Photography which had always been an important military activity was now a critical activity for SAC. On April 6, , "Army Day" nationwide, the dedication, flag raising and ground breaking ceremony was held on site. Here was where long-range B bombers armed with nuclear devices were kept on continuous alert on a nearby runway, known as the Christmas Tree.
Up to then, the country had only seventeen unimproved and ill-maintained air bases. In fact, it is these buildings which have survived, while of the hundreds of temporary buildings later constructed to meet the tremendous needs of the war mobilization by the Corps of Engineers only a few remain. Film made on high-speed spy planes over enemy land was developed and translated to maps in Buildings and Building at the base was constant throughout Currently, 2, reservists are assigned to the wing at Westover. SAC operations began at Westover in and the "mole hole," building , was the first building erected as part of the SAC massive retaliation strategy. The lower control room was outfitted for SAC operations in case of nuclear war. Altogether , flights by Cs and Cs were flown, bringing an average of one ton of supplies and food to each Berlin resident. The first organization at the base was the 10th Signal Platoon that began working in June Meanwhile, Westover took part in the Korean conflict transporting freight and passengers to the forces in Korea, and casualties were brought to the Westover Hospital from to Westover is operated daily by a work force of about 1, civilians, including Air Reserve Technicians. Between March and July of , soldiers returning from the Gulf War landed at Westover where they were met by their families and friends. What is known is that this was one of four photographic labs on the base during the SAC era, processing film secretly made by U-2 airplanes. The quantity of film taken was so great that another building on base operated primarily as a silver recovery facility. In Westover Field became the training center for anti-submarine, engineering, chemical platoons, bomber and fighter groups. Peacetime mission includes recruiting, training and supervision of personnel to ensure mission readiness. Many American prisoners of war returned from Vietnam through Westover, but when this operation ended in the base was in part sold off and in the remainder was turned over to the Air Force Reserve. In , SAC crews were sent to Vietnam on B bombing missions and anti-war activists began protesting the war on a daily basis at Westover's main gate. The first Air Corps arrived in July. C and 47 transport planes took supplies and reinforcements to the armed forces and returned with the wounded and discharged troops. On April 6, , "Army Day" nationwide, the dedication, flag raising and ground breaking ceremony was held on site. At the start of there was housing for approximately 3, enlisted and officers, and at the close of that year there were quarters for about 8, officers and men. It was designated as Target Intelligence Training Building for the Reconnaissance Technical forces in , but its functions were always highly secret. Westover ARB is home to reserve personnel who train one week-end per month as well as a day annual tour. At first, the base had been planned to accommodate 1, men as an airplane overhaul facility, but by this had been increased to 3, men. Original drawings of Building indicated rooms for radar bomb training, se-cure storage, predictions, mission support and operational intelligence maps. On July 30, , the old air traffic control tower at Westover ARB was destroyed using five earthmovers to pull down the year-old building.
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