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Minot AFB anniversary means much to community

Happy 65th anniversary to Minot Air Force Base.

Yesterday marked 65 years since a groundbreaking ceremony in 1955 on farmland north of Minot where construction began.

The Minot community welcomed the base then, and it continues to welcome the base today. That support was recognized last fall when Minot received the Air Force Global Strike Command’s Barksdale Trophy, given to the community with the most outstanding support for its local base, including hospitality toward airmen, officers and their families.

Minot AFB has reciprocated. Whether it is opening its gates to host Northern Neighbors Day or inviting the area’s seniors to a Thanksgiving feast, air base personnel have embraced the community. When there’s been a need for help or to aid an organization, charity or cause, members of Minot AFB frequently are there as well. Their contributions have been enormous over the years.

As flooding became imminent in 1969, more than 1,000 base volunteers joined others in the community to evacuate residents. They rallied again to help Minot rebuild after an even more devastating flood in 2011. As just one example, airmen responded to help a Vietnam veteran renovate his flood-damaged house in Velva. Earlier this year, they were part of a Minot group that traveled to Fargo to “pay it forward” and sandbag against potential spring flooding there.

That is in addition to the economic impact the base has had on the region – calculated at $559 million in 2019 alone. The base has been a source of civil service jobs, construction jobs and other positive economic measures. Home of the 5th Bomb Wing and 91st Missile Wing, Minot AFB is unique in the Air Force Global Strike Command because it does it all, from nuclear to conventional missions.

Minot AFB also is credited with adding to the community’s diversity and talent pool. Many personnel who retired have stayed and continued to contribute in a multitude of ways.

It is hard to imagine what Minot would have looked like today had that groundbreaking not occurred 65 years ago. The base has truly changed the face of Minot, with the weight of that change coming down significantly on the plus side of the scale.

So congratulations to Minot AFB on 65 years, and best wishes for many more years to come.

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