Whitesburg KY
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Few people knew of base’s security

In 1956, I was assigned to Travis Air Force Base as noncommissioned officer in charge of the printing department. At the same time, the new provost marshal arrived to take over the Fairfield Air Force Station, the classified installation known as “Secret City”.

Five fences surrounded the base and the third of the five was electrified.

Because Travis handled Strategic Air Command (SAC) bombers at the time, the Fairfield Air Force Station’s job was to handle, maintain and move nuclear bombs. No one got on base, only the people who worked there. You needed the station commander’s approval to get in Secret City.

I was one of the few who were allowed on this very classified installation. When their printing equipment needed repair, I was called on. I would drive to their gate, and a guard would be with me at all times until the repairs were finished, and I was escorted off the base.

This base was established on Sept. 8, 1952. Advances in weapon technology and the advent of the missile age made the depots obsolete by the early 1960s.

Contributing writer Everett Vanover lives in Fairfield, Calif.

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