Minot has a treasured relationship with the men and women of Minot Air Force Base, who continue to have a real and dramatic influence on our community’s culture and personality.
Each year, members of the Air Force arrive here from all walks of life and all regions of the country. We are truly grateful for their commitment and sacrifice to protect our community, our country, our freedom, and our way of life. We also welcome their influence on our community’s overall spirit and diversity.
Recently, two more members of the Air Force arrived in our community as we welcomed two new commanders at Minot Air Force Base.
Col. Michael Walters assumed command of the 5th Bomb Wing at Minot Air Force Base. Col. Walters comes to Minot after being commander of the 379th Expeditionary Operations Group at Al Udeid Air Base in Qatar. He is a command pilot with more than 2,680 hours, and he’s flown multiple aircraft, including T-33A, B-52H, B-2A, and B1B.
More recently, Col. Christopher Meguey assumed command of the 91st Missile Wing at Minot Air Force Base.
As the two new commanders arrive we also bid fond farewell to Col. Bradley Cochran, who was commander of the 5th Bomb Wing for the past two years, and Col. Glenn Harris, who was commander of the 91st Missile Wing. We are thankful for their commitment to overseeing a facility that is vital to the defense of our country and for working with various community organizations to nurture the relationship between Minot AFB and the city of Minot. They have both been tremendous assets to our community, and we wish them well as they move to the next phases of their respective careers.
In addition to the cultural enrichment, every year the base and its personnel have a financial impact on the regional economy measuring in the hundreds of millions of dollars; the impact in 2019 was $559 million. Much of that impact is felt right here in Minot, but it also spreads out to other communities in the region. Our economy would not be the same without the influx of spending from the base itself and its personnel. Of course, there is much more to this relationship than the financial aspect. As a community, we continue to grow and cultivate a supportive and positive relationship with Minot AFB. In late 2019, Team Minot was honored for that effort.
Every two years, the Barksdale Trophy is awarded to the community that has provided the highest level of support to an Air Force base in the Air Force Global Strike Command. As a community, we are proud to have won the Barksdale Trophy earlier this year, because it represents the embodiment of the partnership between our community and Minot AFB. We are proud of the hospitality, kindness, and acceptance of Air Force personnel and their families.
Winning the Barksdale Trophy is the result of our community’s long-standing efforts to continually support a growing and positive partnership between Minot AFB and Minot. The men and women of the Air Force have stood shoulder-to-shoulder with our community through the years, including their volunteer work at Norsk Hostfest, the North Dakota State Fair, the Roosevelt Park Zoo, and a long list of other activities. We certainly will never forget the hard work by Air Force personnel as we battled to save our community from the flood of 2011.
The contributions by Minot Air Force Base personnel simply cannot be overlooked or under-appreciated. Our neighbors to the north play a vital and necessary role in our community. It’s been that way since the base opened in 1957, and it continues to this day. Minot Air Force Base personnel make Minot a better place to live, work, and play, and for that we salute them.
Sincerely, City Hall.
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