An ode to Beale Airforce Base

03/08/2014 7:03 AM

03/09/2014 11:11 AM

Re "Proposed Beale cuts have area anxious" (Page A1, March 8): As a young lieutenant, I reported to Beale Air Force Base in 1967 to find a thriving, busy place. I belonged to the 456 Strategic Wing which operated B-52G bombers and KC-135 tankers. In addition, the famous SR-71 Blackbird operated out of Beale and some overseas locations.

For us "buff" (B-52) guys, the SR-71 was like a rocket ship and we all aspired to get an assignment there.

I still visit Beale, and have noted that the base has undergone several improvements which included a new clinic and base exchange and, recently, replacement of the old Wherry and Capehart houses with new homes for the officers and enlisted personnel.

In my 20-plus years of Air Force life, it was routine to see bases close their gates subsequent to numerous ambitious improvements and construction. I hope this isn't the case at Beale.

-- Doug Cooper, Lincoln

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