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Base Open House celebrates 150th anniversary

F.E. WARREN AIR FORCE BASE, Wyo. --

F.E. Warren Air Force Base hosted its annual base open house July 21-23. This year is special because it’s the 150th anniversary of the base and city of Cheyenne being established.

On July 4, 1867, the railroad established its mountain region headquarters at Crow Creek Crossing, later known as Cheyenne. The U.S. Cavalry moved from temporary headquarters in Cheyenne three miles west and established Fort D. A. Russell. Thus, 1867 was the beginning of a city and a fort, and both have grown together over the years.

“Fort D.A. Russell was built to protect the railroad and Cheyenne wouldn’t be here without it,” said Charles Rand, base museum volunteer. “It’s important for people to remember where we come from.”

The open house provided community members an opportunity to learn about the base’s mission and history through historic military presentations, military working dog demonstrations, modern ICBM mission displays and period-style dances.

The three-day event was open to the public and had more than 2,000 people visiting the base.

“My family enjoys coming out here because it really feels like you’re taken back in time, and everything is so realistic and well put together,” said Tifara Pietersma, local Cheyenne resident.

The open house was made possible thanks to the hard work of Airmen across the wing and members of the local community.

The 90th Civil Engineer Squadron helped set up the grounds, and the 90th Security Forces Squadron boosted security to maintain protection of the base as the population increased. Volunteers came from seven different states to set up displays and re-enact.

“This is an insightful event because you get to see how they lived, the clothing they wore and the weapons they had,” said Bobby Johnson, 90th Civil Engineer Squadron storage tank manager. “It allows you to see our western history compared to our experience today on F.E. Warren.”