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Dyess Air Force Base in Abilene, TX Texas Military Bases


Dyess Air Force base is located on the southern edge of the city of Abilene, Texas in Taylor County. Abilene has a population of 100,000 people and is considered the economic center of a 22 county area in West Texas. The base is 183 miles southwest of Dallas and 250 miles north of San Antonio. Access to Dyess AFB is easy via Interstate 20 or four major highways. Dyess is home to the B-1B, C-130, and T-38 planes. The major command is the Air Combat Command. The 7th Bomb Wing maintains operations 38 of the B-1B aircraft and conducts training for personnel assigned to maintain or fly those planes. Another major unit is 317th Airlift Group. This group maintains the transport and supply planes. Over 4500 military are assigned to the base and 491 civilian employees are employed there. Dyess AFB is known for being the greenest bases in the air force. It was the first Department of Defense operation to use renewable energy. The base began using wind energy and now uses both wind and biomass energy for power.



Dyess was first established in 1942 and was named the Abilene Army Airbase. In those war years it was basically a temporary war effort location. When the Korean War started the surrounding area lobbied for a military presence. To show their sincerity, the local community was able to raise over $800,000 to purchase land and give it to the Federal government for the purpose of the establishing a permanent base. Then senator Lyndon B. Johnson helped the locals lobby for the base. In 1956 the city was presented with the base. Shortly thereafter it was renamed Dyess Air Force Base in honor of Lt. Colonel William Dyess of nearby Albany, Texas who died in a plane crash refusing to abandon the plane and risk civilian deaths.


From 1962 to 1965 the area around Dyess had 13 missile silos. The silos were manned by the 578th Strategic Missile Squadron as part of the Cold War movement. In 1965 the silos were decommissioned and removed. Over the years the base has been under several commands due to realignment under the Base Realignment and Closure Act.



There are three distinct neighborhoods on base that provide 1136 housing units. Each neighborhood has a mix of single homes and attached homes which are managed by a civilian company. There is a waiting list for housing, but plenty of reasonably priced rental property exist off-base. Any military member from E-1 on up with family is eligible to live in base housing. A limited number of homes have handicapped accessibility. All the homes are new or nearly new. Temporary housing is available for up to 30 days in the Dyess Inn.



There are no schools on Dyess AFB, but the area immediately outside the base has three elementary schools, one middle school and one high school which students are transported to. These schools maintain a population of 90% military dependents from Dyess AFB.

Base Amenitites


The base has a 21,500 square foot commissary and a Base Exchange and mini-mall which feature specialty shops, kiosks, and a food court. The Bank of America is situated in the Base Exchange for convenient banking and shopping. There is also a shoppette and gas station located near housing for convenience.


The base also has a fitness center, bowling alley, child care center, youth clubs, swimming pool, library, movie theater, barber shop, hair salon, optical shop, credit union, and a combined enlisted and officers club.

City of Abilene


Abilene has always been very supportive of the military and has many activities throughout the year that honor the military presence in Abilene. They have an annual BBQ as well as other activities geared to show appreciation for the economic impact the base brings to the city. The climate of the area is considered moderate. It rarely goes below 40 degrees or above 90 degrees. Abilene is known as the City of Churches because it has over 175 churches of all denominations in the city.

Dyess Air Force Base in Abilene on map

Dyess Air Force Base is situated in the southwestern of Abilene, Texas, 180 miles from the western part of Dallas. Dyess AFB houses the 7th Bomb Wing which is allotted to the Air Combat Command Twelfth Air Force. The 7th Bomb Wing is B-1B Lancer, one of the two bomber wings in the United States Air Force. The 7th Bomb Wing mission is to offer world class air power and airmen for the warfighter. The second is the 28th Bomb Wing located at Ellsworth Air Force Base in South Dakota. The base also houses the 317th Airlift Group which functions for the C-130 Hercules aircraft.


Abilene Army Air Base was the original name of the base until it was named Dyess Air Force Base in honor of the Bataan Death March survivor, Leiutenant Colonel William Dyess. Dyes Air Force Base stands in a 6,117 acre land with a population of 13,000 civilian and military people and employs 5,000 personnel with about 200 basic facilities and has housing units for 988 families. Dyes Air Force Base gives at least $310 million in local economy.


Dyess Air Force Base attraction and unique quality is the broad collection of military aircraft that are on display which they call the “Linear Air Park” which the 30 aircraft collection used since the World War II up to the present day aircraft. All of these collections were already used except for one aircraft. The most recent addition to their display of aircraft is B-1B Lancer which they name as “The Star of Abilene” which is seen at the entrance gate to Dyess together with C-130 Hercules.


Dyess Air Force Base is belongs to the greenest bases in the United States Air Force because they made use most of their energy consumption from renewable wind energy like the biomass.

Dyess AFB


Dyess Air Force Base (AFB) is located about 7 miles south west of Abilene, Texas. It covers 6,409 acres. The base hosts the 7th Bomb Wing (7 BW). Which is a unit that operates B-1B bombers, as well as hosts the only B-1B combat crew training squadron, two combat squadrons, a weapons school and a B-1B test and evaluation squadron. The base’s primary tenant organization is the 317th Airlift Group (of Air Mobility Command) that operates C-130H aircraft in support of airlift requirements worldwide.


Dyess employs more than 5,000 people and has an annual economic impact of around $310 million on the local community making it the single largest employer for the area. It has nearly 200 facilities on the base and 988 units of family housing. In total there are around 13,000 military and civilians located on the base.




The base is named after Lt Col William Edwin Dyess, a native of Albany, Texas, who was captured by the Japanese on Bataan in April 1942. Dyess escaped in April 1943 and fought with guerilla forces on Mindanao until evacuated by submarine in July 1943. During retraining in the United States, his P-38 Lightning caught fire in flight on December 23, 1943 near Burbank, CA. He refused to bail out over a populated area and died in the crash of his P-38 in a vacant lot.


Full History


7th Bomb Wing


The 7th Bomb Wing is the host unit at Dyess and is assigned to 12th Air Force at Davis-Monthan AFB, Ariz. The wing is a component of Air Combat Command, headquartered at Langley AFB, Va.


The wing is composed of many units working in unison to support logistic, operations, medical, and support functions and is host to 13 associate units. In a nutshell, the 7th Bomb Wing’s mission is to provide world class Airmen and air power for the warfighter. It is also charged with producing combat-ready aircrews in the Air Force’s only B-1B formal training unit. Groups assigned to the wing include the 7th Operations Group, the 7th Maintenance Group, the 7th Mission Support Group and the 7th Medical Group. In addition, the wing provides host-unit support for the 317th Airlift Group also stationed here.


7th Operations Group


The 7th Operations Group is responsible for executing global conventional bombing directed by proper command authority. It is the Air Force’s largest B-1B operations group comprising 36 B-1s and more than 1,100 people assigned to its four squadrons: the 9th and 28th Bomb Squadrons, the 7th Operations Support Squadron, and 436th Training Squadron. The 7th OG combines the skill and experience of these units to provide heavy worldwide firepower at a moment’s notice anywhere on the globe.


The 9th Bomb Squadron maintains combat readiness to deliver rapid, decisive airpower on a large scale in support of conventional warfare tasks. Squadron experts provide warfighting commanders with the best in operational aircrews and B-1B aircraft. The squadron repairs, services, launches, recovers, and inspects B-1 aircraft capable of sustained intercontinental missions and world-wide deployment/employment from forward operating locations. The 9th BS is the oldest active bomb squadron in the Air Force, and its most recent combat involvement was during Operation Enduring Freedom. The unit flew more than 300 combat sorties during its four-month deployment in mid 2006 in support of the war on terrorism.


The 28th Bomb Squadron is the largest bomb squadron in the Air Force and the largest flying squadron in the command. Its primary mission is to provide all B-1 initial qualification, re-qualification and instructor upgrade training for Air Combat Command. The squadron determines, evaluates and implements formal training requirements to qualify crewmembers in long-range day and night, all-weather and air-to-ground attack missions. Each year, the 28th trains more than 200 active duty B-1 crewmembers. The squadron also maintains conventional combat readiness supporting higher headquarters contingency taskings worldwide.


The operations support squadron is responsible for B-1 combat effectiveness. The squadron directs wing flight operations, conventional mission planning, combat tactics, airfield management, aircrew training, exercise scheduling, aircraft scheduling, weapons and tactics standardization, intelligence integration, war plans, deployment planning, weather support, small computer support, simulator training, air traffic control and wing life support functions.


The training squadron provides formal training to Air Combat Command using 15 schools at Dyess and 38 other programs exported directly to units for local training needs. Training includes command and control, air, ground and weapons safety, Air Force Operations Resource Management System, classroom instructor training, Air Force Mission Support System administration, mission planning cell training, life support and survival, and computer software use and development. The 436th Training Squadron also develops multimedia and formal presentations used in training program development and formal presentations. Multimedia personnel are based at Dyess, and deploy worldwide to perform their mission. Unit products and services are used throughout the DOD.


7th Maintenance Group


The 7th Maintenance Group provides maintenance support to the bomb wing, deployed units and associate units assigned here. Five units are assigned to the group: 7th Maintenance Operations Squadron, 7th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron, 7th Equipment Maintenance Squadron, 7th Component Maintenance Squadron and 7th Munitions Squadron.


The maintenance operations squadron supports the B-1 mission by managing and controlling aircraft maintenance and coordination of support to ensure aircraft availability. The unit also manages the wing’s ancillary maintenance training program. It provides scheduling and analysis of maintenance and flying indicators for wing level decisions on aircraft reliability, ensuring aircraft integrity.


The aircraft maintenance squadron provides on aircraft maintenance assuring mission readiness for assigned B-1s to meet local and higher headquarter taskings. The unit manages aircraft cannibalization program and aircraft inspection programs to keep the B-1 fleet mission ready.

The equipment maintenance squadron provides aircraft maintenance support for B-1B, C-130, transient and special mission aircraft. The unit is responsible for B-1 phase inspections, aircraft parts fabrication, and maintenance of aerospace ground equipment on the base.


The component repair squadron performs on- and off-equipment maintenance on the B-1 and C-130 aircraft at Dyess. The squadron is responsible for the F-101 engine regional repair center, the only one in ACC, performing all major engine repairs for the B-1 fleet. Unit experts repair avionics computer driven flight control, navigation and radar/electronic warfare components. They also maintain all B-1 ejection seats and fuels systems, plus rebuild hydraulic components and overhaul selected electrical components on both airframes.


The munitions squadron provides all munitions support for Dyess’ B-1 fleet. The unit is responsible for storing, maintaining, processing and preparing of all conventional munitions requirements in support of training and combat warfare tasks. The unit is also responsible for maintaining all weapons release systems.


7th Mission Support Group


Dyess operates much like any city and is home to thousands of people. From family services to construction and security, the 7th Mission Support Group keeps the physical installation and its members performing at peak efficiency, while also preparing and supporting the base for its mobility requirements within the Air Force’s expeditionary role. Skilled craftsmen operate a power plant, water plant and wastewater treatment plant making the base self-sufficient. Units meet administrative, educational and communications-computer system requirements for the wing. Other activities include lodging, food service, mortuary affairs, and child development functions.


Recreational activities such as the fitness center, library, skill centers and clubs are vital to the health and morale of the base community. The squadrons assigned to the mission support group are the 7th Logistics Readiness Squadron, 7th Mission Support Squadron, 7th Security Forces Squadron, 7th Services Squadron, 7th Communications Squadron, 7th Contracting Squadron and the 7th Civil Engineer Squadron.


The logistics readiness squadron is responsible for homebase logistics support as well as mobility support of deployed forces. The squadron provides supplies, equipment, and fuel to all base units, receiving and storing more than 388,000 pieces of property, valued at over $211 million.


They fulfill the base’s transportation requirements, managing and maintaining 588 vehicles, operation of the base taxi fleet, aircrew transportation, personal property shipments and recalling and training ready-augmentation-duty force personnel to support deployment exercises, inspections and contingencies. The diverse squadron provides over 4 million gallons of aviation and ground fuels to all government vehicles and aircraft. It also provides all contingency and peacetime deployment planning and execution, war reserve materiel management, base support planning and support agreement management.


The mission support squadron is the focal point for military and civilian personnel matters, education services, family support issues and professional military education. The unit supports military and civilian employees, family members and retirees assigned to or supported by Dyess.


Security forces protect operational resources on the flight line, as well as patrol the entire base in a law enforcement role. The unit maintains a continuous presence in Southwest Asia and keeps several mobility teams in peak readiness for worldwide contingency deployment. The squadron also functions as a base and local community support agency providing services such as pass and registration, combat arms training, armory, investigations, military working dogs, and drug abuse resistance education for students. The services squadron is the most widely diverse organization at Dyess, providing more than 21 different activities for the base populace. The squadron manages programs geared to the health and welfare of the entire base. It also maintains a strong military deployment contingent providing worldwide support.


The communications squadron provides communications-electronics maintenance on meteorological and navigational aid systems, a Doppler weather radar and land mobile and air traffic control radios. It also provides information systems services including computer network, telephone and mail support, and protection and planning for all communications and information systems. The squadron also provides visual information services to include graphic, photographic and video support.


The contracting squadron solicits and awards more than 20,000 contracts worth more than $35 million annually. Unit experts are responsible for handling contracts covering operations and maintenance construction, services, supplies, and environmental contracting for the wing including all deployed units and forces. The staff also provides emergency contracting operations during global contingency deployments and responds to support combat missions worldwide.


Base civil engineers maintain and repair all base facilities, conduct disaster preparedness training, fire protection and prevention activities, manage environmental programs, and handle housing responsibilities for accompanied and unaccompanied personnel. In addition to operating shops with craftsmen skilled in the building trades, the unit is postured with worldwide deployable prime base engineer emergency force contingency teams equipped to deploy on short notice, to sustain them in a battlefield environment and perform wartime repair and construction.

The 7th Bomb Wing staff includes the wing operations center, plans, judge advocate, public affairs, protocol, anti terrorism, manpower, chapel, treaty office, safety, history, comptroller, military equal opportunity, Air Park and visitor’s center, honor guard, wing administration and wing career advisor.


The wing inspector general’s office handles all wing inspections, exercises, IG complaints and fraud, waste and abuse allegations.

Licensed military attorneys and professional military paralegals staff Dyess’ legal office. They provide services such as legal assistance on such matters as wills, powers-of-attorney, domestic affairs, landlord/tenant issues, Soldiers and Sailors Civil Relief Act issues, consumer issues, and tax assistance.


7th Medical Group


The 7th Medical Group provides personalized health care through five military TRICARE Prime teams staffed by board-certified family practice physicians, flight surgeons, pediatricians, internists, general medical officers, physician assistants and nurse practitioners. The facility boasts specialty clinics for optometry, mental health, and general surgery. Additional services include immunizations, laboratory, radiology, physical therapy and pharmacy.


The 7th Dental Squadron provides the full scope of dental care for active-duty members. The staff also provides educational services to base schools and assists other organizations with dental disease prevention programs.


317th Airlift Group The 317th Airlift Group moved from Pope AFB, North Carolina to Dyess AFB on April 1, 1997. Made up of the 39th and 40th Airlift Squadrons, 317th Operations Support Squadron, 317th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron, 317th Maintenance Squadron and the 317th Maintenance Operations Squadron, the group is in the process of converting from 33 1970 era C-130H aircraft to 28 new C-130J-30 stretch version Super Hercules transport aircraft. The conversion is expected to be complete in August 2013.


The 317th was one of the first troop carrier groups formed in World War II and saw extensive service in the Pacific. A few of the group’s more noteworthy achievements during the war included: the dropping of 1,800 paratroopers on Nadzab, New Guinea, in the first mass airborne assault in the Pacific theater; two paradrops during the Philippine campaign; and being assigned to the Occupation Force of Japan. These efforts earned the group two Presidential Unit Citations.


During the Berlin Airlift, the 317th transferred to Weisbaden, Germany, and made 28,830 trips into the blockaded city carrying 290,000 tons of supplies. In 1952, the group was equipped with C-119 flying Boxcars and became the first U.S. Air Force unit to be assigned to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. During one NATO exercise, the 317th flew 1,350 hours in four days, airdropping 1,450 troops into Denmark. In 1957 the group moved to Evreux-Fauville Air Base, France and began its conversion to the C-130A Hercules.


In 1964, the 317th returned to the United States for the first time since World War II. The group moved 4,042 miles in the 52 assigned C-130As with 2,722 people and 1,853 tons of equipment to Lockborne AFB, Ohio. In 1965, the group earned the Air Force Outstanding Unit Award for its participation in the Dominican Republic Airlift. The group’s squadrons began rotational tours to Southeast Asia and took part in numerous combat actions, including the resupply of U.S. Marines during the siege of Khe Sanh.