Strategic Air Command
SAC Bases:  Ramey Air Force Base
Location: Puerto Rico
Home of: 55th Bomb Wing,  72nd Bomb Wing  
Status:  Now an airport, home base to U.S. Coast Guard, Air National Guard
Links:  Ramey AFB Historical Association
B-52 scramble during an ORI Local Tribute
       The Rafael Hernandcz Airport civilian facility is home base to the U.S. Coast Guard and Puerto Rico Air National Guard, as well as
the U. S. Customs & Immigration Service.
      In 1939 the site for a major new air base was selected at Punta Borinquen. This site was located on the northwest comer of the island, some 60 miles west of San Juan and six miles north of Aguadilla, the nearest settlement. The Punta Borinquen lighthouse was on the site. Some 3,796 acres covered by sugar cane, had been purchased at a cost of $1,215,000. On 18 September 1948 it was renamed Ramey Air Force Base, in honor of Brigadier General Howard K. Ramey (1896-1943), who was killed in the South Pacific on a reconnaissance mission during World War II.
      Ramey Air Force Base was an important Strategic Air Command installation in Puerto Rico during the early Cold War, hosting the 72d Bombardment Wing. The 60th Bomb Squadron first operated the B-52 from August of 1959 to June of 1971 while assigned to the 72nd Bomb Wing at Ramey AFB, Puerto Rico. In 1971, B-52 operations ceased at Ramey.
       The Rafael Hernandez regional airport is a sorely underutilized piece of prime airport infrastructure. It boasts the longest runway of any aviation facility in the Caribbean and South America, measuring 13,000 feet or more than two miles long (including its overrun) and is surrounded by over 1,200 acres of undeveloped land. Compared to Puerto Rico's main airport Luis Muņoz Marin International in Carolina, that measures only 75 acres and is developed to its fullest according to FAA regulations, Aguadilla has an enormous economic development potential.
      Coast Guard Air Station Borinquen moved to this location from San Juan in the fall of 1971, at which time the Coast Guard took possession of an outstanding hangar with adjacent support facilities. The responsibility for the station complex, formerly part of Ramey Air Force Base and later Naval Station Roosevelt Roads West Annex, was assumed by the Coast Guard on 1 July 1976.
     The primary mission of Coast Guard Air Station Borinquen is search and rescue. Secondary missions include: law enforcement, aerial support for ATON, and logistic support. Coast Guard Air Station Borinquen is located at Rafael Hernandez Airport on the Northwest tip of Puerto Rico. The closest city is Aguadilla, just 10 minutes to the South. Included in the boundaries of the base are the housing area, clinic and dispensary, station library, community center, swimming pool, exchange, mini-mart, package store, gymnasium and other fitness facilities, chapel, and theater.
Tough Duty!  Guys from Mountain Home, Plattsburgh, Dow, Loring and other frost line bases would
sure have appreciated a TDY to Ramey, say from November through March.