Laughlin AFB, Texas
Laughlin is located at Del Rio, Texas 150 miles west of San Antonio and 6 miles from Old Mexico.
Laughlin Army Air Field was named after Lieutenant Jack T. Laughlin, the first Del Rio Army Air Forces casualty of World War II. His B-17 was shot down over Java. Laughlin's training mission began in July 1942 under the Army Air corps. The mission of the base at that time was to transition pilots into the Martin B-26 "Marauder". In 1945, the base closed and the land was leased to sheep and goat raisers in the area. In 1962, Undergraduate Pilot Training was implemented at Laughlin and has remained its mission ever since. Laughlin used the T-37 in the primary phase of training and the T-33 in the advanced phase. In 1964, the T-38 replaced the T-33. In 1965, the T-41 "Mescalero", a single engine plane, was used in the first phase of student training to identify students in need of additional help and identify likely eliminees before sending them to UPT. Civilian instructors conducted the training at Del Rio International Airport. This training now takes place at Hondo, Texas near San Antonio. A new eara began at Laughlin in 1993 as the 47th Flying Training Wing implemented specialized undergraduate pilot traint (SUPT) and brought on board the T1A Jayhawk, the first new aircraft to be used at AETC's flying training wings in over 25 years. Lauglin's mission to train pilots has remained the same since 1962.
In its 2005 BRAC Recommendations, DoD recommended to realign Moody AFB, GA, as follows: relocate the Primary Phase of Fixed-wing Pilot Training to Laughlin AFB; relocate Introduction to Fighter Fundamentals Training for Pilots to Laughlin AFB; and relocate Introduction to Fighter Fundamentals Training for Weapons Systems Officers to Laughlin AFB. This recommendation would realign and consolidate USAF's primary phase of undergraduate flight training functions to reduce excess/unused basing capacity to eliminate redundancy, enhance jointness for UNT/Naval Flight Officer (NFO) training, reduce excess capacity, and improve military value. The basing arrangement that flows from this recommendation would allow the Inter-service Training Review Organization (ITRO) process to establish a DoD baseline program in UNT/NFO with curricula that would permit services latitude to preserve service-unique culture and a faculty and staff thatwould bring a "Train as we fight; jointly" national perspective to the learning process. Environmentally, this recommendation might require significant air permit revisions for Laughlin. This recommendation might impact cultural, archeological, or historical resources at Laughlin. DoD would need to re-evaluate noise contours for Laughlin. It also might need to modify the hazardous waste program for Laughlin. Additional operations at Laughlin might impact wetlands, which might restrict operations.
|Join the GlobalSecurity.org mailing list|