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Plattsburgh Air Force Base

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Title: Plattsburgh Air Force Base  
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Subject: 380th Air Refueling Squadron, 310th Air Refueling Squadron, 26th Air Refueling Squadron, 451st Air Expeditionary Group, Jerome F. O'Malley
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Plattsburgh Air Force Base

Plattsburgh Air Force Base
USGS aerial photo as of 4 May 1994
Owner United States Air Force
Location Town of Plattsburgh, near Plattsburgh, New York
Built 1954–1955
In use 1955–1995
Occupants United States Air Force
Elevation AMSL 234 ft / 71 m
Direction Length Surface
ft m
17/35 11,758 3,584 Asphalt/Concrete
Plattsburgh AFB is located in New York
Plattsburgh AFB
Plattsburgh AFB
Location of KPGB

Plattsburgh Air Force Base is a former United States Air Force Strategic Air Command (SAC) base covering 3,447 acres (13.7 km²) in the extreme northeast corner of New York, 20 miles (32 km) south of the Canadian border, located on the western shore of Lake Champlain opposite Burlington, Vermont, in the city of Plattsburgh, New York. . It is a military superfund site[1]

The base closed on 25 September 1995, pursuant to the Defense Base Realignment and Closure Act of 1990 (10 U.S.C. Sec. 2687 note) and the recommendations of the Defense Base Realignment and Closure Commission. It is now a civilian airport and industrial complex, operated by the Plattsburgh Air Base Development Authority. The airfield is now known as Plattsburgh International Airport.



Plattsburgh AFB is bordered by the city of Plattsburgh and the Saranac River to the north and the Salmon River to the south. It lies on the western shore of Lake Champlain on the New York-Vermont border.[1]

Major units

308th Bombardment Wing

380th Bomb Wing

497th Air Refueling Wing

820th Strategic Aerospace Division


Previous designations

  • Plattsburgh Air Force Base (1955-25 September 1995)

Major commands to which assigned

Major commands to which the base was assigned:

Major units assigned

Operational history



Early history

Missile operations
A Convair SM-65F Atlas #100 at Site 6 Au Sable Forks NY
Assigned aircraft
A B-47 Stratojet from Plattsburgh on display

Second half of the Cold War

Built during the Cold War, Plattsburgh AFB's runway is large enough to land the space shuttle. It was on a list of alternate landing sites for the space shuttle.[2] Space shuttle Columbia astronaut Michael P. Anderson, born at Plattsburgh AFB, was an Air Force pilot at Plattsburgh AFB when he got selected by NASA in 1994.

BRAC 1991 and closure
Governor Mario Cuomo speaking at a rally in favor of keeping the base

Accidents and incidents

KC-135 Fuselage Departs Plattsburgh AFB

Current status

Operating tables being taken out of the old base hospital, in the Double Cantilever Hangar

After the base was decommissioned, the Plattsburgh Airbase Redevelopment Corporation (PARC) was created to manage the 5,000-acre (20 km2) property. PARC split up the base into 165 parcels for redevelopment.[3] While community leaders feared in 1995, at the time of the actual closure, that the North Country's economy would collapse, this did not turn out to be the case; the base actually only accounted for about 8 percent of the local economy because it was so isolated.[4] On 16 and 17 August 1996, PARC hosted a massive music concert on the runway of the old decommissioned airbase by the band Phish. 70,000 people attended the concert known as the Clifford Ball[5] which added $20 million to the local economy.[6]

Current PARC tenants on former airbase properties include Wood Group, Pratt & Whitney Industrial Turbine Services (the first and longest continuous tenant), Bombardier,[7] Composite Factory, Inc.,[8] ORC Macro,[9] Pratt & Whitney,[10] GSM Vehicles (vintage trailer restoration) and the Westinghouse Air Brake Company (WABCO).[11]

The U.S. Air Force lists Plattsburgh among its BRAC "success stories."[12] The base's reuse and the circumstances surrounding it were chronicled in Flying High Again: PARC's Redevelopment of Plattsburgh Air Force Base, written by Marian Calabro and published by in 2008.[13][14]

Environmental problems

While digging for new PARC construction was underway low level nuclear materials (such as contaminated protective clothing) were found buried. The levels of radiation were safe and the area was decontaminated.


See also


 This article incorporates public domain material from websites or documents of the Air Force Historical Research Agency.

  1. ^ a b
  2. ^
  3. ^
  4. ^ JOE LoTEMPLIO Decision to close PAFB blindsided community Plattsburgh Press-Republican (NY) September 26, 2015
  5. ^ ,
  6. ^
  7. ^
  8. ^
  9. ^
  10. ^
  11. ^
  12. ^
  13. ^
  14. ^

Further reading

  • Maurer, Maurer. Air Force Combat Units of World War II. Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office 1961, 521p (republished 1983, Office of Air Force History, ISBN 0-912799-02-1).
  • Ravenstein, Charles A. Air Force Combat Wings Lineage and Honors Histories 1947–1977. Maxwell Air Force Base, Alabama: Office of Air Force History 1984. ISBN 0-912799-12-9.
  • Mueller, Robert (1989). Volume 1: Active Air Force Bases Within the United States of America on 17 September 1982. USAF Reference Series, Office of Air Force History, United States Air Force, Washington, D.C. ISBN 0-912799-53-6, ISBN 0-16-002261-4

External links

  • SAC Bases: Plattsburgh AFB Marvin T. Broyhill,, undated.
  • Plattsburgh Barracks James P. Millard,, undated
  • Plattsburgh International Airport
  • 556th Missile Sites
  • Historic American Engineering Record (HAER) No. NY-326, "Plattsburgh Air Force Base, U.S. Route 9, Plattsburgh, Clinton County, NY", 117 photos, 38 data pages, 23 photo caption pages, and 114 other records for subsidiary structures
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