Lackland Air Force Base

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 site for Air Force enlisted Basic Military Training (BMT).

Lackland Air Force Base
Air Education and Training Command.png
Part of Joint Base San Antonio
Bexar County, Texas
Military Training Instructors and trainees participating in the Basic Military Training graduation parade.
KSKF is located in Texas
Location of Lackland Air Force Base
Coordinates29°23′17″N 98°37′15″W / 29.3880°N 98.6207°W / 29.3880; -98.6207Coordinates: 29°23′17″N 98°37′15″W / 29.3880°N 98.6207°W / 29.3880; -98.6207
TypeAir Force Base
Site information
OwnerDepartment of Defense
Operator United States Air Force
Controlled byAir Education and Training Command (AETC)
Site history
In use1941–present
Garrison information
Garrison802d Mission Support Group
Airfield information
Elevation211 m (691 ft) AMSL
Direction Length and surface
16/34 3,520 m (11,550 ft) Concrete
Source: Federal Aviation Administration[1]

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.[2] 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.


  • 502nd Installation Support Group
A unit of the JBSA 502nd Air Base Wing, the 502nd 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."
  • Inter-American Air Forces Academy
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.
Operates, maintains and defends the Air Force information networks and directs mission critical cyber terrain, provides multisource intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance products, and is the Service Cryptologic Component responsible to the National Security Agency/Central Security Service for Air Force matters involving the conduct of cryptologic activities.
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.

Training missionEdit

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.

Basic training (enlisted)Edit

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.

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.

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 trainingEdit

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.

Technical trainingEdit

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 IIEdit

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 WarEdit

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.[3] 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 CommandEdit

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″N 98°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.[4][5][6]

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 eraEdit

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.[7]

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.[8][9]

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.[10]

On 28 October 2013, the Military Working Dog Teams National Monument was unveiled during a dedication ceremony with full military fanfare.[11][12] The U.S. National Monument was authorized with the passage of Public Law 110–181, Section 2877,[13] (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 scandalEdit

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.[14][15]

2016 shootingEdit

On 8 April 2016, an airman on the base shot and killed a squadron commander, then killed himself.[16][17]

Census informationEdit

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

The U.S. Census Bureau counts the base as a census-designated place, with a population at the 2010 census of 9,918.[18]

As of the census[19] of 2000, there were 7,123 people, 174 households, and 152 families residing on the base. The population density was 642.6/km2 (1,662.6/mi2). There were 412 housing units at an average density of 37.2/km2 (96.2/mi2). The racial makeup of the town was 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 were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

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

On the base the population was 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 were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 20 years. For every 100 females, there were 256 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 267.3 males.

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

See alsoEdit


  This article incorporates public domain material from the Air Force Historical Research Agency website

  1. ^ "Airport Data – Lackland AFB (SKF)". Federal Aviation Administration. 8 October 2020. Retrieved 13 October 2020.
  2. ^ Joint Base San Antonio 502d ABW Archived 1 August 2012 at the Wayback Machine
  3. ^ "Brigadier General Frank D. Lackland > U.S. Air Force > Biography Display". U. S. Air Force.
  4. ^ A Handbook of Aerospace Defense Organization 1946–1980, by Lloyd H. Cornett and Mildred W. Johnson, Office of History, Aerospace Defense Center, Peterson Air Force Base, Colorado
  5. ^ Winkler, David F. (1997), Searching the skies: the legacy of the United States Cold War defense radar program. Prepared for United States Air Force Headquarters Air Combat Command.
  6. ^ "Air Defense Radar Stations". Retrieved 2 May 2018.
  7. ^ Pike, John. "Lackland chosen as cyber numbered Air Force headquarters". Archived from the original on 5 March 2016. Retrieved 2 May 2018.
  8. ^ Joint Base San Antonio MOA becomes official Archived 15 July 2011 at the Wayback Machine
  9. ^ "Joint Base San Antonio is largest installation". Air Force Times. Retrieved 2 May 2018.
  10. ^ Hernandez, Manny (28 April 2012). "Base Serves as Home for Children Caught at Border". The New York Times. Archived from the original on 7 March 2017.
  11. ^ "U.S. Military Dedicates First National Monument to Combat Dogs Archived 27 June 2015 at the Wayback Machine", Yahoo News, 28 October 2013
  12. ^ "New MWD monument meaningful to fallen handler's family Archived 27 April 2015 at the Wayback Machine", JBSA Lackland Public Affairs, 7 November 2013
  13. ^ "Public Law 110-181 Archived 16 November 2013 at the Wayback Machine", Public Law 110-181, 28 January 2008
  14. ^ "Air Force anti-assault officer Krusinski 'groped woman'". BBC News. 7 May 2013. Archived from the original on 7 May 2013.
  15. ^ "Survivor of sexual violence at Lackland Air Force Base speaks out". 27 February 2013. Archived from the original on 26 September 2016. Retrieved 2 May 2018.
  16. ^ "Sheriff: At least 1 dead in shooting at Lackland Air Force base in Texas; gunman still active". Daily Herald. 8 April 2016. Archived from the original on 9 April 2016.
  17. ^ "Two Dead At Lackland Air Force Base In Texas". YouTube. FOX 10 Phoenix. Archived from the original on 7 April 2016. Retrieved 8 April 2016.
  18. ^ "Geographic Identifiers: 2010 Demographic Profile Data (G001): Lackland AFB CDP, Texas". U.S. Census Bureau, American Factfinder. Archived from the original on 12 February 2020. Retrieved 15 April 2014.
  19. ^ "U.S. Census website". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 31 January 2008.

External linksEdit