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Columbus Air Force Base

Team BLAZE

Team BLAZE

Mission 

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 "Train World Class Pilots." The wing's mission focuses on 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. 

History 

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. 

Demographics
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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Don’t miss out! Join Colonel Seth Graham, 14th FTW Commander, and CMSgt Trevor James, 14th FTW Command Chief, for the Columbus AFB Virtual Town Hall TOMORROW at 5 p.m! Be sure to submit any questions you have at the link below! https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1sY_ygqhcCtdEftA5P8hP9XEtj1WDuJnLYY_hgFiRf0A/edit #connect #cultivate #townhall #virtual #aetc
REMINDER! Don’t miss out! Join Colonel Seth Graham, 14th FTW Commander, and CMSgt Trevor James, 14th FTW Command Chief, for the Columbus AFB Virtual Town Hall! Be sure to submit any questions you have at the link below! https://forms.gle/RmtwCcW7wS3FmtTc7 #connect #cultivate #townhall #virtual #aetc
Don't miss out on these upcoming resiliency events being held by the Air Force Wounded Warrior page! Next week will be full of opportunities to tune in! #AFW2 #WounderWarrior #USAF #Connect #Resilience
Congrats to the newest pilots in the U.S. Air Force! After over a year of training thesse students will go to their next assignments to continue their journey! #SUPT #PilotTraining #graduation #Cultivate #Create #CONNECT
Don’t miss out! Join Colonel Seth Graham, 14th FTW Commander, and CMSgt Trevor James, 14th FTW Command Chief, for the Columbus AFB Virtual Town Hall! Be sure to submit any questions you have at the link below! https://forms.gle/RmtwCcW7wS3FmtTc7 #connect #cultivate #townhall #virtual #aetc
Don’t miss out! Join Colonel Seth Graham, 14th FTW Commander, and CMSgt Trevor James, 14th FTW Command Chief, for the Columbus AFB Virtual Town Hall! Be sure to submit any questions you have at the link below! https://forms.gle/RmtwCcW7wS3FmtTc7 #connect #cultivate #townhall #virtual #aetc
In light of recent rises in COVID-19 cases, it is important to remain vigilant and cautious. Please don’t forget to take a look at the most recent CDC guidelines. Stay safe! #COVID19 #Safety
What is P.I.T? Take a look! This article shows Col. Seth Graham, 14th Flying Training Wing commander, going through the coursework required for Instructor Pilots! #PIT #UPT #Connect #Cultivate
Here are some Wednesday Words of Encouragement from Chaplain Walker this week! Set the example in your life, make a point to be the leader that you would look up to. #chaplaincorps #WednesdayWordsofEncouragement #WWE
This morning Colonel David Fazenbaker, 14th FTW Vice Commander, and CMSgt Trevor James, 14th FTW Command Chief, went out to personally congratulate the Below The Zone Airmen! Congratulations! #Connect #Cultivate #BTZ
It's more than just a job. Check out this awesome video put together by the United States Air Force! #Cultivate #Connect #USAF
If you ever need school help or information when youre getting ready to PCS or deploy be sure to check with your SLO! #School #PCS #Deployment
With tomorrow being an Air Education and Training Command Family Day, please be sure to take a look at this updated guidance and be safe this weekend! #FamilyDay #Safety
The Air Force’s “Singing Sergeants” band collaborated with Lee Greenwood and Home Free for a special performance of one of America’s most iconic songs – just in time for the 4th of July! #SingingSergeants #USAF Lee Greenwood Home Free #Connect
"To the Men and Women of the Air and Space Forces, This Nation was born 244 years ago from the idea that the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness applies to every citizen. The Department of the Air Force strives to uphold this principle for all who serve. We ask that you take a moment to reflect on what it means to be equal and operate in an environment built on mutual respect. Every one of you is valued for what you bring to the team—diversity makes us stronger. This Independence Day we hope you feel recognized and honored. As we celebrate our liberty and freedoms, we must remember and support those who protect them. For this, we thank each of you. For those standing watch in forward locations, you are in our thoughts and we wish you a safe return to your friends and loved ones. We proudly serve beside you and wish you and your families a happy and safe Independence Day." CMSAF Kaleth O. Wright Gen. David L. Goldfein Gen John W. Raymond Senior Enlisted Advisor U.S. Space Force #SECAF #IndependenceDay #Freedom #Connect
REMINDER: BLAZEFEST FIREWORKS ARE TONIGHT!! You and your family are invited to view the 20-minute fireworks show on Friday, 3 July, at 9 pm to celebrate America’s Independence Day. Please remember that social distancing and wearing masks during the fireworks display is highly recommended. So sit in your car or bring your chairs, scope out a spot for you and your family, and enjoy the show! You can also watch the fireworks Live on Facebook @ColumbusAFB. The majority of the show will be between 300’ to 600’ with some moments of the show at 150’ to 200’. With a clear line of site viewers should be able to see a good portion of the show up to 1 mile. See viewing area attached and below. Updated parking and gate information: • Back gate will be open from 8:30 pm - 10 pm • SFS has provided the attached map. It shows roads that will be closed and parking areas. Happy 4th of July and Stay Safe! #July4th #IndependenceDay #BLAZEFest #Fireworks #Connect
The 14th Flying Training Wing's commander, Col. Seth Graham, recently finished his Pilot Instructor Training and is returning to Columbus AFB. Learn about what he and all other Instructor pilots have to accomplish in order to train the worlds best aviators! #PIT #14FTW #AETC
Team Blaze don't miss your chance to raise your voice and participate in the upcoming Diversity and Inclusion senio… https://t.co/JQ5YT8pCgv
Hey Columbus, your local @shopmyexchange Barber shop will be opening at 9:30 a.m. today.
We're attending the 2020 Defense Information School Social Media Forum. RT if you think others will find this hel… https://t.co/SwJw5DcY3L
Last chance to set your alarms for the Virtual Wings Over Columbus Air Show! It'll be running from 9am to 3pm tomor… https://t.co/2OQ0qrPCZc
If you missed it on Facebook, check out our flyer! Columbus AFB has gone virtual for Wings Over Columbus this Frida… https://t.co/gTCaMUWr7r
Definitely a very cool shot of the T-38 here at Columbus AFB! This among other aircraft are crucial to our mission… https://t.co/6X2z7py4FB
Our current focus is on early prudent steps to slow the spread of COVID-19 and the safety of our Airmen, families a… https://t.co/7vLcw6J4MY
Don't miss out on the air show! We are going to have plenty of performers, so be sure to check out the updated list… https://t.co/dVMLERO5YN
We hope everyone is ready for @jettrucks to stop by with the Aftershock Jet Truck for Wings Over Columbus! We can't… https://t.co/zmXycTmFDa
We're looking forward to seeing the @A10DemoTeam come to Columbus AFB April 25-26th! We hope everyone is getting re… https://t.co/aKy5eKT82F
Get ready! Wings Over Columbus will be here before you know it...and so will the @AFThunderbirds! Save the date! A… https://t.co/299Nz8AMTi
We hope everyone is getting ready for Wings Over Columbus 2020! The @AFThunderbirds and many others will be coming… https://t.co/BfRVVXCHSA
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.

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.