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Goodfellow and AETC: A legacy of joint service training excellence and breaking barriers

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Ashley Thrash
  • 17th Training Wing Public Affairs

GOODFELLOW AIR FORCE BASE, Texas-- Every year, over 700 courses are taught on Goodfellow Air Force Base. From firefighting to intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance, members of the 17th Training Wing teach students from all branches of service the foundational skills of their career  fields, before service members embark on their journey to their first duty station.

Goodfellow is one of the 12 installations in Air Education and Training Command and its members trained over 18,000 pilots, 60,000 firefighters, and 360,000 ISR warriors. Goodfellow instructors have revolutionized training.

The 17th TRW’s history started as the 17th Bombardment Wing on May 10, 1952, which maintained a long-standing reputation of conducting light bombardment, interdiction and armed reconnaissance.

Underneath the 17th Bombardment Wing, the 17th Bombardment Group led the Doolittle Raid in 1942 during World War II. The unit embraced the French motto, Tojours An Danger, which translates to Ever into Danger. They executed the first air operation to strike Japan, following their attack on Pearl Harbor.

In 1993, the 17th TRW was activated at Goodfellow and now has five geographically separated locations: Presidio of Monterey, California; Fort Huachuca, Arizona; Corry Station, Florida; the Defense Language Institute-Washington in Arlington, Virginia; and Goodfellow AFB, Texas.

Since its beginning, members of the wing have developed Airmen, Soldiers, Sailors and Marines, along with international students into linguists, ISR warriors, and firefighters across the Department of Defense. Students have also returned to pursue advanced training in their career fields. In May 2021, the first enlisted intelligence Guardians graduated from technical training at Goodfellow.  These Guardians were among the first basic military training graduates from Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland.

Today at Goodfellow, technical training is conducted for 13 Air Force career fields and 38 joint career fields, while serving a current population of over 12,000 personnel.

In addition to training joint service and international military members, the 17th TRW also has a distinguished history of women breaking barriers. In 1974, Maj. Gen. Norma Brown made Air Force history as she assumed command of the 6940th Security Wing and was the first woman to serve as wing commander at Goodfellow. 

Gen. Lori Robinson was the commander of 17th Training Wing from 2004 to 2005. In 2016, she took charge of U.S. Northern Command, becoming the first woman ever to lead a U.S. combatant command.

Chief Master Sergeant JoAnne S. Bass, now chief master sergeant of the Air Force was the 17th   Training Wing command chief from 2015 to 2016.   She made history as the first woman to serve as the highest-ranking non-commissioned officer in any military service.

The 17th TRW carries on the 17th Bombardment Group’s legacy of Ever into Danger as it continues to exemplify the hub for lifelong training and development of intelligence and firefighting professionals.