Buckley Air Force Base is located six miles east of Denver in the province of Colorado, US. It is owned and operated by the United States Air Force (USAF).
Built on a 3,328 acre site, the BKF can carry out space surveillance, space communications, space-based missile warning capabilities and support operations.
Approximately 92,000 military personnel reside at the base.
History of Buckley Air Force Base
Construction of the Buckley Air Force Base began in 1942 as the Buckley Field. The field was named in the honour of World War I martyr John Harold Buckley who died in September 1918 in France.
The field was opened in July 1942 to provide flight training for airmen on B-17 and B-24 Bombardier aircraft. Around 50,000 air cadets were trained during World War II.
The Buckley Field became an auxiliary field to the adjacent Lowry Air Force Base in 1946. Control was handed over to the Department of Navy in September 1947 and renamed as Naval Air Station Denver (NASD).
The NASD was decommissioned in June 1959 and its control was transferred to the USAF. It was renamed Buckley Air National Guard Base (BANGB) in April 1960.
The Aerospace Data Facility was constructed at the base in May 1969. The BANGB was redesignated as Buckley Air Force Base in October 2000.
Garrison facilities at BKF
The BKF serves as the headquarters of 460th Space Wing (460 SW), 140th Wing and Colorado Army National Guard.
Activated in August 2004, the 460 SW executes global infra-red surveillance, tracks missile warning for theatre and homeland defences and supplies combatant warrior airmen. It is organised into three groups: 460th Operations Group for flying operations, 460th Mission Support Group and 460th Medical Group.
The Colorado Army National Guard is deployed at the base to supply equipment and personnel.
Other Squadrons deployed at the base include the 120th Fighter Squadron, 2nd Space Warning Squadron, 8th Space Warning Squadron, 200th Airlift Squadron, 137th Space Warning Squadron, 240th Civil Engineering Flight, 566th Intelligence Squadron, Detachment 801, Marine Air Control Squadron 23, Air Force Operational Test and Evaluation Centre, Navy Marine Corps Reserve Centre, US Army Corps of Engineers, Civil Air Patrol, Army Air Force Exchange Service and Army Aviation Support Facility.
Additions to the Colorado base
A 92,000ft2 two-storey air reserve personnel centre was built at the base in February 2011.
A solar array system of 1MW capacity was designed, built and installed at the base in December 2010 at a cost of $7.4m. It was constructed by AMEC Earth & Environmental.
In June 2011, Roche was contracted to design and build a 36,000ft2 security operations centre at the base.
Heath Construction was awarded a contract by the US Air Force to design and construct a 14-acre camp ground beside the base’s outdoor recreation area and a 900ft2 onsite facility. Construction started in February 2011 and was completed in seven months.
A total of 700 buildings, ten water wells, streets, runways, a water distribution system, a sewage collection and treatment system, communication system, coal-fired steam heating plant and a 16,800ft rail-road truck have been constructed at the base at a cost of $7.5m.
BKF air facilities
The Buckley air force base has a single 3,353m long and 45m wide runway surfaced with Porous European Mix (PEM).
It can accommodate a variety of aircraft, including F-16C, C-21 Learjet, CH-47 Chinook, UH-1 Huey, UH-60 Blackhawk, B-17 Flying Fortress and B-24 Liberator.
Other facilities at Buckley Air Force Base
The BKF offers training, temporary lodging, education, single and family housing, childcare and medical care facilities to its occupants.
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