Visit the Air Force Armament Museum for High Flying Fun
If you like planes and flying things, spend a few hours at the Air Force Armament Museum (AFAM) and learn why munitions development at Eglin Air Force Base is considered key to America’s National Security.
Air Force Aircraft Exhibits
Inside exhibits are on two levels, with an open floor plan below and an upper balcony and walkway with wall displays. Here you’ll find an exhibit of the WWII Doolittle Raiders. Under the command of Lt. Col. James Doolittle, the squadron, which consisted of 16, B-25 bombers and 80 aircrew, all trained at Elgin Air Force Base for the 1942 offensive on Japan in retaliation for the Pearl Harbor attack.
On the main floor are four fighter aircraft, a P-47 Thunderbird, a P-51 Mustang, an F-105 Thunderchief, and an F-80 Shooting Star, the first air force aircraft to exceed 500 mph in level flight. Here too you’ll find an exhibit for Desert Shield/Desert Storm, and one honoring the Air Commandos and Air Force Special Operations Command, where you can watch a video while seated in a C-130 jump seat.
Several exhibits honor those who have served, including a POW Memorial and a Purple Heart Memorial. The Afghanistan/Iraq Memorial Portrait Mural, the first of its kind anywhere in the United States honors Florida comrades in the Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marines who lost their lives in support of the Global War on Terrorism.
The Air Force Armament Museum first opened in 1974 to support Eglin’s mission. It was the first Air Force Field Museum in the country, but in 1981, it was forced to close when the building housing the collection was condemned. The current 28,000 square-foot facility opened in 1985 and has since added an additional 8000 square-foot building for restoration and storage. The Air Force recognizes AFAM as being "Core to the Mission" of educating the public and promoting the importance of Eglin Air Force Base to America's national security.
The museum is hands-on and interactive with several video monitors, a theater with a half hour film, “Arming the Air force,” and a stationary flight trainer that kids (and grownups) can climb into.
Future plans include a $1.6m state of the art Education Center to be built adjacent to the current museum. The center will serve Eglin Air Force Base, the local community and the innovative and growing Engineers for America Program (EFA), which is a joint program with Okaloosa County School District. EFA promotes Science-Technology-Engineering- Mathematics for elementary and middle school students.
Like the National Naval Aviation Museum in Pensacola, the Air Force Armament Museum is a free museum, and is open to the public six days per week, however donations are happily accepted. Just drop yours into the large pot in the main entry.
AFAM is one of seven outstanding Okaloosa County museums you can visit that include the Destin History and Fishing Museum, the Heritage Park & Cultural Center and the Emerald Coast Science Center both in Fort Walton Beach, the Heritage Museum of Northwest Florida in Valparaiso, the Baker-Block Museum in Baker, and the Carver-Hill Museum in Crestview.
Air Force Armament Museum Visitor Information
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