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Detachment 610 History
The Detachment 610 of today began its history as two separate units. In 1952, both the University of North Dakota and North Dakota State University had elected to offer the Air Force ROTC program to their students. Units were established concurrently at each school on 1 August and 10 October of that year respectively. That at NDSU was designated Detachment 610; that at UND Detachment 615. The program was initially very successful. UND enrollment alone was 572 during fall 1964. This pleasant trend was quickly reversed during the upheavals of the 1960s and 1970s, when schools across the nation were forced to close ROTC detachments from every branch of service due to public antipathy and a lack of interest among candidates. While Det 610 was able to survive, Det 615 was not so fortunate and was closed in 1979.
Interest in AFROTC at UND resumed during the middle of the next decade, prompting efforts to reinstate the program, and on 1 August 1992 UND was added as a cross-town school to Det 610. Enrollment quickly rose, spurred by the growing notoriety of theaerospace programs at UND and the aeronautical ambitions of new classes. The establishment of a permanent location in Grand Forks became necessary and was completed by 1 January 1996. A unique arrangement, this resulted in the NDSU wing being referred to as Eagle Wing I and the UND unit as Eagle Wing II.
Although Det 610 had served as the host unit for Air Force ROTC at the cross-town schools of Minnesota State University at Moorhead and Concordia College since 1967, the opening of a second wing expanded the potential for exchange enormously. The University of Minnesota at Crookston finalized a cross-town arrangement in 1998 with Eagle Wing II as its host wing. It was followed by Park University during the following year. Each of these schools offers a branch at Grand Forks Air Force Base, making this a natural decision. Mayville State University in 2005 is the most recent addition to Det 610.