Travis AFB Heritage Center – To remember the past, look to the future

  • Published
  • By Nicholas Pilch
  • 60th Air Mobility Wing Public Affairs

TRAVIS AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. – After nearly a year of closed doors, the Travis AFB Heritage Center reopened April 12, 2021.

“The museum supports Air Force operations by providing the history and heritage of the Air Force, this base and the units stationed here,” said Kevin Sullivan, Travis AFB Heritage Center director and curator. “We tell the story from the inception of the Air Force Base back in the early days of World War II up to current times. Hopefully, lessons learned from the past can help influence and shape future activities and operations.”

The center holds organized displays of Air Force history showcasing the Tuskegee Airmen, the Consairways story, the Berlin Airlift and the history of Travis AFB with special emphasis on WWII, the Korean War, the war in Vietnam and other significant military missions.

“We have a variety of exhibits and displays,” said Sullivan. “There are static aircraft that help tell the story and provide today’s Airmen an understanding of the past to how the Air Force is shaped today.”

While exploring the museum there are 24 aircraft on display, an assortment of old uniforms, early prototype flight simulators as well as a large room full of jet engines.

Maintaining and cleaning the large collection comes down to the care and attention from the volunteers. The museum averages 15 volunteers per week who donate about 1,100 hours per month.

“The volunteer staff here does the Lord’s work,” said Sullivan. “Without them I wouldn’t be able to get anything done.”

U.S. Air Force retired Master Sgt. Enrique Ugalde is the preservation supervisor and spends most of his days restoring and maintaining the retired aircraft. He has been volunteering at the museum for almost 15 years.

“I’m the jack of all trades,” said Ugalde. “Whatever they need, I’m here to help, in any way that I can.”

Ugalde was a crew chief for the C-141 Starlifter and after the Air Force retired the aircraft, he decided it was time for him to retire as well.

“I volunteer here because I owe this to the Air Force and future generations who, in my opinion, the coolest jobs in the world,” said Ugalde. “As an old man volunteering, it helps me stay busy. I get as much out of it as I give, and then some.”

The museum is open 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday. Museum volunteers provide walking tours of the displays. For more information, visit the museum online at or call (707) 424-5605.