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The 47th Flying Training Wing’s mission is to train pilots for the Air Force, Air Force Reserve, Air National Guard and allied nations using the T-6, T-38 and T-1A aircraft while deploying mission-ready airmen and disciplined, professional leaders.

In 1972, the 47th Flying Training Wing re­placed and absorbed the resources of the 3646th Pilot Training Wing at Laughlin AFB.

The 47th Flying Training Wing commands a flying operation that exceeds 80,000 flying hours and 54,000 sorties per year. It is composed of about 1,400 military personnel, 1,300 civilian employees and a total base community of a little over 4,000 people.


The Air Education and Training Command’s mission makes it the first command encountered by nearly every Air Force member. In 1942, AETC formed as the Army Air Corps Flying Training Command in Washington, D.C. Since then it has graduated more than 25 million students from its training and education programs.

The command includes the Air Force Recruiting Service and Air University, 16 active-duty and seven Reserve wings, and operates 12 major installations and supports tenant units on bases across the globe. Its mission is to “recruit, train and educate airmen to deliver airpower for America.”


The 434th Flying Training Squadron is part of the 47th Flying Training Wing, and with the 85th Flying Training Squadron conducts the T-6 flight training portion of the Specialized Undergraduate Pilot Training program.

The squadron goes back to the 434th Fighter Squadron, which was activated in 1943 during a buildup of Army Air Forces during WWII. The squadron deployed to England in 1944 and its pilots flew escort and attack missions, but it was deactivated in December 1945 at the end of hostilities. The Korean War and tensions with the Soviet Union prompted its reactivation as the 434th Fighter-Bomber Squadron in 1952 and it continued service under different designations until May 1991, when it again was inactivated.

Sixteen years later, in June 2007, it was redesignated the 434th Fighter Training Squadron and returned to service the following month. Deactivated yet again, it came back under its current name, the 434th Flying Training Squadron, in 2012 to train Air Force pilots and leaders.


The 85th Flying Training Squadron, along with the 434th Flying Training Squadron, conducts the T-6 flying training portion of the Specialized Undergraduate Pilot Training program. The 85th squadron traces its lineage to the 85th Bombardment Squadron, activated in 1940.

The 85th was one of the first squadrons to receive the B-45 Tornado, America’s first jet bomber, which it flew until the mid-1950s, when the B-66 Destroyer was introduced. The 85th Bombardment Squadron was deactivated in May 1962 while stationed at RAF Sculthorpe, England.

In September 1972, the squadron was reactivated as the 85th Flying Training Squadron at Laughlin AFB.

In 1998, the squadron was split in half to form the 84th Flying Training Squadron. The 84th was redesignated the 434th Flying Training Squadron in 2012. Together the 84th and 85th execute Air Education and Training Command’s largest Specialized Undergraduate Pilot Training flying-hour program, producing more than 400 new pilots each year.


The 86th Flying Training Squadron conducts the T-1A Jayhawk flight-training portion of the Specialized Undergraduate Pilot Training program. The 86th traces its lineage to the 86th Bombardment Squadron (Light), which was activated in 1941 at McChord Field, south of Tacoma, Washington. Its mission was mainly anti-submarine patrols flying the B-18 medium bomber.

After several name tweaks, in 1972 the squadron was redesignated the 86th Flying Training Squadron and replaced the 3646th Pilot Training Squadron at Laughlin AFB, though from 1976 to 1979, it trained co-pilots for the Strategic Air Command. In the 20 years before a deactivation in 1992, the 86th Flying Training Squadron earned five Air Force Outstanding Unit Awards.

In 1994, the 86th Flying Training Squadron was reactivated at Laughlin AFB and its training mission resumed using the T-1A Jayhawk as part of the Specialized Undergraduate Pilot Training airlift-tanker-bomber program.


The 87th Flying Training Squadron’s mission is to train Air Force and allied nations’ officers to fly “Fast Movers” (Fighter/Bomber track) as a component of the 47th Flying Training Wing. The squadron’s lineage goes back to the 87th Aero Squadron, which was active in 1917 and 1918. Eventually the unit was reconstituted and consolidated with the 87th Pursuit Squadron, in December 1936. After periods of demobilizations and consolidations, the unit was redesignated the 87th Fighter Squadron and activated in 1990 at Laughlin AFB flying the T-38A Talon advanced supersonic trainer.


The 47th Force Support Squadron performs administrative functions needed for normal operations including those for military and civilian personnel, education and training services, family support, professional military education and wing mentoring. It also provides facilities and leisure activities that encourage, develop and maintain the mental, physical and social well-being of all active-duty military, retirees and their family members associated with the base.


The primary mission of the 47th Medical Group is to meet the 47th Flying Training Wing’s medical, dental and aeromedical needs so as to support the Air Force’s largest Specialized Undergraduate Pilot Training mission. The medical group is responsible for health care for more than 4,000 Department of Defense beneficiaries and also must ensure medical readiness for war and other worldwide contingencies.

Today the 47th Medical Group is composed of two squadrons. The 47th Medical Operations Squadron provides services in family health, public health, pediatrics, immunizations, flight medicine, aerospace physiology, optometry, health and wellness, dental, bioenvironmental engineering, radiology and mental health. The 47th Medical Support Squadron provides laboratory, pharmacy, TRICARE and patient administration services, in addition to resource management, information systems, logistics and medical readiness.


The 47th Mission Support Group is charged with taking care of the daily needs of Laughlin Air Force Base. The squadrons under the group keep the base running at peak efficiency so its primary mission of pilot training will be successful.

These squadrons include the 47th Force Support Squadron, the 47th Civil Engineer Squadron, the 47th Communications Squadron, the 47th Logistics Readiness Flight, the 47th Security Forces Squadron and the 47th Contracting Flight.

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