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NAS Fallon Navy Base in Fallon, NV Nevada Military Bases
Although it is relatively new compared to many US military facilities built prior to World War I, NAS Fallon is the first military base dealing with both air to ground and air to air military operations. It is located pretty close to Fallon, in the western part of the state. It is spread over 84000 acres, containing training fields for both ground and air sessions, not to mention about the bombing ranches. It is also the place where TOPGUN is located. Civilians only know TOPGUN from the famous movie starring Tom Cruise. For a military soldier, TOPGUN is equal to the Naval Fighter Weapons School. It is hosted on site since 1966. The base has an unofficial name too – Van Voorhis Field, in the memory of Bruce Van Voorhis, who was decorated with the Medal of Honor for his heroic actions. He was killed in 1943, at 38 years old. He was awarded with the medal after his death.
The history of this base starts with a small airfield that was opened in 1942. It was a defensive measure taken by the United States of America against a potential invasion from Japan. Soon after it was opened, the place was taken over by the US Navy. It was used for training sessions since then, except for a 5 years break between 1946 and 1951. During these years, the base was operated by the Bureau of Indian Affairs. Although the naval air station was useful during all the conflicts of the United States of America, it was never “worked on” until 1972. The first day of the year came with a huge plan to improve and upgrade the facility. It was the time when the US Navy finally realized the importance of this base, not to mention about its strategic location. By the end of the 20-th century, NAS Fallon Nevada could brag with one permanent unit only – the Desert Bogeys. The Desert Bogeys used this place as a home from 1987 until 1996.
TOPGUN was relocated to the base in 1996, following a few reconstructions due to a base closure and realignment commission. Some bases were closed, others had to change their objectives, while others needed to merge in order to remain operational. At the same time, this one was actually improved. More schools and units were brought at the base during those years.
These days, a wide part of NAS Fallon is an actual museum, including radars, armored vehicles or exotic equipments used in other parts of the world. This is the only area that is open to civilians.
The Commanding Officer at NAS Fallon has been given the responsibility to deal with the housing opportunities for the newcomers. The students attending any of the on site schools will be hosted in the camps around them, without any applications. Things are different for troops and superiors. They need applications and have to wait in order to get on top of the waiting list. If they miss two returning calls, their applications are canceled. If you are a pet lover, you are allowed to 2 pets only. They must not be exotic animals.
NAS Fallon is part of the Navy Region Southwest located in Churchill County, Nevada. The cost-of-living here is average, with the exception of housing which is above average. Although relatively isolated, NAS Fallon is only a short drive from some of the finest outdoor recreation areas in the country. If you like to fish, hunt, boat, hike, camp, ride off-road vehicles or ski, the area surrounding Fallon is ideal. Ghost towns, historical sites and old mines tell of Nevada’s old west history. Yet, there is big city excitement nearby. Carson City, Nevada’s state capitol, and Reno with its 24-hour entertainment are only an hour away.
The end of WWII eliminated the need for an airstrip and Fallon was placed in caretaker status until the Korean War. New construction followed and in 1958, the landing strip was named after LCDR Bruce Van Voorhis, a Fallon native who lost his life and won the Medal of Honor for his valor in a bombing mission against the Japanese in the Solomon Islands in 1944. The early 1960’s saw millions of dollars in development funds invested to expand the station and its bombing ranges to prepare aircrews for duty in Vietnam. In 1972, Fallon was designated a Naval Air Station and now serves as the primary aircraft familiarization and weapons training site for Navy Carrier Air Groups and Marine Corps Air Groups prior to deployment. The Naval Strike and Air Warfare Center (NSAWC) provides advanced tactical air-to-ground and air-to-air combat instruction.
Our mission is to operate and maintain an airfield, and associated bombing and electronic warfare ranges. Also, to provide weapons training for tactical aviation units of the Navy, Marine Corps and other such aviation units as may be directed by the Chief of Naval Operations. Fallon also operates and maintains an intermediate maintenance activity to provide logistic and maintenance support to tenant and transient aviation units.
NAS Fallon’s approximately 5,000 military/civilian/contractor personnel and family members represent almost 20% of Churchill County’s population. Other nearby DOD activities include Hawthorne Army Depot, about 75 miles south of Fallon, and various National Guard and Reserve units in the Reno/Carson City area.
Currently, there is no base transportation on this installation.
Please call the NAS Fallon Command Services Office at 775-426-2525/2713 if you have not received contact information from your sponsor. If you are flying into the Reno-Tahoe International Airport, you need to contact your sponsor at least two to three days prior to arrival and make arrangements to be picked up. The airport is about an hour and half from Naval Air Station Fallon. If you have not made prior arrangements, you can call 775-426-2715 and make arrangements with the Duty Driver, but plan on waiting an average of three to four hours for the Duty Driver to arrive. If you choose this option, plan to spend the night in Reno. The taxi fare to Naval Air Station Fallon from the Reno-Tahoe airport, which is only reimbursable in certain circumstances, will exceed $100.00. Arriving personnel should check-in at the NAS Fallon Quarterdeck in Bldg. 350 inside the main gate. Mail enroute should be forwarded to Mail Room, Bldg. 350, NAS Fallon, NV 89496-500.
Several lodging options exist, including Combined Bachelor Quarters (CBQ), Navy Lodge, local motels in Fallon (6 miles away), and Recreational Vehicle (RV) Parks including one on base run by Morale, Welfare, and Recreation (MWR). Reservations should be made well in advance of your stay as Fallon rooms fill quickly when Carrier Air Groups (CAGs) are in town.
Relocation Assistance is located in the Fleet and Family Support Center (FFSC) in Bldg. 309. The FFSC can be reached at 775-426-3333. A variety of relocation services are available such as pre-move planning and newcomer’s programs, Plan My Move database and Welcome Aboard Packets. Soon after arrival you will be scheduled for NAS Fallon Base Indoctrination. Spouses are welcomed and encouraged to attend. FFSC has a Loan Locker with many hospitality items such as dishes, silverware, pots, pans, and bedding. These are available to military service members and families while waiting for your household goods to arrive.
Critical Installation Information
Isolated duty screening is mandatory for PCS transfer to NAS Fallon. It is your responsibility to ensure that you and your family have passed isolated duty screening. The Fallon area is considered remote/isolated duty with limited local medical services available. Improper screening could also result in unnecessary expenses incurred by both the service member and the Navy.
If you are married or a single parent and are bringing your family, plan on having $3,500.00 to $5,000.00 in cash and/or travelers checks for start-up expenses including rental and security deposits, utility deposits, and other initial costs. This money can be accumulated from advance dislocation allowance, per diem and travel. See your local Customer Service Detachment Office for specific information on all the advance pays and allowances you are authorized.
If you are considering being a geographic bachelor at NAS Fallon, you must first contact the Base Master Chief at 775-426-2855 to submit a formal request. Requests will be authorized based on need and space availability.
Frequently Called Numbers on Base
EMERGENCY PHONE NUMBER: 911COMMAND DUTY OFFICER (CDO): 2715
AREA CODE IS 775 AND PREFIX IS 426 UNLESS NOTED
DSN PREFIX FOR BASE PHONE IS 890
DC Administrator (805) 982-4663
CDC Director 423-5808
Child Development Homes 423-0220
Dental (Branch Dental Clinic):
Appointment Desk 2811
Branch Director’s Office 2676
Dental Officer 2952
LCPO Office 2951
Navy Lodge 2818
Inspections / Self Help 2895, or 2987
Medical; Branch Medical Clinic:
Administration 3103, or 3140
After Hours, Contact 3100
Aviation Medicine 3120
Command Master Chief 3136
Exceptional Family Member Coordinator/Overseas Screening Coordinator 3111
Health Benefits Advisor/TRICARE 3102
Medical Record 3100
Nurse (Civilian) 3114
Nurse (Military) 3106
Occupational Health 3120
Officer in Charge 3105
Patient Contact Representative 3136
Preventive Medicine 3146
Senior Medical Officer 3100