12th Flying Training Wing

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12th Flying Training Wing
12th Flying Training Wing T-6A Texan II[note 1]
Active1950–1958; 1962–1971; 1972–present
Country United States
Branch United States Air Force
RoleFlying Training
Part ofAir Education and Training Command
Garrison/HQRandolph Air Force Base
EngagementsVietnam War
DecorationsPresidential Unit Citation
Air Force Outstanding Unit Award with Combat "V" Device
Air Force Outstanding Unit Award
Republic of Vietnam Gallantry Cross with Palm[1]
Col. Taylor Ferrell
Vice commanderCol. Matthew L. Collins
Command ChiefCCM Joseph A. Stuart
Nicholas Kehoe
Lloyd W. Newton
12th Flying Training Wing emblem[note 2][1]

The 12th Flying Training Wing is a United States Air Force unit assigned to Air Education and Training Command's Nineteenth Air Force. It is headquartered at Joint Base San Antonio, Texas. The wing is the parent organization for the 479th Flying Training Group, located at NAS Pensacola, Florida and the 306th Flying Training Group, at The United States Air Force Academy, Colorado. The 12th Wing is the only unit in the Air Force conducting both pilot instructor training and combat systems officer training.

The wing fought in combat as the 12th Tactical Fighter Wing during the Vietnam War and was the host unit at two major air bases in South Vietnam. Its McDonnell Douglas F-4 Phantom II aircraft flew thousands of combat missions between 1965 and 1971 before being withdrawn as part of the U.S. withdrawal from Vietnam and Southeast Asia.

The current commander of the 12th Flying Training Wing is Colonel Scott Rowe. The current Command Chief Master Sergeant is Chief Master Sergeant Joseph A. Stuart.


The wing consists of three flying groups and a maintenance directorate spanning more than 1,600 miles from JBSA-Randolph, Texas to Naval Air Station Pensacola, Florida, to Pueblo Memorial Airport and the U.S. Air Force Academy in Colorado.[citation needed]

The 12th Operations Group controls all Instructor Pilot Training and airfield operations at Randolph AFB and Randolph AFB Auxiliary Field/Seguin Field.

The 479th Flying Training Group is a geographically separated unit located at Naval Air Station Pensacola, Florida and conducts Undergraduate Combat Systems Officer Training.

The 306th Flying Training Group is a geographically separated unit located at the United States Air Force Academy, Colorado. The 306 FTG conducts powered flight training, soaring, and parachute training for Air Force Academy cadets.


The wing was first organized at Turner Air Force Base, Georgia on 1 November 1950 as the 12th Fighter-Escort Wing, but moved a month later to Bergstrom Air Force Base, Texas.[1]

The wing was reactivated as the 12th Tactical Fighter Wing and organized in April 1962 at MacDill Air Force Base, Florida.[1] It then fought in Vietnam during the American War with the Seventh Air Force.

Vietnam War[edit]

On 8 November 1965 the wing was assigned to Cam Ranh Bay Air Base, South Vietnam.[2]: 27  The 12th TFW was the first permanently assigned F-4 Phantom II wing assigned to Southeast Asia. Operational squadrons of the wing at Cam Ranh were:

From Cam Ranh Bay AB the wing carried out close air support, interdiction and combat air patrol activities over South Vietnam, North Vietnam and Laos.[3]: 87 

On 31 March 1970, as part of the Vietnamization process the wing was reassigned without personnel or equipment to Phù Cát Air Base taking over the assets of the inactivated 37th Tactical Fighter Wing.[2]: 65  On 17 November 1971 the 12th TFW was inactivated.[2]: 27 

Flying Training[edit]

The wing was redesignated the 12th Flying Training Wing and activated on 1 May 1972, when the personnel, mission and equipment of the 3510th Flying Training Wing were assumed by the wing, while the 3510th was simultaneously inactivated[1]

In 1992, due to the impending closure of Mather Air Force Base, California, the 12 FTW also assumed responsibility for Undergraduate Navigator Training (UNT) and Interservice Undergraduate Navigator Training (IUNT) from the 323d Flying Training Wing (323 FTW) at Mather when that organization inactivated, with most T-43A aircraft and some of the 323 FTW squadrons reforming at Randolph AFB under the 12 FTW. In 2009, with the transition of UNT to undergraduate Combat Systems Officer training (UCSOT) and pursuant to earlier Base Realignment and Closure Commission (BRAC) directives, the 12 FTW established a new organization, the 479th Flying Training Group (479 FTG), with two new flying training squadrons and an operations support squadron, as a GSU at Naval Air Station Pensacola, Florida. Although NAS Pensacola is the principal base for student Naval Flight Officer (SNFO) training for the U.S. Navy and U.S. Marine Corps, the 479 FTG operates independently of this program with its own USAF T-6 Texan II and T-1 Jayhawk aircraft. Upon establishment of the 479 FTG at NAS Pensacola, the remaining "legacy" navigator training squadrons that had relocated from the former Mather AFB to Randolph AFB in 1992 were inactivated.

In the second decade of the 21st century, the wing's mission is to provide instructor pilot training in the Raytheon-Beech T-6A Texan II, the Northrop T-38 Talon and the Beech T-1A Jayhawk jet trainers.[citation needed] Previously, the wing also conducted Introduction to Fighter Fundamentals (IFF) in the Northrop AT-38 Talon, a role now performed with T-38s.[citation needed]

Until late 2010, the wing also conducted Joint Specialized Undergraduate Navigator Training (JSUNT) and electronic warfare officer (EWO) training in the T-1A Jayhawk and Boeing T-43A medium-range turbofan jet at Randolph AFB. With the retirement of the T-43 in September 2010, this training merged with extant USAF weapons systems officer (WSO) training that had been conducted jointly with the U.S. Navy and U.S. Marine Corps at Naval Air Station Pensacola, Florida since 1990. The navigator, EWO and WSO training tracks were then merged and all three specialties (which wear the same type of uniform insignia wings upon completion of flight training) became known as Combat Systems Officer (CSO). This updated CSO training is now conducted by the 479th Flying Training Group as a Geographically Separated Unit (GSU) of the 12 FTW at NAS Pensacola utilizing T-6 Texan II and T-1A Jayhawk aircraft.[4]

The wing is responsible for numerous aviation training programs. These programs include Pilot Instructor Training, Combat Systems Officer Training, Remotely Piloted Aircraft Pilot Indoctrination, Basic Sensor Operator Qualification, Airmanship programs for U.S. Air Force Academy cadets, and Introductory Flight Screening.


  • Established as the 12th Fighter-Escort Wing on 27 October 1950
Activated on 1 November 1950
Redesignated 12th Strategic Fighter Wing on 20 January 1953
Redesignated 12th Fighter-Day Wing on 1 July 1957
Inactivated on 8 January 1958
  • Redesignated 12th Tactical Fighter Wing, and activated, on 17 April 1962 (not organized)
Organized on 25 April 1962
Inactivated on 17 November 1971
  • Redesignated 12th Flying Training Wing on 22 March 1972
Activated on 1 May 1972[1]



  • 12th Air Base Group (later 12th Combat Support Group, 12th Support Group, 12th Mission Support Group): 1 November 1950 – 6 August 1951, 14 February 1952 – 16 June 1952, 8 Novemb er 1965 – 17 November 1971; 1 May 1972 – 1 August 2009
  • 12th Fighter-Escort Group (later 12th Operations Group): 1 November 1950 – 16 June 1952; 15 December 1991 – present[1]
  • 12th Maintenance & Supply Group (later 12th Logistics Group, 12th Maintenance Group): 1 November 1950 – 10 February 1951, 14 February 1952 – 16 June 1952; 15 December 1991 – 18 May 2004; 2 January 2017 – present
  • 306th Flying Training Group: 1 June 2012 – present[1]
  • 479th Flying Training Group: 2 October 2009 – present[1]



  • USAF Navigator School: 14 May 1993 – Nov 2010
    • Assumed role from inactivated 323rd Flying Training Wing
    • Role assumed by 479th Flying Training Group as a GSU of 12 FTW, Nov 2010
      • USAF Navigators now known as USAF Combat Systems Officers


  • Turner Air Force Base, Georgia, 1 November 1950
  • Bergstrom Air Force Base, Texas, 5 December 1950 – 8 January 1958
  • MacDill Air Force Base, Florida, 25 April 1962 – 31 October 1965
  • Cam Ranh AB, South Vietnam, 8 November 1965
  • Phù Cát Air Base, South Vietnam, 31 March 1970 – 17 November 1971
  • Randolph AFB, Texas, 1 May 1972–present
    • Additional GSU at NAS Pensacola, Florida, November 2009–present
    • Additional GSU at USAF Academy, Colorado, July 2013 – present




Explanatory notes
  1. ^ Aircraft is Raytheon T-6A Texan II, serial 06-3830
  2. ^ Approved 15 March 1963, based on emblem approved for the 12th Operations Group on 3 February 1942.
  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m Robertson, Patsy (19 June 2017). "Factsheet 12 Flying Training Wing (AETC)". Air Force Historical Research Agency. Retrieved 9 July 2021.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h Ravenstein, Charles A. (1984). Air Force Combat Wings, Lineage & Honors Histories 1947-1977 (PDF). Office of Air Force History. ISBN 0-912799-12-9.Public Domain This article incorporates text from this source, which is in the public domain.
  3. ^ a b c d e Schlight, John (1999). The United States Air Force in Southeast Asia: The War in South Vietnam The Years of the Offensive 1965–1968 (PDF). Office of Air Force History. ISBN 9780912799513.Public Domain This article incorporates text from this source, which is in the public domain.
  4. ^ Air Force Times, 22 November 2010, p. 20


Public Domain This article incorporates public domain material from the Air Force Historical Research Agency.

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