Buckley Space Force Base
Buckley Space Force Base (1938-Active) - A United States Space Force Base that was first established by the U.S. Army in 1941 as Buckley Field at Aurora, Arapahoe County, Colorado. Named in honor of 1st Lt. John H. Buckley, who was killed in World War I. The Base became Naval Air Station Denver in 1947 and then Buckley Air National Guard Base in 1960. The base was then transferred to the Air Force and renamed Buckley Air Force Base in 2000. In 2021 the base was transferred to the new U.S. Space Force and renamed Buckley Space Force Base. Now an active Space Force Base.
Pre World War II
(Text adapted from USSF Fact Sheet)
Buckley Field was originally constructed as an auxiliary landing field for Lowry Field in 1938.
World War II
With the onset of World War II, the installation was transformed into an active military installation and renamed Buckley Field. During the World War II years, Buckley Field was one of the largest armament schools maintained for the technical training of enlisted men. Buckley Field prepared armorers for fighter planes, and Lowry Field specialized in training bombardment armorers. In addition to the armament school, Buckley Field hosted a basic training center, the Arctic Training Center, and an Army Air Corps Convalescent Center. In 1945, Buckley Field became a sub-post of Lowry Field, but the basic training center (one of only four in the country) was kept open.
At the end of World War II, the Army no longer had a need for Buckley Field and it was put on inactive status. Most of the buildings and structures were demolished, removed from the installation, or sold for re-use as apartments and single-family homes.
In 1946, the Colorado Air National Guard was formed as a separate air arm of the state's National Guard and acquired Buckley Field on a right-of-entry permit. It became evident soon thereafter that the state could not support the installation and, in 1947, it was taken over by the U.S. Navy.
Renamed Naval Air Station Denver the installation served as headquarters for the Naval Air Reserve. During their tenure, the Navy made a number of improvements to the installation, including the renovation of many of the existing facilities and the airfield, and the construction of two new aircraft maintenance hangars. During the 1950s, the installation also supported a number of gunnery needs and a precision demonstration team known as the "Minute Men." The Navy decommissioned NAS Denver in 1959 and returned it to the management of the Colorado Air National Guard. It was subsequently renamed Buckley Air National Guard Base in 1960.
With the fall of the Berlin Wall (1989), both Lowry Air Force Base and Fitzsimons Army Medical Center were closed, leaving Buckley Air National Guard Base as the region's largest military facility and the only military flying base in the area. The 460th Air Base Wing was activated in 1961 and Buckley Air National Guard Base transitioned to Buckley Air Force Base on 1 Oct 2000
With the formation of the U.S. Space Force on 20 Dec 2019, Space Base Delta 2 at Buckley Space Base now supports not only the Buckley Space Force Base, but also Cavalier Space Force Station, North Dakota, Cape Cod Space Force Station, Massachusetts, and Clear Space Force Station, Alaska. The Delta 2 designation is an organization similar to a Wing in the Air Force while the Space Base and Space Station designations refer to a facility at a specific location.
Active Space Force Base.
Visited: 13 Jun 2015