News Search

Mission, history come alive at base open house

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Jason Wiese
  • 90th Missile Wing Public Affairs

The base’s 23rd-annual open house, Fort D.A. Russell Days, is in full swing, today through Sunday.

Airmen from across the wing, under the leadership of Paula Taylor, Warren ICBM & Heritage Museum director, are showcasing the ICBM mission and history of the base for the general public.

Events include living history displays, battle reenactments, period-style dances and several military static displays with Airmen standing-by to answer mission-related questions.

“Fort D.A. Russell Days is a throwback to the first Cheyenne Frontier Days, when the base hosted reenactments of the Indian Wars,” Taylor said. “Now we show demonstrations and history from the Colonial days up to the modern era.”

Fort D.A. Russell Days is scheduled around Cheyenne Frontier Days to give more people the chance to learn about the Mighty Ninety mission and heritage.

For the next two days, visitors may tour the base as long as they have a government-issued ID.

Participants today got a chance to see “living history” performers who camped out and demonstrated skills used by settlers in the mid-to-late 19th century, including blacksmithing and horse riding.

“I think it’s fantastic,” said Laura Volz, open-house visitor from Overland Park, Kansas. “For me not to be much of a history person, I was very intrigued by all the living history.”

She said there is not much of a military presence where she is from, so seeing military vehicles like Humvees and helicopters was a great experience.

“You see things like that in the movies,” she said, “so it’s really cool to see it in person.”

In one historical presentation, Vision Heirs, a re-enactment group, acted out an American Revolution battle for the spectators and hosted numerous displays of clothing, encampments and tools.

“It’s fun to talk to people and enlighten them on their history,” said Ethan Rivera, Vision Heirs member. “It’s a lot better to feel things with your hands instead of just reading about them in a book.”

There is even more to see Saturday and Sunday, including tours of missile training areas, where missileers train to respond to real-world scenarios they may face in a launch control center, and a training launch facility, where maintenance Airmen learn to fix and upgrade missile components.

There will also be tours of historic brick homes built around the late 1800s and early 1900s, as well as static displays of military equipment with Airmen who use them every day to explain their purpose and capabilities.

This year there are shuttle busses running tomorrow and Sunday from the CFD Park along 8th Avenue to the D.A. Russell grounds on base. Shuttles will be running from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. More information and a complete schedule of activities can be found here.