The complete Keesler Air Force Base guide - We Are The Mighty
MIGHTY CULTURE

The complete Keesler Air Force Base guide

Looking for info about Keesler AFB lodging? Or maybe you just have general questions about Keesler Air force Base in general. Either way, we’ve got you covered! This dynamic Air Force Base is located in Biloxi, Mississippi along the Gulf Coast. In the first place, let’s talk about the name. Keesler AFB was named in honor of 2nd Lt. Samuel Reeves Keesler, Jr. Keesler was a Mississippi native who was KIA in France during WWI. Speaking of WWI, check out this review of the National WWI museum. Wondering about the weather at Keesler AFB? It’s hot. No, really, that’s not a joke. It’s super hot. Be prepared to embrace the suck.

When you call Keesler AFB home, you’ll have access to all the usual places you know and love on an Air Force Installation – commissary, housing, medical care, and a library to name a few. You’ll also be really well positioned in Mississippi to head out on fun road trips and explore the region around base. So if you’re looking for Keesler AFB details, look no further. 

civic leaders at Keesler Air Force Base
Keesler Civic Leaders walk aboard a WC-130J aircraft for a tour at Keesler Air Force Base, Mississippi, Dec. 16, 2021. The 403rd Wing provided an up-close tour of the aircraft to Keesler Civic Leaders to familiarize them with their wing mission. (U.S. Air Force photo by Kemberly Groue)

Keesler Air Force Base Location

Keesler AFB is located in Biloxi, Mississippi, on the Gulf Coast. That means it’s about an hour east of New Orleans, LA and an hour west of Mobile, AL. Additionally, you could stretch your driving muscles and make it to Jackson, MS in three hours.

Directions

Keesler AFB can be reached by car using the following routes.

Heading in from the north? Take I-55 S to US-49 S to I-110 S and follow signs to Keesler AFB

Making the trek from the east? Take I-10 W to I-110 S and follow signs to Keesler AFB

Coming from the west? Take I-10 E to I-110 S and follow signs to Keesler AFB

Transportation

Flying to the closest airports: Gulfport-Biloxi Regional Airport, Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport, Mobile Regional Airport

Gulfport-Biloxi Airport (11.2 miles) – Served by 5 major and regional airlines with multiple destinations.

Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport (104 miles) – Served by all major airlines with multiple destinations; the closest international airport; no cab service to Keesler

Mobile Regional Airport (60.2 miles) – Served by American, Delta, and United Airlines with multiple destinations; no cab service to Keesler

Driving: Driving would allow you to visit nearby Biloxi or take day trips to Mobile or New Orleans more easily. Keesler is on the Gulf Coast, so prepare for a long drive!

Prayer at Keesler Air Force Base
U.S. Air Force Chaplain (Capt.) Lavonia Winford, 81st Training Wing chaplain, leads a prayer before the basic military training graduation ceremony at Keesler Air Force Base, Mississippi, July 10, 2020. Nearly 60 Airmen from the 37th Training Wing Detachment 5 completed the six-week basic military training course. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Seth Haddix)

Contacts at Keesler AFB

Airman and Family Readiness Center: (228) 376-8728

Alcohol and Drug Abuse Prevention and Treatment: (228) 376-3452

Base Operator: (228) 377-1110 

Chaplain (Duty Hours): (228) 377-4330

Civilian Personnel: (228) 376-8631

Commander Action Line: (228) 377-4357

Commissary: (228) 377-4288

DEERS Office: (228) 376-8437 or (228) 376-8738

Dental Appointments: (228) 376-0511

Equal Opportunity Office: (228) 377-2975

Exceptional Family Member Program (EFMP): (228) 376-8728

Health Promotion: (228) 376-3171 

Housing Referral Assistance: (228) 376-8614 

ID/CAC Card Processing: (228) 376-8347

Information and Referral Services: (228) 376-8728 

Inspector General: (228) 377-3010

Legal Office: (228) 376-8601

Lodging Reservations: (228) 377-4900

Medical Appointments: (228) 376-2273

Mental Health: (228) 376-0385

Military Family Life Counselors: (228) 209-6280, (228) 299-3801 or (228) 365-0058

Military One Source: (800) 342-9647

Personal Property Processing Office (PPPO): (228) 376-8533 or (228) 376-8530

Personnel Support Office: (228) 376-8347

Pharmacy: (228) 376-0080

Public Affairs (81st TRW): (228) 377-2783

Public Affairs (403rd WG) – (228) 377-2056

Safety Hotline: (228) 377-7233

Sexual Assault Prevention 24-Hour Hotline: (228) 377-7278

Veterinarian Clinic Appointment Line: (228) 376-7495

Violence Prevention Program Manager: (228) 377-2814

Visitors Center: (228) 377-3844

Women’s Health Clinic: (228) 376-0433

Aircraft at Keesler Air Force Base
Members of the 403rd Aircraft Maintenance Squadron at Keesler Air Force Base, Miss., tend to a WC-130J assigned to the 53rd Weather Reconnaissance Squadron after they returned to Keesler from San Antonio Aug. 31, 2021. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Kristen Pittman)

Mission and Units 

Keesler’s primary and most enduring mission is training. Keesler’s mission is not only to train warfighters technically but to develop and inspire them.

In fact, it’s a mission that everyone on base takes seriously. Moreover, it’s the responsibility of the 81st Training Group — the largest electronics training group in the world. On any given day, more than 3,000 students attend classes in one of over 160 courses. The 81st Training Group annually provides training to more than 30,000 officers, airmen, and civilian employees of the Air Force, Air Force Reserve, Air National Guard, Army, Navy, Marine Corps, other DOD agencies, and DOD contractors, as well as allied nations.

Also at Keesler is the 81st Medical Group (one of the largest Air Force medical facilities in the Air Force), the 81st Mission Support Group, the Second Air Force, the 403rd Wing, and the 85th Engineering Installation Squadron.

Panel at Keesler Air Force Base
Keesler personnel participate in a discussion panel during a Juneteenth ceremony inside the Bay Breeze Event Center at Keesler Air Force Base, Mississippi, June 23, 2021. June 19, other wise known as Juneteenth, is an annual observance of the emancipation of slaves in the state of Texas. (U.S. Air Force photo by Kemberly Groue)

Keesler AFB History

In early January 1941, Biloxi city officials assembled a formal offer to invite the U.S. Army Corps to build a base to support the WWII training buildup. In light of the ongoing world war, the idea included an early airport, the old Naval Reserve Park, and parts of Oak Park sufficient to support a technical training school with a population of 5,200 people. The War Department selected Biloxi in March 1941 and activated Army Air Corps Station No. 8, Aviation Mechanics School, Biloxi, Mississippi, in June 1941.

The 81st Training Wing replaced Keesler Training Center in July 1993, taking on the mission of specialized technical training in electronics, computers, maintenance, weather, radar, precision measurement, network controllers, and personnel and information management for the U.S. Air Force, the Air Force Reserve, the Air National Guard, other DOD agencies and foreign nations.

Things to Do Around Keesler AFB

Regatta at Keesler Air Force Base
Team Keesler members compete in the Cardboard Regatta, July 16, 2022 at Keesler Air Force Base, Mississippi. The regatta was held at the Triangle Pool and featured four teams from units across Keesler. (U.S. Air Force photo by Master Sgt. Eric Burks)

Hotels

Hyatt Place Biloxi (3.6 miles)

Hampton Inn Biloxi (3.7 miles)

DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Biloxi (4.3 miles)

Restaurants

Half Shell Oyster House (4.7 miles) – New Orleans-inspired seafood dishes with a side of Southern hospitality

The Grind Coffee & Nosh (8.5 miles) – coffee, breakfast paninis, and cinnamon rolls

Woody’s Roadside (3.1 miles) – burgers

car show at Keesler Air Force Base
Retired U.S. Air Force Col. Nicholas Conyer looks on as his family poses for a photo in front of a 1930 Ford pickup during the 15th Annual Cruisin’ Keesler Car Show at Marina Park at Keesler Air Force Base, Mississippi, Sept. 29, 2018. The event is held to kick off Cruisin’ the Coast, a festival to celebrate classic cars, trucks and hot rods, where vehicles cruise down the 30-mile beachside highway in Mississippi. The event welcomed visitors, classic vehicles and presented several awards presentations. (U.S. Air Force photo by Andre’ Askew)

Activities

Lighthouse Park (3.9 miles) – A five-acre park with a nature trail, playground, pavilion, and visitor center. Of course, this is the perfect spot for an afternoon picnic. Or channel your inner romantic and plan a sunset date at the lighthouse.

Hard Rock Hotel and Casino (4.7 miles) – Enjoy a concert at Hard Rock Live Biloxi, have dinner at the Hard Rock Cafe, or spend time on the Casino floor playing Craps or cards!

Lynn Meadows Discovery Center (8.4 miles) – This children’s museum has interactive exhibits, play areas, summer camps, Girl Scout workshops, and so much more!

Keesler AFB Housing

First things first – call the MHO on base when you get orders. They can give you all the most current info about Keesler AFB housing. After, explore these options that are awaiting you on base. 

Unaccompanied housing is offered for unaccompanied Airmen in the ranks of E-1 to E-3 and E-4 with less than 3 years of service. Each Airman is provided a private sleeping room, furnishings, bed linens and supplies required for comfortable living. Unaccompanied Airmen in the rank of E-4 with greater than 3 years of service and above can live in the local community.

Hunt Communities offers five different neighborhoods for off-base housing needs. Hunt also extends housing to non-military families in the Biloxi and Vancleave areas. Visit the Hunt Communities page for more information. 

You also have the option of seeking housing in the local economy. The MHO office can provide more information regarding the Biloxi rental/purchasing market. 

car show at Keesler Air Force Base
U.S. Air Force Capt. Steve Bishsel, 53rd Weather Reconnaissance Squadron hurricane hunter navigator, and his family looks at an AM General model 35A2 vehicle during the 15th Annual Cruisin’ Keesler Car Show at Marina Park on Keesler Air Force Base, Mississippi, Sept. 29, 2018. The event is held to kick off Cruisin’ the Coast, a festival to celebrate classic cars, trucks and hot rods, where vehicles cruise down the 30-mile beachside highway in Mississippi. The event welcomed visitors, classic vehicles and presented several awards presentations. (U.S. Air Force photo by Andre’ Askew)

Schools Near Keesler AFB 

There are no DoDEA schools at Keesler AFB. However, mil-kids in the area do have the option of attending one of two districts – Biloxi Public Schools or Gulfport Schools. Biloxi has six elementary schools, one middle school, and one high school. Gulfport boasts a learning center, six elementary schools, two middle schools, and a high school.

Parents should reach out to the School Liaison Office for more information regarding school requirements. 

clinic at Keesler Air Force Base
U.S. Air Force Airman 1st Class Sydney Gallaugher, Senior Airman Madison Sutton and Airman Diamond Bonner, 81st Dental Squadron dental assistants, pose for a photo at Keesler Medical Center at Keesler Air Force Base, Mississippi, Jan. 11, 2022. The Airmen man the front desk to check in customers and schedule appointments. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Kimberly L. Mueller)

Frequently Asked Questions

How far is Keesler AFB from the beach?

Keesler AFB is about 10-15 minutes from most of the beaches in the Biloxi area.

What county is Keesler AFB in?

Keesler is in Harrison County in Mississippi.

Are civilians allowed on Keesler AFB?

Yes, but you need an authorized sponsor to pass through the Visitor’s Center. There are public tours, though they are currently closed due to Covid-19 restrictions.

What Air Force job has the shortest Tech School?

When it comes to AF schools, fuels (POL) has one of the shortest tech school lengths. The Air Force fuels tech school is only 31 days. That’s 31 working days, not including weekends.

Do Not Sell My Personal Information