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Coordinates: 29°20′30.0042″N 98°26′6.6582″W / 29.341667833°N 98.435182833°W / 29.341667833; -98.435182833

Brooks City-Base
Brooks Air Force Base

Air Force Materiel Command.png

Part of Air Force Materiel Command (AFMC)
Located near San Antonio, Texas
Brooks AFB January 7, 1995
Type Former Air Force Base
Built 1918
In use 1919–present
City of San Antonio, Texas
Commanders Mr. Eric L. Stephens
Occupants 311th Human Systems Wing
Air Force Institute for Operational Health
Performance Enhancement Directorate
USAF School of Aerospace Medicine
Aeronautical Systems Center
59th Medical Squadron
68th Information Operations Squadron
77th Aeronautical Systems Group
710th Intelligence Flight
Air Force Audit Agency
Air Force Center for Environmental Excellence
Air Force Medical Support Agency
Air Force Medical Operations Agency
Air Force Outreach Program Office
Air Force Research Lab
Naval Health Research Center Det
US Army Medical Research Det
Brooks City-Base is located in Texas
Brooks City-Base
Location of Brooks City-Base, Texas

Brooks City-Base is a former United States Air Force base located in San Antonio, Texas, 7 miles (11 km) southeast of Downtown San Antonio. The host unit is the 311th Air Base Group.

The U.S. Air Force School of Aerospace Medicine (USAFSAM) at Brooks is known internationally as the premier center for aerospace medical learning, consultation, and aircrew health assessment.[1]

Brooks is one of the oldest facilities in the United States Air Force, being established on 8 December 1917 as Brooks Field, being one of the initial World War I Army Air Service installations. Flying at Brooks, however predates its military establishment, as the facility was known as Gosport Field prior to the first Army airplanes arriving on 5 December 1917.[2]

In 2002 Brooks AFB was renamed Brooks City-Base when the property was conveyed to the Brooks Development Authority as part of a unique project between local, state, and federal government. The Brooks Development Authority is the owner, operator, and developer of the Brooks City-Base property whose mission is to redevelop the property into a science, business, and technology center. The Air Force is currently the largest tenant at Brooks City-Base.




Major units

Associate units


Brooks Field was established on February 16, 1918, by the U.S. Army Signal Corps and was named after San Antonio aviator Sidney Johnson Brooks, Jr. Cadet Brooks died on November 13, 1917 when his Curtiss JN-4 nosed down as he prepared to land after a training flight at Kelly Field, TX. He was awarded his wings and commission posthumously.

Previous names of Brooks City-Base were:

  • Gosport Field, prior to December 5, 1917
  • Signal Corps Aviation School, Kelly Field #5, December 5, 1917

Major commands


  • Department of Military Aeronautics, 1918-unk (later, Director of Air Service)
  • Air Corps Training Cen, September 1, 1926 (also Eighth Corps Area [USA], 1921–1940)
  • Gulf Coast Air Corps Training Cen, December 11, 1940 – May 1, 1942
  • Gulf Coast AAF Training Cen, May 1, 1942 – July 1, 1943
  • AAF Central Flying Training Comd, July 31, 1943 – December 1, 1945
  • Continental Air Forces, December 1, 1945 – March 21, 1946

United States Air Force

Base operating units


  • 67th Aero (Service) Sq, April 6, 1918 – June 27, 1918
  • Squadron "B" Brooks Fld, June 27, 1918 – November 14, 1918
  • Flying School Det, Brooks Fld, November 14, 1918 – May 1919
  • Air Corps Balloon and Airship School, Brooks Fld, c. May 1919 – June 1922
  • Air Corps Primary Flying School, c. June 1922 – Jan 1923
  • 62d Service Sq, c. January 1923 – c. August 1936
  • 8th Air Base Sq, c. September 1936 – c. June 1939
  • Unknown, July–August 1939
  • 63d Air Base Gp, Sp, September 1, 1940 – November 1, 1941
  • 53d Air Base Sq, November 1, 1941 – June 27, 1942
  • 53d Base HQ and Air Base Sq, June 27, 1942 – May 1, 1944
  • 2510th AAF Base Unit, May 1, 1944 – November 30, 1945
  • 306th AAF Base Unit, November 30, 1945 – September 26, 1947

United States Air Force

  • 306th AF Base Unit, September 26, 1947 – August 28, 1948
  • 2595th Base Service Sq, August 28, 1948 – February 1, 1949
  • 2595th Air Base Gp, February 1, 1949 – January 1, 1954
  • 2577th Air Force Reserve Flying Training Cen, January 1, 1954 – September 15, 1954
  • 2577th Air Reserve Flying Training Cen, September 15, 1954 – April 8, 1958
  • 2577th Air Base Gp, April 8, 1958 – October 1, 1959
  • 3790th Air Base Gp, October 1, 1959 – July 1, 1961
  • Human Systems Center July 1, 1992 – October 1, 1998
  • 6570th Air Base Gp, October 1, 1961 – July 1, 1992
  • 648th Air Base Gp, July 1, 1992 – May 1, 1994
  • 311th Human Systems Wing

Operational history

Sidney Johnson Brooks, Jr., the first flying cadet to lose his life in San Antonio during flight training in the World War I period.
Weightless 2, a static display on Brooks City-Base commemorating the research done through the Aerospace Medical Division with astronaut.
Hangar 9 stands as the only World War I era aircraft hangar listed in the National Register of Historic Places. Hangar 9 was built as a "temporary" structure in 1918 when Brooks Field was established as a training base for the Air Service of the Army Signal Corps.

From its founding until 1919, Brooks Field was used to train cadets in the Curtiss JN-4 aircraft, which was used for balloon and airship training. The program was cancelled in 1922 when the U.S. Army re-evaluated the usefulness of balloons and airships.

After the cancellation of the airship training, Brooks Field became the Primary Flying School for the Army Air Corps. The Primary Flying School continued operation until 1931 when it moved to Randolph Field in San Antonio. After the Primary Flying School's departure, Brooks Field became the new home for the Aerial Observation Center.

During World War II, Brooks Field housed the School for Combat Observers and the Advanced Flying School (Observation). The program remained in operation until 1943 when it was disbanded. Training in the school then switched to twin-engine aircraft, subsequently training pilots to fly the new B-25 bomber.

After the war, Brooks Field became the home to several tactical and reserve units, and in 1948, Brooks Field formally became Brooks Air Force Base.

Since the early 1950s, Brooks AFB has been the home for the Aerospace Medical Center, which would include the School of Aerospace Medicine (SAM). In 1957, SAM scientists moved into the newly completed center at Brooks AFB. SAM aided the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) with Project Mercury and served as a back-up site for lunar samples brought back to Earth on the Apollo missions between 1969–1972. The air evacuation program at Brooks AFB proved vital to the care of wounded personnel in the Vietnam War.

President John F. Kennedy dedicated the School of Aerospace Medicine on November 21, 1963, the day before he was assassinated in Dallas, Texas. This was Kennedy's last official act as president.[3]

After the Vietnam War, the base's mission narrowed to one centered on specific research related to U.S. Air Force fliers and personnel. In 1991, the Air Force was selected to house the Armstrong Laboratory, which included the Air Force Human Resources Laboratory, the Air Force Drug Testing Laboratory, the Harry G. Armstrong Aerospace Medical Research Laboratory, the Air Force Occupational and Environmental Health Laboratory, and the laboratory functions of SAM.


Following the 1995 BRAC, when Brooks AFB was removed from the Base Realignment and Closure list, city, state, military, and community planners began several years of hard work to develop a plan to privatize approved the gradual transition in ownership of Brooks AFB from the Air Force to the Brooks Development Authority. This transition came into full effect on July 22, 2002, when the Brooks Development Authority assumed control of the newly named Brooks City-Base.

In 2005, Brooks City-Base was once again placed on the BRAC list and is now in the process of planning for permanent military departure from the base. The Brooks Development Authority has demonstrated economic development success with projects including a 62 acre retail development, approximately 256,000 square feet (23,800 m2) of research and distribution facilities for DPT Laboratories, the South Texas Center for Emerging Infectious Diseases (an infectious disease research institute coordinated with the University of Texas at San Antonio), an international pharmaceutical company, and a $25.5 million City/County emergency operations center which will open in the Fall 2007.

Historic Hangar 9

Brooks Field Hangar 9 was restored in 1969 to become the U.S. Air Force Museum of Aerospace Medicine. This museum is to display the early history of Brooks Field and to preserve and display an extensive collection of photographs and equipment related to aviation and aerospace medicine. [4][5]

Government and infrastructure

The United States Postal Service operates the Brooks AFB Post Office at 8060 Aeromedical Road.[6]

See also


 This article incorporates public domain material from websites or documents of the Air Force Historical Research Agency.

  1. ^ Fact sheet, U.S. AIR FORCE SCHOOL OF AEROSPACE MEDICINE,, current as of September 2005, retrieved 2 Aug 2009.
  2. ^ World War I Group, Historical Division, Special Staff, United States Army, Order of Battle of the United States Land Forces in the World War (1917–1919)
  3. ^
  4. ^ Natl Park Service: USAF Museum of Aerospace Medicine
  5. ^ USAF Museum of Aerospace - Hangar 9 Military site.
  6. ^ "Post Office Location - BROOKS AFB." United States Postal Service. Retrieved on April 16, 2009.
  • Mueller, Robert (1989). Active Air Force Bases Within the United States of America on 17 September 1982. USAF Reference Series, Maxwell AFB, Alabama: Office of Air Force History. ISBN 0-912799-53-6
  • Maurer, Maurer (1983). Air Force Combat Units Of World War II. Maxwell AFB, Alabama: Office of Air Force History. ISBN 0892010924.
  • Mauer, Mauer (1969), Combat Squadrons of the Air Force, World War II, Air Force Historical Studies Office, Maxwell AFB, Alabama. ISBN 0892010975
  • Shaw, Frederick J. (2004), Locating Air Force Base Sites History’s Legacy, Air Force History and Museums Program, United States Air Force, Washington DC, 2004.

 This article incorporates public domain material from the United States Government document "Brooks City-Base".

External links


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