History of Detachment 610
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 very successful. UND enrollment alone was 572 during fall of 1964. This pleasant trend was quickly reversed during the upheavals of the 1960's and 1970's, 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 the Aerospace 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 NDSU wing being referred to as Eagle Wing I and the UND unit as Eagle Wing II.
Under this agreement, students attending the University of North Dakota can obtain a commission in the United States Air Force from the host detachment without physically attending NDSU. Thus, Eagle Wing II was born, including assigned personnel and facilities with the bulk of Det 610’s cadre residing in Grand Forks. Since 1996, over 170 Eagle Wing II cadets have commissioned into 2nd Lieutenants. In 1999, it was named Detachment of the Year. Today, Eagle Wing II continues to excel in leadership training for the future officers of the United States Air Force.
Although Det 610 has 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 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.