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Columbus Air Force Base




Columbus Air Force Base is home of the 14th Flying Training Wing of Air Education and Training Command's 19th Air Force. The 14th FTW mission statement is "Cultivate Airmen, Create Pilots, Connect." The wing's mission is specialized undergraduate pilot training in the T-6 Texan II, T-38C Talon and T-1A Jayhawk aircraft. Each day the wing flies an average of 260 sorties on its three parallel runways. In addition to the flying training mission, Columbus AFB maintains more than 900 highly trained individuals capable of deploying at a moment's notice to support worldwide taskings and contingencies.

Specialized Undergraduate Pilot Training

In the primary phase of training, students fly the T-6. The emphasis throughout this phase is on basic aircraft control, including takeoff and landing techniques and aerobatics. Students also learn to use aircraft instruments to fly and navigate in all types of weather to several different locations.

Following the T-6 phase of training, student pilots enter specialized track specific training-depending on the type aircraft they've been selected to fly - T-38 for those bound for fighter and bomber aircraft or the T-1A for tanker and airlift pilots. Student pilots selected to fly helicopters conduct training at Fort Rucker, Ala., with the U.S. Army.

To earn Air Force wings, each student flies nearly 200 hours during a 54-week period. Paralleling flying training, students complete 400 hours of flight-related classroom instruction. Students entering training at Columbus average 475 officers a year. 


Columbus Air Force Base began as an advanced twin-engine flying school during the rearming of America before World War II. Efforts by local civic leaders in the 1930s to secure an airport shifted to obtaining a military flying field as U.S. forces geared up for war. On June 26, 1941, the War Department announced Columbus' selection as the site for an Army Air Corps pilot training school. Construction got under way in 1941. Pilot training began in 1942.

With an unparalleled safety record, this is where both instrument training and flying standardization boards got their start, earning the Columbus Army Flying School national recognition in Time magazine and the New York Times. More than 8,000 students came to Columbus for pilot training during World War II to become flying officers in the Army Air Corps. AT-6s, AT-8s, AT-9s, AT-10s, A-29s and TB-25s were used at Columbus during this time. By war's end the air base, then known as Columbus Army Air Field, had become one of the largest in the Southeast, with four runways and seven auxiliary fields.

The base was closed in 1945 and remained inactive until the nation again faced the prospect of war, this time to defend South Korea.

Columbus Air Force Base reopened in 1951 as a contract flying school. Air Training Command's 3301st Pilot Training Squadron oversaw the contract flight instruction of about 3,000 pilots in PA-18 Piper Cubs and T-6s. With the Korean War at an end and pilot production needs dropping, the decision was made to close the contract flying school at Columbus.

Columbus became part of the Strategic Air Command in April 1955. After a rebuilding program, the base became home to a B-52 bomber squadron and a KC-135 tanker squadron in 1958. Beginning in 1965, Columbus' 454th Bombardment Wing deployed to the western Pacific, completing more than 100 missions to South Vietnam without losing a single bomber to enemy aircraft fire.

After 14 years as a Strategic Air Command base, Columbus rejoined Air Training Command on July 1, 1969, and resumed its original mission of training pilots. 

Population: 2,697
Military: 1,624; Civil Service: 512; Contractors: 944, Other: 222
Average number of students trained annually: 475
Economic impact in FY 18: $315 million
Payroll: $158 million; Expenditures: $116 million; Estimated dollar value of indirect jobs: $41 million. Aircraft: 243


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Including today, there are only nine days left to donate to the Air Force Assistance Fund this year. Click the video below to learn more about the annual effort to raise funds for the charities that provide support to our Air Force family in need (active duty, retirees, reservists, guard and our dependents, including surviving spouses).
The 41st and 48th Flying Training Squadrons traveled to Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Daytona Beach, Florida on April 11-13 to #Connect with their cadets and showed them what it's like to fly in an United States Air Force aircraft. Stay tuned for a full length video coming soon. #TrainerTuesday
#TeamBLAZE Tune in at 3 p.m. CST this Thursday to watch live as we celebrate the tradition of honor and legacy of valor that defined retired Lt. Col. Richard "Dick" E. Cole's entire life.
#TeamBLAZE, we are only three weeks away from the event of the year. Will you be there? The event starts at 11 a.m. May 10 at the Kaye Auditorium. Gather your teams of up to 10 and get ready for a Squadron v. Squadron challenge! A Blazin’ Big Trophy to be awarded! At the end of the event, there will be a free BBQ starting at 1 p.m. at the soccer field beside the Columbus Club, so let’s #connect as we recognize our #spouses on Spouse Appreciation Day!! Register for the event here: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/the-a-blazin-race-tickets-59552331627
The storm is near Jackson right now. We have watches out for severe storms and tornadic activity from 7pm until 3am. We expect the storm to be over Columbus around 8pm. Strong winds expected. Command Post will turn the sirens on if we issue a tornado warning—that occurs if we see any rotation in the actual storm. Our weather shop is in and monitoring.
Columbus AFB’s own Youth of the Year was awarded the Mississippi Military Youth of the Year during a competition in Clarksdale, Mississippi, March 6- 8. NaTerika Shellman competed against Youth of the Year selections from Keesler Air Force Base, Mississippi and NAS Meridian. Through her efforts, she received over $5,000 in scholarships and will go on to compete at the Boys and Girls Club of America Southeast Regional Level in Atlanta, June 18. Click the link to learn more about NaTerika: https://www.columbus.af.mil/News/Article-Display/Article/1812921/ms-military-youth-of-the-year-awarded-to-columbus-afbs-youth/ #MOMC
Team BLAZE had the awesome opportunity tonight to recognize our newest Chief. Sometimes being a smaller base has amazing advantages. We got to honor CMSgt(s) Wade Steinback and his family. And in true Columbus fashion—our community represented! #cultivate #connect and in this case #create part of the AF’s top 1%!!
The Air Force Reserve will be celebrating its 71st birthday this Sunday. Reservists in every branch are an important part of the Department of Defense’s strategy for manpower, global reach, and military flexibility. The 43rd Flying Training Squadron is Columbus AFB’s Air Force Reserve unit providing active guard reserve and traditional reserve instructor pilots to aid in creating pilots here. Click the link below to see how they help #TeamBLAZE #Cultivate #Create and #Connect. https://www.columbus.af.mil/News/Article-Display/Article/1812905/air-force-reserve-celebrates-71-years/
Happy #PurpleUp Day at Columbus AFB! We hope to see everyone wearing purple tomorrow, April 12, to show their support and thank military youths for their strength and sacrifices. #MOMC
#TeamBLAZE, we are here #LIVE for the grand opening of Rajun Cajun. Watch as Col. Denham cuts the ribbon and then Lt. Rogers gives a review of the awesome southern comfort food. Head on over to the BX mall to get a taste!
#TeamBLAZE, we would be honored for you to attend the grand opening of the Rajun Cajun Restaurant Cafe inside the Base Exchange this morning at 10 a.m. They will be serving a variety of foods including (but not limited to) wraps, shrimp and tuna salads, baked potatoes, chicken, fish and other southern foods. If you're in the mood for some good southern soul food, come check it out.
#HappyNationalSiblingsDay Team BLAZE We are grateful for our brothers and sisters in arms. Without them, we wouldn't be the world's greatest military. Add a photo of you and your siblings in the comments below.
Today we lost Retired U.S. Air Force Lt. Col. Richard “Dick” Cole at the age of 103. He was the last survivor of Doolittle Raid on Japan. Fly high, sir. Read more about his legacy here: https://bit.ly/2P2LqH9
#TeamBLAZE, Reminder that the South Gate will be closed to inbound and outbound traffic TODAY, April 9, from 9:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. due to maintenance needs. The Main Gate will operate as normal, and we apologize for any inconvenience.
Here's a #MotivationalMonday challenge for you: grab a few friends and sign up to compete in A-BLAZIN' Race! Do you have what it takes? Prove it. Click Link below to register! https://www.eventbrite.com/e/the-a-blazin-race-tickets-59552331627
#TeamBLAZE, The South Gate will be closed to inbound and outbound traffic on Tuesday, April 9, from 9:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. due to maintenance needs. The Main Gate will operate as normal, and we apologize for any inconvenience.
Team BLAZE was able to #connect with over 150 scouts from Boy Scouts of America last weekend. Click on the link to check out the story and learn more about their visit. #TeamBLAZE #Cultivate https://www.columbus.af.mil/News/Article-Display/Article/1806183/scouts-take-part-in-2-day-camporee-at-columbus-afb-connect-with-team-blaze/
#TeamBLAZE’s Military Children are a vital part of our mission and selflessly share their parents with the Air Force. Not to mention they are absolutely adorable! We salute you, Military Kids! #MOMC #PurpleUP #MilitaryChildren
#TBT Air Training Command relinquished Columbus AFB to Strategic Air Command’s Second Air Force on April 1, 1955, and the 4228th Air Base Squadron was organized.
BIG Congratulations to Ms. NaTerika Shellman who won the Mississippi Military Youth of the Year! Through her efforts, she has garnered over $5,000 in scholarship dollars and the opportunity to compete at the Boys and Girls Club of America Southeast Regional Level. NaTerika is just one of the many examples of how #MilitaryChildren continue to show outstanding character and leadership! #TeamBLAZE is proud of you, NaTerika! Columbus AFB Youth Center #MOMC #PurpleUP
FREE @msstate tix to this weekend’s Salute to Veterans football game @ MSU’s Davis Wade Stadium. Tix available for… https://t.co/9B9ifVwHvt
Team Blaze, A member of our team experienced a tragic loss today. As part of our family, I ask each of us to extend… https://t.co/ZrGayzaURB
Be sure to support our Airmen and watch The Warrior Games going on this week in Colorado Springs, CO! https://t.co/7BoOTtoVwn
Air Force T-38 Talon crashed around 8:30 a.m. today near Columbus AFB, MS. Both pilots ejected the aircraft safely.… https://t.co/yNrg68tDL8
Happening now: PACE Briefing "Professionalism: Enhancing Human Capital" at Kaye Auditorium from 1200-1700.
CAFB has 30 free tickets to the Comic & Toy Expo Aug. 13. Tickets available at 10am in Public Affairs, Wing HQ, Rm.210. 1st come 1st serve.
Vets Day parade cancelled for safety of participants due to weather. All are welcome to the Vets Ceremony at the Courthouse at 11 a.m.
The Main Gate has been reopened. Thank you for your patience.
Main Gate closed until further notice. All regular traffic please use the South Gate via highway 373.
The MSU vs. La Tech tickets have all been distributed.
CAFB has free tickets for the 17 Oct MSU-La Tech football game. Tickets will be available at 10 am in the Wg HQs lobby, 1st come, 1st serve.
CAFB Network and telephones inoperative UFN. Please stay off network until notified.
Normal reporting for CAFB on Friday, March 6. Contact your supervisor if reporting is not possible. Updates via txt msg, FB, recall & media.
Normal reporting for CAFB on Friday, Feb 27. Members who are unable to report at their expected time should contact their supervisor.
All CAFB Non-Emergency services will be closed Thur 26 Feb. Expect normal reporting Friday. Updates via Wing recall, Text Alerts & facebook
All CAFB Non-Emergency services will be closed Wed 25 Feb. Expect normal reporting Thursday. Updates via Wing recall, Text Alerts & Facebook
CAFB delayed report Tues: Mission essential personnel report per chain of command;14 MSG report at noon; MDG report at 12:30; WSA/OG at 1300
The tornado warning has expired.
Tornado warning in effect for Columbus. Seek shelter if you haven't already. http://t.co/7YStuIKZtW
MSU has donated tickets to CAFB for this Saturday's football game vs. Vanderbilt. The free tickets are available from your group exec.

Frequently Asked Questions

If your question relates specifically to Columbus Air Force Base, please see the questions below. If you have a question which is not addressed here, you may find the answer by visiting the Questions page of Air Education and Training Command, or the Questions page of Air Force Link. For general military questions, please refer to the Department of Defense's FAQs page.