Keesler Air Force Base in Biloxi is a key hub on the Gulf Coast, home to the Second Air Force and the 81st Training Wing, with a history since 1941 and a diverse community of personnel, retirees, and contractors.Keesler Air Force Base in Biloxi is a key hub on the Gulf Coast, home to the Second Air Force and the 81st Training Wing, with a history since 1941 and a diverse community of personnel, retirees, and contractors.Local Guide

Best Family Neighborhoods Near Keesler Air Force Base

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Keesler Air Force Base in Biloxi sits right on the Gulf Coast. It is a critical location that has provided a wide range of services to the country throughout its history. The base is home to the Second Air Force and the 81st Training Wing of the Air Education and Training Command. Today, there are over 4000 active duty personnel stationed at the base along with 1,510 civil service, nearly 104,000 retirees, and about 1700 contractors that service the area.

A History of Keesler Air Force Base

Keesler Air Force Base was first founded in 1941. Since the founding of the base, it has served the country for decades as an Air Education and Training Command Center, its primary mission throughout its history. In that way, it has grown and changed many times over the years to meet new challenges and unique opportunities in areas such as high-technology training. The work done here is often in particular high-tech specialties, including computer operations, meteorology, aircraft warning and control systems, and other areas related to the industry.

The base is named after 2d Lt Samuel Reeves Keesler Jr, who was a Mississippi navigator who was killed in France during World War I. The War Department issued the construction of the base in the lead-up to the Second World War, providing $6 million for the construction. The base was then activated in June of 1941 with one of the most advanced training centers available.

Throughout its history, numerous notable groups would come through the location, including the training of 7,000 Tuskegee Airman who were Black soldiers. In 1947, the Radar School was established at the base. Today, there are numerous organizations that use the base for training and education, and it continues to be a very important resource for the Air Force. It is noted for being home to the Air Force Reserve’s 403d Wing and the Air Mobility Command. It is also home to the Hurricane Hunters, who often head out to spot hurricane risks in the region.

Neighborhoods for Families Near Keesler Air Force Base

Keesler Air Force Base is in the heart of Biloxi, which is a beautiful region. Biloxi is a notable destination with its tourism industry and beachfront access. While this is a larger city, it is also a very affordable place to call home and one known for its wildlife and outdoors. The following are some of the best family-friendly neighborhoods near Keesler Air Force Base and Biloxi itself.

Ocean Springs Located about 2 miles from Biloxi and about 20 minutes from the Air Force Base, Ocean Springs is an excellent community for those who want lots of outdoor amenities (including direct access to the waterfront) and a small-town feel. The community is home to about 17,000 people. It has a strong art center, historic buildings and architecture, and a small, secluded downtown area perfect for enjoying a drink at the local bar or choosing a family-owned restaurant for a meal. The city’s residents attend Ocean Springs School District, which offers several elementary schools in the area.

Ocean Springs offers a wide range of home styles, including single-family homes, condos, and apartments. There are also some oceanfront properties that overlook the beach and park areas. In December of 2023, the median sold price of a home here was $254,000, with home prices ranging from $110,000 up to $320,000. Average rent for the homes here ranged from $795 to $2,8000.

Gautier The community of Gautier is about 30 minutes from the Keesler Air Force Base, and it takes a quick drive down I-90 to get there. It is a city with a population of 18,500 people. This city feels more remote thanks to the numerous bayous around it. It’s a fantastic location for those who love outdoor recreation and want to explore the natural wonders of the wetlands. The city’s residents are able to attend the Pascagoula-Guatier School District. Neighborhoods offer a range of amenities, including smaller parks, open hiking areas, and lots of wetlands for fishing, kayaking, and exploring.

Many home options exist here, including small townhomes and condos and larger single-family homes and estates. In December of 2023, the median sold price for a home here was just over $203,000, with home prices ranging from $100,000 up to $350,000. Rentals are typically plentiful in the community and include multi-family properties as well as single-family homes. Rental rates range from as low as $370 up to $2,500 per month.

Moss Point With about 12,000 people calling it home, Moss Point may seem like a larger city, but it certainly is not. It’s spread out with fabulous outdoor spaces pulled together by closely knit neighborhoods. The community is right off I-10 and about 35 minutes from the Air Force Base. It has its own school district, numerous restaurants, shopping areas, and smaller town parks. A welcoming community, there are various events planned throughout the area and sports programs for those of all ages.

The area’s single-family homes sold for a median sale price of $179,000 at the end of 2023. The area has a moderate number of rental properties, with rents ranging from $695 up to $1,400 per month. The area has some new construction as well as a wide range of older homes, some of which are historic.

Any of these neighborhoods near Keesler Air Force Base could be the ideal place for you to call home. Explore all they have to offer to find one that fits your goals.

Living near Keesler Air Force Base presents unique considerations and opportunities for military personnel and their families. Understanding the nuances of both on-base and off-base living options can significantly enhance one's overall experience and sense of community.

Exploring On-Base and Off-Base Housing Options

Residing on base at Keesler Air Force Base offers the convenience of proximity to work, fostering a strong sense of camaraderie within the military community. Keesler Air Force Base is renowned for its role in training and education, particularly in weather forecasting and electronic warfare, providing a dynamic environment for professional growth. However, on-base living may come with certain restrictions and limited housing options. Off-base living offers more independence and diverse housing choices but may require a commute and additional expenses.

Discovering Community Amenities and Activities

The neighborhoods near Keesler Air Force Base offer a variety of amenities and activities for military families, including parks, recreational facilities, and community events. Additionally, being situated along the Mississippi Gulf Coast offers access to beaches, water sports, and outdoor adventures, providing unique recreational opportunities for families to enjoy. Explore local resources and organizations to find family-friendly activities and opportunities for social engagement.

Building Connections within the Military Community

Engaging in community events, support groups, and military-sponsored programs is a fantastic way to forge new connections and friendships. Keesler Air Force Base is home to various training squadrons and technical schools, offering diverse professional and social networking opportunities. Attend social gatherings, join spouse clubs or volunteer organizations, and participate in base-sponsored activities to connect with fellow military families and personnel. Contact local organizations and resources, such as the Airman & Family Readiness Center or military-affiliated churches, for support and camaraderie. Building strong connections within the military community provides a sense of belonging and creates a valuable support network during deployments, training exercises, and other challenges that military life may bring. Don't hesitate to get involved and reach out to others—these connections often make living near Keesler Air Force Base feel like home.

Navigating Transportation and Commuting Options

Keesler Air Force Base provides transportation services for residents, such as shuttles and buses within the area. Additionally, being located near Biloxi offers access to various transportation options. Owning a vehicle may be necessary for those living off-base, but consider carpooling with neighbors or utilizing rideshare services to reduce commuting costs and environmental impact. By familiarizing yourself with these unique aspects and available resources, you can optimize your experience living near Keesler Air Force Base and thrive within the military community.

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