37th Training Wing (37 TRW)
The Gateway to the Air Force
Mission of the 37th Training Wing
Lackland AFB is home to the Air Force’s largest training wing: the 37th Training Wing (37 TRW). The 37 TRW “provides basic military, professional and technical skills, and English language training for the Air Force, other military services, government agencies, and our allies.”
The 37 TRW has a four-part mission:
− Basic Military Training of all Air Force and Air National Guard enlisted individuals
− Technical Training for numerous career fields
− English language training for international Defense Language Institute attendees
− Specialized maintenance and security training at Inter-American Air Forces Academy for Latin American students
More than 86,000 students graduate from these programs annually. The 37 TRW also supports over 70 other units.
History of the 37 TRW
The 37 TRW was originally created as the 37th Fighter-Bomber Wing in 1953. It was attached to Clovis AFB as part of the 9th AF, but was inactivated three months later. In 1966 it was reactivated, named the 37th Tactical Fighter Wing, and attached to Pacific Air Forces at Phu Cat AB in South Vietnam, becoming a part of the 7th AF. The wing was inactivated once again in 1970, but was reactivated in 1981 to be stationed at George AFB in California. It was equipped with the F-4G radar suppression aircraft, nicknamed “Wild Weasel.” The 37th Training Wing became the only one in the world that trained people on the Wild Weasel. The wing is accredited with winning the USAF Worldwide Fighter gunnery meet in 1985 and 1987.
In 1989, the wing gave the F-4G aircraft to the 35th TFW and transferred to Topah Test Range, NV where it was redesignated as the 12th AF. It took over the manpower and equipment of the 4450th Tactical Group and inherited the responsibility of the world's first Stealth fighter: the F-117A. The 37 TRW released the first bomb that began the invasion into Panama on December 20, 1989. The wing played key roles in Operation Desert Shield/Storm, flying interdiction missions and hitting high-value Iraqi targets. After Desert Storm, a segment of the 37th remained in Saudi Arabia as part of the Central Air Forces in Southwest Asia.
Inactivated in 1992 when the F-117 fighters left, the wing was renamed the 37th Training Wing and activated once more in 1993. The wing was assigned to the 2nd AF, AETC and relocated to Lackland AFB, Texas, where it replaced the former Lackland Training Center. In 1994, it gained the responsibility of the Inter-American Air Forces Academy.
37th Training Wing
The 37 TRW is the largest training wing in the AF. Since all enlisted members (active, reserve, and guard) begin their AF journey with BMT (Basic Military Training) in the 37th at Lackland, the base has been nicknamed the “Gateway to the Air Force.”