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Ribbon cutting ceremony held for new dormitory

  • Published
  • By Ryan Hansen
  • 55th Wing Public Affairs

OFFUTT AIR FORCE BASE, Neb. -- A ribbon cutting ceremony for Cobb Hall, the installation’s newest dormitory, took place here Nov. 7, 2019. The new $18.8 million dormitory is named in honor of retired Chief Master Sgt. Lawrence A. Cobb.

“For about a total of 40 years Chief Cobb had a lasting effect on our legacy here,” said Col. Allan Dayton, 55th Mission Support Group commander, who was the presiding official of the event. “He is wholly deserving of having this dormitory named after him.”

The new 51,000 square foot, three-floor dormitory includes 30 module suites that can accommodate 120 Airmen. Each module features four bedrooms and four bathrooms along with a common kitchen, a living room space and washer and dryer.

“This [building] is world-class,” Dayton said. “This is not only an example of what our Airmen and Sailors deserve here at Offutt, but really sets the standard for what we need for all of our military members.”

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers awarded the project in February 2017. It included not only the construction of Cobb Hall, but also the demolition of Whiteman Hall and the building of Airman Drive, which extends to the dormitory complex from the intersection of Nelson Drive and SAC Boulevard.

“One of our main priorities … is safe and secured housing, dorms and lodging,” Dayton said, “and I would say this … project is a step in the right direction for that priority.”

The dorm’s namesake began his relationship with the wing in 1962 working on the technical signals platform of the ERB-47 at Forbes AFB, Kansas. Cobb then moved with the 55th Strategic Reconnaissance Wing to Offutt in 1966 where he continued his career with the newer RC-135 platform.

“This was really important to Team Offutt to make this day a reality for [his] family,” said Chief Master Sgt. Brian Thomas, 55th Wing command chief. “And I think he would be immensely proud that the decision was made to always have maintainers in this dorm.”

In 1974, Cobb transferred to the aircraft depot in Greenville, Texas where he continued his work on the RC-135. He retired from the Air Force in 1983 but continued to work as a contractor with the Big Safari program in Greenville.

Altogether, Cobb dedicated more than 40 years to improving 55th Wing combat mission systems. For his contributions, he was inducted into the 55th Wing Hall of Fame in 2008.

“Larry was a consummate professional,” said Rich Holsinger, a 55th Wing Association member who served and worked with Cobb for 24 years. “His legacy will live forever and it’s a very professional and worthwhile legacy.”