The outset of the Korean War quadrupled U.S. military funding which enabled the nation to beef up its military infrastructure. As a result, the former Bryan Army Air Field was reactivated under the auspices of the United States Air Force and with runways significantly lengthened served as a jet-pilot training base into the late 1950s.
As had been the case in the aftermath of World War II, peacetime diminished activity at the base and in 1958, the General Services Administration declared the instillation surplus. Efforts were made to secure a buyer for the property both from the private and public sectors. That included pitches to both the cities of Bryan and College Station as well as to the Brazos County commissioners, but no one could foresee a means by which the venue could pay for itself, let alone be a revenue-producing entity.
Finally, a unique deal was struck with the A&M College of Texas. The agreement enabled the school to lease the property for 20 years. Each year the site was used productively by the school, five percent of the “purchase price" would be deducted. While the government retained the right to reactivate the base in case of national emergency, the plan enabled ownership of the site to be transitioned to the university at virtually no cost.
Beginning in 1963, an annual report summarizing activities at the “Texas A&M Research Annex” was created and forwarded to the Department of Health, Education and Welfare, which served as the government’s steward for the duration of the property’s transition of ownership.
Click on a link below to learn more about this period of RELLIS Campus history.