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Laughlin Air Force Base in Del Rio, TX Texas Military Bases
Laughlin AFB is located in the southwestern part of Texas, only 8 km away from Del Rio. It is controlled by the Air Force and represents the largest military base dealing with pilot training sessions in USAF. During the weekdays, the airport deals with more flights than any other airfield in the United States of America.
The base was initially established as Laughlin Army Air Field in 1943. It was named in the memory of Jack T. Laughlin. He was the first victim from Del Rio in World War II, after the plane he was in was lost above the water. He passed away while in one of the two missions aiming Japanese ships in the Makassar Strait. When World War II drew to an end, the base was closed, in 1945. It was reopened less than 10 years later, in 1952, after the Korean War started. It was taken over by the Crew Training Air Force and worked on training and preparing pilots for flying and bombing incursions in Korea. It performed training missions on aircrafts like F 84 Thunderjet or F 80 Shooting Star.
The base troops are responsible for taking the first pictures of the Soviet missiles located in Cuba, in the autumn of 1962. Other than that, the base was not part of any notable events in the upcoming conflicts. These days, it performs training sessions for cadets, “releasing” over 300 pilots every year. They are trained on aircrafts like T 1A Jayhawk, T 38C Talon and T 6A Texan II.
Other than its military purpose, Laughlin AFB represents a common place for the people living in the area who look after some entertainment. Outside of the camp, people come for the huge reservoir for fishing and the surrounding lake for diving activities. Most other recreational spots are in Del Rio or in Ciudad Acuna, over the borders. A small part of the base – more precisely the residential area – is a census designated place. Judging by the 2000 census, there were a little over 2200 inhabitants in the area.
Laughlin AFB is the hosting site of the 47-th Flying Training Wing. It is proudly among the first pilot training wings in the world. With more than 300 students graduating every year, it is also one of the most active schools. The courses take a whole year. The 47-th Flying Training Wing consists of a medical group, a mission support group and an operations group. Each of these groups includes multiple squadrons and has particular missions and objectives.
Your first stop after you arrive at Laughlin AFB is at the Airman and Family Readiness Center, the local housing center that aims to provide the newcomers with a pleasant and friendly welcome, willing to make them feel like home. Your sponsor will present you all the relocation tools. The housing system deals with both off and on site accommodation. Just make sure you get in touch with it early. If you plan to stay for a short period of time, you might consider the local inns and hotels.
Laughlin Air Force Base hosts the 47th Flying Training Wing of the Air Education and Training Command (AETC). It is the largest pilot training base in the United States Air Force.
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 air forces utilizing the T-6, T-38 and T-1A aircraft while deploying mission-ready Airmen as well as develop professional, disciplined leaders.
AETC’s mission is to develop America’s Airmen today… for tomorrow.
Laughlin Air Force Base, home of the 47th Flying Training Wing, the Air Force’s largest pilot training base. The history of the wing dates back to 1947. 47th Flying Training WingOn July 28, 1947 the 47th Bombardment Wing, Light, was designated, with the organization occurring Aug. 15, 1947. Between its organization and 1949, the wing trained in night tactical operations, conducted firepower demonstrations and participated in tactical exercises while flying the A-26, and later, the B-26 aircraft.
The history of the wing dates back to 1947. On July 28, 1947, the 47th Bombardment Wing, Light, was designated, with the organization occurring Aug. 15, 1947. Between its organization and 1949, the wing trained in night tactical operations, conducted firepower demonstrations and participated in tactical exercises while flying the A-26, and later, the B-26 aircraft. The wing was organized at Biggs Air Force Base, Texas, and moved to Barksdale Air Force Base, Louisiana., November 1948.
The wing was inactivated in October 1949 and reactivated March 12, 1951, at Langley Air Force Base, Virginia, and transitioned to the B-45 medium jet bomber. From May 1951 until February 1952, the wing provided combat crew training in B-26 aircraft and operated the United States Air Force Air Crew School (Light Bombardment and Tactical Reconnaissance, Night Photographic).
The wing moved to Royal Air Force Sculthorpe, England, in June 1952 and for the next decade performed tactical training operations, including participation in exercises and firepower demonstrations in support of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. During the assignment to England, the wing was re designated the 47th Bombardment Wing, Tactical. The wing converted from the B-45 bomber to the B-66 Destroyer in 1958. From 1960 to 1962, the wing assumed an air refueling mission utilizing the KB-50 tanker.
The wing was inactivated in June 1962. A decade later, Sept. 1, 1972, the wing was reactivated and re designated as the 47th Flying Training Wing, replacing and absorbing the resources of the 3646th Pilot Training Wing at Laughlin Air Force Base.
The 47th Flying Training Wing commands a flying operation which exceeds 86,000 flying hours and 58,000 sorties per year. It is composed of more than 2,000 military personnel, 1,180 civilian employees and a total base community exceeding 4,200 people.
The 47th Flying Training Wing’s payroll totals $119 million. The wing’s total economic impact is valued at $234 million.
The wing’s mission is to conduct specialized undergraduate pilot training for the United States Air Force, Air Force Reserve, Air National Guard and allied nation air forces utilizing the T-6, T-38 and T-1A aircraft while deploying mission-ready Airmen as well as develop professional, disciplined leaders.