Air Force

Air Force bases in South Dakota and Texas are in a competition to host the first B-21 Raiders when the new stealth bomber planes are ready to fly.

The Air Force is doing an environmental assessment at both bases. Virtual public hearings began Tuesday.

The first hearing was for Dyess Air Force Base in Texas. Doug Peters is president and CEO of the Abilene Chamber of Commerce. He took a couple of swipes at Ellsworth Air Force Base in South Dakota.

DSU Earns Military Friendly School Designation

Feb 19, 2020

In The Moment ... February 19, 2020 Show 756 Hour 1

Dakota State has earned a 2020-2021 military friendy school designation. Joining us to discuss DSU earning the designation are Austin Slaughter, veterans coordinator at Dakota State University, and William Bulfer,  a junior at DSU and member of the SD Army National Guard.

Air National Guard photo by Tech. Sgt. John Winn

Reductions in force at Ellsworth Air Force Base usually trigger alarm bells in South Dakota’s congressional delegation. 

But this time, Republican Sen. Mike Rounds agrees with a plan to retire some of the base’s planes. 

Special: Iran Conflict - Impacts On SD

Jan 15, 2020
Bajun Malavwalla

A Democratic Forum, "The Conflict with Iran: Impacts on South Dakota," was held Friday in Sioux Falls. The panelists joined SDPB's Steve Zwemke on Sunday for a conversation on the subject.

Michael Saba, State Representative of District 9, retired military intelligence officer Bajun Mavalwalla, and foreign U.S. service officer Russell Hanks all have extensive experience in the region. They gave their assessments of the current situation and how they see the U.S./Iran relationship playing out over the next several days and months.

News: Jan 4 - 10

Jan 10, 2020

The assassination of General Soleimani comes only weeks after the House passed a $738 billion military budget that omitted a number of provisions that would have limited the President's military powers to go to war with Iran, and the release of the "Afghanistan Papers," which reveal we've made little progress during our 19-year occupation in the region. Dr.

Chris Laughery

In The Moment ... January 7, 2020 Show 728 Hour 2

In The Moment ... June 25, 2019 Show 603 Hour 1

June is national LGBTQ Pride Month. The roots of Pride Month are often linked to the Stonewall Uprising in Greenwich Village. However, much has changed since then, and today Pride Month is often seen as a celebration.

For many years, LGBTQ people were banned from working in the federal government, including service in the U.S. military.

In The Moment ... May 21, 2019 Show 580 Hour 1

Bats strapped with napalm and launched into the cities and villages of Tokyo. Live cats implanted with recording devices creeping around the Soviet Union as Cold War spies. The marriage of innovation and desperation creates ideas tinged with both brilliance and madness.

Vince Houghton's new book Nuking the Moon looks at American intelligence schemes and military plots left on the drawing board of history. Houghton is a historian and curator at the International Spy Museum in Washington, D.C.

South Dakota State Archives

In The Moment ... March 11, 2019 Show 532 Hour 2

A dozen or so military forts were built throughout the 1800's in South Dakota. The first built was Fort Pierre in the mid 1800's. Gary Enright is the director of the 1881 Courthouse Museum in Custer and he expands on this in todays Images of the Past.

In The Moment ... January 17, 2019 Show 497 Hour 1

In The Moment ... February 8, 2018 Show 273 Hour 1

Senator Rounds serves on the Senate Armed Services Committee subcommittee on readiness. He joins us  from Washington to discuss the bipartisan compromise to increase military and domestic spending.

In The Moment ... August 7, 2017 Show 150 Hour 1

South Dakota ends the 2017 fiscal year with a nearly $8 million surplus.  Despite revenues being lower than expected the state cut enough spending to prevent a deficit.  SDPB's Andrew Bork looks at the specific categories of the state budget to explain how it happened.

RCPD Investigating Ellsworth Airman's Death

Jan 4, 2017

Officials at Ellsworth Air Force Base just outside Rapid City say an active-duty airman of the 28th Bomb Wing was found dead at his residence Jan. 3.
They will not release his name until 24 hours after his family is notified.  
Second lieutenant Miranda Simmons says the death is a loss for the entire base community.

South Dakota Secretary of Veterans Affairs Larry Zimmerman joins Dakota Midday for a look at topics that pertain to veterans throughout the state. He also talks about his "Veterans Bucket List" which encourages citizens to reach out to vets in a variety of ways during the year.

Sunday Celebrates Purple Heart Recipients

Aug 1, 2016
Kealey Bultena

Sunday, August 7th is Purple Heart Recognition Day nationwide.  

In South Dakota officials are holding a rededication ceremony for the state’s Purple Heart memorial in Pierre.

The Purple Heart is awarded to veterans who were either wounded or killed in combat.

State of South Dakota

Governor Dennis Daugaard has proclaimed Monday, June 27, as "Post-Traumatic Stress Injury Awareness Day.”  He wants South Dakota residents to consider causes and treatments of injuries and conditions that come after stressful events. 

Post-Traumatic Stress Injuries are more commonly known as Post-Traumatic Stress Disorders.  While such conditions can happen to anyone who has gone through a difficult period, Veterans Administration psychologist, Doctor Kyle Lythgoe, says many military members have trouble asking for outside help, even if they really need it.

Congress Debating Defense Spending

Jun 12, 2016

Congress is working on the National Defense Authorization Act. It passed the U.S. House and is currently before the Senate. Not everyone agrees on what the measure should look like.

Charles Michael Ray

Starting Tuesday, officials say locals should expect an increase in air traffic from the Ellsworth Air Force Base for the next three days.
The exercise is designed to train pilots while simulating realistic scenarios.
The Powder River Training Complex covers about 30-thousand square miles and stretches through part of the Dakotas, and into Montana and Wyoming.

Dakota Midday: Kayla Williams on Women Veterans

May 17, 2016

South Dakota has more than 6,000 women military veterans. Kayla Williams is the newly appointed director of the Center for Women Veterans at the Department of Veteran Affairs. (She also recently participated in a Literature and Medicine conversation in Sioux Falls via conference call, days before her national appointment was announced.) She sits down with Dakota Midday host Lori Walsh to talk about her new role, how VA plans to serve the largest growing population of American veterans, and why some women don’t even call themselves veterans.

Ben Jones is Dean of Arts and Sciences and Associate Professor of History at Dakota State University. He’s an Air Force veteran and he’s taught at the Air Force Academy. He also served as an advisor to the National Military Academy in Afghanistan. 

He joins Dakota Midday host Lori Walsh to discuss his new book "Eisenhower's Guerillas: The Jedburghs, The Maquis, and the Liberation of France."

For more information about the book, click below:

Rounds: Spending & Deficit Increases In Congressional Budget

Dec 17, 2015
U.S. Senator Mike Rounds

Congress is increasing spending on defense and other items this year.   US Senator Mike Rounds says increased military spending is needed to  make up for past budget cuts.  Rounds says a deal made with Democrats to approve those military spending increases lead to spending increases in other discretionary areas of the budget.  

U.S. Air Force

When he was around ten years old, Faith-native Scott Petz saw the U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds at Ellsworth Air Force Base. He remembers watching the pride, precision and professionalism of the Air Show and made it his goal to be part of the demonstration squadron. 25 years later, Major Scott Petz was back at Ellsworth earlier this month as a member of the Thunderbirds. He flies the No. 8 jet as the advance pilot/narrator for the squadron. 

Two South Dakota women are Congressional Gold Medal recipients for their work during World War Two. The official ceremony in Washington, D.C. in December awarded the medals. Monday afternoon Governor Dennis Daugaard hosts a ceremony honoring the women. 

The Congressional Gold Medal is one of the highest honors for civilians. South Dakotans Lois Schmidt and Pauline Hanson Brehe are recipients.

Civil Air Patrol Major Todd Epp says American leaders are acknowledging their service. He says Brehe and Schmidt were part of the original South Dakota Civil Air Patrol.

Sgt. Charlie Jacobson / US Army National Guard

Dozens of National Guard soldiers are deploying to Kuwait. They are set to spend nine months overseas in support of Operation Enduring Freedom – Spartan Shield. The deployment begins in February. Members of the 196th are preparing for their time in the Middle East, and they aren’t alone.

Photo by Jim Kent

Over the 240 years since American colonists first took up arms against the British Empire on Lexington Green, the branches of the military and their various uniforms have played an important role in our country’s history. SDPB’s Jim Kent recently visited a military uniform display at the 1881 Courthouse Museum in Custer to explore that history and the changes in how our servicemen – and women – dress…both on the front lines and off.

Purple Heart Veterans Hold Annual Conference

Jun 21, 2015

The military order of the Purple Heart chapter of Sioux Falls held its 6th annual conference on Saturday. The 30 some purple heart Veterans were all wounded in combat from WWII to the war in Iraq and Afghanistan. 

From their bright purple shirts, to their wheelchairs, canes, and service dogs, Purple Heart veterans share a bond. Department Commander Mark T. Williamson says the experience of being wounded in action lasts long after the conflict stops. 

Dakota Midday: Cold Spray Technology

May 21, 2015

Charles Widener, Director of the Arbegast Materials Processing and Joining Lab at South Dakota School of Mines and Technology, discussed Cold Spray Technology which was developed at the school.  It received funding from the Defense Department and from the South Dakota office of economic development.  Cold Spray Technology is used to repair metal, like on airplanes or large machines.

Kealey Bultena / SDPB

Two-hundred fifty South Dakota soldiers are deploying to the Pacific Theater. The men and women are military members with the 114th Fighter Wing in Sioux Falls. The Air Force National Guard unit is tasked with using tactical fighters to destroy enemy forces, supplies and equipment. Soldiers gathered Sunday for a mobilization ceremony. 

The thick soles of tan-toned boots hit smooth concrete at Joe Foss Field in Sioux Falls.  The boots match the fatigues of the men and women who lace them up. Hundreds of pairs shuffle together in the din of the crowd.

A Sioux Falls National Guard unit is preparing to serve overseas. It’s part of Operation Enduring Freedom. The soldiers with the 196th Maneuver Enhancement Brigade are set to deploy to Kuwait next February, and they are already training for the mission.

Thirty-nine South Dakota Army National Guard members are preparing for a tour in the Middle East. The soldiers are spending the next year training for the deployment. Before they leave for Kuwait, Major Anthony Deiss says Guard members will spend a few weeks at Fort Bliss in Texas for more specific training.

"Push Someone"

Dec 8, 2014

Sioux Falls aviation artist and historian John Mollison visited about the latest project from Old Guys and their Planes, "Push Somone," the incredible story of F-4 Phantom pilots Bob Pardo and Steve Wayne.  Mollison also discussed his work as it pertains to preserving aviation history through art and the audio/visual projects on which he works with Rick Lingberg of Sioux Falls.