Strategic Air Command

Written by Patricia Skinner
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History of Strategic Air Command

Offutt Air Base in Douglas County is the home of the US Air Force's Strategic Air Command. Situated just south of the city of Omaha, Strategic Air Command has a very interesting history. It began life as Fort Crook, in the 1890s. The first air unit posted there was the 61st Balloon Company in 1918.

Strategic Air Command came into being in 1946 out of the need to protect the United States from the Red Menace of Japan during WWII. It was renamed Offutt field in 1924 in honor of Lt. Jarvis J. Offutt, Omaha's first casualty of WWI who died in France. It was renamed Offutt Air Base in1948.

Why Was Offutt Chosen?

Offutt Air Base was not chosen at random. It was a perfect choice, begin a long way from the sea in all directions. The choice was also to do with the fact that it was one of the very few runways that could accommodate the fully loaded B-29 bombers that were to operate from the base.

Strategic Air Command was the place that many B-26 and B-29 bombers were built for service during WWII. In fact it was the place that the two bombers, the Enola Gay and Bock's Car, were built. They were the aircraft that dropped atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki towards the end of WWII in response to Pearl Harbor. Strategic Air Command is also home to the world's larges military meteorological facility.

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