Goodfellow Air Force Base

Coordinates: 31°25′47″N 100°23′57″W / 31.42972°N 100.39917°W / 31.42972; -100.39917
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Goodfellow Air Force Base
San Angelo, Texas in United States of America
Airmen from the 312th Training Squadron extinguish a fire on a training module to demonstrate an aircraft incident at Goodfellow AFB.
Airmen from the 312th Training Squadron extinguish a fire on a training module to demonstrate an aircraft incident at Goodfellow AFB.
Goodfellow AFB is located in the United States
Goodfellow AFB
Goodfellow AFB
Shown in United States
Coordinates31°25′47″N 100°23′57″W / 31.42972°N 100.39917°W / 31.42972; -100.39917
TypeUS Air Force Base
Site information
OwnerDepartment of Defense
OperatorUS Air Force
Controlled byAir Education and Training Command (AETC)
Site history
Built1940 (1940)
In use1940 – present
Garrison information
Colonel Angelina Maguinness
Garrison17th Training Wing

Goodfellow Air Force Base is a nonflying United States Air Force base located in San Angelo, Texas, United States. As part of Air Education and Training Command, Goodfellow's main mission is cryptologic and intelligence training for the Air Force, Space Force, Army, Coast Guard, Navy, and Marine Corps. Military firefighters are also trained here as part of the 312th Training Squadron. It is the home of the 17th Training Wing. The base is named for World War I aviator First Lieutenant John J. Goodfellow Jr.


Goodfellow's history traces to the days before the attack on Pearl Harbor, but its name registered the valor and sacrifice of an earlier conflict. On 14 September 1918, First Lieutenant John J. Goodfellow Jr., of San Angelo, Texas, boarded his Salmson 2A2 observation plane at Gondreville Airfield in France to conduct visual reconnaissance behind enemy lines. The mission was part of a larger undertaking just underway, a major American offensive intended to reduce the German salient near Saint-Mihiel. Unfortunately, adverse weather permitted observation only at a low altitude that exposed the lumbering Salmson to enemy pursuit. Three days later, the offensive a success, the young pilot's remains were recovered from his ruined craft and interred at the St. Mihiel American Cemetery and Memorial near Nancy, Meurthe-et-Moselle.

World War II[edit]

Goodfellow Field 1943 Classbook

The peace that arrived two months later endured a mere two decades more. Constrained by neutrality legislation, but witness to the aggression across Europe, Africa, and Asia, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt began a program of preparedness that included the construction of facilities dedicated to advanced air training. Several such bases were envisioned for Texas and one, specifically, for the Fort Worth-Midland-San Angelo triangle. Civic leaders from San Angelo immediately commended their community to the U.S. War Department. A generous offer of sewage and electrical service, a railroad spur, and a 50-year lease on 640 acres (260 ha) at one dollar per year easily decided the issue.

Construction of the new San Angelo Air Corps Basic Flying School began at once. Officially established on 17 August 1940, the base was ready for occupancy by 21 January 1941, and the first classes of students soon arrived. On 11 June 1941, in dedication to a young hero and in tribute to the community that shaped him, the base was officially renamed Goodfellow Field.

In the next four years, more than 10,000 trained pilots were graduated, and many were decorated for outstanding heroism in action against Germany, Italy, and Japan.

United States Air Force[edit]

The Axis collapse did not remove the need for the Goodfellow training. Pilots continued to be trained there, primarily for large, multiengine piston and turboprop aircraft, first on the AT-6 Texan, the T-28 Trojan, and then, beginning in 1954, on the twin-engine TB-25 and B-25 Mitchell. The 3545th Basic Pilot Training Wing gave pilot instruction from 1948.[1] On 3 September 1958, with nearly 20,000 aviators to its credit, Goodfellow graduated its last class of pilots. Air Training Command (ATC) was transitioning to new Cessna T-37 Tweet and Northrop T-38 Talon aircraft for Undergraduate Pilot Training that required minimum 8000-ft (2400-m) runway lengths, far longer than Goodfellow's 5500-ft primary runways.

With the transfer of the base from ATC to the U.S. Air Force Security Service (USAFSS), Goodfellow's mission became the training of Air Force personnel in the advanced cryptologic skills that the Security Service required. After the changeover, the 6940th Air Base Wing administered the base and later, after a name change, provided decryption training.[1] Eight years later, in 1966, the mission expanded further to include joint-service training in these same skills for U.S. Army, U.S. Navy, and U.S. Marine Corps personnel.

Although flight operations at Goodfellow decreased dramatically after 1958, minimal activities continued with both transient aircraft and locally based Cessna U-3 Administrators (1958–1971), DeHavilland U-6 Beavers (1960–1966), Piasecki H-21, CH-21, and HH-21 Workhorse helicopters (1958–1966), and Cessna O-2 Skymasters (1972–1975). Goodfellow's runways were permanently closed in March 1975.[2]

After 38 years of pilot and then intelligence training, Goodfellow's mission had apparently come to a close with the announcement in 1978 that the base would revert to ATC and was a candidate for closure. Since it was a single-mission facility, its mission could perhaps be executed more economically elsewhere. Nevertheless, the 3480th Technical Training Wing of Air Training Command was activated at the base on 1 July 1978.[3] On 3 January 1984 the wing gained the suffix USAF Cryptological Training Center.

By then, senior intelligence personnel had already begun seriously to contemplate the consolidation of all Air Force-managed intelligence training at one location. The site selected for intelligence training consolidation was Goodfellow, and the base was designated a technical training center on 1 March 1985. The Goodfellow Technical Training Center continued to supervise the 3480th Technical Training Wing.

During the next three years, intelligence training consolidation brought to Goodfellow advanced imagery training from Offutt Air Force Base, Nebraska; electronic intelligence operations training from Keesler Air Force Base, Mississippi; and targeting, intelligence applications, and general intelligence training from Lowry Air Force Base, Colorado, as a result of Lowry's identification for closure under Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC). The successful completion of intelligence training consolidation on 30 June 1988 further facilitated the development of intelligence training integration, a multidisciplinary approach to the training of intelligence professionals.

In 1992, as part of Air Force size reductions, ATC was inactivated, replaced by the Air Education and Training Command, which became base's "parent" major command. The 3480 Technical Training Wing was reduced to the 3480 Technical Training Group on 1 February 1992 and then redesignated as the 391 Technical Training Group on 15 September 1992.[4]

On 1 July 1993, the 17th Training Wing was activated on Goodfellow AFB. With the change in name came a marked diversification and increase in Goodfellow's mission. Base Realignment and Closure rounds one and two transferred special instruments training from the former Lowry AFB and fire protection training from the former Chanute Air Force Base, Illinois, to Goodfellow. To support the increased training load, Goodfellow underwent extensive modernization and growth. With new training facilities, dormitories, dining halls, a commissary,[5] a youth center, and a physical fitness center.

On February 18, 1995 Louis Jones Jr., kidnapped Private Tracie McBride from Goodfellow AFB before raping and murdering her.[6]

Based units[edit]

These flying and notable nonflying units are based at Goodfellow Air Force Base.[7]

Units marked GSU are geographically separate units, which although based at Goodfellow, are subordinate to a parent unit based at another location.


These are some of the facilities at Goodfellow AFB:

  • Dining facilities
Western Winds
  • Recreation facilities
Gymnasiums (2)
Swimming pools (2)
Bowling alley
Movie theater
Base library
  • Several dormitories
  • Goodfellow AFB Library
  • Crossroads Chapel fellowship center
  • Army, Navy, and Marine Corps tenant units
  • Angelo Inn billeting
  • Louis F. Garland Fire Academy
  • Lakeside Recreation Center at Lake Nasworthy
  • Ross Medical Clinic

Amateur radio restrictions[edit]

The US Code of Federal Regulations specifies that amateur radio operators within 200 kilometers of Goodfellow must not transmit with more than 50 watts of power on the 70-centimeter band.[8]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Mueller 1989, pp. 193–198.
  2. ^ "Abandoned & Little-Known Airfields: Texas, Western Abilene area".
  3. ^ "17 Training Group (AETC)". Air Force Historical Research Agency. Retrieved 2022-08-14.
  4. ^ "17 Training Group (AETC)". Air Force Historical Research Agency. Retrieved 2022-08-14.
  5. ^ - Goodfellow AFB Commissary
  6. ^ "Court upholds death penalty in Jones' murder conviction." Lubbock Avalanche-Journal. Wednesday, June 23, 1999. Retrieved on July 17, 2016.
  7. ^ "Units". Goodfellow AFB. Retrieved 21 July 2019.
  8. ^ "47 CFR §2.106 - Footnote US270". Retrieved 2023-04-26.

External links[edit]