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Beale Air Force Base

Beale, California

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Base History \ Arrival


History

Beale Air Force Base was named for Edward Fitzgerald Beale (1822-1893), the nineteenth century pioneer. Edward Beale graduated from the Naval Academy, served in the California militia, and led the experiment to replace Army mules with camels. Camp Beale opened in October 1942, as a training site for the 13th Armored and the 81st and 96th Infantry Divisions. During World War II, Camp Beale's 86,000 acres were home for more than 60,000 soldiers, a prisoner-of-war encampment, and a 1,000-bed hospital. In 1948, the camp transferred from the Army to the Air Force. The Air Force conducted bombardier and navigator training at Beale and in 1951 reactivated the Beale Bombing and Gunnery Range for aviation engineer training. The base has been under several commands, including: Air Training Command, Continental Air Command, Aviation Engineer Force, the Strategic Air Command, and since June 1, 1992, Air Combat Command. In May 1959, Colonel Paul K. Carlton assumed command of the recently activated 4126th Strategic Wing. The first two KC-135s arrived two months later on July 7, 1959. On January 18, 1960, the 31st Bombardment Squadron with its B-52s arrived at Beale to become part of the wing. The 14th Air Division moved to Beale from Travis AFB, one week later. On February 1, 1963, SAC re-designated the 4126th as the 456th Strategic Aerospace Wing. On September 30, 1975, the 456th Bombardment Wing deactivated and the 17th Bombardment Wing activated in its place. On September 30, 1976, the 100th Strategic Reconnaissance Wing at Davis Monthan AFB, Ariz., became the 100th Air Refueling Wing and moved to Beale. Many of the people and the tankers that had been part of the 17th now became members of the 100th. The 17th Wing's B-52s moved to other bases. The 100th ARW stayed at Beale until March 15, 1983, when the Air Force deactivated the wing and consolidated its refueling mission and assets into the 9th Strategic Reconnaissance Wing. From 1959 until 1965, Beale was support base for three Titan I missile sites near Lincoln, Chico, and the Sutter Buttes. On July 1, 1979, the 7th Missile Warning Squadron brought the Phased Array Warning System (PAVE PAWS) Radar site to Beale. This 10-story structure can detect possible attack by sea-launched ballistic missiles or track a global satellite. On October 15, 1964, the Department of Defense announced that Beale would be the home of the new, supersonic reconnaissance aircraft, the SR-71 "Blackbird." The 4200th Strategic Reconnaissance Wing activated on January 1, 1965. The new wing received its first aircraft, a T-38 Talon, on July 8, 1965. The first SR-71 did not arrive until January 7, 1966. On June 25, 1966, the 9th Strategic Reconnaissance Wing, that began as the 9th Observation Group in 1922 and its 1st Strategic Reconnaissance Squadron activated as the 1st Aero Squadron in 1913, replaced the 4200th. The first U-2 arrived from Davis-Monthan on July 12, 1976.

Until January 26, 1990, when budget restrictions forced the retirement of the SR-71, Beale AFB was the home of two of the world's most unique aircraft. In July 1994, the 350th Air Refueling Squadron transferred from Beale to McConnell AFB, Kansas, taking the last of the KC-135Q tankers with it. Tankers returned in 1998 when the 940th Air Refueling Wing, an Air Force Reserve unit, transferred to Beale. In 2001, the 12th Reconnaissance Squadron activated at Beale as the parent organization for the GLOBAL HAWK, the Air Force's newest high-altitude reconnaissance platform. So today, Beale AFB is again the home for the U-2 reconnaissance aircraft, the T-38 jet trainer, the GLOBAL HAWK, and the MC-12 Liberty. Visitors enter the base through a main gate that local merchants, individuals and the Beale Military Liaison Committee donated $100,000 to construct

 

Location

Beale AFB is located in Yuba County, 13 miles from Marysville, California.  It is approximately 50 miles north of Sacramento, the California state capitol, and 140 miles east of the culturally rich San Francisco Bay Area. Beale AFB is surrounded by rice fields and grazing land. Sacramento Valley Area which includes Beale Air Force Base is a high cost area.

Directions

Directions to Beale AFB

Arriving by Air

  • You will land at SMF (Sacramento International Airport) which is about 53 miles from the base.
  • Have your sponsor meet you and/or your family at the airport since there is no military shuttle to or from the airport.
  • Cabs from the Airport to Beale costs around $150 and up.
  • There is a commercial airport shuttle that comes to Beale. To make reservations please visit the Super Shuttle website. Cost is around $65 to $85. The Super Shuttle will drop you off at the Gold Country Inn. There is no on base transportation to go to TLF or other lodging facilities from the Gold Country Inn.
  • Renting a car at the Airport is possible, but is not a reimbursable expense.
  • To drive to Beale: Follow the Airport Exit to Interstate 5 (South); Take I-5 south toward Sacramento - go 2.4 mi; Take the CA-70/CA-99 exit toward Marysville/Yuba City; Continue on CA-70 north at the CA-70 North/CA-99 north split; Continue on CA-70 to North Beale Rd.; Follow North Beale Rd to the Schneider Gate - 13 mi. It is open seven days a week, 5:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m.
  • If arriving after 9:00 p.m. (or before 5:00 a.m.) exit CA-70 at McGowan Parkway (Exit 16) and turn right, continue on McGowan Parkway and turn right to CA-65 S, continue to South Beale Rd and turn left
  • Follow South Beale Rd to the Wheatland Gate - 10 mi. The Wheatland Gate is open 24 hours per day, seven days per week.

Arriving by Car

Entering California via Interstate 80 in Reno, Nevada

Easiest:

  • Take Interstate-80 west toward Sacramento

  • Take the CA-65 exit toward Lincoln/Marysville

  • Merge onto CA-65 N  to Marysville

  • Turn right at South Beale Rd.

  • Follow South Beale Rd to the Wheatland Gate - 10 mi. It is open 24 hours per day, seven days per week.

Shortest (not recommended if arriving after 9:00 p.m. or before 5:00 a.m.):

  • Take Interstate-80 west toward Sacramento

  • Take the CA-20 west exit toward Grass Valley/Nevada City, exit #161

  • Continue on CA-20 west (a right turn) - go 26.5 mi

  • Turn right at N Beale Rd

  • Continue on CA-20 west (a right turn) - go 26.5 mi

  • Continue on CA-20 west/CA-49 south - go 4.9 mi

  • Continue toward CA-20 west/Marysville - go 0.2 mi (right)

  • Continue on CA-20 - go 12.4 mi

  • Turn left on Smartville Road

  • Turn left at the sign leading to the Grass Valley Gate of Beale AFB (Chuck Yeager Road) - approximately 1 mile. The gate is open seven days per week from 5:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. daily.

Entering from Southern California

  • Take I-5 north toward Sacramento/Yuba City

  • Take the CA-70/CA-99 exit toward Marysville/Yuba City

  • Continue on CA-70 north (right fork) at the CA-70 north/CA-99 north split

  • Continue on CA-70 to North Beale Rd.

  • Follow North Beale Rd to the Schneider Gate - 13 mi. It is open seven days a week, 5:00 a.m to 9:00 p.m

  • If arriving after 9:00 p.m. (or before 5:00 a.m.): exit CA-70 at McGowan Parkway (Exit 16) and turn right, continue on McGowan Parkway and turn right to CA-65 S, continue to South Beale Rd and turn left 

  • Follow South Beale Rd to the Wheatland Gate - 10 mi. The Wheatland Gate is open 24 hours per day, seven days per week.

  • Entering from Northern California

  • Take I-5 south toward Sacramento

  • Take the CA-70/CA-99 exit toward Marysville/Yuba City

  • Continue on CA-70 north (right fork) at the CA-70 north/CA-99 north split

  • Continue on CA-70 to North Beale Rd.

  • Follow North Beale Rd to the Schneider Gate - 13 mi. It is open seven days a week, 5:00 a.m to 9:00 p.m.

  • If arriving after 9:00 pm (or before 5:00 a.m.) continue on CA-70 south to the junction with CA-65 south, continue left to CA-65 south (Wheatland/Roseville), Take CA-65 to South Beale Rd and turn left.

  • Follow South Beale Rd to the Wheatland Gate - 10 mi. The Wheatland Gate is open 24 hours per day, seven days per week.

After Your Arrival

If you arrive during business hours, please report directly to your unit.  If it is after business hours, please report to Gold Country Inn located at 24112 A St.  First thing the next business day, report to your unit.  If you do not know where your unit is located and your sponsor cannot be contacted, report to the Military Personnel Section located in the Consolidated Support Center at 17855 Warren Shingle Rd.

Base In-Processing is held at the Military Personnel Section every Monday, Wednesday and Friday at 9:30 a.m.  Individuals must be in uniform to in-process.