BOX ELDER, S.D. (KELO) — It was a monumental day for both Ellsworth Air Force Base and South Dakota. Construction officially started on the first project to welcome the B-21 Raider. Members of the Military, legislature, and city leaders all came to show their support during this significant moment.
It’s the 80th anniversary of Ellsworth Airforce Base and the 75th anniversary of the US Air Force. 2022 also marks the start of the construction project for the B-21 Raider.
“Today is a historic day for Ellsworth Air Force Base and for the Raiders. Today Ellsworth Air Force Base and Raider Nation started a new and a significant chapter in an already historic and distinguished past,” Joseph Sheffield, 28th Bomb Wing Commander, said.
Many people attended Wednesday’s groundbreaking ceremony, including Air Force Global Strike Commander, General Anthony Cotton.
“We are building the nation’s bomber force and it begins right here in the Black Hills of South Dakota,” General Cotton said.
The Low Observable Restoration Facility will be a two-bay hangar that will house specialized equipment for the maintenance of the Stealth B-21 Bomber Aircraft.
This new hangar facility will be approximately 95,000 square feet.
The base expects to have the new aircraft here in just a few years. And there are more than 35 re-use and new construction projects planned to support the future B-21 mission at Ellsworth.
“It’s exciting, just having Ellsworth located in the city has been great even with B-1s and even before that. I’ve been here since 1972 back when the missiles were here but it’s such a cool platform. I love the look of it and I love everything it can do,” Mayor Larry Larson, Box Elder, said.
Box Elder Mayor Larry Larson says homes, apartments, and living spaces are going up to accommodate the increased population with the B-21 personnel.