Many people have come to Minot because of their job at Minot Air Force Base. Some have continued to make their home here.
Jennings "JB" Klug has been a resident of Minot since 1964 when he was hired as a Civil Service architectural engineer at the Minot base. At the time the base was still in its infancy.
One of Klug's major projects at Minot AFB that he was designing the outdoor swimming pool. The base didn't have any swimming pool at the time.
Eloise Ogden/MDN •
Jennings “JB” Klug stands before memorabilia on shelves in his home Wednesday in Minot. Klug moved to Minot in the 1960s when he went to work at Minot Air Force Base as a Civil Service architectural engineer. Minot remains his home where he has been involved in community activities.
"It was a new type of project. Doing buildings is one thing but doing a swimming pool ...," Klug said.
"My main work besides the swimming pool was writing specifications and doing the plans for add-ons and other types of work for the contractors who did the work," he said. He also served as an inspector during the construction period.
In his work Klug communicated extensively with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.
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Klug said the dormitories on base were constantly being renovated. "We painted and tried to keep them updated. Finally we renovated them so they would have more individual rooms," he said. He said the government also required handicapped parking slots in the dormitory parking lots. He said there was hardly a need but the government required it.
Klug also was involved in the work to renovate the dining hall, then called the mess hall, and occasionally renovation work on the north chapel.
He also visited the missile sites in the Minot missile field when the Corps was doing work. "We also had the south base (former radar installation south of Minot) and we had the one north (former Fortuna radar site)."
Originally from Fargo, Klug graduated from North Dakota State University, Fargo, with a degree in architectural engineering. He had several jobs in Fargo before he got the job at Minot AFB.
"I was the type of guy when opportunity came I grabbed it," he said.
While at Minot AFB when a specialty course was offered at Wright-Patterson AFB in Ohio, Klug participated in it.
"When I came back I inherited all these responsibilities like roofing expert, protective coating expert, sonic boom expert, housing maintenance, carpet czar. As a result, I inherited a lot of titles out there (at Minot AFB)," Klug said.
When another opportunity came an appointment at Ramstein Air Base in Germany he took it.
"I said I'd give it a try and spent three years there," he said. There, Klug was a national programmer for military bases in the United Kingdom.
Klug credits much of his success to his community involvement, including Toastmasters (including having served as district governor), Kiwanis and the American Legion. He also has run for the North Dakota Legislature, both House and Senate, but was unsuccessful in those efforts.
Klug has been retired since 1986.
During his retirement, Klug has deviated from his career in architectural engineering and is pursuing writing. He's published several books. He also was recently included with other industry experts in a book entitled, "Top 101 Industry Experts: Tools to Help You On The Road to Success." Klug has just completed a course on writing for children and also is writing a book about his three years spent in Germany.
He is devoted to his family. With the help of family members in his home, he takes care of his wife, Olivia, who has dementia and Alzheimer's Disease.
Looking back at Minot AFB and the many facilities added to the base since he worked there, Klug marvels at all of it. "The expansion of the housing is magnificent," he said, noting one of the many new projects.