In the 2005 BRAC Recommendations, Do D recommended to close Ellsworth AFB (see below for detials).Ellsworth AFB, located about 7 miles east of Rapid City, South Dakota, is home to the B-1B Lancer.Ellsworth was known as "The Showplace of Strategic Air Command" as it continued to fight the Cold War by maintaining two legs of America's strategic triad: strategic bombardment and land-based ICBMs. War Department established Rapid City Army Air Base as a training location for Flying Fortress crews.
As a Strategic Air Command installation, Ellsworth hosted two generations of ICBMs and provides an outstanding case study for understanding the difficulties and costs associated with constructing a first-generation missile complex and how the experience was applied to constructing a second-generation complex. All training focused on the Allied drive to overthrow the Axis powers in Europe.
After World War II, the base briefly trained weather reconnaissance and combat squadrons using P-61 Black Widow, P-38 Lightning, P-51 Mustang, and B-25 Mitchell aircraft.
Those missions soon ended, however, and Rapid City Army Air Field temporarily shut down from September 1946 until March 1947.
When operations resumed in 1947 the base was a new United States Air Force asset.
The primary unit assigned to Rapid City Air Force Base was the new 28th Bombardment Wing flying the B-29 Superfortress.
Shortly after additional runway improvements in July 1949, the 28th Bombardment Wing began conversion from, to the huge B-36 Peacemaker.
In April 1950 the Air Staff reassigned the base from 15th Air Force to 8th Air Force. Ellsworth, commander of the 28th Strategic Reconnaissance Wing, who lost his life in that accident.
The base experienced one of its worst peacetime tragedies in March 1953 when an RB-36 and its entire crew of 25, crashed in Newfoundland while returning from an exercise in Europe. Eisenhower made a personal visit to dedicate the base in memory of Brig. The base has been especially honored to bear the commander's name ever since.
The Strategic Air Command set plans in motion to replace the 28th's B-36s with the new all-jet B-52 Stratofortress, and the last B-36 left Ellsworth on May 29, 1957 and the first B-52 arrived 16 days later.
In October 1960, Ellsworth entered the "Space Age," with the activation of the 850th Strategic Missile Squadron, initially assigned to the 28th Bombardment Wing.
For more than a year, this squadron prepared for the emplacement of Titan I intercontinental ballistic missiles, which finally arrived in 1962, shortly after the activation of the 44th Strategic Missile Wing in January.