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Francis Emroy Warren AFB: the namesake

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Braydon Williams
  • 90th Missile Wing Public Affairs

The accounts of the men and women who impacted the history of F.E. Warren Air Force Base serves as a reminder of their bravery and traditions they created. These traditions serve as a window to the past for the new men and women stationed on F.E. Warren. 

President Abraham Lincoln and Congress set plans for the Transcontinental Railroad and recognized the need for a military installation to protect Union Pacific workers from potentially hostile Indians.

On July 4, 1867, the railroad established its mountain region headquarters at Crow Creek Crossing, now known as Cheyenne.

Weeks later, the U.S. Cavalry moved from its temporary headquarters in Cheyenne to a point three miles west and established Fort D. A. Russell, marking the beginning of a city and a fort, that have grown side by side for 151 years.

Fort D.A. Russell was named after U.S. Army Brig. Gen. David Allen Russell, in honor of his meritorious service during the Civil War.

Russell was killed at the Battle of Opequon in Virginia in 1864.

By the 20th century, Fort D.A. Russell was one of the largest cavalry bases and was home to the famous Buffalo Soldiers.

After a 60-year stint, the last cavalry units on Fort D.A. Russell left the installation in 1930. That same year, the fort was renamed by President Herbert Hoover, to Fort Francis E. Warren, in honor of Francis Emroy Warren, a Medal of Honor Recipient and the first Wyoming state governor.

During its time as Fort F.E. Warren, it was used as a training center for the U.S. Army Quartermaster Corps, the oldest logistics branch of the Army.

In June of 1947, the U.S. Army Air Forces took control of the fort for a few short months before becoming a separate and independent branch of service.

Finally, in October 1949, the base was renamed to what it’s as known today, Francis E. Warren Air Force Base, the home of the tenant 582nd helicopter Group, the 90th Missile Wing and Headquarters 20th Air Force.

Each year during Cheyenne Frontier Days, the world’s largest outdoor rodeo and western festival, the Airmen of F. E. Warren open the gates to the base to show off the modern mission and the traditions that have continued from the early days of D. A. Russell to the present day.

Allowing the public to see F. E. Warren, helps ensure those Airmen keep the history of Fort D.A. Russell, Fort F.E. Warren and F.E. Warren AFB alive in the hearts and minds of those who call Wyoming and the United States home.