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As the host unit for Maxwell-Gunter Air Force Base, the 42nd Air Base Wing's mission is critical to national security; it provides the foundation for success for Air University, the intellectual and leadership center of the Air Force; the 908th Airlift Wing; the Business and Enterprise Systems Directorate; and more than 30 tenant units.
The Wing ensures Airmen are ready to deploy in support of U.S. military operations worldwide and takes a proactive approach to promoting their professional and personal growth. The Wing is also responsible for the safety and security of the base, which it accomplishes through force protection, maintaining and modernizing facilities and infrastructure, and seeking efficient new ways of conducting operations.
With a population of more than 12,500 active duty, reserve, civilian and contractor personnel, the Maxwell-Gunter community has a significant economic and cultural impact on the River Region.
By the 1920s, Montgomery became an important link in the growing system of aerial mail service. It was in the early 1930s when the Army Air Corps Tactical School moved to Maxwell and Montgomery became the country's intellectual center for airpower education.
In 1994, the 42nd Air Base Wing, which had its own history of bombardment and air refueling missions since the early 1940s, was transferred to Maxwell Air Force Base from Loring Air Force Base, which closed that year.
The location of Maxwell-Gunter Air Force Base is home to a proud tradition of aviators and airpower advocates, dating all the way back to the Wright Brothers' flying school, which was built on this site in 1910. In May of that year, the first recorded heavier-than-air night flights in aviation history occurred here. One newspaper article written at the time noted that the Wright flyer was seen "glinting now and then in the moonlight."
Air University, with headquarters at Maxwell Air Force Base, Ala., is a key component of Air Education and Training Command, and is the Air Force's center for professional military education.
Air University provides the full spectrum of Air Force education from pre-commissioning to all levels of professional military education, including degree granting and professional continuing education for officers, enlisted and civilian personnel throughout their careers.
The university's professional military education programs educate Airmen on the capabilities of air, space and cyberspace power and its role in national security. These programs focus on the knowledge and abilities needed to develop, employ, command, and support air and space power at the highest levels
Specialized professional continuing educational programs provide scientific, technological, managerial and other professional expertise to meet the needs of the Air Force. Air University conducts research in air and space power, education, leadership and management. The university also provides citizenship programs and contributes to the development and testing of Air Force doctrine, concepts and strategy.
Vision: One Team. Transformative Education. The Intellectual and Leadership Center of the Air Force.
Mission: We produce the future. We launch leaders of character, educated to think critically, strategically, and jointly to master and deliver superior Airpower in support of national security objectives.
History: The Wright Brothers established the first U.S. civilian flying school in Montgomery, Ala., in 1910. During WWI, the Air Service established an aircraft and repair depot on the land formerly utilized by the Wright flying school. In 1922, the Air Corps named the airfield after 2Lt William C. Maxwell, a native of Natchez, Ala., killed in an airplane crash in the Philippines on 12 Aug. 1920. By the 1920s, Montgomery became an important link in the growing system of aerial mail service. In the early 1930s, the Army Air Corps Tactical School moved to Maxwell, and Montgomery became the country's intellectual center for airpower education. During WWII, the Southeast Air Corps Army Air Force Training Center, headquartered at Maxwell Field, conducted basic and advanced flight training for tens of thousands of flying cadets, including those of Allied air forces, at Maxwell Field and airfields across the Southeast United States.
The Air University, established in 1946, continues the proud tradition of educating tomorrow's planners and leaders, in air and space power for the Air Force, other branches of the U.S. armed forces, federal government civilians and many international organizations. Today, Air University's reach spans not only the globe but the careers of every Air Force member.