LUBBOCK, Texas – Reese Air Force officially closed this week in 1997 – making it the 25th anniversary of its shutdown.
The base opened in 1942 as an army flying school, and was later renamed Reese Air Force Base in honor of 1st Lt. Augustus F. Reese, Jr., an airman from Shallowater who was killed in World War II.
From 1942 to 1997, Reese AFB trained and graduated 25,349 U.S. Air Force pilots.
“It was a valued air training command and later air education training command base,” said Gary Boyd, U.S. Air Force Command Historian.
Congress authorized the BRAC or Base Realignment and Closure process, which in 1995, added Reese to the list of closures despite opposition from Lubbock and West Texas.
“Each service had to designate bases that they could afford to lose,” said Boyd. “It was really a hard decision to make because now you’re pitting bases, communities, and missions against one another,” said Boyd.
On September 30, 1997, Reese Air Force Base was officially closed. The location has since been repurposed and renamed the Reese Technology Center.
“We have a whole host of private companies and very large, global organizations like KBR,” said Murvat Musa, Executive Director of the Reese Technology Center. “We have a lot of biology, chemistry, and physics labs that operate here and we are really good for startups.”
Currently, Reese Technology Center is 2,000 acres. On the property are 72 buildings with 950,000 square feet of space.
Use the video player above to see more about the anniversary of the closing of Reese.