Terror concerns shut down a historic Air Force Reserve institution at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport after May 8 "until further notice," but now they've confirmed it'll be shut down permanently.
The 934th Airlift Wing was the only Air Force installation in the country to have a club located "outside the gates" of the Air Force base at MSP Airport, which is what made security so challenging, according to a spokesperson.
"Three factors led to this decision," Paul Zadach, a 934th Airlift Wing spokesperson, said. "The cost of maintaining the building, declining club membership and costs of operating two clubs (the Officer's Club and Services Club) and the biggest concern, security of the patrons using the Club."
Not only is the Officer's Club a potential military target, but it's right on the flight line. The military won't say exactly why the threat level increased, but the decision came days after the shooting at the Muhammad drawing contest in Texas, and social media chatter.
"I hate to use the old maxim ‘better safe than sorry,' but I'm guessing the commander of this base looked and said, ‘you know, not on my watch, not on my watch,'" former CIA officer Jack Rice said.
The Officer's Club was primarily used for official military functions, as well as providing restaurant and bar services for members. All the services previously provided to club members at the Officer's Club will now be provided at the Services Club on base.
The 934th was also the only Air Force Reserve unit to still operate two clubs. All others have consolidated into one single club, which is what they will do now.