Pease Air National Guard Base

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For the civil use of this facility and airport information, see Portsmouth International Airport at Pease.
Pease Air National Guard Base

Air National Guard.png

Part of New Hampshire Air National Guard (ANG)
Portsmouth / Newington / Greenland,
New Hampshire, USA
F-16s Virginia ANG with KC-135R New Hampshire ANG 2005.JPEG
F-16s Virginia ANG with KC-135R New Hampshire ANG
Coordinates 43°04′41″N 070°49′24″W / 43.07806°N 70.82333°W / 43.07806; -70.82333
Type Air Force Base
Site information
Owner United States Air Force
Controlled by New Hampshire Air National Guard
Site history
Built 1930s
In use 1951--present
Garrison information
Garrison 157th Air Refueling Wing.png 157th Air Refueling Wing
Airfield information
IATA: PSMICAO: KPSMFAA LID: PSM
Summary
Elevation AMSL 100 ft / 30 m
Website www.157arw.ang.af.mil
Runways
Direction Length Surface
ft m
16/34 11,321 3,451 Asphalt/Concrete
Statistics (2007)
Aircraft operations 51,673
Based aircraft 107
Sources: airport website[1] and FAA[2]
Pease ANGB is located in New Hampshire
Pease ANGB
Pease ANGB
Location of Pease Air National Guard Base, New Hampshire

Pease Air National Guard Base is a New Hampshire Air National Guard base located at Portsmouth International Airport at Pease in New Hampshire. Until it was closed in 1991, it was under the control of the United States Air Force's Strategic Air Command. In 1983 investigations showed soil and water contamination with degreasers and jet fuel, and the base was put on the National Priorities List of superfund sites in 1990.

Pease is currently[when?] home to the New Hampshire Air National Guard's 157th Air Refueling Wing (157 ARW), an Air Mobility Command (AMC) gained Air National Guard unit currently flying the KC-135R Stratotanker air refueling aircraft and the 64th Air Refueling Squadron, a United States Air Force associate unit to the 157th. The current[when?] base population is 380 full-time military personnel with a monthly surge of up to 950 military personnel.

Location[edit]

The base occupied land in the city of Portsmouth and the towns of Newington and Greenland, in the Seacoast Region (New Hampshire). The facility occupies 4,255 acres (1,722 ha) in Rockingham County. It is 55 miles (89 km) north of Boston and 3 miles (4.8 km) south of Kittery, Maine. Pease Air National Guard Base is approximately 220 acres (89 ha) in size and currently[when?] includes 40 facilities.

History[edit]

Pease Air Force Base started as the 300-acre (120 ha) Portsmouth Municipal Airport in the 1930s. With the onset of World War II, the U.S. Navy used it for its base location. The U.S. Air Force assumed control in 1951, when the installation was selected for development as a Strategic Air Command (SAC) base. Purchase of additional land for expansion of the base started in 1952 and was completed in 1956. Ground breaking for the new SAC facilities took place in 1954, and the first B-47 Stratojet bombers arrived in 1956. Renamed Portsmouth Air Force Base, the installation formally opened on 30 June 1956. In 1957, it was renamed as Pease Air Force Base in honor of New Hampshire native Captain Harl Pease, Jr. who posthumously earned the Medal of Honor for heroism during World War II.

Pease AFB was home of the 100th Bombardment Wing and from 1958 onward the 509th Bombardment Wing,arriving from Walker AFB, New Mexico as successor to the famed 509th Composite Group of World War II that had executed the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki and transitioned to the B-47 and KC-97 mid-1950s. Their mission was strategic warfare in the event of war. From 1956 until its closure in 1991, Pease Air Force Base maintained a combat-ready force for long range bombardment and nuclear strikes. B-47 Stratojet, B-52 Stratofortress, and FB-111 Aardvark bomber aircraft, KC-97 Stratotanker and KC-135 Stratotanker air refueling aircraft and C-97 Stratofreighter, C-124 Globemaster and C-130 Hercules cargo aircraft, were all based at Pease AFB at varying times.

In 1966 the New Hampshire Air National Guard relocated the 157th Military Airlift Group (157 MAG) from the deactivating Grenier AFB in nearby Manchester, New Hampshire, to Pease AFB. Operating the C-97 Stratofreighter, the group transitioned to the C-124 Globemaster in 1968 and to the C-130 Hercules in 1971. The mission of the group was changed in 1975 when it was designated as the 157th Air Refueling Group (157 ARG) and transitioned to the KC-135A. The 157th later transitioned to the KC-135E and currently[when?] flies the KC-135R. With the introduction of the USAF "objective wing" concept into the Air National Guard in the early 1990s, the 157 ARG was redesignated to its current[when?]title as the 157th Air Refueling Wing (157 ARW).

The 100th Bombardment Wing was later[when?] converted to a strategic reconnaissance wing and transferred to Davis-Monthan AFB, Arizona. This left the 509th Bombardment Wing as the principal host wing for Pease AFB. The 509th was phased down for inactivation in 1965, but, cognizant of the historical significance of the 509th in SAC, the wing converted to the B-52D and KC-135A and was redesignated as the 509th Bombardment Wing, Heavy in 1966. From 1 April to 1 October 1968 and from 26 March to 20 September 1969, more than one-half of the wing was deployed in Southeast Asia. The 509th supported SAC combat and contingency operations in Southeast Asia with KC–135A aircraft and crews from 1966 to 1975, and with B–52D aircraft and crews from 1966 to 1970. By 1 December 1969, the wing had transferred all its B-52D aircraft to other SAC units in preparation for transition to the FB-111A. Redesignated as the 509th Bombardment Wing, Medium, the 509th had no bomber aircraft from November 1969 until 1970, but continued KC-135 refueling and alert operations and performed FB-111 ground training. The wing resumed flying training with the FB-111 in December 1970 and assumed FB–111 alert commitments from 1 July 1971 until September 1990. During this time, the 509th won the SAC Bombing and Navigation Competition and the Fairchild Trophy in 1979, 1981, 1982, and 1983 and the Sanders Trophy for best air refueling unit in 1982.

Following the 1988 BRAC decision to close Pease, the 509th transferred its FB-111 assets to Tactical Air Command and its KC-135 assets to other SAC units. The wing was then administratively moved to Whiteman AFB, Missouri on 30 September 1990, but not manned until April 1993. Tactical and Strategic Air Command were dissolved, and the renamed 509th Bomb Wing (509 BW) became a unit of the newly established Air Combat Command (ACC) on 1 September 1991. After two years of non-operational status, the 509th became operational at Whiteman AFB with delivery of its first operational B-2 Spirit stealth bomber on 17 December 1993.

Base closure[edit]

In December 1988, Pease AFB was one of 86 military installations to be closed as part of the Secretary of Defense's Commission on Base Realignment and Closure. In 1989, 3,461 active-duty military, 741 civil service workers and 347 non-appropriated fund employees were employed at Pease AFB. Of the total active duty personnel, 49 were assigned to the Air National Guard. It is estimated that the base created a total of 2,466 secondary jobs within the local communities. Military personnel began leaving the base in June 1990, and Pease AFB officially closed on 31 March 1991.[citation needed]

Environmental issues[edit]

Aircraft maintenance operations generated hazardous waste, including spent degreasers, solvents, paint strippers, contaminated jet fuels, and others, which contaminated soils and groundwater. Environmental investigations began in 1983 under the Air Force 'Restoration Installation Program'. In 1990, Pease AFB was placed on the National Priorities List of Superfund sites.[3] The site's contamination is addressed in twelve long-term remedial phases.,[4] mainly soil excavation and disposal, vertical containment walls installed in the subsurface and groundwater extraction wells, soil vapor extraction and air sparging to treat petroleum and solvent contamination, and where groundwater extraction and treatment efforts are uncertain (zone 3) improvement thereof and wellhead preparing treatment capability for the Haven water supply well. At 2 sites a permeable reactive barrier was installed to intercept and destroy the groundwater contamination (site 49 and 73). Long term groundwater monitoring and restrictions on groundwater use are also used.[4]

In June 2014 a well serving Pease International Tradeport was shut down after tests by the Air Force showed perfluorooctane sulfonic acid (PFOS). The Air Force tested in advance of an EPA requirement to test beginning in 2015.[5]

Pease Development Authority[edit]

Base sign in 1987

The bulk of the Pease AFB, other than that property retained by the Air National Guard, was transferred to the Pease Development Authority for reuse as a civilian airport and commercial center. Renamed Pease International Tradeport, the airport opened for civilian use in 1991 and became an FAA certified airport under FAR Part 139 in October 1992. The Air Traffic Control Tower is staffed 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The airport has all new airfield facilities and pavements including an ILS approach to both runways. Domestic and international terminal supported passenger service was provided by the third iteration of Pan American Airways until that carrier's demise. At present, Pease is served by occasional charter airline flight operations. Pease offers a Foreign Trade Zone with access to the east coast and international trade corridors by land (Interstate 95), direct air cargo from Pease or by sea via the Port of New Hampshire in Portsmouth. Air cargo access is available via the airport's main 11,300-foot (3,400 m) runway. The new international/domestic passenger terminal has Federal Inspection Service including US Customs, agriculture and immigration.[6]

The 64th Air Refueling Squadron was activated at Pease on October 2, 2009 as part of the 157th's active-guard associate concept. This is the first time that an active duty Air Force unit has returned to Pease since the active Air Force closed the base in 1991.

References[edit]

 This article incorporates public domain material from websites or documents of the Air Force Historical Research Agency.
 This article incorporates public domain material from the United States Government document "157th Air Refueling Wing".

  1. ^ Portsmouth International Airport at Pease, official site
  2. ^ FAA Airport Master Record for PSM (Form 5010 PDF), effective 2008-06-05
  3. ^ 55 Fed. Reg. 6154
  4. ^ a b "Pease Air Force Base". EPA New England. 11 April 2014. Retrieved 29 June 2014. 
  5. ^ McMenemy, Jeff (June 23, 2014). "Water contamination shuts down well at Pease". Portsmouth Herald (NH) (Local Media Group, Inc.). Seacoastonline.com. 
  6. ^ Pease ANGB
  • Maurer, Maurer. Air Force Combat Units Of World War II. Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office 1961 (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, Air Force Bases Volume I, Active Air Force Bases Within the United States of America on 17 September 1982, Office of Air Force History, 1989

External links[edit]