Ellsworth AFB limits visitors, commissary shopping

A B-1B Lancer takes off from Ellsworth Air Force Base, S.D., Oct. 24, 2019. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Christina Bennett)

ELLSWORTH AIR FORCE BASE, S.D. (KEVN/KOTA TV) - Ellsworth Air Force Base has new visitor and commissary policies due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The base commissary will only allow active-duty members and their families in to shop for the first two hours each day. After that, the commissary will open to all others authorized to shop there. The commissary will continue to ration high-turnover items.

To further reduce traffic and the number of visitors on the base, no new visitor passes will be issued without an “exception to policy letter.” Furthermore, all currently valid visitor passes will expire Wednesday, March 25.

Exceptions to the policy must be routed through an airman’s squadron commander for approval. Reasons that will merit strong consideration for an exception to policy include requests for childcare or new baby assistance; college students who are home and do not have an ID; and other humanitarian or hardship issues.

The change will not impact contractors or deliveries at this time.

“These are part of our proactive measures to ensure the safety and welfare of our Airmen, their families, and the entire community, all-the-while making sure we remain capable of accomplishing our mission of providing combat power – anytime, anywhere,” said Col. David Doss, 28th Bomb Wing commander. “Our first priority is the health and well-being of our team and our community. These measures help us do that.”