Brooks City-Base

Brooks City-Base is a former United States Air Force base located 7 miles southeast of San Antonio, Texas.

The host unit is the 311th Human Systems Wing, which includes staff agencies and a mission support group. Its director is Eric L. Stephens. Its vice-director is Jaime E. Hurley, and the command chief is Chief Master Sergeant Pat Battenberg.

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.

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

  • 68th Information Operations Squadron
  • 77th Aeronautical Systems Group
  • 710th Intelligence Flight
  • Air Force Center for Engineering and the Environment
  • Air Force Institute for Operational Health
  • 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 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 13 November 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 5 Dec 1917
  • Signal Corps Aviation School, Kelly Field #5, 5 Dec 1917

Major commands


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

United States Air Force

Base operating units


  • 67th Aero (Service) Sq, 6 Apr 1918 - 27 Jun 1918
  • Squadron "B;' Brooks Fld, 27 Jun 1918 - 14 Nov 1918
  • Flying School Det, Brooks Fld, 14 Nov 1918 - May 1919
  • Air Corps Balloon and Airship School, Brooks Fld, c. May 1919 - Jun 1922
  • Air Corps Primary Flying School, c. Jun 1922 - Jan1923
  • 62d Service Sq, c. Jan 1923 -c. Aug 1936
  • 8th Air Base Sq, c. Sep 1936 -c. Jun 1939
  • Unknown, Jul - Aug 1939
  • 63d Air Base Gp, Sp, 1 Sep 1940 - 1 Nov 1941
  • 53d Air Base Sq, 1 Nov 1941 - 27 Jun 1942
  • 53d Base HQ and Air Base Sq, 27 Jun 1942 - 1 May 1944
  • 2510th AAF Base Unit, 1 May 1944 - 30 Nov 1945
  • 306th AAF Base Unit, 30 Nov 1945 - 26 Sep 1947

United States Air Force

  • 306th AF Base Unit, 26 Sep 1947 - 28 Aug 1948
  • 2595th Base Service Sq, 28 Aug 1948 - 1 Feb 1949
  • 2595th Air Base Gp, 1 Feb 1949 - 1 Jan 1954
  • 2577th Air Force Reserve Flying Training Cen, 1 Jan 1954 - 15 Sep 1954
  • 2577th Air Reserve Flying Training Cen, 15 Sep 1954 - 8 Apr 1958
  • 2577th Air Base Gp, 8 Apr 1958 - 1 Oct 1959
  • 3790th Air Base Gp, 1 Oct 1959 - 1 Jul 1961
  • Human Systems Center 1 Jul 1992 - 1 Oct 1998
  • 6570th Air Base Gp, 1 Oct 1961 - 1 Jul 1992
  • 648th Air Base Gp, 1 Jul 1992 - 1 May 1994
  • 311th Human Systems Wing

Operational history

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.

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 BRAC 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 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.


  • 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

External links

See also

External links

Search another word or see usafsamon Dictionary | Thesaurus |Spanish
Copyright © 2015, LLC. All rights reserved.
  • Please Login or Sign Up to use the Recent Searches feature