It started out as the 832 acre Keesler field back in June of 1941. Now, 60 years later, Keesler Air Force Base is a 1,500 acre site valued at 200-million dollars.
Since its humble beginning as Keesler Field, the base has trained more than 2 million military personnel in a broad range of subjects. Many of these folks play an active role in the Gulf Coast Community.
"Three of our seven city council members have connections with Keesler. Keesler members serve on our planning commission and our school board," says Vincent Creel, Biloxi Public Affairs Manager.
"We encourage our people to be a part of the community. Our people are in the schools in Biloxi, we're part of the churches and the community in general," says Colonel Tom Garza. Garza says he's never worked at a base with such a good relationship with the community. Keesler is also the home of a number of community events like the air shows and just last month it hosted Special Olympics.
The base is also responsible for attracting a number retired people to the Gulf Coast. The medical center, which is the second largest in the Air Force, is just one reason a lot of Keesler folks want to make this area their home.