On April 3, 1941, the War Department began looking for an area to construct an air depot. Ground broke on August 2, 1941, and the depot was completed on February 1, 1942.
- Operations began on February 18, 1942, supervised by the United States Army Corps of Engineers. After a series of realignments, the base was named Griffiss AFB in 1948 to honor Lt. Colonel Townsend E. Griffiss (1900-1942) a Buffalo native and 1922 West Point graduate. Griffiss became the first U.S. Airman to be killed in the line of duty in the European Theatre of WWII when his B-24 Liberator Bomber was shot down by friendly fire over the English Channel.
- Air Force operations and squadrons were assigned to Griffiss during the Cold War. Most notably a Strategic Air Command and B-52 Group was stationed at Griffiss and conducted strategic bombardment readiness, conventional bombardment operations, and air refueling operations on a global scale. The B-52 Bomber at the entrance to the Griffiss Business and Technology Park is an homage to the Park’s storied military history.
- In 1950 the Griffiss Air Force Electronics Center was established and was a catalyst for much of the radar and electronic instrumentation development Central New York saw during this Cold War Era. Over 40 years various military divisions conducted research at The Rome Air Development Center (RADC), pioneering the modern radar systems, communications, and other advanced technologies. The RADC would be renamed to Rome Laboratory in 1991 as a response to its changing role in research and development and is now part of the Air Force Research Laboratory system.
- In 1993, Griffiss was selected for realignment by the Base Realignment and Closure Commission (BRAC). A master plan to rebuild the former air base began to take shape in 1994 and was the foundation for the development of what is now the Griffiss Business and Technology Park.
- Since 1995, more than $700 million has been invested at Griffiss. This includes road, infrastructure and airfield improvements, demolition, renovations, and new construction. There are approximately 70 different companies and over 6,000 employees on the park, exceeding the activity of what was “up at the Base.”