Naval Air Station Banana River - History - United States Air Force Use

United States Air Force Use

NAS Banana River was transferred to the United States Air Force on September 1, 1948 and renamed the Joint Long Range Proving Ground on June 10, 1949. The installation was renamed Patrick Air Force Base in August 1950.

In 1971, the Defense Equal Opportunity Management Institute (DEOMI) was established at Patrick AFB.

Five of the victims of the Khobar Towers bombing in 1996 were home stationed at Patrick AFB as part of the 71st Rescue Squadron (71 RQS). The 71 RQS subsequently relocated to Moody AFB, Georgia in 1997.

The 9/11 attacks prompted the Air Force to close the heavily used 4-lane Florida State Road A1A, which ran immediately in front of the AFTAC Headquarters building. A1A was later reopened to two-lane traffic with car inspections, followed by two-lane traffic without inspections until a barrier was constructed in front of the building and the building reinforced with steel and concrete with the windows sealed.

In February 2005, the Patrick AFB Officers Club was destroyed by an accidental fire.

In 2010, the Air Force announced its intention to replace the existing AFTAC building front Florida State Road A1A with a new facility that would cost in the range from $100 to $200 million. At the time of this announcement, this constituted the largest single military construction (MILCON) project in the United States for the Air Force. When completed, the facility will be a 276,000 square feet (25,600 m2) multistory command and control building with a 38,000 square feet (3,500 m2) radiochemistry laboratory, 18,000 square feet (1,700 m2) central utility plant and a 600 space 180,000 square feet (17,000 m2) parking garage approximately a .25 miles (0.40 km) west of the existing structure.

US Navy Boeing E-6 Mercury aircraft, part of Operation Looking Glass, were sometimes seen at Patrick AFB during the 2010-11 time frame and were often mistaken by onlookers for the previously retired VC-137 Presidential aircraft (i.e., Air Force One), which looks similar.

Read more about this topic:  Naval Air Station Banana River, History

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