Maxwell Air Force Base

Maxwell Air Force Base, officially known as Maxwell Air Force Base and Gunter Annex, occupies the site of the first Wright brothers’ civilian flying school located to the northwest of Montgomery, Ala. It was named Maxwell Field in 1922 in honor of 2nd Lt.  William C. Maxwell, a native of Atmore, Ala., who died in the Philippines in 1920 while attempting to land his DH-4 in a sugarcane field to avoid a group of children playing below.

The 42nd Air Base Wing is the host organization for Maxwell and Gunter. In 1992, the 3800th Air Base Wing was disbanded and the 502nd Air Base Wing took over as the host wing, which two years later gave way to the current 42nd ABW.

In the early 1930s, the Army Air Corps Tactical School moved to Maxwell from Langley Field, Va., 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.

Gunter Annex, located to the north of downtown Montgomery, is a separate installation under the 42nd ABW. Originally known as Gunter Field, it later became known as Gunter Air Force Station when its runways were closed, and its operational flying activity eliminated. It was later renamed Gunter Air Force Base during the 1980s. As a hedge against future base realignment and closure actions, Gunter AFB was consolidated under Maxwell AFB in March 1992 to create a combined installation known as Maxwell-Gunter AFB.

Gunter Annex is home to the Air Force Program Executive Office-Business and Enterprise Systems, a directorate of Headquarters Air Force Life Cycle Management Center, Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio. The 26th Network Operations Squadron is also located on Gunter Annex.

Air University is headquartered on Maxwell and is the installation’s largest mission partner and a major component of Air Education and Training Command. The university was established at Maxwell in 1946, prior to the U.S. Air Force becoming an independent service the following year.

Air University is the intellectual and leadership-development center of the U.S. Air Force. The university provides enlisted, officer and civilian-equivalent professional military education, professional continuing education and graduate education for personnel from the Department of the Air Force, sister services, and international partners and allies. Air University also offers officer commissioning through its Officer Training School and Air Force ROTC programs. Air University graduates more than 50,000 resident and 160,000 non-resident officers, enlisted and civilian personnel each year.

For more information on Maxwell-Gunter, contact the Air University Public Affairs Office at (334) 953-2014/2015.

(Current as of September 2023)