Creech Air Force Base, Indian Springs, NV
36 35.231'N / 115 40.669'W - by Jeff Gregos


I moved to Las Vegas 10 years ago this November. With all the air activity going on in Nevada, my love for aviation was soon rekindled and maybe even surpassed that of when I was a teenager. I found myself watching Red Flag launch and recoveries from Nellis AFB and making frequent trips up to the hidden campsite off of the "Extraterrestrial Highway" and eventually even bought some land in Rachel. At that time, Indian Springs Auxiliary Air Field was just a sleepy little airbase where the USAF Thunderbirds practiced and where the Predators nested. Today The base has expanded exponentially. It is no longer that sleepy little airbase. Today Creech AFB is a state of the art facility complete with new runways and taxiways, hangars and support and communications buildings. Today Creech is one very interesting Air Force Base...


Indian Springs Auxiliary Air Field was opened at the beginning of WWII. It expanded into a more permanent installation in March 1942 as a auxiliary field and air to air gunnery school. It supported B-17s and T-6 training aircraft until March 1946. After that the base went into stand by status as America's war machine stood down.

The base was reopened in January 1948 following the formation of the United States Air Force at the beginning of the Cold War. In 1952, Indian Springs was transfered to the Air Research and Development Command reporting to the Air Force Special Weapons Center in Albuquerque, NM. After the Thunderbirds moved to Nellis AFB in 1956, Indian Springs Airbase became their primary practice site.

In 1961, the base fell under the control of the Tactical Air Command.

The base was again changed to Indian Springs Auxiliary Air Field under the Tactical Air Command in 1961. When TAC was deactivated in 1992 the base fell under the Air Combat Command.

In 1996, a new era began for Indian Springs Auxiliary Air Field with the arrival of the first MQ-1 Predator UAV. In February of 2001 the Predator successfully fired a Hellfire missile on the Nellis Range. This addition of an offensive weapon to the Reconnaissance role would help transform the base from a center of support to a center of operations.

On June 20, 2005, Indian Springs Auxiliary Air Field's name was officially changed to Creech AFB after Gen. Wilbur L. Creech, commander of the Tactical Air Command from 1978 to 1984.

On March 13, 2007, Creech AFB welcomed the arrival of the first MQ-9 Reaper Remotely Piloted Aircraft marking another milestone in the base's history.

The 432d Wing was activated on May 1, 2007 and the formation of the 432d Air Expeditionary Wing was soon after on May 15, 2008.

Today, Creech AFB still continues it's UAV missions around the globe and is still the primary practice site for America's Ambassadors in Blue the USAF Thunderbirds.

Base Panorama & Photos

Annotated Panorama of Creech AFB, March 2012

New hangars and Ground Data Terminal (GDT) Radomes; similar radomes have appeared in several locations at Area 51 recently

Hangars of the old flight line, along Hwy 95

Ground Control Station (GCS) and Predator Primary Satellite Uplink (PPSL)

Administration Building?

Digital Airport Surveillance RADAR (DSAR)

Creech AFB Control Tower

MiG Mock-Up

F-84F Thunderstreak (tail no. 1776) in a park at Indian Springs High School

Inside the UAV "Casket" warehouse aka "The Morgue." USAF Photo

Map / Google Earth

Creech AFB - Google Earth Plug In by Jeff Gregos

Creech AFB Building Map very detailed pdf (note: large file!)

Creech AFB Units

432d Wing / 432d Air Expeditionary Wing - "Home of the Hunters"

432d Operations Group
The 432d Operations Group employs Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) in a round the clock support of America's armed forces worldwide. The group also provides air traffic control, airfield management and weather services for Creech AFB, Indian Springs, NV.

432d Operation Support Squadron
The 432d Operation Support Squadron provides combat and local weather support for nine flying squadrons, exercise, airshow and frequency management, scheduling and training functions, simulator contract oversight, Host Aviation Resource Management (HARM) support, weapons and tactics training management, airfield operations oversight, communications development and contract management, and inbound Air Combat Command UAV aircraft pilot/sensor operator student training flow management. The 432 OSS also runs ACC's only UAV Intelligence Formal Training Unit turning out over 200 mission coordinators each year.

432d Maintenance Group
The 432d Maintenance Group ensures all personal, UAVs, Ground Control Stations (GCS) and communications are mission capable in support of operations on a global scale.

432d Aircraft Maintenance Squadron
The 432d Aircraft Maintenance Squadron supports UAVs, GCS and Satellite Links for operations worldwide as well as the USAF Weapons School and for test and evaluation.

432d Maintenance Squadron
The 432d Maintenance Squadron provides maintenance and services for UAVs. They also provide training in maintenance analysis, scheduling, aerospace ground equipment, fuels systems, aircraft structural maintenance, nondestructive inspection, engines, and munitions systems.

432d Aircraft Communications Maintenance Squadron
The 432d Aircraft Communications Maintenance Squadron maintains and deploys communication and networks for UAVs. It also preforms cyberspace operations and radio communications.

11th Reconnaissance Squadron
The 11th Reconnaissance Squadron is America's first MQ-1 Predator training unit. The squadron conducts 5 courses which are: Initial Qualification (IQT), Instructor Upgrade Training (IUT), Foreign Officer Course (FOC), Senior Officer Course (SOC), and Launch & Recovery Course (LR).

15th Reconnaissance Squadron
15th Reconnaissance Squadron is one of the USAF's first armed UAV squadrons. The MQ-1B Predator provides real-time actionable intelligence, strike, interdiction, close air support, and special missions to deployed war-fighters on a world wide scale.

17th Reconnaissance Squadron
The 17th Reconnaissance Squadron is the USAF only dual aircraft UAV squadron. It operates both the MQ-1B Predator and MQ-9 Reaper UAVs worldwide.

18th Reconnaissance Squadron
18th Reconnaissance Squadron operates the MQ-1B Predator providing real time intelligence, interdiction, close air support and other special missions globally.

30th Reconnaissance Squadron
The 30th Reconnaissance Squadron is a flight test squadron based at the Tonopah Test Range in Nevada. The 30th Reconnaissance Squadron flies the infamous RQ-170 Sentinel UAV.

42nd Attack Squadron
The USAF's first MQ-9 "Reaper" Squadron. The 42d Attack Squadron provides boots on the ground with air interdiction, close air support, strike coordination, and reconnaissance.

99th Ground Combat Training Squadron
The 99th Ground Combat Training Squadron provides advanced weapons and tactics training for all Air Combat Command Security forces and elements who may enter combat on deployment. You can see their MRAP vehicles parked next to US Highway 95 just North of Creech AFB, main gate.

98th Southern Ranges Support Squadron
The 98th Southern Ranges Support Squadron supports Point Bravo and the Southern Ranges of the Nevada Test and Training Range (NTTR).

11th Recon Sq

15th Recon Sq

17th Recon Sq

18th Recon Sq

30th Recon Sq

30th Recon Sq

42d Attack Sq

432d Wing


Creech AFB Airport Info

Owner:US Air Force, Nellis AFB, Las Vegas, NV 89110

ATIS Frequency:290.45
WX ASOS:121.125
Clearance Delivery:
Ground Frequency:118.3 / 275.8
Tower Frequency:118.3 / 360.625
Departure Frequency:
Approach Frequency:
Emergency:121.5 / 243.0

Latitude:36 35 13.8560N
Longitude:115 40 40.1217W
Elevation:3133 Feet
ARTCC:Los Angeles Center
Sectional:Las Vegas

RunwayLengthSurfaceTraffic Pattern
08 / 269000 x 150AsphaltLeft
13 / 315468 x 100AsphaltLeft

List of Acronyms

ADRAir Data Relay
A-GearArresting Gear
AVAir Vehicle
AVGASAviation Gasoline
CDLCommon Data Link
CGSCommon Ground Segment
FLIRForward-Looking Infrared
GCSGround Control Station
GDTGround Data Terminal
GPSGlobal Positioning System
GSEGround Support Equipment
HAEHigh Altitude Endurance
IFFIdentification Friend or Foe
INSInertial Navigation System
JPJet Petroleum
LHALanding Helicopter Amphibious
LHDLanding Helicopter Dock
LOSLine of Sight
LPDLanding Platform Dock
LRELaunch & Recovery Equipment
LRSLaunch & Recovery System
MAEMedium Altitude Endurance
MMFMobile Maintenance Facility
MMPModular Mission Payload
MOGASMobility Gasoline
MOSPMulti-mission Optronic Stabilized Payload
MPSMission Planning Station
PCSPortable Control Station
PPSLPredator Primary Satellite Link
RATORocket-Assisted Takeoff
RRSRemote Receiving Station
RVTRemote Video Terminal
SATCOM  Satellite Communications (Military)
TCDLTactical Common Data Link
TMLTruck-Mounted Launcher
UHFUltra High Frequency
VHFVery High Frequency

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