HomeNewsArticle Display

Happy Anniversary: At the age of 79, AETC continues to build on its incredible heritage

JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-RANDOLPH, Texas (AFNS) --

Air Education and Training Command, the U.S. Air Force’s oldest active command marks its 79th anniversary Jan. 23, making it the First Command as well as the first command to which Airmen are assigned.

AETC traces its roots to the Air Corps Flying Training Command, which was activated nearly eight decades ago Jan. 23, 1942.

The first iteration of AETC flying training was consolidated under then-Vice Chief of the Air Corps
Lt. Gen. Barton K. Yount. With an urgent, operational need for even greater authority and direction during World War II, technical training was folded into Yount’s command in July 1943.

According to the command’s history, the earliest Airmen learned their trades outside the service with little standardization and institutional control. Much of training was decentralized and executed by contractors. Formal training was accomplished at Chanute Air Force Base in Illinois, or then-Randolph AFB, or by training on-the-job training. It was not until World War II and the expansion of American air frames, that training was scaled to win the largest air war of all time, and the beginnings of the First Command’s enduring legacy was cemented in history we celebrate today.

By the end of Second World War in 1945, the command had produced nearly 200,000 pilots, 48,000 navigators and aircrew, 1.9 million technical training graduates and 2.8 million basic military training graduates—Airmen who proved decisive in every theater of war and dominated the world’s skies.

To accommodate this unprecedented expansion, BMT and flight schools were expanded and geographically dispersed, according to Gary Boyd, AETC command historian. Midwesterners would find themselves on a train to then-Sheppard Field, complete indoctrination training there, and then begin airplane and engine mechanics school at a neighboring facility before proceeding to a nearby factory for a technical rating, he said.

On July 1, 1946, Army Air Forces Training Command became Air Training Command. The early Airmen of the command oversaw the world’s most complex technical training and flying program before becoming part of the newly-formed U.S. Air Force in September 1947.

According to Boyd, the anticipated peace dividend following World War II. It ended quickly and ATC began a surge in readiness and operations in response to world events. ATC earned its reputation as the premier training establishment of the world’s air forces and the most successful and flexible industrial scale training operation of all time. Instructors trained Airmen on emerging technologies like computers and missiles, while providing the essential instruction on standard courses of study from basic flight training to medical administration.

On July 1, 1993, Air University merged with ATC and the command was renamed Air Education and Training Command.

According to command history, while the force inevitably reduced during peacetime operations, the mission became even more robust. Distance learning, cyber warfare and expeditionary training throughout AETC evolved with the advent of technological innovations, and its Airmen continued to train for the 21st century.

During 2020, innovative approaches to developing Airmen took center stage including the integration of advanced capabilities, technology and Airmen-centric instruction to expeditiously develop high-end Airmen, making this past year one of the most momentous in the command’s history.

“Our successes this year are directly attributed to the tactical leadership of our instructors, educators, medical professionals, support personnel and all those who had a hand in training and educating across our command,” said Chief Master Sgt. Erik Thompson, AETC command chief. “We could not have overcome the challenges we have faced without an innovative, dedicated force, who have fought through adversity, day-in and day-out to make the mission happen.”

At the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, AETC members were essential to continuing to recruit, train and educate the force during unprecedented times, Boyd said.

“AETC’s most noteworthy feat this year was fighting through the pandemic and doing it safely,” Boyd said. “Many plans envisioned halting training operations during the pandemic but the command’s leadership realized immediately that the lethality of the Air Force depended on the continuation of the pipeline. The command looked to the past and stood up an additional BMT location, as it had done in the ‘50s and ‘60s. Flying training was modularized to allow for social distancing, quarantine protocols and distance learning. AETC instilled confidence to the rest of the Air Force and organizations who watched members of the command in action. AETC showed, as it always does, what right looks like.”

Another noteworthy training milestone this past year has been the command’s increased efforts to improve opportunities for all Airmen and potential recruits. In 2020 alone, AETC officials sponsored several policy changes to cultivate a diverse and inclusive force—updating anthropometric guidance to accurately reflect the nation’s population, eliminating height-requirement waivers, and reducing restrictions on pregnant Airmen who perform flight duties, to name a few.

“The greatest evolution in training has been increasing opportunities for all Airmen,” Boyd said. “Every year our command removes more barriers and is thus more capable, because of the strengths that a dynamic and diverse population of Airmen bring to the fight.”

Today, AETC continues to build on its incredible heritage as the First Command, marked by exceptional Airmen and dedicated professionals who are ready to perform the mission anywhere, anytime, said
Lt. Gen. Brad Webb, commander of AETC.

"This year has been marked by our incredible efforts to advance force development and transform learning to discover, develop, and deliver lethal, ready Airmen and Guardians,” Webb said. “We are proud that today’s force stands on the shoulders of bold Airmen that came before us, and we look to the future with clear eyes, charged with accelerating change and maintaining our warfighting competitive advantage."

Engage

Twitter
RT @SecAFOfficial: Secretary Kendall’s first message to @USAirForce #Airmen & @SpaceForceDoD #Guardians: “If there is one phrase that summa…
Twitter
Since 1973, the remains of more than 1,000 American service members killed in the Vietnam War have been identified… https://t.co/6ZrdLbl8dP
Twitter
Frank Kendall was sworn in as the 26th Secretary of the Air Force! As the department's highest-ranking civilian le… https://t.co/Fe5CXpdDlj
Twitter
RT @SecAFOfficial: Secretary Kendall has hit the ground running on his first day, meeting with Under Secretary Jones, Gen. CQ Brown, Jr. (@…
Twitter
Northern Strike, one of @DeptofDefense's largest reserve exercises, is preparing to launch. 5,100 participants from… https://t.co/VaRCeWFnb3
Twitter
RT @SecAFOfficial: (1/2) The Secretary is in the building! The Honorable Frank Kendall arrived to the Pentagon this morning and was admini…
Twitter
RT @SecAFOfficial: After over six months in the role, A/SecAF Roth sent a farewell letter to #Airmen & #Guardians this evening: “I am in co…
Twitter
Explosive Ordnance Disposal teams at @TeamEglin, @TeamTyndall, and @HurlburtField, Florida, test a new X-Ray system… https://t.co/bombk9WqhD
Twitter
Gina Ortiz Jones was sworn in as the Under Secretary of the Air Force. The second highest-ranking civilian leader… https://t.co/9aMOfEDv6A
Twitter
RT @USAF_ACC: "The balance between capability and capacity is delicate. That’s why our new Fighter Roadmap outlines the way to do both. Th…
Twitter
RT @SecAFOfficial: USecAF Jones attended the unveiling ceremony at the Pentagon for the 2021 National POW/MIA Recognition Day poster. #YouA
Twitter
.@AF_Academy cadets completed the Basic Cadet Training assault course in Colorado Springs, Colorado. The six-week t… https://t.co/o4hTS4B1x8
Twitter
"We were chasing the sun. We actually saw the sunset for 8 hours." - Maj. Cassidy Helregel, 89th Airlift Squadron… https://t.co/QkxIMT8CDq
Twitter
The #DAFArticStrategy discussion happens today. Register for free: https://t.co/A1r9lOlW0y https://t.co/WTLtyEt8jX
Twitter
A new Tactical Air Control Party program is now combat ready. Using multi-channel communications equipment in Humve… https://t.co/ihY1nXf9X2
Twitter
RT @SecDef: As America’s 26th Secretary of the Air Force, Frank Kendall III’s decades of expertise and impact in service to our national se…
Twitter
RT @SecAFOfficial: Mr. Frank Kendall has been confirmed by the Senate as the 26th Secretary of the Air Force! In this role, he will lead ho…
Twitter
RT @SecAFOfficial: The Honorable Gina Ortiz Jones has arrived! “Serving as the Under Secretary of the Air Force is an absolute honor! I’m…
Twitter
A little #MondayMotivation from the 33rd Fighter Wing “Nomads,” @TeamEglin flight line ops-- are the graduate flyin… https://t.co/Ua0opwxkWH
Twitter
The 571st Mobility Support Advisory Squadron conducted a mobile training team engagement with the Jamaican Defense… https://t.co/mLoRIEZxu1
Facebook
The newest Air Force Podcast recently dropped. Listen to a small snippet of CMSAF Kaleth O. Wright talk with Staff Sgt. New about resiliency. Listen to the entire podcast on Youtube: https://go.usa.gov/xpnAD or Subscribe to The Air Force Podcast on iTunes: https://podcasts.apple.com/podcast/the-air-force-podcast/id1264107694?mt=2
Facebook
Our mantra, "Always ready!" It's the spirit we fly by! #B2Tuesday
Facebook
Need some motivation to get your week started off right? Listen as CMSAF Kaleth O. Wright weighs in...
Facebook
The U.S. Air Force Academy gives its cadets some unique opportunities. Ride along one of this opportunities.
Facebook
A United States Air Force KC-135 Stratotanker refuels an F-22 Raptor over northern Iraq, Nov. 6, 2019. U.S. Central Command operations deter adversaries and demonstrate support for allies and partners in the region. (Video by Staff Sgt. Daniel Snider)
Facebook
Although the Silver Star is the third-highest military medal, it's not given often. Today, TSgt Cody Smith was the 49th Special Tactics Airman to receive this medal since Sept. 11th, 2001. Read more of TSgt Smith's amazing story: https://www.airforcespecialtactics.af.mil/News/Article-Display/Article/2024815/special-tactics-airman-battled-through-injuries-awarded-silver-star/fbclid/IwAR2LZWwx1VHdTnQe39rIEBOuJS_0JvMQBBGt7I-E6zsxxn-Lx9387yu43Bc/ Cannon Air Force Base Air Force Special Operations Command United States Special Operations Command (USSOCOM) U.S. Department of Defense (DoD)
Facebook
Tune in as our Air Force musicians along with other military musicians are awarded the National Medal of Arts.
Facebook
Like Us
Twitter
1,354,703
Follow Us