Located in the city of Enid in Oklahoma, Vance AFB is named in the memory of Leon Robert Vance Jr., who was awarded with the Medal of Honor for his missions in World War II. The military facility is operated by the US Air Force. Its primary objective is to train some of the finest and most experienced pilots for multiple corps, including the Navy, Air Force and Marine Corps. At the same time, the base supports training sessions for the allied countries of the USA.
The construction began in the summer of 1941, in an attempt to support the military power of the country. The whole project was monitored by Henry W. Dorr, who also established the first flying school on site. The leasing costs for the land were mostly symbolic – 1$ a year. The whole site was ready by the fall season. Although it didn’t have an official name, it was referred to as a basic flying school. By 1942, the base was known as Woodring Field. Over World War II, the school prepared more than 8000 pilots in basic flying skills. At the same time, a specific wing of the school – the advanced one – prepared around 800 pilots. As World War II was ending, the pilot necessities dropped as well. Therefore, in the summer of 1945, the authorities decided to inactivate the facility.
However, it was reactivated 3 years later, in 1948, when it was also renamed to what it is today after a general rule for the Air Force bases – naming them in the memory of heroic pilots. As years passed by, the primary objectives of Vance AFB didn’t change too much. It continuously dealt with training pilots in various fields. The only things that changed once in a while were the aircrafts used, from BT 13A and BT 15 to T 37 Tweet and T 38 Talon. These days, the place is said to be the second most important, busiest and active RAPCON (Terminal Radar Approach Control) base on the USA territory. The first in the list is Nellis AFB, which is open around the clock. However, the installation in Enid has much more traffic on an hourly basis.
With a history of about 60 years, the 71-st Flying Training Wing is currently the host unit at Vance AFB. It consists of four regular groups, which include 13 different squadrons. The unit has a rich history with impressive results in the past. It is activated on site since the autumn of 1972. Other than this wing, the base hosts a few associate tenant units as well, but they are deployed there on a temporary basis.
The Airman & Family Readiness Center can be considered the local housing office at Vance AFB. It is the first office you have to get in touch with after you find out about your deployment. You will be given multiple options depending on your situation – rank or whether you want to bring in your family too or not.