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Eaker Air Force Base

Eaker Air Force Base, with a long and rich history, is the current site of the Arkansas International Airport and the Arkansas Aeroplex, which is the second largest industrial complex in Arkansas. The Blytheville, Arkansas base formerly supported aircraft and tanker operations. Established on June 10, 1945 as an Army airfield, the base later served as an advanced flight school in the Southeastern Training Command program. It remained a training center till the end of the . After the war, until its closure in October, 1945, the base was used to process military members being discharged. Later, on July 15, 1955, the facility was reopened as Blytheville Air Force Base, when the 461st Bombardment Wing moved from Hill Air Force Base in Utah. The base became fully operational with a wing consisting of three squadrons of B-57 bombers by 1956. In April 1958, the 4229th Air Base Squadron took control of the base, and in 1959, the 97th Bombardment Wing succeeded the 4229th. On January 10, 1960, dedication ceremonies were held for the development of the 97th BMW's first B-52G The City of Blytheville. The base was also home to a strategic air command squadron and over 3,000 military personnel. On May 26, 1988, Blytheville Air Force Base was renamed Eaker Air Force Base in commemoration of General Ira C. Eaker, the first commander of the Eighth Air Force during World War II. The base was closed in 1991, and an official closing ceremony was held on December 15, 1992. Though converted to a general aviation airport, the facility is still utilized by the military to train flight maneuvers. Further, it is used as a landing site to pick up and drop off local National Guard Troops.