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Warren holds a strong heritage

  • Published
  • By Paula Taylor
  • 90th Missile Wing Museum
When was the last time you visited your base museum or asked the wing historian a question?

I realize some people do not like to learn about our past, but it is very important to understand what has happened in the past to better understand the present and predict the future.

Heritage is an important part of each and every one of your careers in the military. This is not only true for the active duty, but civilians who work for the military.

Brig. Gen. Everett Thomas, Air Force Global Strike Command vice commander, has been concerned that the Air Force is losing their heritage and has made it one of his priorities. So, when was the last time you learned about your Air Force heritage?

Warren is the oldest continuously-active base among Air Force installations. We are listed on the National Register as a historic site, and we have several historic districts located on base. Not to mention we have more than 200 structures listed individually on the National Register. Heritage is easy to see on this base, and I hope each of you takes the opportunity to learn about our rich culture.

The Air Force is dedicated to heritage and has a separate civilian career field preserving what each and every one of you does daily. This small group of several hundred people attempts to preserve our written and artifact heritage for the Air Force. These few people document the events that will be remembered by future Americans. Many are tasked with deployments, just as active-duty members are deployed to the Middle East. Only 12 bases have an Air Force museum to preserve their artifacts. All of these dedicated people are interested in one thing, preserving our Air Force heritage.

Have you ever asked the question: What does the impavide patch mean? What about the Twentieth Air Force Patch, or the Air Force Global Strike Command patch? If not, maybe you should. These are all good questions everyone should take the time to learn the answers to. All you need to do is call our wing historian, Mike Byrd, 773-2980, or e-mail him as he is our keeper of heraldry.

There are all kinds of interesting things one could learn if one would only ask a question. Gen. Billy Mitchell was stationed here in 1912 when he was a captain. If you do not remember who he is, let me tell you that he is known as the "father of air power" as he told the press that the future of fighting wars would be fought in the air.

Did you know that Warren had a runway in 1919 for a U.S. airmail route? Eddie Rickenbacker, a WWI flying ace, crashed his aircraft on the dirt runway located here at Warren. Granted, it only lasted one year; but still, we had a runway at Warren.

Please visit your heritage at the Warren ICBM & Heritage Museum at Bldg. 210 located at 7405 Barnes Loop, or call 773-2980.