Westover Air Force Base in Westover

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 Westover Air Force Base in Westover, MA Massachusetts Military Bases

 

Westover ARB is the largest and widest Air Reserve Base in the United States of America. It is close to Springfield and within the city limits of Ludlow and Chicopee, in the southern part of Oklahoma. The facility is about to grow even more due to the 2005 BRAC (Base Realignment And Closure) commission, which ordered it to “adopt” another base located nearby. By 2011, the large site was used by NASA during the Space Shuttle operation for landing. The place is named in the memory of Oscar Westover, who was killed in a plane crash in 1938. The military base is now used for maintenance operations and as a storage site for some of the heaviest aircrafts around. Its extremely long runways are used for a few civilian flights as well. As a matter of fact, most of the activity on site takes place around the runways.

History

The plans for this military base were done as a result of the German invasion of Poland, in 1939. The Americans saw a disastrous conflict in Europe and planted plenty of such bases around their country to prepare for an upcoming World War II. By that moment, the USA only had 17 bases around the country. Most of them were in a bad shape. The construction began in 1940, after the local authorities delayed the process due to the wide tobacco fields in the area that supported the local economy. The construction operations went fast. The general idea was to get some buildings that could support the basic needs of the troops, without any fancy facilities. Although they were not among the best and most resistant, the facilities included recreational areas, clinics, hospitals, warehouses, barracks, shops, clubs and libraries. The base was built to host around 1400 men only. By the end of World War II, it counted over 8000 inhabitants. During the war, the main mission of Westover ARB was to train professional troops in pretty much any domain, from bombers and pilots to navigators and gunners.

The importance of this base convinced the authorities to turn it into an active one and maintain it active. It was also part of the Cold War and the Gulf War. In 1991, it was the landing site for all the troops returning from the Gulf War. Their families were hosted on site to welcome them.

Units

Judging by its huge size, Westover ARB hosts units from multiple fields. However, the most important one is the 439-th Airlift Wing, with three groups and 16 squadrons. The 4-th Air Force is also among the important units on site. Other than that, there are around 10 tenant units, such as the Civil Air Patrol or the 302-nd Combat Support Brigade.

Housing

The housing system at Westover ARB is operated by a local office. Try to get in touch with it right away, as you will have to fill up an application that might take months to process. Some of the factors influencing your application include the duration of your deployment, your family or your rank.