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Chanute Air Museum is closing........


Kirk W

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There is a beautiful Museum at Ellsworth AFB, in Rapid city, SD. One can only hope.

 

Ellsworth Museum, added after Post: Click here.

 

Too bad about Chanute - I can remember driving by there back in the 80's, couple times a year, from Michigan visiting in-laws in Texas. We would see the planes flying overhead... and I would point them out to our young son. Perhaps that... and a later trip to Barksdale AFB in Bossier City, LA helped persuade him to join the AF - which he did.

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It has made me wonder. Think of the large number of military bases that are now closed that we used to be able to maintain and staff. If we could afford to do it back then I can hardly understand why we have so much trouble with maintaining the ones we have now. I know about the expense of the modern weapons systems etc. Somebody used to pay for it all and it must have been us in general but now I guess we want it all for free. Maybe we need some more $1 a year patriotic rich guys.

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Went to tech school there in late '70. Every class had a picture taken in front of the static B-58. There was a B-36 by the snack bar that had a piece of the tail section that you could see a crack in and the guys in sheet metal school used to repair it. Story was it had a structural problem and was flown there to be a training tool. Sometime during the preparations that large vertical crack was noticed just forward of the tail section. I'll wager 2-3 thousand tin benders had the pleasure if learning their craft working on that bird.... and it looked like it!!

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It has made me wonder. Think of the large number of military bases that are now closed that we used to be able to maintain and staff. If we could afford to do it back then I can hardly understand why we have so much trouble with maintaining the ones we have now. I know about the expense of the modern weapons systems etc. Somebody used to pay for it all and it must have been us in general but now I guess we want it all for free. Maybe we need some more $1 a year patriotic rich guys.

 

We have downsized headcount so much many bases are surplus, only kept open because of political pork. They have tried various methods to close some bases (Google BRAC Base Realignment and Closure) but it is a very broken process that has generated few savings and much more pork. We need to close a lot of bases to fit the number of troops we have now, close even more as the force draws down to meet future authorizations.

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I know about the brac and was a DOD civilian and for at least a little of the time a reservist. I agree that as is typical it was subverted a lot for political gain. I have noted in recent years with talk of more closures the mice are already scurrying to save their particular base. If memory serves the brac started under GW Bush. Not finding fault as it was needed. And there were a lot of bases that went down under the bracs although a lot were just realigned.

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BRAC was to save money and possibly make money from selling off bases, that died in a vat of boiling pork fat.

 

Anybody want some prime land right outside DC? Book value is a zillion bucks per acre! Only bad part is Gen Washington used the area as a firing range as have 200 plus years of other military units. Actual value way less than cleanup costs. BRAC land sale profits that could be used to defer some of the Huachuca to Devens costs ZIP, not one penny.

 

Not as familiar with the sales at McClellan (Chemical warfare center and school) but they had issues too that took them off my radar when we saw no profit was going to be forthcoming.

 

Good intentions were never the reason, stealing someone's pork for your base without leaving fingerprints on the deal is closer to reality.

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  • 2 months later...

Been there twice for reunions. Lots of great aircraft there and we will surely lose some of our history when it closes. Most of the aircraft will not be flyable and I am sure will be scrapped to make beer cans. See 'em while you can!

Good luck, good health and safe travels!

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I guess I better get over and see it this summer. :)

I am staying at the town owned Prairie Pines 95 site campground that use to be for the Air Force mobile home housing.

I could see the outside planes from the campground until the corn got to tall between the campground and the museum.

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