Strategic Air Command
SAC Bases:  Pease Air Force Base
Location: New Hampshire, 55 miles from Boston
Home of: 100th Bomb Wing, 509th Bomb Wing  
Status:  Now an airport.  Home to the New Hampshire Air National Guard which flies KC-135R air refueling aircraft.
Links:  Pease Development Authority, Pease AFB Story (many good pictures)
Then ... and now
     Pease ANGB is located in the state of New Hampshire, 55 miles north of Boston and three miles south of Kittery, Maine. Pease is located in the New Hampshire Seacoast Region between the City of Portsmouth and the towns of Newington and Greenland, New Hampshire. Pease Air Force Base (Pease AFB) occupies 4,255 acres in Rockingham County. Pease is home to the New Hampshire Air National Guard 157th Air Refueling Wing which flies KC-135R air refueling aircraft. The installation is approximately 220 acres in size and currently includes 40 facilities. The current base population is 380 people with a once a month surge of up to 950 personnel.
       Pease Air Force Base started its long history as a 300 acre municipal airport in the 1930s. The U.S. Navy started using the airport during World War II. Portsmouth Air Force Base formally opened on June 30, 1956. In 1957, the Air Force renamed the base Pease Air Force Base in honor of New Hampshire native Captain Harl Pease, Jr. who posthumously earned the Congressional Medal of Honor for heroism during World War II. B-47, KC-97, B-52, KC-135 A/E/R, C-130, and FB-111 aircraft were based at Pease at varying times.
     The mission of the base was to maintain a combat-ready force capable of long-range bombardment operations. During its history, Pease AFB has been the home of the 100th Bombardment Wing and the 509th Bombardment Wing, whose mission is to develop and maintain operational capacity to permit the conduct of strategic warfare in the event of war. From 1956 until its closure in 1991, Pease Air Force Base maintained a combat-ready force for long range bombardment operations. B-47, KC-97, B-52, KC-135 A/E/R, C-130, and FB-111 aircraft were based at Pease at varying times.

   The 100th Bombardment Wing, Medium was established on March 23, 1953.  Not operational from April 1, to June 24, 1955. Activated Jan. 1, 1956, at Portsmouth AFB, later renamed Pease AFB, New Hampshire and received B-47s.  On August 16, 1956, the 100th Air Refueling Squadron was added to the wing. The 100th Bomb Wing performed global strategic bombardment training from April 1956 to February 1966, and conducted air refueling operations from August 1956 to December 1965.  It was deployed to Brize Norton RAF Station, England from December 1957 to June 1958.  It was one of the last B-47 wings to be inactivated.  It's proud Stratojets flew their last mission - to the aircraft graveyard and recycling center at Davis Monthan AFB, Arizona.       

       The 509th Bomb Wing moved its people and equipment to Pease AFB in August 1958. There, the wing continued to function as an integral part of SAC. By 1965, its B-47s for were scheduled for retirement. Unfortunately, this retirement also included the 509th. Fate intervened, however, as SAC decided to keep the 509th alive and equipped it with B-52s and KC-135s. Thus, the wing received its first B-52 and KC-135 in March 1966.  The wing's association with the B-52 included two major deployments to Andersen AFB, Guam, as part of the now famous Vietnam War Arc Light missions. In April 1968 and again in April 1969, the wing began six-month ventures in the Western Pacific. During the last deployment, SAC informed the 509th that the wing would swap its B-52s for FB-111As. Accordingly, the wing began receiving the formidable fighter-bomber in December 1970.  Over the next two decades, little changed for the 509th BW as it became SAC's fighter-bomber experts. However, a decision by the Department of Defense in 1988 to close Pease created major changes for the famous 509th.  Headquarters SAC decreed that the 509th would not inactivate but transfer to Whiteman AFB to become the first B-2 Stealth bomber unit. As such, the wing moved to Whiteman on Sept. 30, 1990, without people and equipment. That same day also saw most of the wing's squadrons inactivated.   This took place since the wing was expected to remain non-operational until the arrival of the first B-2 drew nearer. While the wing waited for that
      The New Hampshire Air National Guard relocated the 157th Military Airlift Group (MAG) from Grenier Field at Manchester, NH to Pease AFB in 1966. The mission of this group was changed in 1975 when it was designated as the 157th Air Refueling Group.
       Pease Air Force Base was the first major installation actually to be closed under the recommendations of the 1988 Commission on Base Closure and Realignment. In December 1988, Pease AFB was selected as one of the 86 military installations to be closed as part of the Secretary of Defense's Commission on Base Realignment and Closure. In 1989, 3,461 active-duty military and 741 civil service workers and 347 on-appropriated fund employees were employed at Pease AFB. Of the active duty personnel, 49 were with the Air National Guard. It is estimated that the base created a total of 2,466 secondary jobs within the local communities. Military personnel began leaving the base in June 1990. Pease AFB closed on March 31, 1991.
     Under the Air Force's Installation Restoration Program, environmental investigations began in 1983. Pease activities at Pease AFB in support of aircraft maintenance operations have generated listed hazardous and potentially listed and/or characteristic hazardous waste including spent degreasers, solvents, paint strippers, contaminated jet fuels, and perhaps minor quantities of other potentially hazardous waste. Due to environmental contamination of soils and groundwater, Pease AFB was placed on the National Priorities List in 1990.
       Base property was transferred to the Pease Development Authority for reuse as a civilian commercial center. Pease Airport opened for civilian use in 1991 and became an FAA certified airport under FAR Part 139 in October 1992. The Air Traffic Control Tower is staffed 24-hours a day, 7-days a week. The airport has all new airfield facilities and pavements including an ILS approach to both runways. The new domestic and international terminal supports passenger service by Pan American Airways. Pease offers a Foreign Trade Zone with access to the east coast and international trade corridors by land, Route I-95, direct air cargo from Pease or by sea via the Port of New Hampshire. Air cargo access is available via an 11,300 foot runway. The new International/domestic passenger terminal has Federal Inspection Service including customs, agriculture and immigration.
       Pease Airport opened for civilian use in 1991 and became an FAA certified airport under FAR Part 139 in October 1992. Pease is home to the New Hampshire Air National Guard which flies KC-135R air refueling aircraft.
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