Letter to the Editor

Blytheville Air Force Base Alert Center museum is an exciting prospect

Saturday, August 10, 2019

To the editor:

"Cold War looms again over state" printed on Memorial Day, May 27, 2019, brought back memories of life on Blytheville Air Force Base, where our family lived from 1960 through 1965.

The Alert Center was on the far end of the runway, surrounded by fencing topped with razor wire. It was staffed 24/7 with flight crews who were prepared to take B52 Bombers into the wild blue yonder toward a destination they might not know until they were in the air. They were the ones who would defend our nation, our homes, and our families… even if it meant they might never come back… even if it meant they might be the last people left alive on Earth or in the air above it.

During open house on base, people could walk on the runway, tour gigantic airplane hangars, see the huge bombers, and peek into fighter jets. The Blue Angels would fly overhead in precision formations, leaving white streaks in the sky. Everyone stood proud, and in awe. Off in the distance, the Alert Center was half buried and totally secured, a sobering reminder of Strategic Air Command’s mission.

While we lived on BAFB, Charles W. Johnston, our Dad, was promoted to Chief Master Sergeant. He was the first on BAFB to receive this rank, and one of the first in the nation.

It would be such an honor to see the BAFB Alert Center become the first… and perhaps the only… Cold War Museum in the nation.

— Dwana Enderson

North Little Rock