Updated On: 1/31/2013 2:04:52 PM
Welcome to Sheppard Air Force Base, the largest and most diversified training center in Air Education and Training Command. Sheppard’s relationship with its host communities, Wichita Falls, Burkburnett, Iowa Park and surrounding areas, is one of the best in the Air Force. We hope you will find this guide helpful as you become acquainted with the base and local area.
About Your Sponsor
Your sponsor can help with everything from housing to in-processing. He or she is expected, at the very least, to write you concerning the base, your unit’s mission, and details about your new job. Upon your arrival, your sponsor will assist with in-processing and help resolve problems. If you have not been appointed a sponsor before departing your current duty station, call the military personnel flight’s INTRO office (Customer Service Center) at DSN 736-2224 or commercial (940) 676-2224.
You can obtain a U.S. postal box at the U.S. Post Office located on base, Building 551. Postal Service Center (PSC) boxes are available at no charge to personnel living in the dorms. Prior to your arrival, use the following temporary address for your mail:
527 I Ave., General Delivery
Sheppard AFB, TX 76311-9999
After you get here, check with the PSC for any hold mail you might have. You may also obtain a PSC box at the time if you need one. You’ll need a copy of your PCS orders. You can reach the PSC at DSN 736-5641 or commercial (940) 676-5641. The U.S. Post Office is in the same building. Their hours are Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.; and Saturday, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. For more information, call (940) 855-3319.
How to Get Here
At present, the only commercial airline serving Wichita Falls Municipal Airport is American Eagle. Commercial taxi service is available from the airport to the base (approximately two miles). If driving, all highways leading to the base are well marked once you get into Wichita Falls. The main gate is on State Highway 240, off Interstate 44 (U.S. Highways 287 and 281).
The Sheppard Visitor’s Center is located in Building 1405 on Missile Road off of Highway 240, Old Burkburnett Road, and serves as the gateway to Sheppard Air Force Base. The Visitor Center provides temporary passes for both short- and long-term visits to the installation. All sponsors must direct their non-Department of Defense affiliated guests to the Visitor Center where all visitors will be verified and passes will be issued. The Visitor Center is also the focal point for functions and special events for guests who have no DoD affiliation. The facility also houses pass and identification and contractor pass and registration support functions. Sheppard Air Force Base no longer requires individuals to have a DD Form 2220, Vehicle Registration Sticker, on their vehicle. All individuals who possess a DoD CAC or military ID card may gain access to the installation by presenting their ID card at Installation gates. When asked, drivers must be able to provide proof of vehicle insurance.
24-Hour Arrival Point
When arriving at Sheppard, go to the 24-hour arrival point—Sheppard Inn, Building 1600 on Avenue J. Personnel at the reservation desk can help you. From the Main Gate, make a right turn at the first light upon entering the base. Turn left onto Avenue J and the Sheppard Inn is on the right.
Once you terminate your leave, report to your Group Commander’s Support Staff Office to start your in-processing. When reporting during duty hours, military members must be in compliance with Air Force dress and appearance standards. The personnel clerk in your CSS will schedule you for the necessary appointments (i.e., Accounting and Finance, Traffic Safety, Base Newcomer’s Orientation, etc.). Your personnel records will be collected by your Group CSS. If you have prior military service or you received a direct commission and this is your first permanent duty assignment, bring any documents pertaining to your entry on active duty, i.e., orders, DD Form 4, etc., to your unit CSS. Those arriving after duty hours should report to the 24-hour arrival point (The Sheppard Inn) and to their appropriate squadrons and Group CSSs for in-processing the next duty day.
New Civilian Members
Civilians should report to the civilian personnel office, Building 402, at the times scheduled in notification letters.
Official phones on base have a 676 prefix. Whether calling from a base phone or an off-base phone, dial 676 and the desired four-digit extension. The 851 and 855 prefixes serve the housing areas and a small number of unofficial phones on base. From off base, the Sheppard information operator is at (940) 676-2511. The on-base information number is 113. To dial off base from an on-base phone, dial 99 plus the desired local number. To make a call on the Defense Switched Network, dial 94 plus the seven-digit DSN number. Sheppard’s DSN prefix is 736.
Very valuable information is available at Sheppard Start, the base’s newcomer’s orientation. You’ll be introduced to Sheppard’s mission, policies, procedures and facilities, as well as information on some helpful services available to you in Wichita Falls. Spouses are welcome and highly encouraged to attend; however childcare services are not available. Your unit CSS schedules you for the orientation.
The Duty Day
Duty hours for Sheppard organizations are controlled due to the excessive traffic flow during reporting and departing hours. Each organization has an established duty-hour schedule including lunch periods.
Duty Uniforms and Personal Appearance
Unless otherwise directed, the uniform of the day for Air Force personnel on Sheppard is the woodland pattern Battle Dress Uniform (BDU), the Airman Battle Uniform (ABU), or flight suit. Wearing utility uniforms as our daily duty uniform serves to remind us, and those whom we come in contact with, of the true nature of our job. Permanent-party members assigned to Sheppard serve as role models for the thousands of new Airmen we train here each year. It is important that all military members maintain the highest standards of military dress, customs and courtesies. Prescribed standards of personal appearance and behavior should be strictly followed. Customs and courtesies, including salutes and respect for the flag, are expected from every member of the Sheppard community. The standards observed here by our students are the standards they will take with them to their first duty stations.
The 82nd Security Forces Squadron is responsible for base security and law enforcement on Sheppard proper. Base security and emergency services for the Freedom Estate Housing (formerly Capehart) area is provided by the City of Wichita Falls through a contract with Balfour Beatty Communities. The law enforcement desk sergeant can be reached at (940) 676-2981. Sheppard has two gates open 24 hours a day: the Main and Missile Road Gates. The Hospital Gate is open for inbound traffic only from 6 to 8 a.m. and for outbound traffic only 4 to 6 p.m. Base security forces have a very aggressive crime-prevention program. Narcotics and explosive detection dogs are used extensively throughout the base to deter crime and illegal drug use. The security forces can also provide quarters and vehicle security checks for members on leave or TDY.
Anyone residing in government quarters must register all weapons and ammunition with security forces immediately upon arrival, or immediately upon firearm purchase. This is done by obtaining an AF Form 1314, Firearm Registration, through unit commander’s support staff office. With assistance from security forces, proper storage will be determined depending on where the member lives and the types of weapons owned. Personnel residing in dormitories or temporary quarters must, regardless of duration of stay, check all firearms into the security forces armory. For more information, call (940) 676-5165/2981.
The Texas Department of Public Safety recognizes the home-state driver’s licenses of out-of-state military members. It also recognizes, until expiration, the state license of military members’ previous duty assignments. Texas residents returning after an assignment in another state must renew licenses within 45 days. The nearest DPS driver’s license office is at the corner of Interstate 44 and Missile Road.
Motorcycle Rider Information
Motorcycle owners are not allowed to register motorcycles until completion of Course IV-B, Experienced Rider Course, or can show documentation of completion of a Motorcycle Safety Foundation-approved course. For more information, call (940) 676-4149 for class dates.
Those who must register vehicles in Texas have 30 days to do so. The nearest Texas Department of Motor Vehicle Registration Office is located on the corner of Sixth and Scott streets in Wichita Falls.
Base Traffic Rules
Unless otherwise posted, the speed limit on
Sheppard is 25 mph. In the housing areas, it’s 20 mph and 10 mph in parking lots. Use extreme caution when approaching Airmen in Training marching in formation. Slow to 10 mph and observe the directions of the formation leaders. Currently, the Sheppard Supplement to AFI 31 204, Motor Vehicle Traffic Supervision, prohibits the use of cell phones while entering the base. The use of cell phones is prohibited while driving, unless the driver is using a hands-free device. Texting while driving is not permitted. The use of radar detectors is illegal on any DoD installation. Parking is permitted only in marked, designated parking spaces. Recreational vehicles must be parked at the RV lot operated by the 82nd Force Support Squadron. Additional information concerning traffic hazards and driving situations unique to Sheppard and the Wichita Falls area is presented to all newcomers at the Traffic Safety Course II, Local Conditions. Military members and civilian employees must attend this course within 30 days of arrival. Family members 16 and older are encouraged to attend the course on a space-available basis. For more information, call (940) 676-4149.
Seat Belts/Child Safety Seats
According to Department of Defense and Air Force instructions, everyone in a vehicle, on base, must wear seat belts. When driving on and off base, any military member or civilian employee operating a vehicle must wear seat belts. All children younger than 8 years old, unless taller than 4’9” are required to be properly secured in a child passenger safety seat system. Once a child reaches 8 years old, they are not legally required to be in a child passenger safety seat system. If the child is younger than 8 years old, but they are already 4’9” tall, they are not legally required to be in a child passenger safety seat system. If a child is years old or older and not yet 4’9” tall, they are not legally required to be in a child passenger safety seat system. Child passenger safety seat system includes traditional car seats with harnesses AND booster seats—both high-back and backless versions. The law also requires that safety and booster seats be installed and used according to the manufacturer’s instructions, including age, height and weight requirements and the placement in the vehicle. If you have questions regarding proper infant car seat installation, contact the Family Advocacy Program at (940) 676-2271 or the 82nd Training Wing Safety Office at (940) 676-4149. The technicians there can help you properly install infant, toddler and booster seats as well as provide assistance when it’s time to determine when the child is ready to safely use the vehicle’s seat. Car seat safety classes and appointments are taught by certified child passenger safety technicians.
All vehicle operators assume implied consent when driving in Texas. When stopped for suspicion of drunk driving, the driver will receive a breath or blood alcohol level test. The legal drinking age in Texas is 21. For those under the legal drinking age, any detectable blood alcohol content is considered legally drunk and the license will be suspended. If a driver receives a driving-while-intoxicated conviction, first-time offenders face a $100 to $2,000 fine, confinement (for two days to two years), a possible probation and removal of driving privileges. Sheppard has an aggressive program to discourage DWI/DUI. Participation in programs such as Airmen Against Drunk Driving, designated driver and the buddy system is strongly encouraged. Those apprehended for DWI/DUI will lose base driving privileges and receive stiff punishments.
It is illegal to leave children 8 years old and younger unattended in motor vehicles. Children aged 9 to 11 may be left unattended for no longer than 15 minutes, as long as the keys are removed from the ignition and the emergency brake is applied.
Pets housed on base must be registered within one week of arrival. To register, current inoculation certificates are required. Texas requires annual rabies vaccinations, which may be obtained at the animal disease prevention and control facility. Appointments can be made on Monday, Thursday and Friday, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Appointments are available Tuesday and Wednesday, 9 a.m. to noon and 1 to 3 p.m. For more information, call (940) 676-6883.
Temporary Lodging Facilities
Temporary quarters are available to PCSing families and to the families of hospitalized patients on a reserved basis. Some units can accommodate a family of four. Reservations for temporary lodging can be made through the billeting office by calling (940) 676-1844/2707.
Single permanent party members in grades senior Airmen and below with less than 36 month TIS are required to live in base dormitories unless waived by the 82nd TRW commander, or designated representative. Housing for unaccompanied members (officer and enlisted) is limited.
Family Housing and Privatization
Presently, Sheppard has three housing areas: Freedom Estates (formerly Capehart), Wind Creek Village (formerly Wherry) and Heritage Heights (Formerly Bunker Hill). Floor plans vary from two- to four-bedrooms; all units are centrally heated and air-conditioned and equipped with dishwashers, stoves, refrigerators and garbage disposals. GMH Military Housing was selected as the private sector contractor in 2007 to lead Sheppard into the housing privatization initiative. Since then, Balfour Beatty Communities (BBC) has taken over the privatization efforts. The company proudly provides homes and builds communities for our nation’s military members and their families, on and off bases throughout the United States. Their mission is to create communities where residents and their families feel completely at home. It begins with visionary planning, followed by high-quality construction, and continues with professional management that is caring and responsive. This commitment to residents has earned them a well-deserved reputation. Essentially all homes at Sheppard will be replaced or renovated over a course of three to five years. As the development progresses, existing structures will be replaced by newer designs with greater square footage. All service members eligible for family housing may contact the housing management office or BBC to request an application for privatized housing or visit the losing station housing office prior to PCS. Waiting times vary due to PCS and renovations. The BBC Office is located at 505 Nehls Blvd. Hours of operation are Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.; and Wednesday, 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. For more information, call (940) 613-0709 or visit their website at www.sheppardfamily housing.com.
Anyone not immediately assigned government quarters (family or UOQ/UEQ) must visit the base housing office before making arrangements to rent, lease or purchase housing off base. Information on housing in the surrounding communities is available to all military, retired military and transferring DoD civilian employees at the Automated Housing Referral Network’s website, www.AHRN.com. The Housing Management Office is located in Building 373, 310 H Ave. and is open Monday, 7:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.; and Tuesday through Friday, 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. For more information, call (940) 676-1840.