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What Happens When A Navy Base Closes.  
User currently offlineJetjack74 From United States of America, joined Jul 2003, 7401 posts, RR: 51
Posted (7 years 12 months 3 days 15 hours ago) and read 11640 times:
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Ever wonder what happens when a military base closes and it's handed over to the the city? Well wonder no more. We have a city park in Seattle called Magnusson Park, named after a Seattle curmudgeon. This park was a Navy base from 1939 until it officially closed in 1995. It satrted out as a Naval Air Station, as NAS Seattle and was a strategic base during the 2WW. It was home to some great aircraft as the PBY6 Catalina,
http://www.pbyma.org/images/pby6-a-33979-a.jpg
and also the Martin Sea Mariner flying boats, P2 Neptune. It also for a short time hosted the 1st base to test the Lockheed P-3A Orion when it was going through the test phase. It was an ASW base for most of it's aviation career, until the airfield was striken from flight ops in 1970. It was then a transfered to the Naval Supply Command(NAVSUPCOM) in 1968 where it eventually became Naval Support Activity in 1972. It closed down further in the 1980's when it transferred land over to the the city parks commission. At that point, it was then known as Naval Station-Puget Sound, where it was home to a div of Naval Sea Systems Command(NAVSEASYSCOM). It was recommended for final closure in 1991 under the BRAC(Base Realignment and Closure) for closure in 1995. Here are some important facts about the history of the base:

-1939, Commander A. W. Radford noted in a memo that grading of the airfield involved more than 1,500,000 cubic yards
-August 1940-September 1941, runways were paved with asphalt. Main runway 400 feet wide, 3,700 feet long, another 300 by 3,000 feet, and three others 200 by 3,000 feet. Eventually, five runways were constructed and offered eight landing directions. Concrete warmup strip was 200 by 1,800 feet. Likely constructed munitions storage, Buildings 54, 55 World War II, peak work force 7,400 military personnel and civilians
November 1941, station size at 459.62 acres
-1941, reported that many new barracks were constructed, "the product of months in which tractors and bulldozers moved earth night and day". Likely Buildings 173-176 southeast corner of NE 65th Street/Sand Point Way NE; Buildings 177-184 northwest corner NE 65th Street/Sand Point Way NE (demolished before 1953); Building 185, footbridge over Sand Point Way NE from end of Building 9 to a point south of NE 70th Street
-1941-42, constructed Buildings 47 (recreation center), 67 (motor shop), 138 (gatehouse, brig). Likely constructed officers bathhouse, Building 53 (now picnic shelter 2), base expanded to 537.5 acres
-1941, Seattle urban development had come close enough to the base that aircraft were no longer permitted to carry live bombs
-1942, station size at 471.11 acres
-1942, construction began on the Sand Point Housing Project (located south of NE 65th Street and site of the current day Radford Court Student Apartments
-1943, main runway expanded to 5,050 feet long
-1943-44, constructed Buildings 193 (hangar), 40, 141/192, 222-224 (barracks)
-1945, constructed Building 275 (boathouse shed)
http://www.ci.seattle.wa.us/parks//magnuson/timeline/figure7.pdf
-Post-1945, constructed enlisted men's bathhouse, Building 311 (now picnic shelter 1)
-1947, rumors that NAS Seattle to be closed due to creation of U.S. Air Force
-September 1950, base scheduled for deactivation, delayed to Korean War
1950s, Area Development Plan (dated, November 1953) shows that field lighting was installed and removed for each football season at the south end of the current Sand Point Fields. At the north end of these fields, there was a softball and baseball diamond.
-1950, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service established a research laboratory in surplus Navy buildings south of NE 65th Street, east of 65th Avenue NE
-1952, the Navy closed the base except for Naval Reserve activities
-1953, Master Shore Development Plan for NAS Seattle estimated plant value at $70 million, station size at 450.31 acres
-Late 1950s, rumors of stationing jet aircraft a NAS Seattle, would need extension of runways and construction of jet fuel storage
-1963, station size at 494.68 acres, Shearwater Housing
-1966, station population included 482 active duty, 1,471 reserve naval personnel, 318 civilians
-1967, relocation of Coast Guard Air Station from Port Angeles.
-1969, the main airstrip was resurfaced and extended from the southeast to northwest shore, a length of 4,800 feet (estimated cost $500,000).

Here's a good reference to the in-depth history of the base.
http://www.historylink.org/essays/output.cfm?file_id=2249


Made from jets!
38 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineJetjack74 From United States of America, joined Jul 2003, 7401 posts, RR: 51
Reply 1, posted (7 years 12 months 3 days 14 hours ago) and read 11643 times:
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It is now called Magnusson Park. I was strolling through the Magnusson Park yesterday, and decided to take out my camera. I was TAD(temporary assigned duty) here in 1992 to attend a course on the Navy's Total Quality Leadership training(TQL). I was here for three weeks while I attended class. It was pretty much winding down when I was here, most places were closed except fot the barracks, Medical, Supply division, and Admin and PSD, which handled the records for everyone assigned to the base, from people permanantly stationed here, to transient personnel. Here are some picsof what stands today. Enjoy the history.

Main Gate

Base Headquarters/Base Quarterdeck

Fire Station

The old signage from the 1920's for the Administration Building

Supply Division Warehouses

Hangers for the seaplanes

Supply Department's entrance

More hangers

This hanger now houses an extreme sports course

Old USCG hanger, that now houses an indoor soccer arena

Original fire station that was a gas station in the end

Converted hanger that house the the Commissary(Military grocery store) on one side and the NEX(Navy Exchange, similar to the Army BX/PX) on the other.


NEX

The package store, Translation:Beer

Navy Exchange complex

The Barracks, now a child daycare centre

The Officers Club. The sign is still up. A beer probably hasn't been poured since 95.

The chow hall

Branch medical, now a lowincome housing, in other words, a slum

Former Flag officers homes, now shelter for runaway kids

So that is NAS Seattle. Hope you enjoyed the tour.



Made from jets!
User currently offlineGhostbase From United Kingdom, joined Nov 2004, 354 posts, RR: 3
Reply 2, posted (7 years 12 months 3 days 13 hours ago) and read 11615 times:

Quoting Jetjack74 (Thread starter):
So that is NAS Seattle. Hope you enjoyed the tour.

Very much so, thanks for posting these.

 ghost 



"I chase my dreams but I never seem to arrive"
User currently offlineDEVILFISH From Philippines, joined Jan 2006, 4769 posts, RR: 1
Reply 3, posted (7 years 12 months 2 days 23 hours ago) and read 11478 times:

What happens? People like me lose their jobs. Incidentally, seeing the good, old Admiral's name at the top of the list, the airfield at NAS, Cubi Point was called "Radford's Folly."


"Everyone is entitled to my opinion." - Garfield
User currently offlineLMP737 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 4, posted (7 years 12 months 2 days 21 hours ago) and read 11444 times:

Here's what happens when the Navy closes a base in the north suburbs of Chicago. It's converted into high end housing and shops. No low income housing or shelters there.

http://www.glenview.il.us/glen/

http://www.hangarone.org/museum.asp

< http://www.theglentowncenter.com/ >

[Edited 2006-07-14 00:49:45]

[Edited 2006-07-14 00:51:33]

User currently offlineJwenting From Netherlands, joined Apr 2001, 10213 posts, RR: 19
Reply 5, posted (7 years 12 months 1 day 3 hours ago) and read 11342 times:

What happens is that thousands loose their jobs immediately and thousands more over time as shops, restaurants, and other businesses that needed the Navy people to survive go under.


I wish I were flying
User currently offlineLMP737 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 6, posted (7 years 12 months 22 hours ago) and read 11313 times:

Quoting Jwenting (Reply 5):
What happens is that thousands loose their jobs immediately and thousands more over time as shops, restaurants, and other businesses that needed the Navy people to survive go under.

Depends if the town is dependent on the base as it's main employeer. In the case of NAS Glenview the Village of Glenview has done quite well. Thousands of contruction jobs were supported by the rebuilding of the base into commercial and residential propreties.

[Edited 2006-07-15 23:29:47]

User currently offlineJwenting From Netherlands, joined Apr 2001, 10213 posts, RR: 19
Reply 7, posted (7 years 12 months 4 hours ago) and read 11237 times:

most towns surrounding military installations though are utterly dependent upon them, especially if the installation has been there for a long time (and some that are being closed have been in existence for over a century).


I wish I were flying
User currently offlineHalls120 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 8, posted (7 years 12 months ago) and read 11228 times:

Quoting Jwenting (Reply 5):
What happens is that thousands loose their jobs immediately and thousands more over time as shops, restaurants, and other businesses that needed the Navy people to survive go under.

On the other hand, bases like Naval Station/Shipyard Long Beach become a very productive part of the Port of Long Beach. While the jobs on site might be fewer for a container port compared to a shipyard and base, the increased trade that results from a port expansion creates jobs elsewhere.


User currently offlineLMP737 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 9, posted (7 years 11 months 4 weeks 1 day 5 hours ago) and read 11153 times:

Quoting Jwenting (Reply 7):
most towns surrounding military installations though are utterly dependent upon them, especially if the installation has been there for a long time (and some that are being closed have been in existence for over a century).

Like I said before, it all depends if the base is the main employeer. Bases in large metro areas can absorb the loss of a base. Bases in more rural areas have much more of an affect. An example would be Chanute AFB in Rantoul, Illinois. It closed in the early 90's. About six years latter I happend to drive through Rantoul. Talk about a ghost town, all that was needed were some tumble weeds.


User currently offlineJ.mo From United States of America, joined Feb 2002, 659 posts, RR: 0
Reply 10, posted (7 years 11 months 4 weeks 1 day 3 hours ago) and read 11148 times:

Here are some pictures of NAS Alameda near Oakland. My ship was stationed there in the early 90's. The base closed in 1997 and is in pretty bad shape. There are some tenants on the base and the show "Mythbusters" films a lot of stuff there. The town outside the gate looks to be improving. A real nice housing site is going up right outside the gate. There were a few USNS ships at the pier.


The Main Gate

The Exchange

The old BK.

Tower

The E-Club.
http://i21.photobucket.com/albums/b271/jmosher/Pier.jpg
The pier



What is the difference between Fighter pilots and God? God never thought he was a fighter pilot.
User currently offlineSTT757 From United States of America, joined Mar 2000, 16793 posts, RR: 51
Reply 11, posted (3 years 3 months 4 weeks 10 hours ago) and read 9617 times:

Joint Reserve Base Willow Grove will officially close March 30th, that's when they will have the ceremonial final flight. There have been moving trucks almost daily brining the Navy's gear from Willow Grove to their new home here at Joint Base MDL, the Navy will be using the 514th's hangar space until the new Navy hangar complex is complete. The Marine's facilities are complete and really top notch. The Army Reserve's hangars are also still under construction.

Quoting Jetjack74 (Thread starter):
We have a city park in Seattle called Magnusson Park, named after a Seattle curmudgeon. This park was a Navy base from 1939 until it officially closed in 1995

It closed in 1995?.. Pearl Jam had a huge free concert there in September 1992.



Eastern Air lines flt # 701, EWR-MCO Boeing 757
User currently offlinegarnetpalmetto From United States of America, joined Oct 2003, 5343 posts, RR: 53
Reply 12, posted (3 years 3 months 4 weeks 9 hours ago) and read 9545 times:

Quoting J.mo (Reply 10):
There are some tenants on the base and the show "Mythbusters" films a lot of stuff there.

Also, the highway chase in The Matrix Reloaded was filmed there.



South Carolina - too small to be its own country, too big to be a mental asylum.
User currently offlineKiwiRob From New Zealand, joined Jun 2005, 7033 posts, RR: 3
Reply 13, posted (3 years 3 months 4 weeks 8 hours ago) and read 9496 times:

Quoting garnetpalmetto (Reply 12):
Also, the highway chase in The Matrix Reloaded was filmed there.

I thought they built a highway in Australia specifically for this.


User currently offlineB-787 From United States of America, joined Jul 2000, 273 posts, RR: 1
Reply 14, posted (3 years 3 months 4 weeks 6 hours ago) and read 9437 times:

Quoting KiwiRob (Reply 13):
I thought they built a highway in Australia specifically for this.

KiwiRob, you are right about the specially built highway, but it was built at NAS Alameda. A good amount of the Matrix series was filmed in Australia otherwise.



722,732,73G,738,739,739ER,752,753,762,763,764,744,788,D10,M80,300,320
User currently offlineKC135TopBoom From United States of America, joined Jan 2005, 12128 posts, RR: 52
Reply 15, posted (3 years 3 months 3 weeks 6 days 14 hours ago) and read 9183 times:

For smaller towns and cities, Portsmouth, NH went through many hard years after Pease AFB closed in 1990. PSM was the very first base closure under the 'modern day BRAC'. But they have come back in the past 8-10 years. The NHANG remained at PSM and a few airlines have tried to fly from there, like the new PanAm. I believe there is mostly freighter service there and a commuter airline. Now the USAF is thinking of putting a new Air Refueling Squadron there at the Pease ANGB, working beside the NHANG's KC-135Rs. PSM was one of the 11 bases looked at for MilCon costs for the KC-X compitition. Many are hoping the NHANG, and the new USAF Squadron converts to the KC-46A. The rumor is then the current NHANG KC-135Rs move to the MEANG at BGR.

User currently offlineSTT757 From United States of America, joined Mar 2000, 16793 posts, RR: 51
Reply 16, posted (3 years 3 months 3 weeks 6 days 10 hours ago) and read 9062 times:

Willow Grove will close officially March 30th, the Army, Navy and Marine Corps reserve aviation assets are moving to Joint Base McGuire/Dix/Lakehurst NJ. Brunswick NAS closed ended it's flight operations last year (aircraft moved to Jacksonville), the base officially closes all operations in May. Not aviation related but BRAC related near me is Fort Monmouth, Fort Monmouth closes this year and the Army's Electronic and Communications command relocates to Aberdeen Proving Ground Maryland.


Eastern Air lines flt # 701, EWR-MCO Boeing 757
User currently offlinecanoecarrier From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 2837 posts, RR: 12
Reply 17, posted (3 years 3 months 3 weeks 6 days 7 hours ago) and read 8970 times:

Magnusson Park is a more visible example for those of us in Western Washington, but Quillayute Airport is a former Naval Auxiliary Air Station near Forks aka Naval Auxiliary Air Station Quillayute. There's not much there now. The City of Forks owns it, there's a few planes based there, but I think the tower burned down a few years back. You can even see the old blimp parking areas on Google.

The U of Washington library has some photos here



The beatings will continue until morale improves
User currently offlineKC135TopBoom From United States of America, joined Jan 2005, 12128 posts, RR: 52
Reply 18, posted (3 years 3 months 3 weeks 5 days 14 hours ago) and read 8786 times:

What about the old Brooklyn (NYNY) and Philly (PNY) Navy Yards? Has anyone moved in and taken over those facilities?

User currently offlinejetjack74 From United States of America, joined Jul 2003, 7401 posts, RR: 51
Reply 19, posted (3 years 3 months 3 weeks 3 days 14 hours ago) and read 8519 times:
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Quoting STT757 (Reply 11):
It closed in 1995?.. Pearl Jam had a huge free concert there in September 1992.

There were still a NAVADMIN office at the site for a few years after. The eventually moved to a new facility at NS Bangorin 1995



Made from jets!
User currently offlinecitation501sp From United States of America, joined May 2000, 209 posts, RR: 0
Reply 20, posted (3 years 3 months 3 weeks 3 days 5 hours ago) and read 8428 times:

The NAS at Sand Point is a case where when a base closes, the best possible outcome happens. Sure local businesses were affected. In reality did NAS Seattle's Closure have a major negative impact on the community, Probably not. It could be argued that Seattle came away for the better. A nice waterfront park, a small industrial/commercial area, new residential areas and an increase in taxable property. Seattle likes Taxes...$$$...

Sand Point however is a stark contrast to many other base closures, especially rural bases. In sheer scope of property and infrastructure, NAS Seattle was a pretty small when compared to other places like Griffiss AFB or Loring AFB. These are massive facilities, rivalling some of the largest international airports in terms of runway length, taxiways, ramp space hangers and support buildings. These are places where the entire community felt the brunt and fallout of a major closure, entering a localized economic depression.

Sure there are many ideas as to how to re-use these bases. I can think of countless times of plans where an aircraft maintenance overhaul firm plans on coming in and doing heavy maintenance for the airlines. When one of these firms actually set up shop. The likely hood of survival and success of the company is up in the air. Often when the initial tax breaks dry up, the company packs up, closes its doors and poof just as quickly as they move in they are gone.

Rural bases like Griffiss AFB or Loring AFB are huge and the upkeep is enormous to maintain the facility as an operating airport. I'm sure the same would be true if say NS Norfolk closed, that is a MASSIVE Seaport sitting idle. Places like Griffiss AFB and Plattsburgh AFB have taken on the role of the county airport. It's overkill compared to the previous facility, but the local governments are able to gobble up the old base using federal funding. The facility is there, bought by doe-eyed local politicians hoping to bring in new industry and champion their new and great airport. Only to have it site idle, for days then months, then years...

I grew up not far from Griffiss AFB and remember the days when it was a boom town. I remember the closure. I remember the base sitting idle. Then I left... I do go back, Griffiss is slowly becoming something other than a Cold War Relic, it is changing, slowly but at its own pace and in its own direction.

501sp



Smoke and Thunder! Stage 2 FOREVER!!!
User currently offlinepwm2txlhopper From United States of America, joined Jan 2004, 1320 posts, RR: 1
Reply 21, posted (3 years 3 months 3 weeks 3 days ago) and read 8367 times:

Up here in Maine, it's a sad time as the closure of Brunswick NAS looms in less than two months. The former P-3C Orion and C-130 base was selected for closure as part of the 2005 BRAC decision. The shutdown has been gradual over the last couple years. Ten years ago, there were over 6,000 personnel stationed here. This month only a skeleton crew of less than 50 are still on station. Most buildings have been shut up and base housing vacated. The last planes left for NAS Jacksonville a little over a year ago and large yellow X's were put on the ends of the parallel 8,000 foot runways.

Five years ago, the Navy spent millions to build a new control tower and radar facility. As well as a giant state of the art hanger in anticipation of the base receiving the new P-8's to replace the P-3's. You could say I was a product of the base. My parents met there in the 1960's when my father was stationed there. For me, it's extra sad to see it close! My roots started there. It's always been close by. I've grown up watching the Orions flying overhead.

On a positive note, it's well on it's way to industrial and commercial redevelopment. Kestral Aviation has set up shop in the new hangar to produce their new single engine composite turboprop aircraft. The airfield is scheduled to reopen for civilian use on April 10th when an FBO opens for business, the X's are removed off the runway, and the FAA takes control of and reopens the tower.. (But not before a running marathon is held on the runways the week before)


Just a few photo's of Brunswick NAS during the closure and it's final years.




Brunswick NAS, Maine



The airfield runway lights are shut off for the final time


A P-3 Orion from VP-8, a former NASB squadron now based at JAX, becomes the last to fly over the base.


Looking down now closed RWY 01R
http://a1.sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-snc3/27986_437943544049_300342679049_5853742_6414152_n.jpg

Off to a new home
http://a7.sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-snc4/39113_1366951894721_1259395571_30914253_1550621_n.jpg

http://a6.sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-snc3/25899_10150160304090035_803170034_11833914_3032330_n.jpg

Closing down

http://a4.sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-snc4/36395_128885623814041_100000778121481_135552_4028029_n.jpg

Overview of base shortly before last planes departed. One runway is covered under snow as they've stopped plowing.





Last planes depart Brunswick-Video
http://www.facebook.com/video/video....10150209478800035&oid=300342679049

Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 15):
For smaller towns and cities, Portsmouth, NH went through many hard years after Pease AFB closed in 1990. PSM was the very first base closure under the 'modern day BRAC. But they have come back in the past 8-10 years. The NHANG remained at PSM and a few airlines have tried to fly from there, like the new PanAm. I believe there is mostly freighter service there and a commuter airline. Now the USAF is thinking of putting a new Air Refueling Squadron there at the Pease ANGB, working beside the NHANG's KC-135Rs. PSM was one of the 11 bases looked at for MilCon costs for the KC-X compitition.

Pease AFB has been redeveloped pretty nicely. It's a large business park these days with a lot of commercial business there. Not so much going on with aviation activity. Just NH ANG, GA aviation, and occasional military charters to the Mideast. LCC airlines such as Pam Am IV and Skybus have been in and out as well. Plenty of empty ramp space and nearly a 12,000 foot runway waits any aviation venture that wants to set up operations there.

For quite a while after Pease closed in 1991 the place was just left to rot. Base housing was in shambles with trees growing through the windows and roofs falling in ten years after the closure. It was a real eye-soar! The finally tore down the last houses a few years ago. The former nuclear weapons storage area is now a nature preserve were people walk their dogs or jog.

Photo I shot of Pease while climbing out of PWM a few years ago.



View Large here- http://www.myaviation.net/search/pho..._search.php?id=00341323&size=large

Quoting citation501sp (Reply 20):
Rural bases like Griffiss AFB or Loring AFB are huge and the upkeep is enormous to maintain the facility as an operating airport. I'm sure the same would be true if say NS Norfolk closed, that is a MASSIVE Seaport sitting idle. Places like Griffiss AFB and Plattsburgh AFB have taken on the role of the county airport.

Loring was redeveloped fairly successfully for economically depressed rural northern Maine. There's a prep school for math and science on base these days. Military humvees and other equipment are overhauled there. Heavy aircraft maintenance was being performed on commercial jets there as recently as a few years ago. (Not sure if they are still doing that?) The airfield is officially closed to the general public, with X's on the runway, but can be used with prior permission when planes come in to be worked on. However, the Air Force took the ILS system and shipped it to Bosnia when the base closed, so it''s VFR arrivals only.

In 1996 and 1997 (or ''98)? the band Phish headlined two mega shows there. The whole place turned into a giant Woodstock with tens of thousands of people camping out, doing drugs and having sex for several days.... As well as backing up traffic all the way to Bangor. Northern Maine has never seen that many people since!

Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 15):
The rumor is then the current NHANG KC-135Rs move to the MEANG at BGR.
Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 15):
The rumor is then the current NHANG KC-135Rs move to the MEANG at BGR.



Not so sure about that? Last fall it was in the news up here that the Air Force was considering dramatically reducing their air bridge operation out of BGR or disbanding it all together? Some high ranking general came to the ME ANG base for a tour and to have a meeting with the governor and one of our senators about the future of the Maine ANG. The Air Force was saying there's too many tanker units based in the northeast and they don't need the capacity now that they don't have as much traffic crossing to Iraq and Afghanistan.

'National Guard Delays Close of Bangor Program'

http://www.pressherald.com/news/nati...earchterm=maine+air+national+guard

[Edited 2011-03-18 21:57:00]

User currently offlineSTT757 From United States of America, joined Mar 2000, 16793 posts, RR: 51
Reply 22, posted (3 years 3 months 3 weeks 1 day 11 hours ago) and read 8111 times:

With the BRAC process there is the initial Department of Defense recommendations, and then there's the BRAC commissions final rulings. There are many instances where the BRAC comittee rejects the DOD's recommendations and keep a base open that the DOD wanted to close, the Groton Submarine base and Portsmouth Naval Shipyard are two expamples of such from the last BRAC in 2005. However there are times when the BRAC committee decides to close facilites the DOD wanted to keep open, Brunswick NAS is one such case.

The Department of Defense wanted to merely realign Brunswick NAS, not close the facility. The DOD wanted to reduce it's operations from a Naval Air Station to a Naval Airfield, basically keeping it open in a reduced capacity hosting aircraft only on a rotational basis from other locations. Keeping it open for contigencies and training. In their decision to close Brunswick NAS the BRAC Comittee cited the various Air National Guard bases in the Northeast that could acoomodate deployments of Patrol squadrons under various contigencies.

This is alarming in that with the closure of Brunswick NAS the only remaining active duty military airfield (save Fort Drum)in the Northeast is Joint Base McGuire/Dix/Lakehurst in New Jersey.



Eastern Air lines flt # 701, EWR-MCO Boeing 757
User currently offlinegordomatic From United States of America, joined Mar 2009, 93 posts, RR: 0
Reply 23, posted (3 years 3 months 3 weeks 1 day 6 hours ago) and read 8053 times:

Quoting Jetjack74 (Thread starter):
Ever wonder what happens when a military base closes and it's handed over to the the city?

Good post. I was born on a USAF base so I always feel sentimental about what happens to military bases & the surrounding community. I feel it is appropriate to tell the story of any former military installation & the role it played in keeping us all safe.


Quoting LMP737 (Reply 9):
It closed in the early 90's. About six years latter I happend to drive through Rantoul. Talk about a ghost town, all that was needed were some tumble weeds.

The first time I drove through KI Sawyer after it was closed in 1995 I was incredibly upset. To see one of the newer more modern SAC facilities ever built now deserted, buildings falling apart, weeds/overgrown lawns & ball fields - where once Air Force families thrived, memories created, babies born, kids went to school. Pride was so evident everywhere you went on base - it is shocking to see the condition it is in now.


Quoting citation501sp (Reply 20):
These are places where the entire community felt the brunt and fallout of a major closure, entering a localized economic depression.

The entire Upper Peninsula of Michigan took a hard hit when KI Sawyer closed; the economy of the area imploded, many businesses closed. 15 years later, it still comes up in conversations & news reports. Most recently, I heard they are going to close the high-school in near-by Gwinn, where my sisters went to school. It does help that Northern Michigan University is in Marquette & that the UP which known for it's mining history and it's beauty is a great place to vacation. And where else can you see Yoopers?


Quoting citation501sp (Reply 20):
Places like Griffiss AFB and Plattsburgh AFB have taken on the role of the county airport. It's overkill compared to the previous facility

Yeah - I agree. I have mixed feelings about why the Marquette County Airport was moved to KI sawyer 17 miles or so away - from the population base of the county - just so the Regionals have a 12,300 feet long, 150' wide runway & navigational aids appropriate for a Strategic Air Command installation - including its own VOR.


Quoting citation501sp (Reply 20):
The facility is there, bought by doe-eyed local politicians hoping to bring in new industry and champion their new and great airport. Only to have it site idle, for days then months, then years...

I don't think folks that used to drive a few miles out of Marquette to the old Marquette County airport really like the longer drive to the former airbase. I am real happy to see it put to some use; among other businesses, there is a FBO & an American Eagle maintenance facility, and a huge lumber mill now occupies the old ammo dump. So there are signs of life mixed in with empty tarmacs, hangars & buildings. I give the BRAC, the local government & especially the local residents kudos for making the best of a real crappy situation.


Quoting pwm2txlhopper (Reply 21):
Five years ago, the Navy spent millions to build a new control tower and radar facility.

A similar thing happened at KI Sawyer. The new control tower was completed just before the base closed. I know a lot went into the infrastructure to support a base of this caliber – now sitting idle. By the way, the tower is in use, fully manned. I thought I read somewhere according to a 2008 or 2009 report, there were something like 62 operations a day.

The radar dish on top of old SAGE direction center blockhouse is still being used - it turns, but the blast-proof building itself is 50+ years old & is falling apart. It's tough seeing the hospital I was born in shambles from vandalism - they won't tear it down because it is loaded with asbestos. Other buildings including barracks are more frequently being vandalized. I've read wire is being stolen for scrap value - removed from the conduits between buildings & transformers, etc. Houses on base have been purchased for living or to use as rentals. The success of conversion from KI Sawyer AFB to The Community of Sawyer varies, depending on who you ask.

It is a real mixed bag of emotions & sentimentality. Times change & life goes on. KI Sawyer AFB is one of many bases that were closed. Although saddened, I feel proud knowing I was privileged to live on base as a part of an Air Force family. I can reflect on that every time I visit even though the B52s are all gone.

I'm sure anyone that grew up on a base goes through the same thing.

-Gordon

[Edited 2011-03-20 15:21:32]


We have clearance, Clarence. Roger, Roger. What's our vector, Victor?
User currently offlinepwm2txlhopper From United States of America, joined Jan 2004, 1320 posts, RR: 1
Reply 24, posted (3 years 3 months 3 weeks 1 day 3 hours ago) and read 8012 times:

Quoting gordomatic (Reply 23):

Quoting pwm2txlhopper (Reply 21):
Five years ago, the Navy spent millions to build a new control tower and radar facility.

A similar thing happened at KI Sawyer. The new control tower was completed just before the base closed.

Yesh, I think this is a common occurrence at bases being closed? Invest millions of dollars for expansion or renovations, then within a year or two decide to shut the base down? Where's the rationale?

At Brusnwick NAS, the hangar they built was constructed just for the new P-8's. As of a few years ago, it was the only hangar the Navy had that was capable of housing multiple (forgot how many)? P-8's (737-700)) while being serviced. Plus, the North Atlantic area's the planes out of Brunswick use to patrol are now a good 3-4 hours from the closest other P-3 base at Jacksonville NAS,


When Loring AFB closed, they'd just built either a state of the art re-fueling facility, or a state of the art microwave de-iceing facility just a couple years before. (I forget which one... Maybe it was both?)

When Pease AFB closed, the entire 11,000 foot runway has just been re-constructed about five years before.

So much money essentially just thrown away.


25 EMBQA : Me as well... Grew up on the south end of the runways down in Harpswell. Many-many P-3's have screamed over our house at all hours of the day and nev
26 Post contains links pwm2txlhopper : http://www.amtonline.com/article/article.jsp?siteSection=1&id=11438 Here you go. I had the company named spelled wrong. Their prototype aircraft h
27 EMBQA : I did find it. I still doubt they could match what I'm making now at one of the largest aircraft manufacture in the world. Besides Maine TAXES.. !! yu
28 pwm2txlhopper : I grew up on Sebago Lake, so I wasn't right next door to the base as a kid to watch the activity on a regular basis. However, was wondering if you co
29 Post contains images gordomatic : Microwave de-icing? wow. Hmmm - nothing like a bag of popcorn for the flight The tower runway lighting control console is pretty slick. There is no r
30 STT757 : Keep in mind the Department of Defense did not want Brunswick closed, they had the base on their "re-align" list. The Pentagon wanted to merely reali
31 P3Orion : I was a controller at NHZ from 91-96. We never got FB111's or B52's. For pattern work, we would get C5's and KC130's from SWF, C130's from OQU, HU25's
32 Post contains links pwm2txlhopper : There was discusion about transfering the MEANG KC-135's from BGR to NHZ during the BRAC discusions, but it didn't pan out. Actually, the air force h
33 gordomatic : Well, it sounded cool. A microwave deicer could sort of work if you're not worried about frying ground crew or an occasional radio receiver front end
34 Post contains links Northwest727 : Any of you guys ever check out this website? Abandoned & Little-Known Airfields Here in the Northeast, I've flown along the coast of Rhode Island
35 STT757 : Much of Ford island is now new military housing.
36 Post contains links STT757 : Willow Grove JRB final flight was yesterday; http://www.philly.com/philly/news/local/118971364.html?cmpid=15585797 http://www.phillyburbs.com/news/loc
37 Post contains links srbmod : When NAS Atlanta was closed in September 2009 as the result of the 2005 round of BRAC, it still remained a military facility, having been transferred
38 ha763 : Pearl Harbor is listed on the National Registry of Historic Places. The Pacific Aviation Museum has the use of the 3 hangars and control tower on the
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