WASHINGTON— U.S. Senator John Boozman recognized the 60th anniversary of Little Rock Air Force Base in the Congressional Record, the official proceedings of Congress.
Boozman’s office will present a copy of the Congressional Record statement at tonight’s anniversary celebration. The following remarks are printed in the Congressional Record:
Mr. President, I rise today to honor the men and women of Little Rock Air Force Base and the surrounding communities for their steadfast support, spirit of service, and faithful dedication to the defense of our nation.
In 1951, community leaders in Jacksonville, Arkansas and the surrounding region began petitioning Congress for the creation of a local air base. The needed support was unattainable in the post-World War II environment, so supporters took it upon themselves to raise the money and purchase the land required for the base. In only 32 days, these air base advocates raised more than $800,000, and with the combination of purchased and donated land, 6,359 acres were gifted to the U.S. government for the establishment of Little Rock Air Force Base.
On October 9, 1955, the base officially opened. Since that day, it’s served as a strategic operating location for numerous mission sets. From reconnaissance and bomber alert missions to the ever-present readiness of Titan II missile crews, Little Rock Air Force Base stood ready. With their cargo aircraft and selfless airmen, the base has responded to numerous natural disasters and humanitarian missions. Most recently, with the C-130 Hercules, Little Rock Airmen have had a continuous global presence. From training members of three U.S. services and 20 foreign nations to supporting operations on five of the seven continents, they embody their motto as “The Home of Combat Airlift.”
Over the past 60 years, the men and women of Little Rock Air Force Base have employed weapons systems covering every key tenant of Air Power. Currently, the base seamlessly blends Active Duty, Air National Guard and Air Force Reserve Command personnel into a singular fighting machine, taking Airmen from initial qualification through graduate-level training.
From its inception, Little Rock Air Force Base has been uniquely suited to fulfill any mission it is presented. The support of the community provides an unmatched strength that cannot be countered by any weapon system. The people of central Arkansas have opened their hearts and homes for six decades to welcome the men and women of the United States military.
Mr. President, I am proud to represent the men and women of Little Rock Air Force Base and the communities who support them. I am grateful for their service and dedication and look forward to a future of continued success and cooperation.