England Air Force Base is located in the northwestern part of Alexandria, Louisiana. The base started its operations in 1939 as Esler Field, when it served as an emergency airstrip for the regional airport serving the central Louisiana area. The Army Air Corps leased the airfield from the city of Alexandria when the possibility of war in Europe increased. They named the airfield Alexandria Army Air Base. In June 1955, Alexandria Army Air Base was officially named England Air Force Base to honor Lieutenant Colonel John B. England. England Air Force Base was closed following the recommendation of the Defense Secretary's Commission on base realignments and closure. Since then the base has been turned into an airpark, with various businesses occupying the vacated buildings. Later, the local airport was renamed Alexandria International Airport. The Air Force issued a record of decision for the disposal of England Air Force Base in February 1995. The Air Force gave 2,279 acres of surplus property to the England Economic and Industrial Development Authority for the use of a public airport, 0.69 acre to Alexandria City, and 2.91 acres to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).