Heaven and Earth
Powell Air Force Base
The facility opened in 1951 with a great deal of controversy. Many questioned why an Air Force base was necessary near the Kansas-Missouri border and because it was built as a training facility, its presence was even more unusual. Despite this, Powell has managed to remain open ever since.
The Air Force still maintains the facility despite dwindling crops of recruits arriving here for training. With the wave of military base closings in the 90’s, everyone figured that Powell was doomed. It continues to operate, however, even with the annual threats of its demise. Although Powell is listed as a training facility, it functions under a surprising level of secrecy for such a run-of-the mill task. Powell only has a small area of the base accessible to the general public, requiring an official parking sticker to be allowed inside. The only two publicly accessible gates are guarded twenty-four hours a day, and armed guards man the gates of classified areas.
The number of civilians employed by the base is very small in comparison to other facilities of a similar size, keeping Powell AFB and Potter’s Lake from developing the symbiotic relationship that infuses so many “military” towns.