Military City - San Antonio
San Antonio is also known as "Military City USA" due to the very strong presence of local service members and military installations. The strong relationship between San Antonio and the U.S. Military goes back to mid-1800's when the Army was engaged in battles with Indians across the region. All branches of the military participate in activities and events in the city as well as being very instrumental in the economic success of San Antonio.
Fort Sam Houston
Headquartered at Fort Sam Houston is the Fifth U.S. Army, recently renamed "Army North" and is home to more than 27,000 personnel, military and civilian. The post covers more than 3,000 acres north of downtown San Antonio. Fort Sam Houston is also part of the Army's medical training command where Brooke Army Medical Center (BAMC) handles the training of 25,000 people annually. BAMC is nationally recognized as the premier hospital for burn treatment and is part of the San Antonio Military Medical Center (SAMMC-North) along with Wilford Hall. The military post is one of the oldest Army bases in the U.S. with more historical buildings and landmarks than all of colonial Williamsburg. Although the base was fairly accessible prior to 9/11, it can still be entered but through fewer gates. One of the many attractions on post is the Fort Sam Houston Quadrangle. Fort Sam Houston has a great relationship with the city of San Antonio and is a primary military installation for the mission of the U.S. Armed Forces.
Randolph Air Force Base
Air Force pilot training is the focus of the Randolph mission and while the base has a large contingency of support personnel, the pilots at Randolph AFB are primarily here in San Antonio for training. The Air Education and Training Command (AETC) is headquartered at Randolph AFB and is the primary training vehicle for both instructor pilots as well as officer pilot training. Most all pilots serving in today's Air Force have spent time in a training capacity at Randolph. The Air Force base is located on the north east side of San Antonio in the town of Universal City, a suburb of San Antonio home to many Air Force and military personnel.
Lackland Air Force Base
Lackland is the only entry recruit training facility in the U.S. Air Force. All enlisted military personnel in the Air Force go through Lackland. At any one time, Lackland will have 6,000 recruits going through basic training prior to enlisted assignment in the Air Force. Lackland, like other San Antonio military bases, is not very accessible for visitors and sightseers. Only people with official business on the base are allowed access. The 59th Medical Wing of the Air Force is headquartered at Lackland's Wilford Hall Medical Center and is the largest medical facility in the Air Force. Wilford Hall, along with Brooke Army Medical Center is part of the San Antonio Military Medical Center known as SAMMC-South. Located on the west side of San Antonio, Lackland AFB is home to over 120 units and has close to a 2 billion dollar impact on the San Antonio economy.
Kelly Air Force Base/Kelly Field
Sharing property with Lackland Air Force Base is Kelly AFB which is now a semi-functional Air Force base that was a victim of the Base Realignment and Closure Commission's activities in 1995. Kelly is now functioning in support of the Air Force as well as serving in other vital support capacities for the city of San Antonio and the military. In early 1998, Boeing announced that Kelly Field would be a major aerospace support facility for the company. Today, Kelly Field is an extremely busy military aircraft repair base for large aircraft such as cargo and refueling planes used in the Air Force. Along with Boeing's presence, the support and supply roles vendors have makes Kelly Field a hugely successful economic contributor to the economy of south Texas as well as maintaining a strong military presence in the military city of San Antonio.
Brooks AFB/Brooks City Base
The name Brooks City Base was derived from the its predecessor, Brooks Air Force Base. Brooks City Base is the joint venture between the the city of San Antonio and the Air Force. Brooks maintains its status as an Air Force Base by leasing the base infrastructure from the city of San Antonio and is home to the 311th human systems wing. The Air Force uses Brooks as a medical training facility but was once a fully functional Air Force base with runways and flight operations until 1961, when the last plane left Brooks. Although Brooks is much smaller in size and stature compared to other military bases across the country, it still plays a vital role in the mission of the Air Force, training over 5,000 aeromedical personnel each year.
The Texas hill country just north of San Antonio is home to the Army training ground of Camp Bullis. As it's called by most, "Bullis" is a huge military reservation covering close to 30,000 acres with thick, cedar-wooded rolling hills that host training exercises for all branches of the nation's military, not just the Army. Camp Bullis plays a primary role in the training of field medics for the army but is also instrumental in military field exercise training and combat preparation.