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    What to Expect When You PCS to MacDill AFB, Florida

    Welcome to the Sunshine State! When you make a PCS move to MacDill Air Force Base, you'll discover a community that's incredibly supportive of the military and veterans.

    MacDill AFB is in Hillsborough County's Interbay Peninsula, which falls within the city limits of Tampa, Florida. MacDill is home to U.S. Central Command, U.S. Special Operations Command, and thirty-seven other units. Within a few hours, you can access Army, Navy, Air Force, Coast Guard bases, and the Florida "Space Coast." 

    Tampa and the surrounding area is a well-known vacation destination, and for good reason. With gorgeous beaches, nightlife, entertainment, and warm weather, it can be an excellent location for your military family to work and play!

    MacDill area military bases (1)

    Florida military bases map from MilitaryByOwner

    Military Installations near MacDill: 

    MacDill AFB Housing

    With five distinct neighborhoods, Harbor Bay at MacDill provides homes and community for military families who choose to live on base. As with most military housing, the waitlist for on-base housing requires some patience.

    In nearby communities, you'll find single-family homes, apartments, townhomes, and spacious lots, depending on how far you want to live from the base.

    Living Off Base at MacDill and Commute Times

    South Tampa is adjacent to MacDill. It's located straight north of the Dale Mabry Gate (main gate) and puts you close to all that MacDill AFB offers. 

    Those looking to create some distance between work and home can direct their house hunt to Riverview, Brandon, St. Petersburg, and Apollo Beach

    Since public transportation isn't considered the most efficient mode of transportation and nearly everyone drives, it's important to take into account the possibility of heavy traffic.

    To get a baseline idea, here's a breakdown of average commute times to MacDill AFB without excessive traffic:  

    • Tampa: <5 to 20 minutes (depending on the area)
    • Riverview: ~30 minutes
    • Brandon: ~30 minutes
    • Apollo Beach: ~35 minutes
    • St. Petersburg: ~45-60 minutes

    aerial view of Tampa Florida skyline

    Aerial view of Tampa, Florida. Photo from Canva.

    In 2024, the median Tampa home value is $400,341, with the average monthly rent $2,965. (Source) Assess the latest Tampa, Florida, BAH Rates to determine your new budget and housing affordability.

    Here’s a sampling of Tampa area BAH rates:  

    • E-5 with dependents: $2,628
    • E-8 with dependents: $2,904
    • O-3 with dependents: $2,910
    • O-6 with dependents: $3,255

    MacDill AFB Military Spouse Employment 

    woman in sweater typing on laptop

    Photo by Christin Hume on Unsplash

    The Tampa unemployment rate remains consistently lower than the national average. The latest numbers for Tampa place it in the top five cities in the state for job openings. The fastest growing employment sectors include professional and scientific services, health care, and administrative services.

    Who's hiring? These are the top employers in the area:

    • State of Florida
    • MacDill AFB
    • BayCare Health System
    • Publix Super Markets
    • Hillsborough County School District 

    If you want to continue your education, several schools are nearby to support your goals. You have many choices: University of South Florida, University of Tampa, Everglades University, Hillsborough Community College, Southern Technical College-Tampa, or Saint Leo University.

    Wanting to find a volunteer opportunity? Organizations like the Tampa American Red Cross, The Salvation Army, United Way Suncoast, Elmira’s Wildlife Sanctuary, Inc., Trinity Cafe, and the Citizen Corps create incredible opportunities for meaningful work. 

    Things to Do Near MacDill AFB

    Tampa is a vibrant city with easy water access and something for everyone in the family: outdoor lovers, families looking to entertain the kids, foodies, and history buffs. You’ll find a million ways to keep cool during the summer. Set sail for a day on the water, grab your fishing gear to see what you can catch for dinner, or unwind at the beach with your toes in the sand.rainbow lorikeet at busch gardens in tampa florida

    Photo from iStock.com/Romina Raggio Photography

    If beach life isn’t your idea of a good time, don’t worry! This cultural city offers more than sand and sunshine. Clothe yourself in local spirit and head to the stadiums to cheer on the Tampa Bay Rays and the Buccaneers. 

    Parents, make your kid’s day and take advantage of all the family-friendly attractions around the city like Busch Gardens, Lowry Park Zoo, Glazer Children’s Museum, and the Florida Aquarium!

    Learn more about this amazing area:

    Download MilitaryByOwner's free resource about the MacDill AFB!

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    PCS Move to MacDill

    Danielle Keech


    Danielle Keech

    Danielle Keech is a writer and content creator for MilitaryByOwner Advertising. She writes on military life topics, highlights clients’ open houses on social media, and manages the Military PCS Facebook group. She especially enjoys covering financial topics and helping military families exercise financial responsibility and plan for the future. Danielle has been a Marine Corps spouse for ten years (and counting!) and is a momma to four littles and one fur baby. She and her pilot spouse have lived in Virginia, Florida, Texas, California, Hawaii, and, most recently, Okinawa, Japan. And yes, you guessed it, Hawaii is her favorite duty station to date! Find MilitaryByOwner's Millitary PCS group here.

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