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!
Florida military bases map from MilitaryByOwner
Military Installations near MacDill:
- Coastguard Clearwater
- Orlando Naval Base
- Cape Canaveral Air Station
- Patrick SFB
- Coast Guard Station Fort Pierce
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.
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. Photo from Canva.
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
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.
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.
Learn more about this amazing area:
- City or Suburbs: Where Should You Live Near MacDill AFB, Florida
- Holiday Events Near MacDill AFB
- 9 Family-Friendly Springtime Events Near MacDill AFB, Florida