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SAS Museum

The Strategic Air & Space Museum near Ashland has changed its name to better reflect its ties to the Strategic Air Command and its mission during the Cold War.

The Strategic Air & Space Museum near Ashland has changed its name to better reflect its ties to the Strategic Air Command and its mission during the Cold War.

The museum's 10-member board of directors unanimously approved a staff recommendation Thursday to rename the museum the Strategic Air Command & Aerospace Museum.

The change is immediate but will become official with the unveiling of a new logo in spring 2016, said marketing director Deb Hermann.

"This began with former museum members coming forward and letting us know their opinions on the museum name and asked us to consider reverting back to our ties with SAC," board chairman Gary Gates said in a news release.

The museum, which focuses on U.S. Air Force military aircraft and missiles, was dedicated in 1966 at Offutt Air Force Base near Bellevue as the Strategic Aerospace Museum, then an outdoor display of U.S. military aircraft. To the public, it was the SAC Museum because of its location.

In 1992, it was renamed the Strategic Air Command Museum, and in 1998, with some of the aircraft deteriorating outdoors, the museum moved 25 miles west to a 300,000-square-foot complex just off Interstate 80 near Ashland.

Three years later, the name was changed to Strategic Air & Space Museum, but some supporters believed that loosened its connection to the Air Force command and its historical significance.

This time, the board asked the public its opinion on changing the name -- and to what.

"Thousands have provided feedback -- 92 percent agreed it should change to something with SAC included," Gates said.

Hermann said the search for a new name started in earnest in March.

Staff talked to clubs and organizations and left cards at the museum's front desk. An online survey also was conducted on the museum's website. In all, nearly 2,000 votes were cast for the new name, she said.

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Reach the writer at 402-473-7243 or alaukaitis@journalstar.com.

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