Activated as a multi-engine flight training school in 1943, Altus AFB has been the cornerstone of southwestern Oklahoma for 75 years. With an average of over 300 days of weather conducive to flying each year, a generally flat landscape and few obstructions, the base was then, and is still, ideally situated for young airmen to hone their flying skills. Over the next seven decades, the base evolved to become the premier air mobility training location in the United States Air Force (USAF).
Columbus Air Force Base is home of the 14th Flying Training Wing of Air Education and Training Command's 19th Air Force. The 14th FTW mission statement is "Produce Pilots, Advance Airmen, Feed the Fight." The wing's mission is specialized undergraduate pilot training in the T-6 Texan II, T-38C Talon and T-1A Jayhawk aircraft. Each day the wing flies an average of 260 sorties on its three parallel runways. In addition to the flying training mission, Columbus AFB maintains more than 900 highly trained individuals capable of deploying at a moment's notice to support worldwide taskings and contingencies.
The 49th Wing -- host wing at Holloman Air Force Base -- supports national security objectives by deploying worldwide to support peacetime and wartime contingencies. The wing provides combat-ready Airmen and trains MQ-9 Reaper pilots and sensor operators. Additionally, the wing delivers Air Transportable Clinics and Basic Expeditionary Airfield Resources while providing support to more than 17,000 military and civilian personnel to include German Air Force Flying Training center operations.
The Air Force is the lead agency for Joint Base San Antonio, comprising three primary locations at JBSA-Fort Sam Houston, JBSA-Lackland and JBSA-Randolph plus 8 other operating locations and more than 200 mission partners. The Air Force established the 502nd Air Base Wing to provide installation support across all JBSA locations and its Air Force commander also serves as the JBSA commander.There are 49 installation support functions to include security forces, civil engineering, manpower, personnel, services, morale/welfare/recreation, comptroller, communications, legal, equal opportunity, public affairs, chapel, logistics, contracting, plans and programs and safety.
Keesler Air Force Base is the "Electronics Training Center of Excellence" for the United States Air Force. Located on the Mississippi Gulf Coast, the 81st Training Wing is host to 2nd Air Force, the 403rd Wing (AF Reserve) and the single largest employer on the Mississippi Gulf Coast. Keesler trains more than 20,000 students annually in 500 courses, with an average daily student load of more than 3,500. The 81st TRW is a lead Joint Training Installation, instructing not only Air Force, but Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Coast Guard and civilian federal agency personnel.
The 47th Flying Training Wing, located at Laughlin Air Force Base, Texas, conducts specialized undergraduate pilot training for the United States Air Force, Air Force Reserve, Air National Guard and allied nation’s air forces utilizing the T-6, T-38 and T-1A aircraft while deploying mission-ready Airmen as well as develop professional, disciplined leaders.
Located west of Phoenix, Luke Air Force Base is home to the 56th Fighter Wing, the largest fighter wing in the world and the Air Force’s primary active-duty fighter pilot training wing. As part of Air Education and Training Command, and home to 24 squadrons with both F-35A Lightning II and F-16 Fighting Falcon aircraft, the 56th graduates more than 400 pilots and 300 air control professionals annually. The wing is also responsible for six additional squadrons under the 54th Fighter Group located at Holloman AFB, New Mexico, where F-16 training will move in the interim as Luke AFB transitions to become the primary pilot training center for the F-35A, the Air Force’s newest multi-role aircraft.
As the host unit for Maxwell-Gunter Air Force Base, the 42nd Air Base Wing's mission is critical to national security; it provides the foundation for success for Air University, the intellectual and leadership center of the Air Force; the 908th Airlift Wing; the Business and Enterprise Systems Directorate; and more than 30 tenant units.
Sheppard Air Force Base is home to the Air Force's largest technical training wing and the world's only internationally manned and managed flying training program. Sheppard trains pilots and maintainers as well as the propulsion, avionics maintenance, flight equipment, fuels, munitions and aerospace ground equipment specialists needed to keep planes in the air, and the civil engineers, plumbers, telecommunications specialists and electricians needed to keep our bases running.
The mission of the 71st Flying Training Wing is to develop professional Airmen, deliver world-class U.S. & Allied pilots and deploy combat-ready warriors. Vance is responsible for training Air Force and allied student pilots for worldwide deployment and Aerospace Expeditionary Force support.


The first part of AETC’s mission belongs to the Air Force Recruiting Service.  We have approximately 1,400 recruiters at over 1,200 recruiting facilities around the world who will bring on over 31,000 highly qualified, new enlisted members and approximately 1,900 officers this year.  More than 99 percent of our enlisted recruits are high school graduates, with the remainder possessing equivalent certifications. 

After recruiting these new Airmen, we provide them with initial military training.  2nd Air Force, headquartered at Keesler Air Force Base, Mississippi, is responsible for the basic military training of all air force enlisted personnel entering Active Duty, Reserve and Air National Guard.

These recruits complete our intensive, eight and a half week basic military training course at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland. This program emphasizes discipline, physical fitness, expeditionary skills, and academic instruction in Air Force organization, history and standards of conduct. It also instills our core values of integrity, service and excellence through an interactive environment emphasizing character development, the profession of arms, and our Air Force heritage.

Technical Training

After recruiting and initially training our Airmen, AETC’s mission continues with technical training.  2nd Air Force provides a full range of formal technical training to new enlisted and officer personnel at these locations:

2nd Air Force, Keesler AFB, Miss.

17th Training Wing, Goodfellow AFB, Texas

37th Training Wing, JBSA-Lackland, Texas

81st Training Wing, Keesler AFB, Miss.

82nd Training Wing, Sheppard AFB, Texas

381st Training Group, Vandenberg AFB, Calif.

602nd Training Group Provisional, Keesler AFB, Miss.

Special Warfare Training Wing, JBSA-Lackland, Texas


Our most diverse training mix is handled at Sheppard Air Force Base, Texas. There, we conduct a wide variety of training for our Air Force and sister service specialists to include the aircraft and nuclear weapons maintenance, civil engineering, and the explosive ordinance disposal career fields.

Keesler Air Force Base, Mississippi is the hub of training for various cyber fields. There, we qualify Airmen, soldiers, sailors and marines to operate or repair communications, computers and other electronic systems.  Of note, all department of defense weather forecasters are trained at Keesler.

In addition to basic military training at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland, we provide instruction in several airbase support career fields. JBSA-Lackland's largest technical training mission is Air Force security forces training.  The base also conducts dog and dog handler training for the department of defense and the transportation security administration.

Due to the ever changing combat environment, our Airmen are being utilized in positions traditionally manned by army personnel. In order to prepare for these non-traditional taskings, 2nd Air Force directs joint expeditionary tasking training at two army installations across the United States.     

Our fourth major training site, Goodfellow Air Force Base, Texas, is the center of Air Force intelligence training. Historically, almost one-third of Goodfellow's graduates have been from sister services, allied and partner nations. Goodfellow also operates a Joint Firefighting School . . . Training world-class fire fighters for the department of defense.

Space and missile training is located at Vandenberg Air Force Base, California. There, we're responsible for training enlisted and officer specialists who will operate or maintain all Air Force space and nuclear missile systems.  These graduates go on to perform such duties as missile warning, space surveillance, missile operations, and missile maintenance.

2nd Air Force is also responsible for the Defense Language Institute English Language Center, which teaches English to over 3,100 international students from over 113 countries. The Inter-American Air Forces Academy’s courses in aviation specialties are taught in Spanish to nearly 1,000 students from 21 countries in the Caribbean, central and South America.

Our command's role in training Airmen in their technical fields extends well beyond the instruction we provide at our own bases. We have over 48 field training detachments located throughout the continental United States and overseas. Day in and day out, we're in the field, around the world teaching new techniques and procedures to more than 290,000 people each year.

Flying Training

In addition to Basic Military and Technical Training, AETC also conducts flying training under the direction of 19th Air Force.  Flying training encompasses the complete training of aircrew members - from initial flight training and earning their wings to showing up, mission ready at their first operational base.  We conduct flying training at these locations:

19th Air Force, JBSA-Randolph, Texas

12th Flying Training Wing, JBSA-Randolph, Texas

14th Flying Training Wing, Columbus AFB, Miss. 

33rd Fighter Wing, Eglin AFB, Fla

47th Flying Training Wing, Laughlin AFB, Texas

49th Wing, Holloman AFB, NM

56th Fighter Wing, Luke AFB, Ariz. 

58th Special Operations Wing, Kirtland AFB, N.M.

71st Flying Training Wing, Vance AFB, Okla. 

80th Flying Training Wing, Sheppard AFB, Texas

97th Air Mobility Wing, Altus AFB, Okla.

314th Air Mobility Wing, Little Rock AFB, Ark.

Cadets at the United States Air Force Academy accomplish flying training under the responsibility of AETC as well.  These programs include soaring, powered flight and free-fall parachuting. 

The foundational step in military aviation is our undergraduate flying training programs.  Officers selected for pilot training go through a challenging program beginning with Initial Flight Training.  IFT is an 18-hour program that ensures standardization and streamlines our students’ path to the primary phase of pilot training.

After initial training, the T-6A “Texan II” is used to teach students the basic flight skills common to all military pilots. 

After the primary phase, students are divided into one of three selected tracks for their advanced training.  We have a track for fighter and bomber aircraft, one for tanker and transport aircraft, and another track for helicopters.  The training in these tracks is designed to teach student pilots the operational skills required in their future assigned aircraft.               

AETC is also responsible for the Euro-Nato Joint Jet Pilot Training program at Sheppard Air Force Base, Texas.  There, instructors from 13 member countries train over 500 pilots annually for the United States and other NATO nations.

In addition to the training we provide at Sheppard Air Force Base, AETC conducts flying training with instructors and students from over 50 countries around the world.  Each year, almost 500 international aviators receive their flying training from one of 8 AETC locations across the country.  

AETC is also responsible for training combat systems officers, known as CSOs.  At Naval Air Station Pensacola, Florida, CSOs gain foundational skills in Airmanship, weapon systems employment, navigation and electronic warfare using the T-1A Jayhawk and the T-6A Texan II.

After awarding their wings, AETC provides nearly all our aircrew with follow-on training in their specific major weapon system.  Pilots headed for fighter assignments first attend introduction to fighter fundamentals, where they develop skills in basic procedures and techniques of fighter employment. 

We are the First Command!