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Keesler Air Force Base in Biloxi, MS Mississippi Military Bases
Located in the Harrison County, Keesler Air Force Base Mississippi is among the few bases operated by the Air Force in this state. It was built in the southern part of the state and named in the memory of Samuel Reeves Keesler Jr., a native killed during World War I in a mission in France.
At the beginning of 1941, with World War II slowly arising, the Biloxi authorities came out with an official invitation towards the US Army for building a solid base in the area. The government was quickly preparing for the war by planting multiple bases throughout the entire US territory. It didn’t take too long before the base was up – a few months only. In June, the same year, the authorities opened the base after spending about $10M. At those times, this project was the most expensive one ever taking place in Mississippi. The first recruits joined the base in August, same year. The base was ready to take training sessions by then, benefiting from the latest and most expensive equipments. The schools trained soldiers in multiple fields – mechanics, gunnery specialists, aerial cadets, radio operators, bombardiers and so on. By 1943, more than 7000 such troops were stationed at the base looking forward to head to war. As World War II was ending, the number of recruits dropped, although the activity remained just as intense for the returning troops. By the summer of 1946, the basic training sessions were shut down. In 1947, the Radar School decided to relocate at Keesler Air Force Base Mississippi, placing one of the heaviest responsibilities on its shoulders, by maintaining the two most important technical schools in the military field.
The Korean War, the Vietnam War and the Cold War represented three more triggers in the history of the base. After each of them, the activity was slowed down and ceased in the end. The full restructuring processes of the Air Force during the ’90s brought in a lot of updates in the hosting units. Some were coming, while others were leaving. No one knew exactly who was the most important units or what base to use as a home. Another major change took place in 1993, when the base was shut down for a while.
Two of the most important events in the history of the base include the two powerful hurricanes Camille and Katrina. Camille flooded the entire base in 1969, while Katrina flooded half the base and caused huge damages in 2005.
These days, the 81-st Training Wing is the host unit at Keesler Air Force Base Mississippi. Some of the other important units include the 403-rd Wing and the 2-nd Air Force. Each of these units has specific tasks and missions, in an attempt to work together and complete each other.
All the 40000 yearly students are automatically hosted on site in various camps throughout Keesler Air Force Base Mississippi. The military troops, on the other hand, must get in touch with the local office for a home. Since it might take a while, the best way to deal with this office is by contacting it early and announcing your arrival from time.
Keesler AFB Facts
Location: Biloxi, Mississipp
Website: Visit Keesler AFB Website ›
Phone: (228) 377-1110
Keesler Air Force Base was founded on August 25, 1941 in Biloxi, Mississippi under the operation of the Air Education and Training Command. It was originally named in honor of Second Lieutenant Samuel Reeves Keesler Jr who was born in Mississippi and died during the World War II.
Keesler AFB is the base for the 81st Training Wing (81TW), the largest of the Air Education and Training Command (AETC) and the Second Air Force (2 AF) under its commanding officer Brigadier General Gregory J. Touhill. The base is one of the biggest technical centerl in the AETC consisting of five squadrons in the Training Complex.
The 81st Training Wing duty is provide technical training and all the possible education needed for the coming assignment training for service air men upon the completing their basic training course. The teachings include training electronics like ground radio, wide band maintenance, cryptography, information technology and avionics.
It also trains their employee’s knowledge in meteorology which includes weather forecasting and analysis, air traffic control, tropical cyclone forecasting, Aviation Resource Management (ARMS) and radar operations. All the weather forecasters of the Department of Defense have undergone training in Keesler since 1992 up to the present while the training of pilots in flying the C-12 and the C-21 started again on 1994. The base also has the 81st Medical Group which operates as the Air Force’s second largest medical center.
This is the base where the basic training in the USAF management takes place and the training of the avionic maintenance in the field of Navigational Aids, Electronic Warfare, Ground Radio Repair and Computer Repair. There were major changes in the Air Force that also affects the Keesler units where in the Keesler Training was inactivated while the Second Air Force (2nd AF) was activated on July 1, 1993.