Air Force Radar Museum Association Inc

Failure was not an option

aka AFRMA, Inc.   |   Bellefontaine, OH   |  https://afrmaonline.org

Mission

The mission of the Air Defense Radar Museum Association is to build and operate the National Air Defense Radar Museum at Bellefontaine, Ohio. The museum is being built on the grounds of the former 664th AC&W/Radar Squadron, an Air Defense Command long-range radar station in a former radar tower. The property is currently owned by the Ohio Hi-Point Career Center. The museum resides at the highest point in Ohio.

Ruling year info

2011

President

Richard Banta

Main address

2280 SR 540

Bellefontaine, OH 43311 USA

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EIN

27-3945612

NTEE code info

History Museums (A54)

International Peace and Security (Q40)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990-PF.

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Communication

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

The National Air Defense Radar Museum is being created in Bellefontaine, Ohio in a former long-range air defense radar tower. In order to be able to allow general public access to this tower, considerable rehab is required which includes siding, sealing and insulating the the lower level, adding HVAC, toilet facilities, complete electrical and lighting and an adequate entryway and emergency exits which all meet local area codes and standards. The first phase of this capital project is estimated to cost some $130,000 for the first phase, which only completes the lower level of the radar tower. Phase 2, which includes finishing one or more of the upper levels and adding a public access elevator has not yet been planned and engineered, so the cost estimates for opening more space for museum exhibits is not yet known. Cash on hand falls some $90,000 short of our Phase 1 goal.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Online Air Defense Radar Museum

A comprehensive online, web-based museum showing the history of worldwide air defense radar stations through maps, photos, documents.

Population(s) Served
Veterans
Adults

The National Air Defense Radar Museum is currently under construction at the former 664th AC&W/Radar Squadron in Bellefontaine, Ohio. We will chronicle and document the entire North American air defense mission, protecting the continent from airborne nuclear attack.

Population(s) Served
Adults
Veterans
Adolescents
Military personnel

Where we work

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

We are working toward the establishment of a military history museum, which will be the only one of its kind in the United States. No other U.S. museum provides insight and education on the defense of the North American continent from nuclear attack by aircraft or ballistic missile. This was a huge, complicated and expensive task, which peaked primarily during the the so-called Cold War years, between 1945 and 1991. It is our intent to show how the need for such defense was first recognized and the various attempts to solve the mission requirements were. This military mission, mostly by the U.S. Air Force, is little known, and less understood by the American public. Indeed, we believe that it was the failure of this mission which ultimately led to the 2001 attack on the twin towers in New York.

All of our current strategies for progress revolve around funding the rehab of the lower level of our radar tower museum home. Because of the permitting, zoning codes and inspections required to open a public facility, all must be strictly followed, meaning that most of the work has to be done by professionals rather than volunteers, and most tasks must be done in a certain order to avoid overlapping inspections, etc. As a result, these rehab tasks are rather expensive, and owing to the uninsulated, leaky conditions of the tower, we cannot move in and open until they have been completed.

We are searching for appropriate state of Ohio and local Bellefontaine grant opportunities, corporate sponsors and other philanthropic means to obtain such funding. We are also searching for a person or persons with the skills to properly prepare grant and other financial requests as opportunities become available.

Our board and nearly all AFRMA members are former air defense radar veterans. We have first hand knowledge of the air defense mission of the Cold War, and its capabilities. We alone have the background to tell the story of the air defense mission based on first-hand experiences and knowledge. However, we are rapidly aging, and our population is getting smaller as we age and pass on. Our experiences range from Communications and Electronics officers to radar maintenance technicians to Weapons Controllers and radar operations personnel, along with a myriad of support personnel who kept the mostly small radar stations working and livable. We also have members who were front-line weapons system support personnel who were tasked with the mission of being able to launch Alert aircraft and missiles at suspected hostile aircraft. No other group of individuals alive today have this depth of knowledge to tell the Air Defense story.

To date, we have renewed the roof of the tower, sandblasted and painted both the inside and outside of the tower, refurbished our prize AN/FPS-18 radar antenna and mounted it on a permanent tower and have it as our premier display. We have been selling commemorative bricks and begun a memorial plaza near our display radar antenna and current tower entrance. We have also built a "guard shack" simulation near out tower to mimic the security entrance to a typical radar station. We have opened a small "Welcome Center" on the grounds which now contains our offices and a number of display items. We have hired an architect who has provided engineering drawings of the first phase of the tower rehab.

Next on the list will be the removal and replacement of lower level tower siding with a good, insulated material and sealing it so that the lower level can be heated and air conditioned, along with water, sewer and gas service.

Financials

Air Force Radar Museum Association Inc
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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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Air Force Radar Museum Association Inc

Board of directors
as of 3/22/2021
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board co-chair

Mr. Richard Banta

Lifeline Data Centers, LLC


Board co-chair

Mr. Gene McManus

Richard Banta

Gene McManus

Jerry Walker

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 3/22/2021,

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? GuideStar partnered on this section with CHANGE Philanthropy and Equity in the Center.

Leadership

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Race & ethnicity

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Gender identity

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Sexual orientation

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Disability

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