Nestled in the northeastern corner of Aurora, Buckley Air Force Base has been serving the United States Armed Forces since before World War II — for 75 years.
And since you’d have to have high-level military clearance to explore Buckley in its entirety, the Aurora History Museum is bringing the Air Force base to you in its new exhibit, now through June 3.
Titled “Wings to Satellites: A History of Buckley Air Force Base,” the museum exhibit will dive into the history of the base, which has served all branches of the armed forces at one time or another. It will include displayed artifacts, historic photographs, and presentations by the 460th Space Wing historian regarding the history of the base, as well as the satellite-based infrared sensors.
Buckley Air Force Base has established itself as one of the most prominent economic and physical landmarks in the history of Aurora,” museum director T. Scott Williams said on the website. “From its early days as a bombing range for Lowry Field, to its current role in providing the nation with strategic missile warning defense as well as serving as a home for the Colorado Air National Guard’s 140th Wing, Buckley Air Force Base has been a ubiquitous, if sometimes mysterious, feature of the city’s past.”
Providing jobs to 13,000 military personnel and civilians, and bringing in about $1 billion to Aurora’s economy on an annual basis, the base is a staple in the Aurora community, though it’s often shrouded in mystery to outsiders. Impressively, Buckley also houses the “nation’s only space-based missile warning system,” according to The Denver Post.
“Buckley Air Force Base has so much history here, and it’s such a part of the community, but sometimes it’s mysterious and people don’t really know what’s going on there,” Williams told The Post. “We hope that this demystifies some things for people.”
If you are an Aurora resident or military veteran with memories of Buckley Air Force Base, the museum staff wants to hear from you to share your experience and story!
The exhibit at the Aurora History Museum is completely free. Located at 15051 E. Alameda Parkway in Aurora, the museum is open Tuesday–Friday, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Visit the website for more information.
Featured image courtesy of buckley.af.mil.