BLYTHEVILLE, Ark. – A Blytheville museum shining a light on Cold War history received funding supporting a planned primary exhibit. 

The National Cold War Center at the former Eaker Air Force Base in Blytheville announced Monday that it had received a $400,000 grant from the Division of Arkansas Heritage Cultural Institutions Trust Fund. A spokesperson said the money would be used to rehabilitate and refurbish the former base’s ready alert facility, which will be a primary exhibit.

Nuclear bombers were based at Eaker during the Cold War, which ended in 1991. Bomber crews on 15-minute stand-by would wait in the ready alert building for possible dispatch in response to Russian activity.

The National Cold War Center’s chair, Mary Gay Shipley, was pleased the museum was chosen for the Arkansas Heritage grant.

“We are honored to be among the Cultural Institutions Trust Fund recipients,” she said. “Our project is in an early but critical stage of development, and we appreciate the vote of confidence from Arkansas Heritage.”

The Blytheville base was decommissioned in 1992 after 50 years of operation. The county suffered a population drop of 3,500 after the base closed.