Air Education and Training Command

Air Education and Training Command, with headquarters at Randolph Air Force Base near San Antonio, Texas, was established July 1, 1993, with the realignment of Air Training Command and Air University. AETC's role makes it the first command to touch the life of almost every Air Force member.


AETC's mission is to develop America's Airmen today... for tomorrow.


Deliver unrivaled air and space education and training.

Personnel and Resources

More than 60,000 active-duty members and 14,000 civilian personnel make up AETC. The command also has approximately 7,300 Air National Guard and Air Force Reserve personnel, and more than 11,500 contractors assigned. AETC has responsibility for approximately 1,600 aircraft.


The command includes Air Force Recruiting Service, two numbered air forces and the Air University.


AETC's mission begins with the Air Force Recruiting Service, with headquarters at Randolph AFB, Texas. AFRS is comprises four regional groups and 28 squadrons with more than 1,700 recruiters assigned throughout the United States, England, Germany, Japan, Puerto Rico and Guam. The AFRS mission is to recruit quality men and women with the right skills, at the right time, in the right numbers to sustain the combat capability of the U.S. Air Force. The command is responsible for accessing 100 percent of the enlisted force, 90 percent of the service's medical officers, approximately 25 percent of the line officers (through Officer Training School) and 100 percent of Air Force chaplains.

Basic Military and Technical Training

Second Air Force, with headquarters at Keesler AFB, Miss., is responsible for conducting basic military and technical training for Air Force non-flying enlisted members and support officers. The first stop for all Air Force, Air National Guard and Air Force Reserve enlisted people is basic military training at Lackland AFB, Texas. Typically, between 30,000 and 40,000 new Airmen complete will complete this intense, six and one-half week program each year.

After completing BMT, Airmen begin technical training to give them the technical skills needed to perform their career field specialties. Technical training is conducted primarily at five installations: Goodfellow, Lackland, and Sheppard Air Force bases in Texas; Keesler AFB, Miss.; and Vandenberg AFB, Calif. Each base is responsible for a specific portion of formal technical training airmen require to accomplish the Air Force mission. Highly trained instructors conduct technical training in specialties such as aircraft maintenance, civil engineering, medical services, computer systems, security forces, air traffic control, personnel, intelligence, fire fighting, and space and missile operations.

Commissioned officers attend technical training courses for similar career fields at the same locations.

Second Air Force also conducts specialized training for military working dogs and dog handlers at Lackland AFB, Texas, for the Department of Defense and the Transportation Security Administration. Additionally, the Inter-American Air Forces Academy at Lackland AFB hosts more than 160 courses in aviation specialties, taught in Spanish, to students from 19 Western hemisphere countries.

Flying Training

Nineteenth Air Force, with headquarters at Randolph AFB, Texas, conducts AETC's flying training training and is responsible for training aircrews and air battle managers.

Air Force pilot candidates begin with introductory flight training (IFT). In IFT, civilian instructors provide 50 hours of flight instruction to pilot candidates who must complete requirements for a private pilot license.

Pilot candidates then attend either Euro-NATO joint jet pilot training (ENJJPT) or specialized undergraduate pilot training (SUPT).

ENJJPT is located at Sheppard AFB, Texas. The entire course lasts about 55 weeks. Students learn with, and are taught by, U.S. Air Force officers and officers from various air forces of our NATO allies. Student pilots first fly the T-37 Tweet mastering contact, instrument, low-level and formation flying. Then they move onto a fighter-trainer, the T-38 Talon, and continue building the skills necessary to become a fighter pilot.

SUPT students accomplish primary training at one of three Air Force bases -- Columbus AFB, Miss., Laughlin AFB, Texas, or Vance AFB, Okla; or at Naval Air Station Whiting Field, Fla. During this phase, students learn basic flight skills common to all military pilots. Students who report to Laughlin and Moody will train in the T-6A Texan II. Those who report to Columbus will fly the T-37; and those who go to Vance will fly either the T-6 or T-37. Whiting Field students will fly the T-34C Turbomentor. Eventually, the T-6 will completely replace both the T-37 and T-34 as the Air Force and Navy phase it in as the primary trainer aircraft.

Joint training is conducted at Vance and Whiting Field for students from the Air Force and the Navy.

After the primary phase of specialized training, student pilots elect one of four advanced training tracks based on their class standing.

Prospective airlift and tanker pilots are assigned to the airlift/tanker track and train in the T-1 Jayhawk at Columbus AFB, Miss., Laughlin AFB, Texas, or Vance AFB, Okla. Student pilots headed for bomber or fighter assignments are assigned to the bomber/fighter track and train in the T-38 Talon at Columbus, Laughlin or Vance. Students assigned to the multi-engine turboprop track fly the T-44 turboprop trainers at NAS Corpus Christi, Texas, and will eventually fly the C-130 Hercules.

Those students selected to fly helicopters are assigned to the helicopter track and fly the UH-1 Huey at Fort Rucker, Ala.

Nineteenth Air Force also provides follow-on training for most Air Force pilots in their assigned aircraft. Pilots assigned to fighter aircraft complete the introduction to fighter fundamentals course at Sheppard AFB, Texas, or Moody AFB, Ga., flying the AT-38B. Students then move on to train in either the F-15 Eagle or F/A-22 Raptor at Tyndall AFB, Fla., or the F-16 Fighting Falcon at Luke AFB, Ariz. Altus AFB, Okla., hosts training for pilots assigned to C-5 Galaxy, C-141 Starlifter, KC-135 Stratotanker or C-17 Globemaster III aircraft. Aircrews assigned to fly the C-130 train at Little Rock AFB, Ark., or Dobbins ARB, Ga., and pilots assigned to fly MC-130 Combat Talon, HC-130 aircraft, UH-1N, MH-53 Pave Low, HH-60 Pave Hawk helicopters or CV-22 Osprey tilt-rotor receive their training at Kirtland AFB, N.M.. Pilots for the C-21 aircraft are trained at Keesler AFB, Miss.

In addition to pilot training, Nineteenth Air Force provides Combat Systems Officer (CSO) training. CSO training is conducted at Randolph AFB and NAS Pensacola, Fla. These courses provide training for Air Force and Navy student navigators. CSO training combines portions of navigator and electronic warfare training to produce an aviator skilled in advanced navigation systems, electronic warfare and weapons employment. The new training flow, implemented in 2004, gives aviators a cross-flow capability between the two positions on combat aircraft.

Students at Randolph are trained in one of two broad tracks of training. Those completing the Advanced CSO -- Navigation track fly in the T-43A and move to follow-on assignments as navigators in the B-52 Stratofortress, KC/RC-135 Stratotanker, E-3 Sentry (AWACS), E-8C Joint Surveillance Target Attack Radar System (JSTARS) and all C-130 variants. Students completing the Advanced CSO -- Electronic Warfare track complete training in the T-43A and track to follow-on assignments as Electronic Warfare Officers in the B-52, RC-135 and EC/MC/AC-130.

Students at NAS Pensacola, Fla., complete primary and intermediate training in the T-6A and T-1 aircraft. These students then enter one of two tracks. Students in the strike track will serve as weapon systems officers in the B-1B Lancer. WSOs assigned to the B-1B attend Electronic Warfare Upgrade training at Randolph. Students in the strike/fighter track receive follow-on assignments to the F-15E Strike Eagle as weapon systems officers and attend additional training in the Introduction to Fighter Fundamentals course.

AETC also provides enlisted aircrew training for a wide variety of aircrew specialties including flight engineers, air-to-air refueling boom operators, loadmasters, aerial gunners, airborne communications specialists and weapons directors. Flight engineers and boom operators train at Altus AFB, Okla., loadmasters train at Sheppard AFB, Texas, helicopter and tilt-rotor flight engineers and aerial gunners train at Kirtland AFB, N.M., airborne communications specialists train at Keesler AFB, Miss., and weapons directors train at Tyndall AFB, Fla.

Survival, Evasion, Resistance and Escape Training

Nineteenth Air Force also conducts AETC's Survival Escape and Evasion Training.

The 336th Training Group at the U.S. Air Force Survival School, Fairchild AFB, Wash., provides SERE training primarily to aircrew members. Instruction concentrates on the principles, techniques and skills necessary to survive in any environment and return with honor.

SERE specialists assigned to the survival school teach seven different courses to approximately 6,500 students annually. Five of the seven courses are taught at Fairchild. The other two courses are conducted at NAS Pensacola, Fla. and Eielson Air Force Base, Alaska.

Air Battle Manager Training

Air Battle Manager candidates begin training at Tyndall AFB, Fla. Officers attend the 9-month ABM course. They learn doctrine, radar theory, surveillance operations, wartime operations, joint tactical operations, and basic fighter control using simulated aircraft, contract-flown MU-2 aircraft, and F-15 and F/A-22 aircraft from the 325th Fighter Wing. Graduates go on to fly in the AWACS or JSTARS.

In addition, more than 100 international officers travel to Tyndall AFB annually to attend two different advanced ABM command and control courses.

Weapons Director Training

Training for all active duty and Air National Guard Control and Reporting Center and Air Defense Sector weapons directors takes place at the 107th Air Control Squadron at Papago Park National Guard Base in Phoenix, Ariz.


Air University, headquartered at Maxwell AFB, Ala., conducts professional military education (PME), graduate education and professional continuing education for officers, enlisted members and civilians throughout their careers.

Air University has responsibility for the Air Force Officer Accessions and Training Schools. The AFOATS commander provides direction for two of the Air Force's three commissioning programs. The Air Force Reserve Officer Training Corps commissions more than 2,000 officers annually through programs located at 144 detachments at colleges and universities across the country.

Officer Training School is located at Maxwell AFB, Ala., and provides basic officer training, a 12-week program designed to commission 800-1,200 officers annually. Additionally, OTS conducts a four-week commissioned officer training program for 1,500 new judge advocates, chaplains and medical officers each year.

Air University's PME schools prepare students from the Air Force, its sister services and allied nations for more responsible positions as they progress through their careers. Emphasis in these programs includes leadership, military doctrine and aerospace power.

Squadron Officer College includes two resident schools and one wing-level program: Air and Space Basic Course, Squadron Officer Course (taught at the wing level) and Squadron Officer School.

The Air and Space Basic Course is the first residence course in officer PME and is for newly commissioned second lieutenants and selected civilians. The six-week class, instructing more than 4,600 students annually, includes modules of study designed for students to comprehend their role as expeditionary Airmen.

The mission of Squadron Officer School, the second officer PME course, is to develop dynamic Airmen ready to lead air and space power in an expeditionary warfighting environment. For captains with four to seven years experience, this five-week course is taught seven times each year, with about 500 students per class.

Air Command and Staff College is the Air Force's intermediate officer PME school, preparing field grade officers (primarily majors and majors-select) and civilians to assume positions of higher responsibility within the military and government arenas. Geared toward teaching the skills necessary for command, ACSC focuses on shaping and molding future squadron commanders.

Air War College is the senior school in the Air Force PME system and annually prepares more than 260 participants including officers from all branches of the armed forces, international officers, and civilians of equivalent rank from U.S. government agencies. The 44-week class schedule emphasizes joint operations and the employment of air and space power in support of national security.

The College for Enlisted Professional Military Education is responsible for the instructional programs and faculty development for all Air Force enlisted PME programs. This includes the Airman Leadership Schools, Noncommissioned Officer Academies and the Air Force Senior Noncommissioned Officer Academy.

Airman Leadership Schools prepare senior airmen for supervisory duties and foster a commitment to the profession of arms. The course objective is for each student to gain an understanding of the roles and responsibilities of the noncommissioned officer.

Noncommissioned and Senior Noncommissioned Officer Academies provide professional military education to noncommissioned officers for positions of greater responsibility by broadening their leadership and supervisory skills and expanding their perspective of the military profession.

The Community College of the Air Force offers and awards job-related associate in applied science degrees and other academic credentials that enhance mission readiness, contribute to recruiting, assist in retention, and support the career transitions of Air Force enlisted members. Air Force enlisted members are automatically enrolled in the CCAF and begin earning college credit during basic military training.

The Air Force Institute of Technology meets the ever changing and challenging scientific, engineering, and technical management needs of the Air Force and the Department of Defense through its graduate and continuing education programs. AFIT's organization and mission is focused on exploiting the full potential of powered flight as an instrument of national defense.

The Ira C. Eaker College for Professional Development provides world-class professional continuing education and technical training to Air Force, international, and other DOD people. Its eight schools include the Commanders' Professional Development School; the Air Force Chaplain Service Institute; the Air Force Judge Advocate General School; the DOD Professional Military Comptroller School; the Air Force Human Resource Management School; the Air Force Historian Development School; the International Officer School; and the Air Force First Sergeant Academy, and offer 88 professional continuing education and four technical training courses

The College of Aerospace Doctrine, Research and Education assists in the development, analysis, and wargaming of the concepts, doctrine and strategy of aerospace power. It also educates Air Force and joint communities on war fighting at the operational and strategic level through research, wargaming and military education courses. The college prepares flag officers from all military services for leadership positions in the joint warfighting environment.

Citizenship Programs

AETC promotes values of civic responsibility among the civilian community through two Air University-sponsored programs. The Civil Air Patrol is a private, non-profit organization providing aerospace education, a cadet program, and emergency services. The Air Force Junior ROTC program promotes citizenship values in young high school students at more than 794 locations worldwide.

Other Air University Organizations

Other academic support services include Academic Instructor School, the Air Force Institute for Advanced Distributed Learning, Air Force Public Affairs Center of Excellence, Air University Library (encompassing Air University Press) and the International Officer School.

Major AETC Support Services

In addition to accomplishing these missions, AETC is also responsible for several other areas that are integral parts of the command and directly contribute to the overall Air Force mission.

Medical Services

The Air Force's two largest medical facilities belong to AETC. Wilford Hall Medical Center, Lackland AFB, Texas, and Keesler Medical Center, Keesler AFB, Miss., provide most of the Air Force's graduate medical and dental education, as well as enlisted medical training.

Security Assistance Training

AETC is the executive agent for all Air Force sponsored international training and education. The command implements and approves Air Force sponsored security assistance training, monitors the progress of training and the welfare of USAF-sponsored international students, and provides guidance for implementation of the DOD Informational Program. Each year AETC members train or facilitate training for more than 4,400 students from more than 130 countries attending flying, technical, medical and professional education and training.


AETC was formed in 1942 as the Army Air Corps Flying Training Command with headquarters in Washington, DC. Less than a year later, the headquarters moved to Fort Worth, Texas. During World War II the command provided technical and flying training at more than 600 installations, factories and institutions of higher learning. The headquarters moved to Barksdale AFB, La., in 1946, to Scott AFB, Ill., in 1949 and finally to Randolph AFB, Texas, in 1957. To represent the command's growing mission in education, training and recruiting, it was redesignated the Air Education and Training Command in 1993. Over the years, more than 25 million students have graduated from AETC training and education programs.