illustrated wave

BKV Gunnery Backstop Project

Historical Point-of-Interest Transformation

Sponsorships are Still Available. Join the momentum today!

Long referred to as "The Bunker," little is widely known about the distinctive concrete structure at the entrance to Brooksville - Tampa Bay Regional Airport (BKV). Thanks to some local aviation history enthusiasts, that will soon change.

The structure is original to the airport, which was built during WWII and named Brooksville Army Airfield. Its purpose was to help bomber pilots calibrate their weapons during training. From an aircraft anchored with a chain to an iron ring in the ground nearby, pilots aimed guns into the concrete and sand beneath. So - never a bunker - the  structure was actually a gunnery backstop.

The transformation was envisioned by Don Etchison and architecturally illustrated by Ed Hoffman, both long-time BKV pilots.

Interactive! Use the slider below to view the transformation.

Key Proposed Site Upgrades


Upgrade structure.

  • Sidewalks
  • Low perimeter rail
  • Brick walkway
  • Concrete central retaining wall
  • Small vehicle pull-over area


Enhance appearance.

  • Turf-based landscaping
  • Existing tree retention
  • Bench seating
  • Interior overhead lighting


Tell the story.

  • Historical Marker
  • Monument (possible B-17 propeller) with plaque
  • Information plaque at entry 
  • Visual back wall displays 

Help with a Sponsorship

Add yourself to the growing list of people, organizations and companies donating professional services and products to this exciting project.

Project Founder, Historical Marker and B-17 Propeller Monument Sponsor

  • Don Etchison, BKV Pilot, Historian and Businessman

Architectural Design and Renderings

  • Ed Hoffman of Hoffman Architects, PA, BKV Pilot

Engineering and Site Planning

  • Coastal Engineering


  • Proud Pelican Construction

B-17 Propeller Monument Welder

  • Day Metal Products

B-17 Propeller Monument Historical Paint Application

  • American Aviation


  • AccuformNMC

Historical Marker Organizer and Author

  • Linda Welker, Hernando Historical Preservation Society

Landscaping, Site Prep and Maintenance

  • Hernando County Parks Department

Flag Pole and American Flag

  • Hernando County Veterans Council

Tax Exempt Donation Processing

  • CETA (Chamber Education Training Association)

Your Donation, Business or Skills

  • You!

Make a Tax Exempt Financial Donation

About your donation:

Thank you for your interest in making a financial contribution toward the creation of an airport memorial, reflecting its role in WWII pilot training. Contributions can be any amount. All funds will go to the BKV Gunnery Backstop Project and are processed through CETA (Chamber Education Training Association).

Online credit card donations can be made through the MAKE A DONATION button link below.

Should you prefer to make a donation by check, please make it payable to CETA and drop off or mail to:

Greater Hernando Chamber of Commerce
15588 Aviation Loop Drive
Brooksville, FL 34604

Interested in ways to help with this project?

Here are some ways you can participate:

  • Consider sponsorship with a financial donation, products, professional services or personal expertise. Your generous contributions will be recognized!
    • Some products and professional installation needed -
      • Concrete
      • Pavers
      • Fencing
      • Landscape Design
      • Lighting/Electric
      • Plaques and Display fabrication