CHEYENNE – The new park at F.E. Warren Air Force Base has been around a year in the making.

The idea came about because anyone who wanted to see the missile display would have to technically go onto the base, even if the farthest they went onto it was the display.

More than 1,400 people come to the base every year just to see the missile display and static aircraft, so the Air Force officials and the city of Cheyenne partnered together to see how they could make life a little simpler for base visitors.

The city engineering department managed to create an accessible, yet classic, design for a park that would give guests the chance to park in front of the base and walk over to the displays without having to go through security checks.

On Thursday, the new F.E. Warren Air Force Base Air Park was officially opened to the public with a ribbon cutting ceremony featuring multiple Air Force officials, Cheyenne Mayor Patrick Collins and Greater Cheyenne Chamber of Commerce CEO Dale Steenbergen.

“This is kind of an important step,” Col. Peter Bonetti said before the ribbon cutting. “We’ve talked about this for almost a year, wondering how we get back to opening our gates and be part of the community. How do we continue to improve our relationship [with the city] and move forward?”

There are three intercontinental ballistic missiles that tower high above head that are on display at the park, all of which were operated during the Cold War Period. There is also the Bell UH-1F Huey helicopter, which was used to transport military personnel to and from the base from 1966 to 1980. The helicopter was restored in 2000.

While the park is not large, it does offer a chance for Cheyenne visitors and residents to get a better look at some of the incredible history displayed just outside of the base gates.

Plus, it adds another park to Cheyenne’s climbing number of outdoor recreational opportunities.

“We look forward to making this [park] not only a visit people come to the base for, but a visit they come to Cheyenne for,” Bonetti said.

Following the ribbon cutting, the military and city officials toured the park, commenting positively on its quality and accessibility for visitors.

Ellen Fike is a freelance writer living in Cheyenne. She can be reached at elfylucille@gmail.com. Follow her on Twitter at @EllenLFike.

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