Laughlin Air Force Base, Texas is a large training facility in Del Rio, Texas which falls under Air Education and Training Command (AETC). Roughly two and a half hours from San Antonio, Texas, Laughlin is said to be the largest pilot training facility in the United States Air Force.
Find information about Laughlin AFB including the main commercial and DSN numbers for the base, information on basic services, base transportation, lodging for TDY and PCSing personnel, and in processing.
Mission & Units
Working under the jurisdiction of Air Education And Training Command, Laughlin AFB, Texas is described on the official site operating as “One wing, One mission”, which is to train “combat ready Airmen, leaders and pilots”.
The mission of Laughlin AFB includes training pilots across a variety of missions of the United States Air Force, Air Force Reserve, and the Air National Guard. Laughlin also trains allied nation air forces in similar operations.
Important missions and units at Laughlin AFB include:
- 47th Flying Training Wing
- Air Education And Training Command
- 434th Flying Training Squadron
- 85th Flying Training Squadron
- 86th Flying Training Squadron
- 87th Flying Training Squadron
- 47th Force Support Group
- 47th Medical Group
- 47th Mission Support Group
Laughlin AFB got its start in 1943 as Laughlin Army Airfield, named after A B-17 Flying Fortress pilot. The base was responsible for B-26 training for both pilots and crews, and like so many other bases that opened during World War Two, it was closed in 1945 once the immediate wartime need ended. Seven years later, the base was reopened and began training pilots and crews for service in the Korean War.
Flight training has factored into the entire history of the Air Force Base in Del Rio. During the Cold War era Laughlin was placed under Strategic Air Command in 1957. U2 spy planes flying missions out of Laughlin got some of the earliest photo surveillance of Soviet missile sites.
Starting in 1961, Air Training Command would begin an undergraduate pilot training program at the base, accepting students from Laredo AFB, Texas and activating a pilot training wing to begin training students on T-37 and T-33 trainer aircraft. In modern times, Laughlin AFB includes training on the T-6A Texan II, the T-38C Talon and T-1A Jayhawk. Some 15 pilot training classes are held each year graduating some 20 pilots each.
Main Address And Phone Number
Official Mail Center (OMC)
140 Alabama Ave
Laughlin AFB, TX 78843
- DSN 312-732-4310
Important Contact Numbers
- 24-hour Check-in Point (830) 298-5741
- 7th Medical Group (830) 298-6333
- Air Force Aid Society (830) 298-5620
- Aircraft Accidents (830) 298-5167
- Airman & Family Readiness Center (830) 298-5620
- American Red Cross (877) 272-7337
- Central Appointments, 47th Medical Group (830) 298-6333
- Child Development Center (830) 298-5419
- Emergency 911
- Family Child Care (830) 298-5790
- Family Support Center (830) 298-5620
- Finance (830) 298-5215
- Health Benefits Advisor/TRICARE (800) 444-5445
- Housing Office (830) 298-5732
- Inbound TMO (830) 298-5189
- Legal Office (830) 298-5172
- Library (830) 298-5119
- Lodging Office (Laughlin Manor) (830) 298-5731
- Military Personnel Flight (830) 298-5276
- Office Mail Center (830) 298-4310
- Relocation Assistance (830) 298-5620
- School Liaison Officer (830) 298-4788
- Sexual Assault and Prevention Response (830) 298-3434
- Suicide Prevention Hotline (800) 273-8255
- Taxi Dispatch (official use) (830) 298-5763
Laughlin AFB is about eight miles from Del Rio, which is a Texas city within reasonable driving distances of San Antonio, Texas and Austin. These two major metropolitan areas feature professional sports, plenty of live music, Tex-Mex cuisine, local craft breweries, and a very popular indie film culture.
But Del Rio is also very close to the border with Mexico and as such provides many opportunities to cross the border, discover another culture, and learn about the arts, culture, and society of our neighbors to the south.
Del Rio has a population of roughly 50,000, is considered an active military community, and the city has the distinction of being the home of the famous 1960s-era personality Wolfman Jack.
Whitehead Memorial Museum manages a group of historic buildings open for daily tours, and you should also see Amistad National Recreation Area, home to a lake that is bisected by the U.S./Mexico border. There are many miles of shoreline, fishing, and outdoor recreation possibilities.
Inprocessing and Check-In
Some bases conduct mass in-processing or group check-ins. At Laughlin AFB your check-in and in-processing are done on an individual basis at the Military Personnel Element (MPE) Customer Service Office, 427 Liberty Drive, Building 246. Call (830) 298-5165 for more information or directions from the front gate.
When inprocessing as a permanent party airman or non-TDY troops, bring all personnel, medical, and financial records to your in-processing appointment.
In processing for those who are in student or trainee status or who are coming to the base on TDY orders include pre-inprocessing at the base Transition Office. The 47th Student Squadron Transition Office is located in Building 320, Room A133. Call them at 830-298-5211 for additional information, directions, and in-processing times.
At Laughlin, the 47th Medical Group provides an outpatient clinic with primary and specialty care options for TRICARE beneficiaries. Services include:
- Clinical Psychology
- Family Advocacy
- Family Health
- Family Medicine
- Health Promotion
- Mental Health
- Occupational Health
Val Verde Regional Medical Center is another option in the area. This facility is described as a Joint Commission-accredited Level IV Trauma Center. Contact them at 830-775-8566. Before deciding which option might work best for you, contact your TRICARE rep to see what the most current services offered on-and-off-base are.
Child care services at Laughlin are provided by the Child Development Center, offering care for children ages six weeks to five years. Due to demand, waiting lists may apply depending on when you arrive. Call the CDC at 830-298-5419 for more information.
All inbound airmen PCSing to Laughlin should visit MilitaryChildCare.com to use a specially designed search engine built to help military parents locate childcare options in the area.
To obtain CDC care, parents must complete AF Form 1181 (Air Force Youth Flight Program Patron Registration), provide an Allergy Identification Memo, plus complete a Video Authorization and Allergy for CDC Patrons memo and other required documents.
All inbound PCSing airmen headed to Laughlin AFB are directed to track and manage their household goods shipments via the Defense Personal Property System at Move.mil. You can also call the Laughlin AFB Inbound TMO office at 830-298-5189 or DSN 312-732-5388.
Dependent And Retiree ID Card Renewal, Replacement, New Issue
Appointments for all ID card services must be made via the Laughlin AFB RAPIDS system. If you need services, be aware that Laughlin AFB procedures now include a description of ID cards that are no longer acceptable as proof of ID for getting new, updated, or replacement ID cards:
- Student ID
- Expired ID of any kind including active duty drivers’ licenses
- Veterans Identification Card (VIC)
If you are 10 minutes late or more, your appointment is downgraded to a walk-in. Walk-in services may be subject to long delays due to demand and mission requirements.
School-age children living on-base will attend classes in the San Felipe Del Rio Consolidated Independent School District. School attendance for those living off-base will depend on location. There are two other school districts in the area where Laughlin AFB families may send their children:
- Comstock Independent School District (K-12th)
- Brackett Independent School District (K-12th)
For more information including the most up-to-date transfer and immunization requirements, call the Laughlin AFB School Liaison Officer at 830-298-4788.
On-base housing at Laughlin AFB is privatized and operated by Hunt Companies. All personnel are directed to visit the Laughlin Family Housing website to start the signup process for base housing.
Those who wish to reside off-base are required to in-process and/or check-in with the Military Housing Office before entering into any rental or purchase agreement in the local community.
Unaccompanied Housing is offered to those between the ranks of E1 and E3, plus E4s who have less than three years of military service. Those who are unaccompanied but have more time in service and/or higher rank should contact the Military Housing Office to see what options are currently offered for off-base or on-base housing.
PCS and TDY Lodging
Temporary lodging at Laughlin AFB may be difficult to come by. If you are PCSing or coming to Laughlin on TDY orders you should make reservations as far ahead in advance as possible (reservations are accepted 60 days in advance) by calling the Laughlin Manor at 830-298-5741. There is very limited help for those traveling with pets. It’s best to call ahead to see what requirements currently apply to book a pet-friendly room.
If you need to stay in commercial lodging off-base you will need to get a certificate of non-availability from Laughlin Manor or you won’t be reimbursed for the off-base expenses when filing your travel voucher.
The usual ride-sharing and commercial transportation options may be available from the nearest major airport, San Angelo International. Keep in mind that San Angelo is roughly 140 miles from the base and all inbound personnel should contact their sponsor from the gaining unit or request one to discuss travel arrangements once you arrive.
Transportation on-base should be arranged with base Vehicle Dispatch for official business. There are local taxi services but there may be issues with getting access to the main base–call ahead to check current requirements at 830-298-5100.
Vehicle Registration And Driver’s License
Those who arrive in Texas with a valid driver’s license from anywhere else in the United States are not required to get a Texas license or add Texas plates to their vehicles. Laughlin AFB requires you to register your vehicle on base, pay for the required insurance minimums, and carry military ID at all times.
All Texas motor vehicle laws apply at Laughlin AFB including restrictions on cell phone use, requirements to use seat belts and other safety equipment, etc.