Rapid City is a community with a heritage of patriotism. Our parks display memorials for our fallen heroes, our streets are lined with presidents and our hearts are filled with honor for our military men and women, their families and our veterans. It is rare to find a community like Rapid City where every citizen comes together to support our military members, veterans and their families. We are home to two military bases, a thriving VA medical network and many active veterans’ organizations.
Ellsworth Air Force Base
Ellsworth is operated by the 28th Bomb Wing with a primary mission of operating two B-1B strategic bomber squadrons to deliver decisive combat power for global response.
Ellsworth’s population of approximately 8,000 includes military members, family members and civilian employees. In addition, about 3,800 military retirees in Western South Dakota maintain ties to Ellsworth AFB. Ellsworth has an economic impact of more than $300 million on the local economy.
South Dakota National Guard Camp Rapid
Located on Rapid City’s west side is the headquarters of the South Dakota National Guard at Camp Rapid. Although the state capital is in Pierre, the state’s Adjutant General is located at Camp Rapid. The Joint Force Headquarters, located in Rapid City, provides command and support to the nearly 3,200 members of the South Dakota Army and Air National Guard members across
Camp Rapid employs more than 300 full time SDARNG members and civilians and supports several deployments each year. Camp Rapid is host to annual exercises involving thousands of National Guard personnel from all states and military personnel from foreign nations.
As the veteran’s hub for our region, Rapid City offers many resources for our military veterans. The VA Black Hills Health Care System has clinics throughout the Black Hills and is recognized for its exemplary care of veterans and their families.
Many veteran organizations are active throughout our community. Organizations such as the VFW, American Legion and TREA offer gathering places and activities for our local vets to stay connected.