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Ellsworth Air Force Base, South Dakota

B1-B Lancer

Military Mission

Ellsworth Air Force Base (AFB) comprises 6,223 acres (5,409 acres of which are owned by the Department of Defense) and is located approximately 10 miles northeast of Rapid City and just north of the City of Box Elder, South Dakota. The host unit at Ellsworth AFB is the 28th Bomb Wing assigned to the Air Combat Command's Twelfth Air Force. The 28th Bomb Wing, one of only two B-1B Lancer strategic bomber wings in the U. S. Air Force, has the mission to deliver decisive combat power for global response. The 28th Bomb Wing is divided into the 28th Operations Group, the 28th Maintenance Group, the 28th Mission Support Group, and the 28th Medical Group. The installation population, approximately 8,000, includes military members, family members, and civilian employees. The installation’s sister city, Rapid City, has a population of 68,000. There also are approximately 3,800 military retirees in western South Dakota.

Joint Land Use Study Planning Process

The two primary goals of the JLUS are to protect the operational and training mission of the installation and to protect the health, safety, and welfare of citizens living and working near Ellsworth AFB. These goals can be accomplished through the community's improved understanding of the flight and other operations at the base and through improved local land use and airspace planning. The JLUS planning process resulted in recommendations for changes to regulatory and non-regulatory policies regarding compatible land use and airspace capacity around Ellsworth, allowing the community to better manage compatible use concerns near the base.

Implementation Strategy

The South Dakota Ellsworth Development Authority was created in 2009 via South Dakota House Bill 1301. The Authority is the JLUS implementation sponsor, partnering with local, state, and federal agencies on behalf of the base and the citizens of South Dakota.

The Authority's mission is to:

  • ensure that the State of South Dakota is always a great place for the Department of Defense to conduct its essential national defense mission at Ellsworth AFB;
  • work hand-in-hand with local governments, the private sector, and property owners to promote the health and safety of those living or working near the base;
  • protect and promote the economic benefits of Ellsworth AFB and associated industry; and
  • work with the installation and local communities to prepare for additional growth opportunities and Defense missions at Ellsworth AFB.

Community Website: www.ellsworthauthority.org