Headquarters Second Air Force was originally established as Northwest Air District on 19 October, 1940 and was activated two months later on 18 December, 1940 at McChord Field Washington. Northwest Air District was later re-designated Second Air Force on 18 September, 1941. Throughout World War II, Vietnam and parts of the Cold War, Second Air Force was responsible for various bombardment and air defense missions. In 1975, during the post-Vietnam drawdown, the command was inactivated and its missions distributed to 8th and 15th Air Force in Strategic Air Command (SAC). Following the end of the Cold War Second Air Force was reassigned to Air Combat Command (ACC) on 1 June, 1992. On 1 July, 1993 Second Air Force was inactivated and activated again that same day at Keesler Air Force Base, Mississippi with a change of assignment to Air Education and Training Command (AETC). Its mission became conducting basic military and technical training for Air Force enlisted members and support officers at five wings Air Education and Training Command located at four training bases in the United States.
The command's mission is to build the Airmen we need for America's Air Force. The command trains, develops and inspires the world's premier Airmen in technical training, basic military training, medical and distance learning courses. Second Air Force is responsible for basic military training and technical training for 93% of the Air Force along with joint, and coalition forces at four major installations and 98 operating locations around the world. They also provide oversight and support to Airmen who complete expeditionary skills training prior to filling critical combatant commander deployments at forward operating locations all over the globe.
The first stop for all Air Force, Air National Guard and Air Force Reserve enlisted Airmen is Basic Military Training (BMT) at Joint Base San Antonio -Lackland, Texas. After completing BMT, Airmen begin technical training in their career field specialties, primarily at five wings located at four major installations: Goodfellow AFB, JBSA-Lackland and Sheppard Air Force bases in Texas; Keesler Air Force Base, Mississippi. Each base is responsible for a specific portion of the formal technical training Airmen require to accomplish the Air Force mission. Instructors conduct technical training in specialties such as aircraft maintenance, civil engineering, special warfare, medical services, cyber/computer systems, security forces, air traffic control, personnel, intelligence, firefighting, and space and missile operations.
Commissioned officers attend technical training courses for similar career fields at the same locations.