Newcomer Information

Welcome to Minot Air Force Base
Congratulations on your assignment to Minot Air Force Base. Contrary to some of the rumors you may have heard, Minot is one of the best kept secrets in the Air Force. Yes, it can get cold here during the winter, but it also gets very warm during the summer.

The base, located approximately 13 miles north of Minot, North Dakota, is an integral part of the local communities. The people are friendly, helpful and honestly glad to have you here. Known as the home of Team Minot, the name emphasizes the great working relationship the base has with the community.

Many people have commented, "it's nice to be able to leave your doors unlocked and feel safe while walking alone." The limited "distractions" make Minot a great place to raise a family and build a career.

Whether you like to fish or hunt, or you're an outdoor or winter sport enthusiast, you'll find facilities and surroundings of Minot and North Dakota to suit your taste.

The host unit, the 5th Bomb Wing, is one of two B-52H Stratofortress bomber bases in the Air Force. The base's other major weapons system is the Minuteman III Intercontinental Ballistic Missile, assigned to the 91st Missile Wing.

Throughout the base, you'll find a commitment to quality in every unit encourages you to be part of the process. With quality in action, Minot people can truly boast that, as the sign over the main gate states, "Only the Best Come North."

Please use this guide as an aid to getting acquainted with Minot and the educational, recreational and service facilities available. We have made every attempt to ensure the information contained in this guide is correct. However, some things are subject to change.

Climate
Almost every imaginable type of weather can occur at Minot AFB. In general, conditions tend to be cold, dry and windy. The prevailing wind is from the northwest and, at times, we can have gusts of more than 50 miles per hour. Contrary to popular belief, the base does not receive a large amount of snow. Average annual snowfall is around 40 inches. Of course, winter does bring occasional blizzards in which heavy snowfall, poor visibility, high winds and dangerously low wind chill temperatures combine to make travel virtually impossible.

The base record for the most snowfall in a 24-hour period is 17 inches. Average high temperature for January is 15 degrees, average temperature is 7 degrees. The average low temperature is two degrees below zero. The coldest temperature ever recorded here is 35 degrees below zero.

Some beautiful weather phenomena are a gift of the winter. Falling ice crystals produce "pillars of light" during frigid conditions under clear skies. A radiant splash of color appears against the night sky during active displays of the aurora borealis, commonly known as the northern lights.

Summer can provide its share of hot temperatures. The hottest temperature ever recorded on base was 107 degrees. Average highs in July are 82 degrees with lows of 57 degrees. Thunderstorms are a common sight in the summer. Rain from these storms provides the bulk of the area's yearly precipitation. On the average, our annual liquid precipitation is 17.2 inches. Tornadoes do occasionally occur in North Dakota, mostly in June, July and August.

North Dakota's climate offers a variety of weather to enjoy. You must be ready for occasional harsh conditions in order to successfully "weather" all of our seasons. The weather service operates a 24-hour weather recording which can be heard by calling (701) 453-1130.

Your Sponsor
Your sponsor is an important person who can help with everything from housing to in-processing. Air Force regulations require a sponsor be named after notification of your new assignment.

Sponsors are expected, at a minimum, to write you concerning the base, the unit's mission and your job. Also, your sponsor is expected to meet you on arrival and help you in process. Your sponsor will have the benefit of having experienced the problems you may encounter.

If you do not hear from your sponsor within 60 days of your reporting date, contact your local base Intro/Right Start monitor. Upon arrival, if you are unable to contact your sponsor, personnel at the 24-hour point in the billeting office, Sakakawea Inn, will assist you in contacting someone from your organization. If you encounter any problems before or during your in-processing to Minot AFB, contact the base Right Start monitor at DSN 453-2276 or commercial (701)723-2276. 

If you're unaccompanied, your sponsor may obtain a post office box for you. However, personnel may obtain temporary postal service by having their mail forwarded to:

1000 PSC Box 
Minot, AFB ND 58705-5361

Travelling to Minot
If you're traveling to Minot in the summer, you'll find the weather is warm and pleasant. However, if you're traveling in late autumn, winter or early spring, make sure your car is in good mechanical condition and properly winterized.

Due to the sometimes harsh winter conditions, most people will find an engine block heater a necessity for their vehicle. The device, which is easily attached, will allow for easier engine turnover on cold mornings, especially if your vehicle is not kept in a garage. Block heater parts and installation are available at base and local service stations and automotive dealers as well.

Blankets and extra clothing for all passengers, along with basic survival items: matches, candles, a first aid kit, non-perishable food, fresh water and automotive tools such as jumper cables and tire chains are good ideas to pack. Studded snow tires are optional and may be used from October 15 to April 15. Minot has a mandatory seat belt policy which is strictly enforced. 

Base Housing
You can find Minot AFB housing information at the following site:
www.housing.af.mil/minot/


Lodging
The inn is open 24 hours a day to accommodate the arrival or departure of temporary duty, permanent party, visitor or family travelers to Minot AFB. All lodging is available through the inn's office. Advance reservations for inbound, outbound and temporary duty individuals can be obtained by calling (701)723-2184 or DSN 453-2184. When no temporary living facilities exist on base, families should prepare themselves financially to live downtown until guest quarters on base are open. The desk clerk has complete information on local hotels and restaurants.

Temporary lodging on base includes the visiting airmen quarters, visiting officer quarters and the temporary lodging facility.

VAQ rooms feature private bedrooms - most with shared baths. Our senior NCO quarters have private baths included in the two room suites. Features of the VOQ include superbly decorated private rooms with shared baths and two-room suites with a private bath.

The TLF offers families a modern efficiency apartment. Each of the 39 units offers sleeping space for five, a crib, color televisions with basic cable programming, a kitchen complete with utensils, dishwasher, 16-cubic-foot refrigerator, thermostatically-controlled heating and air conditioning and a private bath. A complete handicap-accessible unit is also available to guests with special needs. Laundry facilities are available at no charge. A playground on site makes a convenient area for guest's children. 

Household Goods
It's important to contact the 5th Transportation Squadron Traffic Management Office as soon as you arrive on Minot AFB. Their operating hours are from 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Friday.

Call DSN 453-1848 or (701)727-1848

If your property arrives before you do, or you can't find suitable living quarters immediately, you're authorized 90 days of storage at government expense. You may be liable for paying that expense if you don't give TMO your delivery address as soon as you know it

Window Tinting
North Dakota motor vehicle law, Air Force and Minot AFB regulations state persons may not operate a motor vehicle with tinted front windows unless the tinting allows light transmissions of at least 50 percent. This does not apply to windows behind the driver if the vehicle is equipped with outside mirrors on both sides.

Most likely, if your vehicle has had any tinting added to the factory-installed tinting, it will be illegal. Minot AFB security police will test the percentage of light passing through your vehicle windows free of charge. Law enforcement patrols will issue citations for illegal tinting on base, while Minot Police or Ward County Sheriffs Office cruisers will present tickets to off base violators.

Check your window tinting at the law enforcement desk. Members of the 5th Security Forces Squadron will be glad to test your windows between 7:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday. Please call DSN 453-4434, if you have any questions.

Driver's License
Base safety office personnel can provide military family members with more information about state licensing requirements. To call the safety office, dial DSN 453-2239/3305 or (701)723-2239/3305. 

Firearms
When you arrive, notify the duty security police of any firearms or other weapons in your possession. No weapons are allowed in temporary living facilities on base, including the Sakakawea Inn and dormitories. Proper storage and registration instructions are available from the main gate sentry.

First Term Airman Center
The First Term Airman Center is designed to aid all first-duty-stationed airmen with their transition from a systematic and regimented environment into a hands-on employment of the airmen's skills, knowledge and training gained from technical school.

In the old days reporting to your first Air Force duty station following technical school could be confusing for a first-term Airman, and frustrating to supervisors. New Airmen would report to their duty section, and then have to leave for various appointments needed for in-processing such as finance, military personnel flight, base medical clinic, legal office, etc.

There are many briefings required either by federal law, or military regulations for first-term Airmen reporting to their first duty assignment. Unfortunately, in the past, these briefings and appointments were scheduled separately. FTAC combines all the necessary appointments and required details into a single two-week period.

Additionally, each base has their share of details that are not covered by contractors, and have to be performed by the lower-ranked airmen. These tasks can range from painting or cleaning up the common areas of a dormitory. During FTAC, some Airmen may be required to fulfill some of these duties.

Upon completion of the program, Airmen have a better understanding of the rules and regulations in which we live by day-to-day in the military.