MINOT AIR FORCE BASE, N.D. --
Minot Air Force Base leadership, including congressional and civic leaders, celebrated the renaming of Dock 8, a B-52H Stratofortress phase maintenance double-dock, to the Gantzer Maintenance Facility during a dedication ceremony at Minot AFB, April 21, 2017.
The facility honors Chief Master Sgt. Fredrick Gantzer, an Airman who served over a decade at Minot AFB.
Special guests at the ceremony included Senator Heidi Heitkamp and family members of Chief Gantzer.
“There are two kinds of people in this world; those who watch it happen, and those who make it happen,” said Col. Matthew Brooks, 5th Bomb Wing commander. “Chief Master Sgt. Fredrick Gantzer was the latter.”
Chief Gantzer, a Wheeling, West Virginia native, served a 31-year career in the Air Force, including operations in Vietnam, a number of Strategic Air Command successes and over a decade of service at Minot AFB.
“Chief Gantzer was in charge of several hundred Airmen, and he knew every one of them,” said Brooks. “He knew what they went through, how they felt, how they thought, and when there were personal hardships, he was right there with his Airmen.”
During his time in Minot, Chief Gantzer was a board member of the Dakota Territory Air Museum, coordinated airshows, and greatly impacted the community.
Retired Chief Master Sgt. Bob Harrington, former field maintenance superintendent, worked alongside Chief Gantzer at Minot AFB for almost four years, said Brooks. When asked how many people Chief Gantzer impacted in his time here, Harrington answered, “tens of thousands.”
“Each of these Airmen Chief Gantzer impacted are still out there,” said Brooks. “Each of these Airmen will have this leader to look back on, a leader who caused them to grow, succeed and become leaders themselves.”
Fred Gantzer II, Chief Gantzer’s son, had only kind words for his late father. He spoke of the Airmen Chief Gantzer invited into his home and treated as his own children.
“My father was feared by some but respected by all,” said Fred. “He was the chief you wanted on your side. He gave 100 percent, but he expected 100 percent.”
Many words of appreciation were spoken from the Gantzer family.
“On behalf of my family, I want you to know how appreciative we are of this monumental occasion,” said Fred. “We are forever in debt to Col. Mosteller [former maintenance deputy commander] for turning this dream into reality, the political leaders for their efforts in D.C. and military personnel that made this day so special. From the bottom of our hearts, we are truly humbled by your efforts. Thank you.”