Kelly AFB, Texas
oldest base in Air force
San Antonio Air Logistics Center (SAALC), Munitiions storage
B-29, B-36, B-47, B-58
Kelly Air Force Base was the first permanent military airfield in Texas and is probably the oldest continuously operating base in the Air Force. It is named in honor of Lieutenant George E.M. Kelly, who crashlanded at Fort Sam Houston in 1911 and became the first American military aviator to lose his life while piloting a military aircraft.
Kelly Field originated in November 1916, when the "Father of Military Aviation," Captain Benjamin Foulois, selected the site for the expanding activities of the Aviation Flying Section of the US Army Signal Corps. During World War I, Kelly Field served as a reception and testing center for recruits and as a training center for pilots, mechanics, cooks, and bakers, as well as engineering and supply officers. Most American World War I flyers trained or were processed at Kelly Field. During World War II, Kelly developed into a huge industrial complex that stored and distributed material and modified or repaired aircraft, engines, and related equipment. These adjustments marked the start of a distinct shift in Kelly's mission, which, over the next 40 years, expanded into a worldwide logistics and support capability.
Kelly Field was renamed Kelly Air Force Base in 1948 after the Air Force became a separate branch of the Armed Services. Throughout the years that followed, the San Antonio Air Material Area (SAAMA) based at Kelly continued to expand its responsibilities. Kelly maintained such aircraft as the B29, B36, B47 and B58 bombers, numerous types of fighters including the F102 and F106, and various cargo planes. The SAAMA evolved into today's San Antonio Air Logistics Center, which handles over 50 percent of the Air Force's engine inventory, all Air Force nuclear ordnance, the aerospace fuels used by the Air Force and NASA, and over 240,000 stock items. The key missions performed at SA-ALC include managing and maintaining the airframes and engines of the military's largest cargo aircraft, the C-5; managing and maintaining the F100 engines that power the Air Force's top two tactical fighters, the F15 and F-16; overhauling the engines of the Air Force's workhorse, the C-130 cargo plane; repairing 52 percent of the DOD small GTE workload including the Army's Patriot missile launcher and secondary power systems for the F-15, F-16, and B-1B aircraft; repairing engine starting systems including air turbine starters and cartridge pneumatic starters. In addition to supporting cargo and fighter missions, SA-ALC is the Center of Excellence for gas turbine engines and secondary power systems and supports assigned DOD GTE requirements with extensive manufacturing and testing capabilities. Beginning in FY94, the workload of engine repair and overhaul of assigned engines, avionics, and other aircraft commodities increased as a result of the Air Force Two Level Maintenance (2LM) concept and new interservicing workload. Currently SA-ALC repairs all the Air Force and Navy T56 engines as well as provides maintenance and repair for numerous Army, Navy, Coast Guard, and Defense Logistics Agency assets and electronic equipment.
San Antonio ALC's mission, capabilities and demonstrated performance during
peacetime and world conflicts make it the heart of the nation's strategic
airlift capability for the foreseeable future. The C-5 is, and will continue to
be, the backbone of the strategic airlift mission for the next 15 to 20 years.
The C-17, which is managed and will be maintained at SA-ALC, will further
amplify our strategic role as the prime large aircraft maintenance center in the
nation's global reach-global power responsibilities.
SA-ALC's role is also enhanced by the collocation of the 433rd Airlift Wing (Reserve), the 26th Aerial Support Squadron (Reserve) and the 76th Air Base Wing Munitions Squadron. The 433rd Airlift Wing, equipped with 14 C-5 aircraft, represents approximately 12 percent of the Air Force's C-5 fleet, and is an integral part of the total Air Force airlift capability. It provides the largest C-5 reserve fleet during wartime and national emergencies. The 26th Aerial Support Squadron serves as the crux of airlift support during national contingencies of the southwest United States. They provide the manpower and equipment needed to load and unload military and commercial aircraft enroute to and from Kelly AFB.
The 76th Air Base Wing Munitions Squadron manages and supports the Air Force's largest conventional munitions storage operation and is one of only two conventional munitions storage and shipping points in the continental United States with worldwide rapid response capabilities. Kelly AFB supported Desert Shield/Desert Storm by shipping 17 million pounds of munitions, equivalent to 59 C-5 flights.
SAALC is located in Bexar County on the southwest side of San Antonio, Texas. SAALC covers 3,996 acres, with 592 buildings occupying 16.2M SF of floor space. Approximately 20,365 full-time personnel are assigned to Kelly AFB, including 15,367 civilians and 4,998 military. Kelly is the largest employer in San Antonio. A $666M annual payroll has an important impact on the local economy.
The 1995 Defense Base Closure and Realignment Commission (BRAC) determined that the Air Force had significant excess capacity and infrastructure in their depot system, and realignment of the San Antonio ALC and related activities would permit significantly improved utilization of the remaining depots and reduce DoD operating costs. The BRAC voted to realign the San Antonio Air Logistics Center and disestablish the Defense Distribution Depot.