Welcome to Wichita Falls, Sheppard AFB and Surrounding Communities
This relocation guide will help familiarize you with the Texoma area whether you're a military family relocating for an assignment at Sheppard AFB, you're job is bringing you to the area in one of the industrial companies or part of the vast medical field represented here.
The people are friendly, pace relaxed, business is thriving
This relocation guide offers information about Sheppard AFB, Wichita Falls, and the surrounding communities such as Burkburnett, Iowa Park, Henrietta, Archer City and more. Please feel free to comment below on your experiences in this wonderful area of Texoma. We're located only 2 hours northwest of Dallas/Fort Worth on Highway 287/I-44 and 2 hours southwest of Oklahoma City. There may be another place in the world with such a diverse community, friendly people, culture, rich history, outdoor activities with a blend of urban and rural living, however it will be hard to find.
Sheppard AFB is home to two wings. The 82d Training Wing which is a technical training wing for many Air Force Career fields including aircraft maintenance, civil engineering, communications and more for personnel in the Air Force, Army, Navy and Marines, as well as international students from allied nations. The 80th Flying Training Wing trains student pilots in the Euro-NATO Joint Jet Pilot Training Program (ENJJPT).
Helpful Sheppard AFB Websites:
- Sheppard AFB Main Page
- Sheppard AFB Facebook Page
- Sheppard AFB Housing Office -- (940) 676-1840, DSN 736-1840
- Sheppard AFB Temporary Lodging -- (888)-AF-LODGE
- Sheppard AFB Services
- TRICARE/ Sheppard AFB Medical Clinic
The base was named after the late Senator Morris Sheppard, who was a past chairman of the Senate Military Affairs Committee in 1941. During World War II the base trained almost 1/2 million troops for the war effort. The base was deactivated from 1946-1948, and is now the largest technical training wing in the Air Education and Training Command (AETC). Sheppard AFB contributes almost $1 billion to the local community annually and is one of the major employers with $101 million dollars in value of jobs created.
ENJJPT is the pilot training mission on Sheppard AFB in the 80th Flying Training Wing and is sponsored by the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). The 80 FTW is unique in the fact that it has a multi-national mission and command structure. Thirteen countries in the NATO alliance participate in Undergraduate Pilot Training, Pilot Instruction Training and Introduction to Fighter Fundamentals including Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Germany, Greece, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Turkey, the United Kingdom, Spain and the United States. Some of the nations have students and instructors, while others contributes instructor pilots only. The ENJJPT program began training at Sheppard on October 1, 1981 with the primary mission to produce fighter pilots for NATO.
Midwestern State University (MSU) is a fully accredited 4-year university with more than 6,000 students. MSU has over 200 full-time faculty members and offers undergraduate degrees in 60 academic disciplines, master degrees in 18 fields and a variety of pre-professional degrees. The Fain Fine Arts Center at MSU provides a cultural centerpiece for the community. The theater wing of the center includes a theater with seating for 475, and the Juanita Harvey Art Gallery hosts exhibits throughout the year from visiting artists, students and faculty. It is open Mon-Fri 8:00 - 5:00 when school is in session.
www.ChooseWichitaFalls.com - Find Current Events and Things to do in Wichita Falls.
Abounding in Rich Culture and History
Also, the Wichita Falls Museum of Art at MSU is the principal institution dedicated to collecting and exhibiting works of art in the region. The museum has permanent collections of American works of art on paper, and temporary presentations include those of interdisciplinary and multicultural programs of international and national importance. the museum is located on #2 Eureka Circle and is open Tue-Fri 10:00 - 5:00 and Sat 1 pm to 5 pm.
Wichita Falls also boasts of being the smallest city in the United States with an active Ballet and Symphony. The Wichita Falls Symphony Orchestra began as a volunteer organization in 1920 and has grown to become an outstanding asset to the North Texas and Southern Oklahoma region. The orchestra now employs approximately 70 professional musicians for its performances and features outstanding guest artists and soloists each year. One of Wichita Falls' more unique cultural venues is the Backdoor Theatre located at 501 Indiana St, and is home to one of the city's most popular community theaters. Some of the frequent productions include dinner theaters, musicals, dramas, comedies and more.
The Kemp Center for the Arts is located at 1300 Lamar in a building originally constructed in classic revival style as a public library in 1917. The Kemp Center for the Arts is the center of the art community. Both permanent and rotating art are exhibited in the NorthLight Gallery, West End Studio Gallery and What's Up Downstairs Gallery. Outside, the Art on the Green Sculpture Garden features 8 permanent and 10 sculptures that are "invited" to spend a year on the grounds and are exchanged each May. Rooms may be rented out for special events such as banquets, weddings, graduations, etc, guided tours may be arranged, and annual events include the Arts Alive! Home & Garden Show. It is open weekdays 9:00 - 5:00 and Saturdays 10:00 - 4:00.
The Wichita Theatre Performing Arts Center is located at 919 Indiana Ave. and was first opened in 1908 as a vaudeville and opera house. This was the premier movie theatre from the 1940s through 1970s, and has now been completely restored. It is currently a nonprofit organization featuring Broadway-type musicals and the Encore Theatre 4 Kidz productions with year around entertainment.
Some of the historical significant location and museums include the Depot Square Antique District downtown which consists of 6 city blocks around the Farmer's Market at 8th and Ohio Streets. The Kell House Museum at 900 Bluff St. is one of the most historically and architecturally significant buildings in Wichita Falls and was the home of Frank Kell who moved to Wichita Falls in 1896 at the urging of his brother-in-law Joseph Kemp, both of whom were driving forces behind the development of Wichita Falls. The home was taken over by the Wichita County Heritage Society, restored and opened as a museum in 1981. It is open Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday 10:00 - 3:00, Saturday and Sunday 2:00 pm to 4:00 pm. Military, Children, Student and Senior Admissions discounts are available.
Lake Arrowhead is located in the vast, flat prairies of North Texas and attracts boaters and fishing enthusiasts with 16,200 acres and more than 100 miles of shoreline. From fishing piers or by boat, visitors can angle for crappie, catfish, bass and perch. Visitors may also catch glimpses of the area's wild inhabitants, such as raccoons, and prairie dogs. There are 5 miles of trails for hiking, bicycle and equestrian riding, camping sites, picnic shelters, tables and barbecue grills along with dedicated swimming areas.
The North Texas Field and Stream Association is located at 2005 Southwest Parkway, Wichita Falls, and offers shooting ranges and clubs for rifle, handguns, shotguns as well as youth hunts throughout the year. They also offer hunter safety courses periodically throughout the year, which is a requirement for anyone wishing to obtain a Texas hunting license and hunt in Texas.
The Red River Valley abounds in opportunities for outdoor recreation. Lake Texoma is the second-largest lake in both Texas and Oklahoma, and the 11th largest reservoir in the U.S. Numerous other lakes scattered across the Red River Valley are great for avid anglers and lovers of water sports. The region is also home to trophy bucks and bird hunting. Top ranked golf courses in the two state region are found here.
Experience the network of cattle trails and stagecoach lines that joined the famous Chisholm Trail to cross over the Red River. Drive through horse country which is home to several historic ranches and many champion reining and cutting trainers. The area is truly a mecca for world-class equine enthusiasts. Other landmarks include the homes of cattle barons, oil fields, a 24-term Congressman, the birthplace of a U.S. President, Geromimo's last home, and the home fo the "Last Picture Show"!
There are many state parks, national forests, refuges and recreational areas in both Texas and Oklahoma for hikers, campers, bird watchers, trail riders and more.
- LBJ National Grasslands
- Ouachita National Forest
- Wichita Mountains National Wildlife Refuge
- Chickasaw National Recreation Area
- Hagerman National Wildlife Refuge
- Ghost Town Museum - Thurber, Texas
There is always something fun to do at the various festivals or antique shops, specialty boutiques, outlet stores and unique eateries.