Former Reese Air Force Base, Texas
Published February 06, 2013
Reese Air Force Base, Texas, served primarily as a pilot training base throughout its 50-year history. Since its establishment in 1941, the flying training school at Reese trained more than 25,000 pilots ranging from single-engine planes to multi-engine bombers.
Reese AFB was selected for closure under the 1995 Base Realignment and Closure decision and officially closed on Sep. 30, 1997. Reese is one of 40 former installations managed by the Air Force Civil Engineer Center, headquartered in San Antonio, Texas.
Decades of cleaning solvent usage associated with aircraft maintenance and repair at the base resulted in a plume of groundwater contamination stretching off base for 3-1/2 miles. The Air Force utilized a Performance-Based Remediation contract to clean up the groundwater plume, resulting in a 99-percent decrease in size in only eight years.
AFCEC achieved whole base transfer in 2006. The Air Force transferred nearly 3,000 acres of land to the Lubbock Reese Redevelopment Authority for its use in furthering education, research, engineering and technology at the Reese Technology Center. RTC is home to 20 businesses that contribute approximately 750 public and private sector jobs to the local economy. An additional 3,500 students from Texas Tech University and South Plains College call RTC home, including the world-renowned Wind Science and Engineering Research Center.
The Air Force, in partnership with federal and state regulators, has cleaned up the groundwater to drinking water standards, and is currently in the middle of a three-year monitoring phase to ensure the groundwater remains safe for residential use.
(Current as of December 2012)