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Your Creech Air Force Base Area Guide

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Near Indian Springs in Clark County Nevada, Creech Air Force Base is home to the 432d Wing, and the MQ-1 Predator and MQ-9 Reaper remotely piloted aircraft systems. Up until the mid-2000s, Creech was known as the Indian Springs Air Force Auxiliary Field. It was officially named Creech Air Force Base in June of 2005 in honor of Gen. Wilbur L. "Bill" Creech, the commander of Tactical Air Command from 1978 to 1984.

WHERE IS CREECH AIR FORCE BASE?

When you hear Creech AFB, most people think, "Great! We're PCSing to Las Vegas!" While it is some 35 miles northwest of Sin City, it feels like a world away. Nellis AFB is 45 miles to the southeast.

CREECH AFB HOUSING

There is no on-base housing at Creech AFB. The town of Indian Springs which is outside the gates at Creech has a population of just 1,100. Certainly, housing is priced very reasonable, but many prefer a decent commute over "living in the middle of nowhere."

The closest housing on an installation is offered at Nellis AFB some 45 miles away. Nellis housing is privatized and operated by Hunt Military Communities which offers several communities with ranch-style single-family homes and detached duplexes which are pet-friendly and in gated communities. Many who are assigned to Creech AFB choose to live on-base at Nellis to be near "civilization."

Most who choose to live on Nellis AFB take advantage of the base-to-base shuttle which is a two-hour round trip commute between Nellis and Creech. FedVan, a veteran-owned company provides free commuting options for service members at Creech Air Force Base. The company was founded out of a need to reduce commuting costs for Airmen at Creech," Desert conditions are hard on vehicles, and the price of gas can become a real financial strain.


OFF-BASE HOUSING

The Centennial area of northwest Las Vegas is popular with military families as is Parkside Estates and the Providence.PCSgrades members say the neighborhoods are clean and safe with great play areas and good schools. The commute, which is just over 30 minutes, is also "not bad."

Have you ever lived in Southern Nevada? Let other Military Families know which are the best neighborhoods!

WEATHER LAS VEGAS NEVADA

It is the desert, so suffice it to say, it is dry! The summers are sweltering, and the winters are mild. The cold season lasts from late November through late February with average temperatures falling between 28°F and 62°F. The hot season runs from early June through mid-September with average daily highs in the low 90°s.

BAH & COST OF LIVING

Clark County in southern Nevada, home to Las Vegas, is about the size of New Jersey. It is the 14th-largest county in the United States and is home to more than 151,000 veterans and over 29,000 retirees.

The overall cost of living for Las Vegas is 3% higher than the national average, but home prices tend to be reasonable. The cost of living for the areas surrounding Creech AFB and Nellis AFB tends to be slightly below the US average.

There is a rental or purchased property to fit every BAH. Median rent is $1,155. The median home cost is $264,300. Need to find a REALTOR® in the Las Vegas area? Your fellow military and veteran community has reviewed them for you at PCSgrades.com.

ON-BASE AMENITIES

Creech AFB features an Exchange, golf course, Child Development Center, ITT, two fitness centers, a veterinary clinic, and two shoppettes.

What Creech doesn't have, namely a hospital and commissary, can be found at Nellis AFB. The Nellis AFB hospital is a full accommodation facility. Due to a large veteran community in Las Vegas, the hospital offers a wide variety of services. There are two pharmacies on base; one located in the hospital and a satellite pharmacy on Main base. There is also a commissary and a community center on-base at Nellis.

SCHOOLS

The Clark County School District is the fifth largest in the nation with more than 316,000 students. Most military children attend public schools in the area as neither Creech or Nellis AFB have schools on the installation. The Clark County School District also offers magnet programs for students with unique interests, skills, and abilities.

Creech AFB

CULTURE & CUSTOMS

You are in the desert at Creech AFB so you can expect to see a lot of geckos and lizards along the many local walking paths. Hummingbirds are also plentiful.

Hikers and campers will enjoy being stationed in southern Nevada. Indian Springs has four local trails which range from 1 to 14 miles in length. The longest trail is at the Desert National Wildlife Range. Hayford Peak is a popular trail measuring 14 miles in total length.

Visiting the iconic Las Vegas neon sign is a must while stationed here. Also, plan to stop by the Neon Museum for a scenic tour of all the neon signs that once decorated the strip. Warning, this is an outdoor tour.

AREA ATTRACTIONS

The obvious local attraction is undoubtedly the city of Las Vegas. Almost every visitor you host while stationed here will want to experience Sin City. But there are many places to see outside of the strip.

HENDERSON

The town of Henderson just south of Las Vegas is home to one of the state's largest recreation facilities, the Henderson Multi-generational Center, the state's only scenic bird preserve and the Henderson Pavilion, which is the largest outdoor amphitheater in Nevada.

Henderson also has more than 180 miles of bicycle-friendly routes and 64 parks featuring skate parks, dog parks, splash pads, and playgrounds.

GRAND CANYON

The Grand Canyon is about 6.5 hours from Creech AFB. There is a Grand Canyon West Rim and Hoover Dam Tour from Las Vegas with optional sky walk for about $140 per person. There are many day tours to, in, and around the Grand Canyon depending on your budget.

Creech AFB

HOOVER DAM

The Hoover Dam, just under two hours from Creech AFB, sits on the Colorado River which runs through Lake Mead. Lake Mead offers biking, boating, fishing, hunting, educational classes "parks as classrooms," wildlife, marinas, canoeing, kayaking, camping and resorts if you are more of a "glamper."

This post sponsored by PCSgrades.

Stephanie Wade/U.S. Transportation Command

In military life, there is really nothing more stressful than a Permanent Change of Station (PCS). Deployments are a close second, but a PCS takes the cake. Combine a PCS with a deployment and not only do you want to eat all of the proverbial cake, you want to guzzle copious amounts of wine, too. We see you. Cheers.

One company, PCSgrades, is trying to make the PCS process feel more like a three-letter acronym than a four-letter expletive. Founded by veteran Todd Ernst, PCSgrades is the epitome of the military community taking care of its own. "PCSing has an emotional connotation," said Ernst. "We use it as an adverb, adjective, a noun and even as a cuss word."

Ernst started PCSgrades in 2015 after seeing friends struggle with unethical real estate agents and being taken advantage of by moving companies who knew DoD would be a paying customer no matter how poorly the companies treated their clients - us.

Here are 4 resources PCSgrades provides that you need to make moving easier:

1. Housing reviews

Does it get any more stressful than finding out where you're going to be stationed, Googling base housing at that station and getting results from 15 years ago (if you find anything, at all)? Nope, no it doesn't.

PCSgrades is changing the game on that by having military families who live in an area provide honest, candid reviews of their housing so incoming families can benefit. With reviews of both on and off base locations, families can finally get the truth about housing, whether it has black mold or the best views in town.

2. Moving company reviews

Great, you've figured out where to live; that's half the battle. The other, larger, more complex half? Figuring out how your stuff is going to get there. Knowing someone else will be handling your personal property and driving away with it for the foreseeable future is stressful enough. But not knowing what that company's background is, well that's a whole different ball game.

PCSgrades has countless reviews of moving companies provided by military families who have used them. Let's be honest: You wouldn't try a new Chinese delivery place without looking at reviews … why should picking a moving company be any different?

3. Area guides

The giant Google machine can only get you so far in life when you're researching your new duty station. We know you're busy and you want one-stop shopping on the interwebs. What you really need is aggregate data of things like schools to attend, restaurants to try, day trips to take and neighborhoods to avoid.

Introducing Area Guides, which offer exactly that: a holistic view of where you're moving and what to do once you get there. The best part? These are written by military families who have done it, for military families who are doing it.

4. Network of realtors and resources

PCSgrades has a nationwide network of A-graded realtors who know and understand the military and veteran lifestyle. Many of the realtors are veterans or spouses themselves, which takes the empathy to a whole new level. Having a realtor who gets the pressures of PCSing and the challenges of a military move is key to finding the right home for your family.

"I have friends who are hundreds of thousands of dollars upside down after bad home choices," Ernst said. "Housing choices can be pretty limited. Our moves are way more expensive than the typical civilian move." This is why Ernst created a way to alleviate the pain points for military families through PCSgrades.

In addition to a network of realtors, PCSgrades partners with "HomeScout," which allows you to search up-to-date home listings nationwide. Simply create an account with PCSgrades and the realty world is your oyster.

Whether you're looking for a new neighborhood, trying to find a vetted realtor, need a PCS checklist (let's be honest, is it on your radar to look at the expiration date of your military ID card two months before you PCS? Yeah, we know the truth; download the checklists here), or you're just wanting to know more about where you're heading, PCSgrades is making moving easier for every military family. Pay it forward by leaving reviews and be sure to take advantage of their excellent resources, today.

This post sponsored by PCSgrades.

7 airplane travel hacks with kids

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Yeah! You got orders to (insert foreign country overseas)! You can already picture your kids in the international school, speaking with cute little accents and wearing local garments. Adorbs. You've got your housing picked out, adventures planned and passport photos taken. You're ready for your epic move ... except for that 13 hour plane ride. Have you wrapped your head around that yet? Before you grab for a paper bag and start hyperventilating, use our travel hacks to help make the emotional turbulence you're experiencing a little lighter.

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We've all said it: "We'll drive. It won't be that bad." We picture the adventure, the memories, the nostalgia of car trips when we were younger.

But if we're really being honest with ourselves, think back to those car trips. Someone was crying. Someone was puking. Someone was whining. That person very well may have been your poor mother. True story, my mom once got out and walked along the highway when all six of us kids wouldn't stop fighting. A long car trip can be daunting, but with our tips and tricks they don't need to be.

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Nordwood theme, Unsplash

WE ALL HAVE OUR SHARE OF HORROR STORIES WHEN IT COMES TO MILITARY MOVING!

Name the most disgusting item erroneously packed by your movers… for me it was used coffee grounds and of course, trash. For others, I've heard everything from wet towels to dirty diapers. I've caught movers raiding my fridge, lounging on my mattress in my front yard, and throwing out items that they've broken. Raise your hand (or have a drink) if you ever had packers show up late (or not at all). Ever had packers get into a shouting match among themselves as they were packing your china? Or have you caught your movers throwing boxes down the stairs to the basement? That would be me!

LESSONS LEARNED

With each military move, there are "lessons learned". For instance, I won't go into great detail but let's just say after watching one packer go directly from using the restroom back to packing my kitchen without washing his hands, we now use gigantic ziplock bags to "pre-pack" all my kitchen utensils. A packers' bare flesh has never again touched one of my kitchen utensils.

My family's last military move was by far the shortest, only 1½ miles up the road. We were moving from a rental to a home we purchased. It was by far the worst in terms of damage and overall angst. I think because we were only "moving up the road" the pack job left a lot to be desired. I found one box of dishes which had not one piece of wrapping paper! Instead two throw pillows from my family room were used as a buffer! Amazingly, nothing was broken! Go figure!

When I heard glass shatter in the moving truck, I asked one of the guys what shattered.

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There are any number of reasons why in a given situation renting might be better than buying or vice versa. For military families, it might make more sense to buy at one duty station and then rent at the next. Up for consideration with each PCS is whether to buy or rent, to stay on-base or off. In making these decisions, there are numerous pros and cons to consider.

PROS TO BUYING

  • Purchasing the right home can be a great financial investment that can grow in value over time.
  • Tax deductions such as mortgage interest and property taxes can greatly reduce your overall income tax burden if you itemize.
  • Being a homeowner can give you pride of ownership and a sense of stability, rare in the military life which can seem nomadic at times.
  • A mortgage payment that is lower than your BAH can result in a boost to your savings.
  • You can decorate however you want! Goodbye white walls! Hello, Color!
  • Anyone can stay with you at any time. So it is not a problem when your Mom or sister comes for an extended stay during a deployment or following a PCS.
  • You can do (almost) whatever you want….host a late night party, plant a garden, knock a wall down!
  • There are no security or pet deposits when you buy a home.
  • You have the opportunity to become a landlord when military orders arrive and you have to move. Your home can become an investment property, providing a source of income which can partially or totally offset your mortgage, taxes, and insurance payments.
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