Updated On: 9/7/2012 11:58:36 AM
JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO read more...
Joint Basing is a BRAC mandate to consolidate installation support functions at adjacent and nearby installations under one Military Service to optimize installation management. It is a team effort with installation management experts working together to provide installation services to joint war-fighters. These experts preserve core mission capabilities by keeping operational expertise within operational units. Services retain their respective missions and the history of each installation maintains its relevance in the new structure of customer support.
Within the San Antonio area, three military locations are affected by Joint Basing: Fort Sam Houston, Lackland Air Force Base and Randolph Air Force Base. The Air Force is the Lead Service.
Joint Base San Antonio supports a population of 80,000 military and civilian employees, and trains 150,000 students annually. As the largest single DoD installation/enterprise it has a total plant replacement value of 10.3 billion; leads a work force of more than 8,000 personnel; manages an annual budget of $900 million; interfaces with 1,000 civic leaders of San Antonio, 20 smaller communities, four counties and four Congressional Districts; supports more than 200 mission partners, supported and supporting units; and supports more than 250,000 other personnel including 425 retired general officers (second largest concentration in U.S.).
502nd Air Base Wing
The 502nd Air Base Wing at Fort Sam Houston provides installation services to the JBSA community. The wing will meet the needs of all three installations, their missions and people but will seek to optimize installation support while maximizing opportunities for greater joint military and community cooperation. The 502nd Air Base Wing consists of three major support elements. The Lackland Mission Support Group is now the 802d MSG. The Randolph Mission Support Group is the 902d MSG and the Fort Sam Houston Garrison is the 502d MSG.
FORT SAM HOUSTON
Located on the northeast side of San Antonio, Fort Sam Houston is accessible from Interstate Loop 410, Interstate 35 and U.S. 281. At any given time the post population of military, family members, students and civilian employees tops 40,000.
The primary mission at Fort Sam Houston is as a medical training and support post. The post is the home of Army North, Army South, Army 5th Recruiting Brigade, Brooke Army Medical Center, the Institute of Surgical Research, the Army Medical Department Center and School, the Army Medical Command and the 502nd Air Base Wing. Fort Sam Houston provides facilities and support for the activities of garrison units and other tenant organizations. The post also supports the thousands of Army Reserve and National Guard soldiers who train there year round. Soldiers from Fort Sam Houston have participated in every American War since 1845 and have deployed worldwide in support of post-Cold War contingency operations.
The Warrior and Family Support Center
The Warrior and Family Support Center on Fort Sam Houston is a 12,000-square-foot facility that provides a friendly, comfortable environment where the Soldier and Family members can rejuvenate, relax and watch a movie on big-screen TVs, play video games, check e-mail or use the Internet. They can select a book or magazine to read, make a phone call, grab a cup of coffee or go on any of the dozens of off-post trips planned by the center's staff.
The original idea for the center came from physicians at BAMC who saw a need for Family members to be intimately involved in the rehabilitation of their service members. A vital part of recovery meant providing a "safe" environment away from the hospital. The concept of the WFSC was then developed by a committee established to support troops who were in combat operations and on the road to recovery. The Fort Sam Houston WFSC is the only one of its kind in the Army, offering a safe and caring environment for military families to reconnect during medical treatment.
Fort Sam Houston History
Fort Sam Houston was originally founded in 1845 and named for Gen. Sam Houston in 1890, by President Benjamin Harrison. General Houston is famed as a hero of the battle of San Jacinto and the first president of the Republic of Texas. Prominent visitors to the post include Chief Geronimo, who was held there in 1886 before his exile to Florida, and Theodore Roosevelt, who stopped with his men at the base to receive provisions before leaving for Cuba in 1898. Fort Sam Houston is certainly unique among Army posts. On one hand, it is a major, active military installation and plays a vital role in the defense of the United States. On the other hand, it contains some of the oldest structures on any Army installation, with the largest collection of historic buildings of any active military installation (nine times as many as Colonial Williamsburg). It holds the distinction of being the ninth-oldest currently active Army post.
In 1908, a new hospital was built at the artillery post. It was enlarged in 1910 and again in 1915, to provide 1,000 beds. In 1910, Lt. Benjamin Foulois brought the army's first airplane to Fort Sam Houston, where he instigated the first experimental flights in United States military aviation and gave the first public demonstration flights. In 1937, the largest maneuvers since World War I were held, and many of the tactical principles used during World War II were developed, including the "Triangular Division." In 1940, the Post was the largest army post in the United States. By the end of that decade, Fort Sam Houston had amassed 1,500 buildings on more than 3,300 acres of land and served as headquarters for the 4th United States Army.
In 1973, the Post acquired a major military command devoted to medical service, known as the Health Services Command. In 1991, Fort Sam Houston comprised the headquarters of the 4th United States Army, the Health Services Command, the Academy of Health Services, Brooke Army Medical Center, the Institute of Surgical Research, the United States Army Dental Laboratory, the 902d Military Intelligence Group and the Joint Military Readiness Center. Today the Post supports all of the National Guard and Army Reserve units in Texas, as well as the Texas high school and college reserve officer training corps units.
In mid-2002, the Army recommended that Fort Sam Houston be the new home of U.S. Army South, a headquarters that would bring San Antonio up to 700 jobs. The Army studied 11 communities in the Midwest and South over the previous 18 months, and narrowed the site list to Fort Sam Houston and Fort McPherson, Ga. Fort Sam Houston eventually won out in part because of its vacant Brooke Army Medical Center building. The availability of a high quality and easily remodeled facilities, the low cost of living and off-post housing, and the availability of existing barracks and family housing were all factors that contributed to the decision to propose Fort Sam Houston as the preferred location.
Camp Bullis is located on Interstate Highway 10 and Harry Wurzbach Road northwest of San Antonio in Bexar County. Together with Camp Stanley, the camp is part of the Leon Springs Military Reservation. Camp Bullis has provided firing ranges, training areas and logistics support to Fort Sam Houston and other active and reserve component units in South Texas for nearly 100 years. Its most frequent users are the Army Medical Department Center and School, Defense Medical Readiness Training Institute, Air Force Ground Combat Skills School and Army units stationed at Fort Sam Houston. There are currently 130 military personnel stationed at Bullis.
Camp Bullis was established in 1917 to train troops in preparation for the growing threat of war in Europe. It was named for Brig. Gen. John Lapham Bullis, who as a lieutenant led the Seminole-Negro scouts during the Indian Wars. During World War I Camp Bullis provided maneuver areas and small arms and rifle ranges for troops from Fort Sam Houston. No units were stationed at the camp.
During the 1920s and 1930s, Camp Bullis provided facilities for training the Civilian Military Training Corps, the Civilian Conservation Corps, the Reserve Officer Training Corps and the Officer Reserve Corps. With World War II looming, Congress authorized the call-up of the National Guard, and in 1940, the Selective Service Act was passed. A reception center was established at Camp Bullis in September 1940 to process and train draftees. By Dec. 7, 1941, expansion of Fort Sam Houston and Camp Bullis was well under way.
By 1955, Camp Bullis was providing ranges and training areas for medical units of the regular army, reserve component units, ROTC and United States Army Reserve schools.
The trainee loads increased significantly when 40,000 medical personnel prepared for Vietnam duty. The Forty-fifth Medical Unit, Self-Contained, Transportable, was the first of these units sent overseas. The unit was a modular facility of inflatable shelters developed at Fort Sam Houston and field-tested at Camp Bullis. A mock Vietnam village was constructed at Camp Bullis to help prepare soldiers for service in Vietnam.
As the war in Vietnam wound down, so did activity at Camp Bullis. The General Services Administration declared 1,140 acres of the reservation excess in 1972. Dwight D. Eisenhower Park opened on 323 acres transferred to the city of San Antonio in 1988. Another 94 acres was transferred to Bexar County in 1977, to allow the widening of Blanco Road and 47 acres was turned over to the county for a park near Borgfield Drive. These reductions had little effect on the mission of the camp.
In 1977, an Air Force Security Police Training Site, known as Victor Base, was constructed to accommodate the Air Force Security Police Academy. The Air Force was subsequently the largest single user of Camp Bullis until 1987. The Army began emergency deployment readiness exercises at Camp Bullis in 1973, when elements of the 101st Airborne Division from Fort Hood were air dropped at Camp Bullis.
In 1996, Camp Bullis faced a not-so-unusual challenge: create more usable training areas to meet increasing mission needs. The Texas installation needed to provide "movement-to-contact" corridors for Army National Guard mechanized units, create a simulated airfield for the Air Force's Ground Combat Skills School and expand training space for Fort Sam Houston medical units to set up bivouac and field hospitals. It also had to enhance habitat for two endangered species (the golden-checked warbler and the black-capped vireo) and protect archeological sites and other unique land features.
In August 1999, the Air Education and Training Command security forces gathered at Camp Bullis to compete in Defender Challenge, an annual competition that tests the combat skills readiness and physical fitness of some of the best cops in the command. The main events are the M-16 combat rifle, 9mm handgun, obstacle course and the Warrior Challenge, which combines land navigation, combat patrolling and innovative tactics.
In May 2001, the Department of the Army announced the availability of the Fort Sam Houston, Camp Bullis and Canyon Lake Recreation Area Master Plan Draft Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement. This Statement assesses the potential impacts of adopting revisions to the installation's Real Property Master Plan.
The Draft Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement study period covers 1998 to 2008. The analytical results are expected to enhance management of the land and infrastructure at Fort Sam Houston and Camp Bullis, and support current and future missions while sustaining good stewardship of the natural and cultural resources.
Camp Stanley is a subpost of nearby Camp Bullis. Located northwest of San Antonio, Camp Stanley, a separate activity of Red River Army Depot, is a weapons and munitions supply, maintenance, and test and storage. The post supports locations throughout CONUS (Continental United States) and selected overseas areas. The post includes 4,000 acres with 630,000 square feet of storage space. The camp is named for Brig. Gen. David Sloane Stanley, a captain in the 1st U.S. Cavalry and Medal of Honor recipient.
Camp Stanley, originally called Camp Funston, was a subpost of the San Antonio Arsenal and operated as an ammunition storage depot. Chinese refugees brought from Mexico in 1916 by Gen. John J. Pershing were transferred from Fort Sam Houston to Camp Stanley after World War I. The refugees were finally registered as legal immigrants in 1922. That same year the camp became a subpost of Camp Travis and was to be used as a temporary garrison at peace strength. In September 1933, Camp Stanley was transferred to the jurisdiction of the Ordnance Department, and new buildings were constructed to eliminate hazards. In 1947, Camp Stanley was consolidated with the San Antonio General Distribution Depot and on July 1, 1949, was designated the Camp Stanley Area of Red River Arsenal, a class-two installation under the jurisdiction of the chief of ordnance.
Brooke Army Medical Center
Brooke Army Medical Center is located at Fort Sam Houston on the northeast side of San Antonio, accessible from Interstate Loop 410, Interstate 35 and U.S. 281.
Brooke Army Medical Center is a state-of-the-art health care facility that provides level-one trauma care and graduate medical education. The multi-storied medical treatment facility is the primary structure in the medical complex. It has 1.5 million square feet of operational space and a bed capacity of 450. ICU has 48 beds and another 40 are dedicated to the Institute of Surgical Research Burn Unit. The hospital can expand to 653 beds if needed to support a wartime mobilization.
The hospital was designed with four distinctive structural elements of four sub-buildings, with each letter of BAMC indicating a particular sub-building:
A (Ancillary Building) - This sub-building has five floors above the lower level and contains the critical care units, radiology, laboratory and other support services.
B (Bedtower Building) - The building is located at the south end of the hospital. This sub-building contains all the acute care wards and is the tallest component at seven stories above ground.
C (Clinics) - This sub-building is located at the north end of the hospital. Its three floors contain most of the outpatient clinics.
M (Medical Mall) - This provides an open circulation area bridging between ancillary services and outpatient clinics.
LACKLAND AIR FORCE BASE
Lackland Air Force Base is located southwest of San Antonio, off Highway 90 at SW 36th Street from the west, and the General Hudnell exit from the east. Lackland AFB is home to nearly 9,000 active duty military, more than 10,000 family members, over 9,500 students and close to 5,000 civilian government employees. The base hosts the 37th Training Wing, the 37th Training Group, the 737th Training Group, the former 37th Support Group, now the 802nd Mission Support Group and the 37th Logistics Group. The Defense Language Institute English Language Center, Inter-American Air Forces Academy and Wilford Hall Medical Center are also located on base.
The 37th Training Wing
The 37th Training Wing is the largest training wing in the Air Force. The 37th TRW provides basic military, professional and technical skills and English language training for the Air Force, other military services, government agencies and allies. Its four primary training functions graduate more than 75,000 students annually.
The 737th Training Group
The 737th Training Group provides basic military training for all enlisted people entering the Air Force, Air Force Reserve and Air National Guard, earning Lackland AFB the nickname, "Gateway to the Air Force." About 34,000 recruits annually undergo the six weeks of intense military and academic training. Following graduation, airmen go on to technical training at Lackland AFB or elsewhere before their first Air Force assignment. More than four million airmen have completed basic training at the base since 1946.
The 37th Training Group
The 37th Training Group conducts more then 400 technical training courses in a wide array of support functions, military disciplines and physical fitness programs for more than 36,000 officers, noncommissioned officers and airmen per year. Since Lackland AFB gained its first technical training mission in 1956, that mission has grown significantly in both size and diversity. Many courses now provide joint-service training for civilians, Air Force, Army, Navy and Marine Corps personnel located at Lackland AFB, Medina Annex and more than eight operating locations and detachments on bases nationwide.
The 802nd Mission Support Group
(formerly 37th Support Group)
Supporting the 25,000 people at Lackland AFB is this additional group. The 802nd Mission Support Group is the largest support group in the continental United States. Its 2,300 personnel provide numerous services including security forces protection, personnel services, communications, infrastructure support, lodging, recreational activities and food services.
The 802nd Logistics Readiness Group
The 37th Logistics Group provides the entire spectrum of logistics support, managing the largest contracting, transportation and non-flying supply squadrons in Air Education and Training Command.
Defense Language Institute
English Language Center
The Defense Language Institute English Language Center conducts English language training for about 2,400 international and U.S. military students annually. More than 90 countries send military and civilian students to the center to learn English.
Inter-American Air Forces Academy
The Inter-American Air Forces Academy conducts over 60 technical, professional and management courses in Spanish for almost 1,000 students a year. These students are from the armed forces and also governmental agencies of up to 18 Latin American countries. The academy relocated from Homestead AFB, Fla., in 1992. To date, IAAFA has graduated more than 36,000 students from 27 countries.
Lackland AFB History
Lackland AFB was established June 26, 1942, when the War Department separated part of Kelly Field and named it the San Antonio Aviation Cadet Center (SAACC) to support the war effort. From its inception, SAACC experienced rapid growth and transitioned from a former field training and bombing range through a variety of missions. Among them as a hub for flight training, a site for the officer training and commissioning orientation, and as a staging area for all veterans returning from World War II for reassignment or separation. Eventually, SAACC was established as the basic military training center for officers and enlisted personnel entering the Army Air Forces. In 1947, SAACC was renamed Lackland Air Force Base in honor of Brig. Gen. Frank D. Lackland, a former Kelly Field Commander, who originally proposed and campaigned for an aviation and cadet reception center on the site. Lackland AFB established itself as a cohesive training base and formalized training evolved to support the Air Force Mission: "To Fly, To Fight, To Win." The Korean and Vietnam Wars severely tested Lackland AFB's capacity to train new recruits and satisfy mobility demands. Despite the base's maximum capacity of 25,000, training populations in the 1950s soared to 55,000. As a result of the contingencies of the 1950s and 60s, construction of permanent facilities, which included the 1,000-person steel and brick Recruit Housing and Training facilities for basic military training, cemented Lackland's training responsibilities. On April 1, 2001, the 37th Training Wing took control of airfield operations of the oldest active airfield in the Air Force-Kelly Field. When this occurred it consolidated the history of two of the Air Force's more famous aviation sites. Lackland AFB recently celebrated its 65th anniversary and continues to be a vital part of the San Antonio and Air Force communities.
Wilford Hall Medical Center
Wilford Hall Medical Center is located on Lackland AFB, southwest of San Antonio, just off Highway 90. As the Air Force's largest medical facility, Wilford Hall is a national resource, providing complete medical care to military healthcare beneficiaries in the south central United States as well as specialized care to patients referred from all over the world. Wilford Hall's patient care mission includes more than 16,000 annual inpatient admissions and approximately 700,000 clinic visits. The medical center provides the entire range of care from sick call to surgery and serves as the national center of excellence for a number of programs. The sole program in the Department of Defense for allogeneic bone marrow transplantation and the military's only eye bank are located at Wilford Hall. The center also operates the Air Force's treatment and evaluation center for HIV.
Wilford Hall OB-GYN and neonatology programs are recognized around the world. In 2001, the Hauth Birthing Center and deLemos Neonatal Intensive Care Center were officially dedicated. The birthing center allows mothers with uncomplicated deliveries to stay in one location, as opposed to a number of moves in the old facility. Wilford Hall enjoys the status as the Air Force's largest obstetric hospital, with more than 170 infants delivered each month. As a tertiary referral center, Wilford Hall provides service for mothers and newborns from throughout the world. The center's support of San Antonio's emergency medicine structure is unique in the nation. Wilford Hall and Brooke Army Medical Center participate fully in the trauma and emergency medicine care of the San Antonio and south Texas civilian communities, with each military medical center receiving approximately one-fourth of the city's emergency ambulance missions. Since the two military centers receive almost 80 percent of the city's penetrating trauma, typically gunshot and knife wounds, and the system provides excellent training for wartime situations.
From the time of the organization's founding in 1942, Wilford Hall has put the defense of the nation first. During World War II, the organization provided medical care to aviation cadets and other military personnel and military training to newly joined nurses and other professionals. During the Korean War, Wilford Hall expanded to meet the increase in trainees and became a treatment point for war casualties flown to San Antonio. By the end of that conflict in 1953, the hospital had seen more than 30,000 air evacuees.
Although he was not directly involved in the institution that today bears his name, the Wilford Hall Medical Center of today could not have come to pass without its namesake's work and foresight. Gen. Hall was one of the early proponents of what is now called aerospace medicine, and one of the first to realize that the medical requirements for aviators were different from those of other services. When the Air Force became independent in 1947, the batting order of the support services in the newly created Department of Defense was being developed. At that time, the Air Force's medical support continued to form part of the Army. After the two years agreed between the Army and the Air Force to sort out the support services after 1947, the Air Force formed its own medical service.
General Hall was a visionary in the development of aeromedical evacuation, and his work was pivotal in changing aeromedical evacuation from a cargo-type mission for backhaul in empty aircraft to a part of the medical care system. His work during World War II transformed the way in which the wounded are transported and treated during wartime, and directly resulted in the creation of central medical facilities such as Wilford Hall Medical Center. In October 2006, The Wilford Hall Medical Center staff earned the U.S. Health and Human Services Medal of Honor. This medal is awarded to hospitals that achieve at least a 75 percent donation rate as part of the national organ donation initiative launched in April 2003. Wilford Hall is currently above the national average of 60 percent with an 87.5 percent donation rate.
RANDOLPH AIR FORCE BASE
Randolph Air Force Base is located in Universal City in the northeastern part of Bexar (pronounced "bear") County, Texas. The base can be reached from the west by Interstate 35, and from the south by Interstate 10. The base employs over 4,000 active duty military with more than 5,000 family members and more than 6,600 civilians. Randolph AFB is home to the 902nd Mission Support Group, 12th Flying Training Wing, 359th Medical Group, Headquarters Air Education and Training Command, 19th Air Force, Air Force Personnel Service, Air Force Recruiting Service, Air Force Manpower Agency and other associate units. In February 2010, Randolph Air Force Base's host unit changed from the 12th FTW to the 902nd MSG. The change marked a transition to Joint Base San Antonio, when the 902nd MSG became part of the 502nd Air Base Wing at Fort Sam Houston, Texas.
902nd Mission Support Group
The 902nd MSG is the host unit at Randolph AFB. It is the focal point for all base activities and is comprised of the 902nd Force Support Squadron; the 902nd Communications Squadron; the 902nd Security Forces Squadron; the 902nd Civil Engineer Squadron; the 902nd Contracting Squadron; the 902nd Logistics Readiness Squadron; and the 902nd Comptroller Squadron. These units serve the needs of the wing and tenant units on Randolph including more than 15,000 people on the base and more than 24,000 Air Force retirees in the local area.
The 902nd FSS is administratively responsible for Headquarters AETC and wing staff divisions. Family and community support programs are administered by the Randolph Airman and Family Readiness Flight. The Education Services Flight provides off-duty education, distance learning, tuition assistance and college level testing. The Randolph Airman Leadership School provides professional military education for senior airmen and offers the Professional Military Training Seminar for airmen first class. The 902nd FSS is also responsible for the First-Term Airmen Center and ensures Randolph members and their families have appropriate recreational facilities. These activities include the officer and enlisted clubs, youth and child development centers, bowling center, sports programs, golf course, library, hunt and saddle club, skeet range, Canyon Lake Outdoor Recreation Area, swimming pools and hobby shops for auto, wood and arts and crafts "do-it-yourself" projects.
The 902nd CS provides, operates and maintains all voice and data communications; airfield navigational and weather systems in support of Randolph and its associate units. The squadron is the focal point for communication and computer systems requirements and operates the base network control center that is responsible for the management of the entire base communications and networking infrastructure.
The 902nd SFS provides force protection in the form of law enforcement and physical security for Randolph. The squadron is also responsible for air base defense, personnel security clearances, information and industrial security programs, crime prevention programs, pass and registration and combat arms training.
The 902nd CES responsibilities include all construction, maintenance and repair for Randolph that includes nearly 1,200 Air Force buildings and more than 5,000 acres of land. The unit maintains the grounds, roadways and infrastructure that support all base and tenant organization missions. The 902nd CES provides fire fighting and rescue for facilities and aircraft. The unit also conducts hazardous materials awareness training for disaster response personnel and nuclear, biological and chemical defense training for deployable troops.
The 902nd CONS provides contract acquisition support to Headquarters AETC, 19th AF, AFPC, AFRS, AFMA and other associate units. The squadron executes more than 16,500 contracting actions annually. Base level support includes all major construction contracts, services, commodity and computer requirements. The 902nd Logistics Readiness Squadron provides fuels, munitions, supply, transportation and logistics readiness support to headquarters, field operating agencies, the 902nd MSG, the 12th Flying Training Wing and associate units, delivering the right resources to the right place at the right time. The division receives, inspects, stores, maintains, issues, assembles, delivers, deploys, accounts for, transports and disposes of required resources. On an annual basis the division moves 200,000 passengers, 7,000 tons of cargo and 5,000 personal property shipments and manages millions of dollars of on-hand inventory, munitions accounts and government vehicles. The division supports worldwide deployments and base operations by providing materiel readiness, including supplies, spares, equipment, munitions and fuels.
12th Flying Training Wing
The 12th FTW works to equip men and women to train the world's best aviators, conducting training for instructor pilots, combat systems officers and introduction to fighter fundamentals student pilot training.
12th Operations Group
The 12th Operations Group is primarily responsible for conducting Joint and Allied Pilot Instructor Training on Randolph AFB. The group contains one support squadron and six flying squadrons—the 12th Operations Support Squadron, 435th Fighter Training Squadron and the 99th, 559th, 560th, 562nd and 563rd Flying Training Squadrons. The unit's main missions include training for instructor pilots, combat systems officers and fighter fundamentals student pilots, in addition to remotely piloted aircraft pilots and basic sensor operators.
Pilot Instructor Training (PIT)
The 12th FTW is the only unit that teaches Air Force pilots to be flight instructors for Air Education and Training Command's four undergraduate pilot training bases. Each year, about 350 instructor pilots graduate from the wing's 13-week training course. Using teaching techniques in the aircraft, the simulator and the classroom, trainees learn how to fly and instruct at the same time.
Advanced Instrument School
The 12th FTW conducts the Department of Defense's only graduate-level instrument flight school. The Advanced Instrument School teaches instrument procedures to select instructor pilots and senior aircraft commanders annually, from all services and foreign air forces. The instructors are Air Force instrument experts, who are responsible for the development and the technical application of instrument policies, procedures and techniques.
The Maintenance Directorate provides equipment maintenance support for all T-1A, T-6A, T-38, and the T-43A aircraft, which will be retired later this year. The organization manages a regional plastic media blasting facility for Air Education and Training Command, Quality Assurance Evaluation. The organization provides munitions, aerospace ground equipment, test, measurement and diagnostic equipment support to associated customers.
359th Medical Group
The 359th MDG staff provides comprehensive medical and dental care, physiological training, disaster response, health promotion and occupational public health support to Randolph AFB and a beneficiary population of more than 40,000. The 359th MDG is comprised of the 359th Medical Support Squadron, 359th Medical Operations Squadron and the 359th Aeromedical-Dental Squadron.
Randolph AFB History
The idea for Randolph AFB began soon after the establishment of the Air Corps Act in 1926, which changed the name of the Army Air Service to the Army Air Corps, created two new brigadier general positions and provided a five-year expansion program for the under strength Air Corps. One of the new general officer positions was given to Frank P. Lahm, who was placed in charge of all flying training.
General Lahm established the Air Corps Training Center and set up its headquarters at Duncan Field, next to Kelly Field. He soon learned the facilities at Kelly and Brooks Fields were not sufficient for proper training. The buildings, erected during World War I with a life expectancy of five years, had no suitable areas for ground training and the living quarters were inadequate. San Antonio's rapid growth was also beginning to interfere with flight training operations. The Air Corps soon decided an additional training field was needed, and a site north of San Antonio was chosen for the new field.
In 1926 and 1927, 1st Lt. Harold Clark designed Randolph AFB while assigned as dispatch officer in the Kelly Field motor pool, although the War Department received the land in 1928. Having trained as an architect prior to entering the military, Lieutenant Clark sketched his idea of a perfect "Air City" on the back of old dispatch sheets. After learning a new field was to be built, Lieutenant Clark took his drawings to General Lahm, who was so impressed with the designs he appointed him to be the architect in charge of the Randolph Field project. It was, at the time, the largest construction project undertaken by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers since the Panama Canal.
The base is named after Capt. William Millican Randolph, a native of Austin, who, during his nine-year flying career, earned a remarkable record and contributed immeasurably to the progress of aviation. On Feb. 17, 1928, while returning to his duties at Kelly, he crashed his AT-4 on takeoff from Gorman Field. Ironically, Captain Randolph was serving on the committee to select a name for the new field at the time of his death. Randolph Field was officially dedicated in 1930, with an estimated 15,000 people in attendance and a fly-by of 233 planes, possibly the largest assembly of military aircraft in the world.
Soon thereafter, the School of Aviation Medicine relocated to Randolph Field, as well as the first cadets from the Air Corps Flying School. Since its beginning, Randolph has been a flight training base. Pilots there have been trained in the basic and primary phases of flying, returned for instructor training, or gone through combat crew training. Upon the transfer of basic flight training to Waco Field in 1945, Randolph Field produced over 15,000 instructor graduates from its course.
Although basic training transferred from Goodfellow Field in February 1946, the Army Air Force suspended all pilot training when it found itself desperately short of maintenance personnel. The suspension was later lifted and Randolph Field resumed its pilot training mission. The Air Force reshaped pilot training into two separate four month phases in March 1948. Primary pilot training moved on in December 1950. Basic pilot training changed over to nine new contract schools in July 1951. After the Air Force became a separate service in 1947, Randolph Field was officially renamed Randolph Air Force Base.
Originally, the 3510th Flying Training Wing was the host unit at Randolph AFB. The 3510th FTW started out as the 3510th Basic Pilot Training Wing in 1948. This unit became the 3510th Combat Crew Training Wing in January 1952 and then the 3510th FTW in June 1952. The 12th FTW replaced the 3510th FTW in 1972. The 12th FTW traces its heritage back to the 12th Bombardment Group. The 12th BG served in North Africa, Sicily, Italy, Burma and India during World War II. When the 12th FTW activated on Randolph AFB, it was designated from the combat-proven 12th Tactical Fighter Wing. In August 2001, the National Park Service designated Randolph Air Force Base a National Historic Landmark.
LAUGHLIN AIR FORCE BASE
Laughlin Air Force Base is located on U.S. Highway 90, approximately 150 miles west of San Antonio. The nearest city is Del Rio, six miles west of the base. Situated about nine miles from the international bridge to Ciudad Acuna, Mexico, Laughlin is home to the 47th Flying Training Wing. The 47th FTW is one of four Air Education and Training Command pilot training units and conducts specialized undergraduate pilot training. Its mission is to train the world's best pilots and deploy expeditionary forces to fight and win America's wars.
With more than 3,300 people supporting its mission, Laughlin has a significant economic impact on the neighboring city of Del Rio. Everyone at Laughlin is aware of the strong relationship between the base and the Del Rio community. Laughlin is organized into four groups that support the 47th FTW. The groups are the 47th Operations Group, the 47th Maintenance Directorate, the 47th Mission Support Group and the 47th Medical Group.
47th Operations Group
The 47th Operations Group is responsible for training Air Force, Air Force Reserve, Air National Guard and allied pilots. The group consists of five flying training squadrons and the 47th Operations Support Squadron.
47th Operations Support Squadron
The 47th Operations Support Squadron provides the full spectrum of support functions required to enable the 47th OG to perform flying training operations in the SUPT environment. The squadron provides instructional program development and academic instruction for the joint SUPT students, management of international students and is responsible for all aircrew flight records and aircraft life support systems. The squadron has responsibility of airfield operations for one of the busiest airfields in the Air Force to include the control tower, radar approach control facility, airspace and airfield management. The 47th OSS also provides oversight for aircraft simulator operations and all weather services in support of the flying mission.
84th and 85th Flying Training Squadrons
The 84th Flying Training Squadron together with the 85th Flying Training Squadron conducts the T-6 Texan II training portion of the SUPT program. Instructors provide the principal foundations in contact, instrument and formation flying to assigned students.
86th Flying Training Squadron
The 86th Flying Training Squadron trains students in the airlift-tanker track during Phase III of SUPT. Principles and techniques are taught in flying the T-1A aircraft. Instructors provide training in contact, instrument, navigation, formation and low-level flight.
87th Flying Training Squadron
The 87th Flying Training Squadron trains students in the fighter-bomber track during Phase III of SUPT. Students receive training in aerobatics, formation, instrument, low-level and cross-country navigational skills, using full-motion simulators as well as the T-38 aircraft.
96th Flying Training Squadron
The 96th Flying Training Squadron is a Reserve Associate unit to AETC that supplements Laughlin's four active duty flying squadrons, conducting training in the T-6, T-1 and T-38 portions of Specialized Undergraduate Pilot Training.
434th Fighter Training Squadron
The 434th Fighter Training Squadron teaches the Introduction to Fighter Fundamentals course which prepares rated pilots for the rigors of follow-on training in fighter aircraft. Foundational skills in formation flying, aircraft handling characteristics, basic fighter maneuvers and surface attack are developed utilizing the AT-38C Talon.
47th Maintenance Directorate
The 47th Maintenance Directorate, composed of five divisions and two support staff agencies, provides service and support to T-1, T-6, and T 38 aircraft which are part of the base's SUPT mission. The Directorate furnishes contract surveillance for five major contracts providing transient alert services, supply support for T-1 and T-6 aircraft and T-38 avionics upgrade program components, and J-85 engine regional repair for four Air Education and Training Command pilot training bases.
Originally designated Laughlin Civil Service Aircraft Maintenance (LCSAM), the Maintenance Directorate came into being as the result of a winning A-76 bid in 1988. LCSAM began fully supporting Laughlin's pilot training mission in July 1989. At that time, it was the first and only all-civil service maintenance organization in the Air Force.
47th Mission Support Group
The 47th Mission Support Group provides quality of life and general support to 28 units and more than 7,800 people. With four squadrons and one division, the 47th Mission Support Group maintains and protects assets valued at more than $741 million. These include 911 buildings, 11 miles of runways/taxiways and 516 housing units, supporting the deploying mission ready Airmen and specialized undergraduate pilot training mission. The group also provides logistics, lodging, morale, welfare and recreation, personnel, security, engineering, contracting and communication services for all units at Laughlin.
47th Medical Group
The 47th Medical Group provides diagnostic and therapeutic services on an appointment basis in pediatrics, internal medicine, Wight medicine, life skills, optometry, general dentistry, family practice, nutritional medicine, radiology and laboratory services. The Health and Wellness Center provides optimal health promotion, education and training to the base and local community. The 47th MDG consists of the 47th Medical Support Squadron, the 47th Medical Operations Squadron and the 47th Aerospace-Dental Squadron.
Laughlin AFB History
Laughlin is named after 1st Lt. Jack Thomas Laughlin, a Del Rio native killed over Java in the South Pacific in the early days of World War II. The base originally opened in the early 1940s under the name Laughlin Army Air Field. It was the Army Air Force B-26 training base during the war and was closed in 1947. The facility was reopened during the Korean Conflict as a jet fighter training base. From the late 1950s until 1963, it was the home of the Strategic Air Command's 4080th Strategic Reconnaissance Wing. It was a 4080th U-2 from Laughlin that discovered Soviet missiles in Cuba in 1962. In 1962, the base became an Air Training Command base and its mission for the past 42 years has been to train new pilots for the United States Air Force and allied nations. More than 400 new military pilots earn their silver wings at Laughlin each year after an intensive 52-week course where they learn to fly using the T-37 Tweet, T-38 Talon, T-1A Jayhawk, and T-6 Texan II jet trainers. The base is also home to Laughlin's Civil Service Aircraft Maintenance Unit, recognized as the best aircraft maintenance unit in the Air Force in 1992. In July 1993, the 47th Flying Training Wing realigned under the new Air Education and Training Command, taking its place under 19th Air Force.