The Military Affairs Committee of the Minot Area Chamber of Commerce has launched a community drive to raise $75,000 for a model B-52. The model B-52 would be presented to Minot Air Force Base and installed there.
John MacMartin, Chamber president, told committee members Thursday that the B-52 model would be a one-eighth scale model. He said Barksdale AFB in Louisiana, the only other B-52 base, has a one-eighth scale model. That model was a gift from the people in the greater Shreveport, La., area.
The B-52 model project is being done to show appreciation to the U.S. Air Force.
In a letter sent to its members Thursday, Chamber officials said the significance of the 5th Bomb Wing and the 91st Missile Wing, both headquartered at the Minot base, cannot be understated.
"They have an annual half billion dollar impact on our region with many intangible benefits such as spousal employment when our need for workers in this area is so critical. It is very important that this region of the state honors the military, thanks them for their service, and establishes a permanent tribute as our greater community shows sincere appreciation," the letter said.
This year is the 60th anniversary of the B-52 bomber. The last B-52 that came off the assembly line is assigned to Minot AFB.
The Military Affairs Committee's goal is to raise $75,000 for the project which would involve one or two large-scale B-52 displays with 32- to 36-foot wingspans.
The priority would be a model B-52 as part of the focal point at the base parade grounds where most of the formal outdoor ceremonies take place. The parade grounds are located across from the 5th Bomb Wing headquarters.
The goal is to have the military appreciation display in place by late next spring, MacMartin said.
Donations are being accepted from Chamber members and others who would like to contribute.
Donations can be made out to "USAF Recognition Project" and sent in care of the Minot Area Chamber of Commerce, PO Box 940, Minot, ND 58702 or delivered to its office at 1020-20th Ave. SW, Minot.
For more information about the project, including contributions as a tax-deductible donation, call the Chamber at 852-6000.