LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — Nellis Air Force Base is a vital part of Southern Nevada and brings $5 billion dollars and thousands of visitors to the valley.

However, it used to be in the distant northeast Las Vegas valley but with new growth, it is not in the far distance anymore.

Four times a year leaders at Nellis Air Force Base meet with Clark County, North Las Vegas, and other local governments and discuss how to be good neighbors.

“We have a body that meets with the neighbors once a quarter, but that’s really not enough,” Colonel Josh DeMotts base commander at Nellis Air Force Base explained.

It can still be a challenge to balance the needs of civilian life with the needs of military activity.

“We really try to work and figure out what’s best for both worlds. We have to co-exist,” Marilyn Kirkpatrick Clark County Commissioner stated.

When the Las Vegas Army Airfield was first built in 1941 it was laid out in a remote part of the valley.

However, in just the last 35 years, the base has become surrounded.

“There’s a lot of residential that probably shouldn’t exist anymore. When you stand in someone’s home and it starts to rattle, I don’t think anyone envisioned that,” Kirkpatrick added.

To keep civilian and military worlds safe and separate, there are guidelines that outline planning around Nellis.

Industrial planning is encouraged, however, homes are not.

The guidelines also include what might get in the way of military operations, and what the military actually needs.

“I know there have been some proposals in the past for some residential areas further to the north, that would be underneath our flight path, we want to make sure we don’t have that,” DeMotts told 8 News Now. “We have a lot of issues with flight paths, we want to make sure we’re not only safe in the air, but everybody underneath is safe.”

At the same time, there are ongoing issues with infrastructure and housing around Nellis.

“We have Las Vegas Boulevard right through the middle of the base, which has some challenges. I would love to have $80-90 million to build a bridge from one side to the other, but it’s not realistic,” DeMotts added.

It’s the search for realistic solutions which keeps civilian and military leaders engaged to everyone’s benefit.

Only 20% of Nellis Airmen and women live on the base itself. It needs 3,000 units to fill an ongoing housing need.