47th Flying Training Wing [47th FTW]
The 47th Flying Training Wing, located at Laughlin Air Force Base, Texas, conducts joint specialized undergraduate pilot training for the United States Air Force, Air Force Reserve, Air National Guard and allied nation air forces utilizing the T-37, T-38 and T-1A 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 AFB, TX, and in November 1948 moved to Barksdale AFB, LA.
The wing was inactivated in October 1949 and reactivated March 12, 1951, at Langley AFB, VA, 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 USAF Air Crew School (Light Bombardment and Tactical Reconnaissance, Night Photographic).
The wing moved to RAF 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 redesignated 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 redesignated as the 47th Flying Training Wing, replacing and absorbing the resources of the 3646th Pilot Training Wing at Laughlin AFB.
The 47th FTW commands a flying operation which exceeds 105,000 flying hours and 90,000 sorties per year. It is composed of more than 1,300 military personnel, 1,124 civilian employees and a total base community exceeding 4,200 people.
The 47th FTW operates on an annual operating budget in excess of $119 million, with total property assets in excess of $445 million.
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