LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – A bill to recognize a museum at the former Blytheville Air Force Base has been introduced in the national legislature.

Sen. Tom Cotton along with Sen. John Boozman introduced a bill to designate the museum as the National Cold War Center. Rep. Rick Crawford has introduced companion legislation in the house.

The museum is located at the former Blytheville base, which was renamed Eaker Air Force Base in 1988 after Gen. Ira C. Eaker, Eighth Air Force commander during World War II.

Cotton believes the bill will recognize an important time in national history.

“Eaker Air Force Base played a key role in the defense of our nation during the Cold War—we ought to preserve its legacy and encourage the continued education of future generations,” Cotton said. “Our bill will officially recognize the museum in Blytheville as the nation’s National Cold War Center, which will help preserve this important history and be a boon to local tourism.” 

This is not the first time such legislation has been introduced. In December 2020 Cotton and Boozman entered a bill to declare the base a National Cold War Center.

Blytheville Air Force Base opened in 1942 as a training base, then became a bomber base in 1955. The base closed in 1991 as the Cold War came to an end and is now the Arkansas Aeroplex and Arkansas International Airport.

The Cold War Museum opened on the former base in 2020 offering insight into the base’s role as a Cold War bomber base.