What is basic training for the Air Force?


Quick Answer

Air Force basic training is an eight-week program for newly enlisted airmen to prepare them mentally and physically for their Air Force service, covering topics such as basic war skills, combat lifesaving, weapons handling and mental preparation for combat. Recruits also complete basic expeditionary airman skills and combat arms training, participate in field drills, and attend trainings on topics such as suicide prevention, sexual assault and managing stress.

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Full Answer

Basic training begins with week zero, a pre-basic orientation that includes haircuts, shots, an introduction to reporting, dorm and drill basics, and duty and flight assignments. During the first week of basic training, airmen review Air Force history, receive their weapons and learn to identify weapon parts. They also receive identification cards and rank insignia and participate in human relations and cultural sensitivity training. Week two of basic training focuses on situational awareness and what it means to be a military citizen, covering basic leadership skills, character traits, ethics and physical fitness expectations.

Preparation for combat begins in week three, covering topics such as the law of armed conflict and antiterrorism and force protection. In this phrase, training focuses on chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear and explosive weapons; firing positions; expeditionary skills; and the use of pugil sticks in combat. In addition to combat skills and military protocol, new enlistees learn about Air Force benefits, educational and career options and physical and emotional fitness. Trainees are evaluated throughout basic training. Graduation occurs in week seven, and week eight typically includes character development training and a welcome briefing with the post commander.

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