The complete base guide to Beale Air Force Base - We Are The Mighty
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The complete base guide to Beale Air Force Base

When you call Beale Air Force Base home, you’ll be within driving distance of all the great things California has to offer. Home to the 9th Reconnaissance Wing, Beale is home to a fleet of U-2 Dragon Lady planes, along with MC-12 Liberty aircraft and RQ-4 Global Hawk aircraft. The 9th RW is responsible for collecting intel that directly impacts decisions relating to national defense. As if that weren’t enough, Beale is also home to a chemical warfare service depot. The base is also home to lots of wildlife. In fact, land preservation is one of the major missions of this installation. If you’re heading to Beale, read on to find out just what to expect when you arrive. 

Overview 

The area is right with history and cultural heritage, making it an interesting place to call home. In fact, the installation maintains almost 40 Indigenous Peoples historical sites, 41 WWII sites, and 45 homestead sites that show what the earliest days of Beale AFB were like. These days, the installation covers 23,000 acres and is home to over 4,000 service members. Prepare for really hot summers and cold, wet winters. 

The Lodging Office (also called the Gold Country Inn) is the base’s 24-hour arrival point and needs to be your first stop. You must be in uniform to in-process and will need to have PCS orders in hand. Your sponsor should meet you at the Lodging Office. 

Beale Air Force Base flyover
A formation of T-38 Talons flyover Beale Air Force Base, California, as they prepare to conduct a flyover to local medical facilities May 9, 2020. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Luis A. Ruiz-Vazquez)

Beale AFB Location

Beale is located approximately 8 miles east of Marysville, California. It is located outside Linda, about 10 miles east of the towns of Marysville and Yuba City, and about 40 miles north of Sacramento

Directions

Traveling from the east or west on I-80: 

Highway 65 provides the easiest access to the base. 

From the south in I-5: 

Take the Highway 70/99 turnoff just north of Sacramento and follow the signs for Marysville. Beale’s access appears just before the city limits of Marysville.

Driving from the north on I-5: 

Take Highway 20 at Williams, and it will take you to Yuba City and Marysville. Once in Marysville, take Highway 70 until you see the Beale access sign.

Beale is a large base in terms of land and has five gates providing access on all sides of the base. 

Gates

Main gate: Schneider Gate, inbound lane open 0600-0800, Monday – Friday.

Doolittle and Vassar Lake Gates are open 24 hours a day. 

Grass Valley Gate is open 0600-0800, Monday – Friday. 

Wheatland Gate is open 0500-2100 daily. 

Transportation

If you’re heading to Beale AFB by plane, more than likely you’ll be coming through Sacramental International Airport.

Of course, you can choose to use other airports, but Sacramento is the most convenient. It’ll take about an hour to get to base, depending on the time of day and traffic. 

Contacts at Beale AFB 

Airman and Family Readiness Center, (530) 634-2863

Barracks/Single Service Member Housing, (530) 634-2794

Base Operator, (530) 634-3000

Child and Youth Registration and Referral, (530) 634-4717

Child Development Center, (530) 634-4717

Civilian Personnel Office, (530) 634-2255

DEERS Customer Service, (530) 634-3187

Deployment/Mobilization in PFRP, (530) 634-2863

EFMP Family Support, (530) 634-2863

Family Advocacy Program, (530) 634-3424

Hospital/Medical Treatment Facility, (530) 634-4831

ID/CAC Card Processing, (530) 634-3187

Information and Referral Services, (530) 634-2863

Law Enforcement, (530) 634-2131

Legal Services/JAG, (530) 634-2928

Library, (530) 634-2314

Loan Closet at Family Readiness Center, (530) 634-2863

New Parents Program, (530) 634-3420

Personnel Support Office, (530) 634-4005

SNAIC-EFMP Enrollment, (530) 634-6268

VA Facilities, (530) 751-4500

Veterinary Services, (530) 634-2104

Victim Advocate/Sexual Assault Response Coord., (530) 634-4400

Welcome/Visitors Center, (530) 634-2953

Youth Center, (530) 634-4953

Beale Air Force Base security
A 9th Security Forces working dog handler provides security for the Beale Air & Space Expo April 27, 2018, at Beale Air Force Base, California. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Tristan D. Viglianco)

Mission and Units

Beale’s mission is to deliver superior reconnaissance capability and combat power in support of national objectives. This is achieved through a force partnership between active duty, reserve and CA Air National Guard cooperation. 

Beale’s host wing is the 9th Reconnaissance Wing, part of the Sixteenth Air Force, Air Combat Command. The wing collects intel and flies the USAF fleet of Lockheed U-2 “Dragon Ladies.” Because of this, the installation maintains a high level of readiness and can deploy on short notice. Here’s what it’s like to be strapped into the U-2, in case you’re wondering.

Additionally, the 9th Mission Support Group, Medical Group, 9th Operations Group and 9th Maintenance Group are also embedded at the installation. You’ll find other units there too, including an air refueling station for the Air Force Reserve Command. Other units include the 548th Intelligence, Surveillance, Reconnaissance Group, the 7th Space Warning Squadron (21st Space Wing), and the 12th Reconnaissance Squadron (319th Reconnaissance Wing).

Beale AFB History

Beale Air Force Base opened its doors in 1942 as a training camp for infantry divisions preparing for WWII. Back then, the installation was nearly four times as large and was home to 60,000 service members. 

After WWII, the Army handed ownership of Beale to the Air Force. A few years later, a bombing and gunnery range was constructed. 

Unlike most installations, Beale isn’t named for a famous aviator. Edward Fitzgerald Beale was a 19th century pioneer who graduated from the Naval Academy. He served in the California State Militia, earning the rank of Brigadier General. 

Beale Air Force Base history
A Stearman Model 75 taxis the runway during the Beale Air & Space Expo April 27, 2018, at Beale Air Force Base, California. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Tristan D. Viglianco)

Things to Do Around Beale Air Force Base 

Don’t let its remote location fool you. There’s tons to do around Beale, if you know where to look! From golfting to arcades and plenty of outdoor recreation, the area really does have it all.

Hotels

America’s Best Value Inn Marysville, (530) 742-8586

Best Western Yuba City Inn, (530) 674-1650

Bonanza Inn & Suites Yuba City, (530) 674-8824

Comfort Suites Marysville-Yuba City, (530) 742-9200

Gold Country Inn, (530) 634-2953

Food Scene

Nearby Yuba City boasts a thriving food scene, thanks in part to its great selection of upscale restaurants and down-to-earth eateries. There’s something for everyone when you stroll downtown. Yuba is the world leader in the production of almonds, walnuts, prunes, and rice so there are tons of locally owned places to grab a bite and experience farm fresh goodness. 

The surrounding countryside is full of wineries and farms, so there’s always a new place to visit. You can easily relax and unwind while taking in the beautiful California scenery. 

If you’re looking to stretch your wings, nearby Sacramento is known as the Farm-to-Fork capital of America. 

Activities

You’ll never run out of options when you call Beale home! The Sierra Nevada mountains are just a quick drive away and offer all sorts of hiking and camping options. Don’t miss out on seeing Fairy Falls, a waterfall that’s worth the effort to see. 

Beale Air Force Base Outdoor Adventure Center, (530) 634-2054. The OAC can help plan summer trips and winter adventures and everything in between. You can also rent grills, boats, and even bouncy houses! 

Don’t miss the Sutter County Museum in nearby Yuba City. This museum chronicles the local history and contains more than 15,000 artifacts and over 7,000 photographs. 

In Marysville, check out the Museum of Forgotten Warriors. This interactive museum covers every military conflict from the Civil War to the present. 

Beale Air Force Base easter
Easter bunny visits Beale Air Force Base, California, April 11, 2020. The Easter bunny visited Beale AFB to spread some much needed cheer to the children and families of Recce Town as they all do their part to stave off COVID-19. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Luis A. Ruiz-Vazquez)

Beale AFB Housing

Balfour Beatty owns and manages all Beale AFB housing. To apply for military housing, contact the Military Housing Office as soon as you receive orders. 

The closest city to base is Yuba City. It’s just west of the installation and the city is home to Sunsweet Growers, the largest dried fruit processing plant in the world.

Other cities include Marysville and Wheatland. Both are fairly small towns. Keep in mind the cost of living in California is high, even in smaller locations. You might want to explore on-base housing options.

As you might expect, Airmen ranks E1 – E-3 and E-4s with less than 3 years of service are required to live in the barracks. 

Schools Near Beale AFB

If you live on base, your mil-kid will be able to attend Lone Tree School, an elementary school on the installation.

No matter if you live on or off base, middle school students will attend Bear River Middle School.

Wheatland High School serves students grades 9 -12.

Bus services are available. Speak with the School Liaison Office for more information. 

Beale Air Force Base healthcare
Lt. Gen. Dorothy A. Hogg, Air Force Surgeon General (center), and Chief Master Sgt. Steve Cum, medical Enlisted Force Chief and Enlisted Corps Chief (right),visit the Dental Clinic, Feb. 11, 2020 at Beale Air Force Base, California. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman Luis A. Ruiz-Vazquez)

Frequently Asked Questions

What is Beale Air Force Base famous for?

Beale is known as the eyes and ears for the COCOMs and America’s leaders rely on the base’s awareness and capabilities. 

How far is Antelope from Beale AFB?

Antelope is about 50 miles from Beale. 

What county is Beale AFB in?

Beale is located in Yuba county. 

Can civilians get on Beale AFB?

Yes, but civilians need to be accompanied by a DoD ID card holder and will need two forms of ID. One must be a state issued ID card or driver license; the other must be either a social security card, birth certificate, or passport. 

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