, the site was paid by the Grand Forks citizens and the construction began in 1956 where a 12,300-foot runway was built in the 5,400-acre land. The first defense command that was activated at Grand Forks on February 18, 1957, was the 478th Fighter Group. Next to it is the 18th Fighter-Interceptor Squadron in May 1960, which was moved from Wurtsmith AFB, Michigan and flew the F-101B Voodoo until its inactivation and retirement on April 15, 1971. It was then replaced by the 460th FIS that was moved from the Kingsley Field, located at Klamath Falls, Oregon. The 460th FIS flew the F-106 Delta Darts until its inactivation on July 15, 1974.

The role of the Grand Forks Air Force Base was later changed in November 3, 1967 when the Department of Defense had revealed that it was one of the 10 initial locations that will host a Sentinel Anti-Ballistic Missile site. This was followed by an announcement in 1969 with the construction of the “Safeguard” installation, which is considered as the top priority. Yet, what hinders the completion of the installation of Safeguard is that the Congress had debated the merits of the BMD. And when the Senate had managed to defeat the amendments to stop the deployment of Safeguard, the US army has proceeded with the assumption that there will be impending appropriations.

The construction in the North Dakota site was finished due to the ABM Treaty that was signed by US President Richard Nixon and the Soviet Union general secretary Leonid Brezhnev on May 26, 1972. The ABM Treaty had limited each nation to the construction of one site that will protect the strategic forces and another site to protect the “National Command Authority”. On August 21, 1972, the PAR was turned over by the Army Corps of Engineers to the Safeguard Systems Command or SAFSCOM site activation team, while the MSR transfer occurred on January 3, 1973. And because the work on the four remote launch sites had fell behind the schedule, the testing for PAR managed to commence only during the summer of 1973.

The Grand Forks Air Force Base had undergone a lot of changes and restructuring, where the most notable one is when the wing was transferred to the Air Combat Command or ACC in 1992 and followed by the Air Force Space Command in 1993. It was later recommended for realignment by the 2005 BRAC. Although the closure was prevented, it cost a KC-135 tanker mission which result to a reduction of significant personnel. Despite the lost, the unmanned RQ-4 Global Hawk was later assigned to Grand Forks AFB and was re-designated on March 1, 2011, as the 319th Air Base Wing. And starting from 2012, the GFAFB began to receive a number of new Block 40 Global Hawks.


The Grand Forks Air Force Base hosts the 319th Air Base Wing of the Air Mobility Command. It was organized into two groups: the medical support and the mission group – that have certain responsibilities to perform. Aside from these, it also has the following tenants, the Air Force Office of Special Investigation, the 10th Space Warning Squadron, the US Customs and Border Protection, the 69th Reconnaissance Group and the 178th  Reconnaissance  Squadron.


The housing options in Grand Forks Air Force Base include privatized housing, unaccompanied housing and housing in the local community. This is mostly governed by the Housing Management Office in the air force base. They support interested individuals, provide counseling and guidance before closing a housing contract. On the other hand, the median home value for off-base housing is 66.5% that is greater than the state average and is 28% less than when compared to the National average.



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