Lackland Air Force Base

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Lackland Air Force Base
Joint Base San Antonio
Air Education and Training Command.png
Part of Air Education and Training Command (AETC)
Located in Bexar County, Texas
Military Training Instructors and trainees participating in the Basic Military Training graduation parade.
Coordinates 29°23′17″N98°37′15″W / 29.3880°N 98.6207°W / 29.3880; -98.6207
TypeAir Force Base
Site information
Controlled byFlag of the United States Air Force.svg  United States Air Force
Site history
In use1941–present
Garrison information
Garrison802d Mission Support Group
Airfield information
Elevation  AMSL 691 ft / 211 m
Coordinates 29°23′03″N98°34′52″W / 29.38417°N 98.58111°W / 29.38417; -98.58111
USA Texas location map.svg
Airplane silhouette.svg
Location of Lackland Air Force Base
Direction LengthSurface

Lackland Air Force Base( IATA : SKF, ICAO : KSKF, FAA LID : SKF) is a United States Air Force base located in Bexar County, Texas. The base is under the jurisdiction of the 802d Mission Support Group, Air Education and Training Command (AETC) and an enclave of the city of San Antonio. It is the only entry processing station for Air Force enlisted Basic Military Training (BMT).

An IATA airport code, also known as an IATA location identifier, IATA station code or simply a location identifier, is a three-letter code designating many airports and metropolitan areas around the world, defined by the International Air Transport Association (IATA). The characters prominently displayed on baggage tags attached at airport check-in desks are an example of a way these codes are used.

ICAO airport code four-letter code designating many airports around the world

The ICAOairport code or location indicator is a four-letter code designating aerodromes around the world. These codes, as defined by the International Civil Aviation Organization and published in ICAO Document 7910: Location Indicators, are used by air traffic control and airline operations such as flight planning.

Federal Aviation Administration United States Government agency dedicated to civil aviation matters

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is a governmental body of the United States with powers to regulate all aspects of civil aviation in that nation as well as over its surrounding international waters. Its powers include the construction and operation of airports, air traffic management, the certification of personnel and aircraft, and the protection of U.S. assets during the launch or re-entry of commercial space vehicles. Powers over neighboring international waters were delegated to the FAA by authority of the International Civil Aviation Organization.


Lackland AFB is part of Joint Base San Antonio, an amalgamation of the Fort Sam Houston, the Randolph Air Force Base and Lackland Air Force Base, which were merged on 1 October 2010. [1] Joint Base San Antonio (JBSA), which includes Lackland Air Force Base, was established in accordance with congressional legislation implementing the recommendations of the 2005 Base Realignment and Closure Commission. The legislation ordered the consolidation of the three facilities which were adjoining, but separate military installations, into a single joint base – one of 12 joint bases formed in the United States as a result of the law.

Joint Base San Antonio

Joint Base San Antonio (JBSA) is a United States military facility located in San Antonio, Texas, USA. The facility is under the jurisdiction of the United States Air Force 502d Air Base Wing, Air Education and Training Command (AETC). The wing's three Mission Support Groups perform the installation support mission at the three bases that form JBSA.

Fort Sam Houston United States national historic site

Fort Sam Houston is a U.S. Army post in San Antonio, Texas. Known colloquially as "Fort Sam," it is named for the U.S. Senator from Texas, U.S. Representative from Tennessee, Tennessee and Texas Governor, and first President of the Republic of Texas, Sam Houston.

Randolph Air Force Base United States Air Force base near San Antonio, Texas, USA

Randolph Air Force Base is a United States Air Force base located at Universal City, Texas. The base is under the jurisdiction of the 902d Mission Support Group, Air Education and Training Command (AETC) and is the headquarters of AETC's Nineteenth Air Force.


A unit of the JBSA 502d Air Base Wing, the 502d ISG is the focal point for all base activities, serving and supporting the 37th and 737th Training Groups and all of its mission partners as well as the more than 24,000 retirees living in the local area.
37th Training Group
Provides professional, military and technical training in the knowledge and skills needed for graduates to perform their jobs worldwide. Joint service training for Air Force, Army, Navy and Marine personnel is provided in numerous courses, such as the military working dog program and security and law enforcement
737th Training Group
Provides Air Force Basic Military Training for all enlisted people entering the Air Force, Air Force Reserve and Air National Guard, earning Lackland the nickname, "Gateway to the Air Force."
Fostering enduring Inter-American engagement through education and training. Teaches 37 technical courses, in Spanish and in English, to students from more than 22 countries every year.
Primary mission was to teach English to Allied pilot candidates. In 1966, its mission expanded to include other career fields, and the school moved under the DoD with the U.S. Army as the executive agent.
Organizes, trains, equips and presents assigned forces and capabilities to conduct intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance for combatant commanders and the nation. It also implements and oversees the execution of Air Force policies intended to expand ISR capabilities.
Extends, operates and defends the Air Force portion of the Department of Defense network and provide full spectrum capabilities for the Joint warfighter in, through, and from cyberspace.
Interfaces with theater and functional Air Operations Centers to establish, plan, direct, coordinate, assess, and command & control cyber operations in support of AF and Joint warfighting requirements.

Lackland AFB hosts a collection of vintage military aircraft on static display on its parade grounds, including a Boeing B-52 Stratofortress, McDonnell Douglas F-4 Phantom II, Lockheed SR-71 Blackbird, B-29 Superfortress, C-121 Constellation, Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress and a B-25 Mitchell.

Boeing B-52 Stratofortress Strategic bomber in service with US Air Force since 1955

The Boeing B-52 Stratofortress is an American long-range, subsonic, jet-powered strategic bomber. The B-52 was designed and built by Boeing, which has continued to provide support and upgrades. It has been operated by the United States Air Force (USAF) since the 1950s. The bomber is capable of carrying up to 70,000 pounds (32,000 kg) of weapons, and has a typical combat range of more than 8,800 miles (14,080 km) without aerial refueling.

McDonnell Douglas F-4 Phantom II Fighter aircraft family

The McDonnell Douglas F-4 Phantom II is a tandem two-seat, twin-engine, all-weather, long-range supersonic jet interceptor and fighter-bomber originally developed for the United States Navy by McDonnell Aircraft. It first entered service in 1960 with the U.S. Navy. Proving highly adaptable, it was also adopted by the U.S. Marine Corps and the U.S. Air Force, and by the mid-1960s had become a major part of their air arms.

Lockheed SR-71 Blackbird Supersonic reconnaissance aircraft in service with US Air Force 1964-1998

The Lockheed SR-71 "Blackbird" is a long-range, high–altitude, Mach 3+ strategic reconnaissance aircraft that was operated by the United States Air Force. It was developed as a black project from the Lockheed A-12 reconnaissance aircraft in the 1960s by Lockheed and its Skunk Works division. American aerospace engineer Clarence "Kelly" Johnson was responsible for many of the design's innovative concepts. During aerial reconnaissance missions, the SR-71 operated at high speeds and altitudes to allow it to outrace threats. If a surface-to-air missile launch were detected, the standard evasive action was simply to accelerate and outfly the missile. The shape of the SR-71 was based on the A-12 which was one of the first aircraft to be designed with a reduced radar cross-section.

Training Mission

Lackland Air Force Base is home to the 37th Training Wing (37 TRW) which operates a variety of training squadrons. Within the 37th TRW is the 37th Training Group (37 TRG) which oversees the 5 technical training schools on the base, and the 737 TRG which oversees the Basic Military Training squadrons.

37th Training Wing

The 37th Training Wing is a unit of the United States Air Force assigned to the 2nd Air Force and the Air Education and Training Command. As the host unit to Lackland Air Force Base, Joint Base San Antonio, Texas, the 37th TRW is the predominate unit on the installation and is the largest training wing in the USAF. Known as the "Gateway to the Air Force", the 37th Training Wing's replaced the Lackland Training Center as the single basic military training for the USAF.

Basic training (enlisted)

A Staff Sergeant Military Training Instructor (MTI) at Lackland in 2009. RH&T dormitories in background. Basic Military Training Instructor.jpg
A Staff Sergeant Military Training Instructor (MTI) at Lackland in 2009. RH&T dormitories in background.
A group of Airmen taking part in the Airman's Run, the final run before graduation. Airman's Run.png
A group of Airmen taking part in the Airman's Run, the final run before graduation.

Lackland is best known for its role in being the sole location for U.S. Air Force enlisted Basic Military Training (BMT) for the active duty Regular Air Force, Air Force Reserve and Air National Guard. BMT is organized into nine basic training squadrons, each with their own training site on the base. Each squadron is equipped with either a dining facility or a medical clinic. Some BMT squadrons share dining facilities if they are located close enough together and the same is true for medical clinics. Each squadron also has a specific exercise area where basic trainees conduct physical readiness training (PRT). Also, AFOSI anti-terrorism teams are trained here.

Air National Guard Air warfare component of the United States National Guard

The Air National Guard (ANG), also known as the Air Guard, is a federal military reserve force as well as the militia air force of each U.S. state, the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, and the territories of Guam and the U.S. Virgin Islands. It, along with each state's, district's, commonwealth's or territory's Army National Guard component, makes up the National Guard of each state and the districts, commonwealths and territories as applicable.

In October 2008 the BMT was expanded an extra two weeks to implement more air base defense training as well as other rudimentary skills. The BMT course of training is at 8 12 weeks.

Officer Training

Prior to 22 September 1993, Lackland AFB's Medina Annex was also home to Air Force Officer Training School (OTS), one of three USAF officer accession and commissioning sources in addition to the U.S. Air Force Academy and Air Force ROTC. On 25 September 1993, OTS permanently relocated to Maxwell AFB, Alabama.

Air Force Officer Training School US Air Force Officer commissioning program based at Maxwell AFB, AL

Officer Training School (OTS) is a United States Air Force commissioning program located at Maxwell Air Force Base in Montgomery, Alabama. It is the current de facto Officer Candidate School (OCS) program for the U.S. Air Force, analogous to the OCS programs operated by the other branches of the U.S. armed forces.

Technical training

Lackland, like many other Air Education and Training Command (AETC) bases, trains enlisted airmen out of basic training in a specific specialty via various "tech schools." Lackland currently has six technical training squadrons on base training multiple airmen in various Air Force Specialty Codes (AFSCs).


World War II

Construction on Lackland Air Force Base began on 15 June 1941, and it was originally part of Kelly Field. One year later, it became an independent organization—the San Antonio Aviation Cadet Center (SAAC). On 8 January 1943, the War Department constituted and activated the 78th Flying Training Wing (Preflight) at San Antonio and assigned it to the AAF Central Flying Training Command. The 78th Wing provided aviation cadets the mechanics and physics of flight and required the cadets to pass courses in mathematics and the hard sciences. Then the cadets were taught to apply their knowledge practically by teaching them aeronautics, deflection shooting, and thinking in three dimensions. Once completed, the graduates were designated as aviation cadets and were sent to one of the primary flight schools for pilot training.

Cold War

On 3 February 1948, the facility was named Lackland AFB after Brigadier General Frank Lackland, who was commissioned into the regular Army after serving in the National Guard, District of Columbia. It shared Basic Military Training status temporarily with Sampson Air Force Base during the Korean War and Amarillo Air Force Base during the Vietnam War until Amarillo AFB's closure in 1968.

As a result of the Korean War, training populations at Lackland soared to 28 basic military training squadrons (BMTS) within the 3700th Military Training Wing. Temporary facilities, to include 129 "I dormitories", were hastily erected as a quick fix to replace tents cities housing recruits. In 1955 the number of BMTS was reduced to 16, where it remained for the next two decades.

The Vietnam War buildup necessitated a "split-phase" training from August 1965 to April 1966. This program provided for 22 days at Lackland and 8 days at a technical school, with directed duty assignees receiving the full 30 days at Lackland. When BMT returned to a single phase on 1 April 1966, it was briefly cut back to 24 days from April to July 1966. After that, basic training stabilized at a length of six weeks. This was the same length as the program used by the Army Air Forces when Lackland opened as a basic training base 20 years before. Training requirements also expanded to include teaching English to Allied military members from foreign countries.

No other item in the 1960s compared to the incident that occurred at Lackland in February 1966 with the death of a basic trainee. An airman died of spinal meningitis and while ten other cases were confirmed, no other deaths were reported. Virtually all non-essential activities requiring gatherings of basic trainees were canceled. To control the issue further, a cadre of personnel was assigned to activate the 3330th Basic Military Training School at Amarillo Air Force Base in Amarillo, Texas, in February 1966. As a result of the continuing expansion of the USAF, Amarillo AFB continued to conduct basic training until December 1968.

During the 1960s, more permanent facilities were constructed, including four 1,000-person steel and brick Recruit Housing and Training (RH&T) dormitories built between 1966 and 1970 for basic military training by the Lackland Military Training Center. These state-of-the-art buildings included living space, dining halls, and training areas for four basic training squadrons under one roof. Eventually six full-size dormitories, and two 600-person facilities, were constructed, enabling excess space to be converted to classroom use.

Air Defense Command

In late 1951 Air Defense Command selected Lackland Air Force Base as one of twenty-eight radar stations built as part of the second segment of the permanent radar surveillance network. Prompted by the start of the Korean War, on 11 July 1950, the Secretary of the Air Force asked the Secretary of Defense for approval to expedite construction of the second segment of the permanent network. Receiving the Defense Secretary's approval on 21 July, the Air Force directed the Corps of Engineers to proceed with construction.

On 1 February 1953 the 741st Aircraft Control and Warning Squadron was activated at Lackland (P-75) 29°23′16.4″N98°37′59.9″W / 29.387889°N 98.633306°W / 29.387889; -98.633306 (P-75) with an AN/FPS-3 search radar and an AN/FPS-4 height-finder radar. In 1958 the AN/FPS-4 height-finder radar was replaced by AN/FPS-6 and AN/FPS-6A sets.

By late 1959 Lackland was also performing air-traffic-control duties for the Federal Aviation Administration. At this time the site hosted an AN/FPS-20A radar. One AN/FPS-6 was retired by 1963. On 31 July 1963, the site was redesignated as NORAD ID Z-75.

In addition to the main facility, Lackland operated an AN/FPS-14 Gap Filler site:

In 1965 AN/FPS-20A was upgraded to an AN/FPS-91A radar, then in 1969 it was modified to an AN/FPS-66A. The 741st Aircraft Control and Warning Squadron was inactivated in December 1969, and the FAA assumed control of the radar site.

In September 1972, the Houston-based 630th Radar Squadron sent a detachment (OL-D) to this FAA-operated site to set up an AN/FPS-6 height-finder radar to join the AN/FPS-66A search radar already in place (Z-241). The Air Force ceased using the Lackland AFB radar site on 30 September 1976. [2] [3] [4]

Today the Lackland ADC site has been taken over by the FAA (also known as 'San Antonio') and remains in operation. This now-FAA long-range radar site is now data-tied into the Joint Surveillance System. The site still operates the AN/FPS-66A search radar.

Post Cold War era

From the end of the Cold War, Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) actions in the 1990s relocated several specialized training programs at Lackland. This included Air Education and Training Command's relocation of Air Force Officer Training School (OTS) from Lackland to Maxwell Air Force Base in Montgomery, Alabama.[ citation needed ]

Lackland gained a flying mission when adjacent Kelly Air Force Base closed in 2001. The two-mile-long runway is now a joint-use facility between Lackland AFB and the city of San Antonio. The portion of the former Kelly AFB still under USAF control is now known as Lackland AFB/Kelly Field Annex and its permanently based flying units include the Air Force Reserve Command's (AFRC) 433d Airlift Wing, an Air Mobility Command (AMC)-gained unit flying the C-5 Galaxy and the 149th Fighter Wing of the Texas Air National Guard, an AETC-gained unit flying the F-16 Fighting Falcon. The civilian side of the former Kelly AFB is now known as Port San Antonio and hosts numerous major DoD defense contractors such as Boeing and Lockheed Martin, many of which directly or indirectly support major overhaul and repair of military aircraft previously conducted, and in facilities previously occupied, by the Air Force's former San Antonio Air Logistics Center (SA-ALC) when Kelly was an active Air Force Logistics Command (AFLC) and Air Force Material Command (AFMC) installation.[ citation needed ]

In addition, with the closure of Kelly AFB Lackland gained the section of base known as Security Hill. Security Hill is home to numerous units such as Air Combat Command's 24th Air Force and 67th Network Warfare Wing and the Air Force Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance Agency. All units on Security Hill are considered tenant units.[ citation needed ]

Lackland now consists of the Kelly airstrip, Security Hill, main base Lackland, and the old Medina officer training base now named Medina/Lackland Training Annex. With the exception of a few buildings most of the old Kelly air base including the housing has been turned over to civilian jurisdiction.

On 15 May 2009, Air Force officials announced that Lackland is the preferred alternative location for the 24th Air Force. [5]

In winter of 2009 it was decided to combine all the military bases in San Antonio into one large base named Joint Base San Antonio. [6] [7]

In April 2012 Lackland served as an overflow shelter for an influx of illegal immigrant minors after the Administration for Children and Families determined that all other local shelters were filled to capacity. [8]

On 28 October 2013, the Military Working Dog Teams National Monument was unveiled during a dedication ceremony with full military fanfare. [9] [10] The U.S. National Monument was authorized with the passage of Public Law 110-181, Section 2877, [11] (having been introduced to Congress by Rep. Walter B. Jones) which was passed by the United States Congress and signed into law by President George W. Bush. The monument was built next to the Basic Military Training Parade Field, that location being chosen due to the historical significance of the base as the training center and headquarters of the United States Department of Defense Military Working Dog Program.

Sexual assault scandal

In the sexual assault scandal at the training centre, dozens of female and male recruits said that they were sexually harassed or raped by their instructors from 2010 onward. [12] [13]

2016 shooting

On 8 April 2016, an airman on the base shot and killed a squadron commander, then killed himself. [14] [15]

Census information

Trey Soule, center, launches his model rocket during STARBASE Kelly, a five-day summer camp providing math, science and technology education to fourth, fifth and sixth-graders. Model Rocketry at Starbase Kelly camp 070810-F-3340B-001.JPG
Trey Soule, center, launches his model rocket during STARBASE Kelly, a five-day summer camp providing math, science and technology education to fourth, fifth and sixth-graders.
Location of Lackland AFB in Bexar County Bexar LacklandAFB.svg
Location of Lackland AFB in Bexar County

The U.S. Census Bureau counts the base as a census-designated place, with a population at the 2010 census of 9,918. [16]

As of the census [17] of 2000, there are 7,123 people, 174 households, and 152 families residing on the base. The population density is 642.6/km² (1,662.6/mi²). There are 412 housing units at an average density of 37.2/km² (96.2/mi²). The racial makeup of the town is 65.20% White, 19.01% Black or African American, 0.86% Native American, 3.64% Asian, 0.32% Pacific Islander, 2.20% from other races, and 8.77% from two or more races. 13.77% of the population are Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There are 174 households out of which 79.9% have children under the age of 18 living with them, 73.0% are married couples living together, 9.2% have a female householder with no husband present, and 12.6% are non-families. 12.1% of all households are made up of individuals. The average household size is 3.49 and the average family size is 3.78.

On the base the population is spread out with 5.3% under the age of 18, 79.8% from 18 to 24, 14.5% from 25 to 44, 0.4% from 45 to 64, and none who are 65 years of age or older. The median age is 20 years. For every 100 females, there are 256 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there are 267.3 males.

The median income for a household in the base is $32,250, and the median income for a family is $31,923. Males have a median income of $16,435 versus $15,572 for females. The per capita income for the base is $10,048. 7.3% of the population and 6.9% of families are below the poverty line. Out of the total population, 7.3% of those under the age of 18 are living below the poverty line.

See also

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PD-icon.svg This article incorporates  public domain material from the Air Force Historical Research Agency website .

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