Brooks City-Base is located 11 km away from San Antonio and is operated by the local authorities. The local authorities have gained the control over the base in 2002, after an agreement between them and the government. Before 2002, the base was known as Brooks Air Force Base. The main objective of the authorities is to transform this military base into a center for technology, business and science. Although run by the local government, the base is controlled by the US Air Force, which is actually the largest tenant unit.
The base was initially established in 1917. In 1918, it was renamed in the memory of Sidney Johnson Brooks Jr. Brooks Jr. was not some hero in the war, nor a special personality. Instead, it was one of the cadets at the base. Unfortunately for him, the young cadet died in 1917 after his plane hit the ground with the nose while he was trying to land. The cadet was upgraded to pilot after his death. Until 1919, the base stuck on training sessions for Curtiss JN 4. The base also supported balloon training sessions. In 1922, the US Army ceased these operations due to the uselessness of these techniques after World War I. During World War II, Brooks City-Base Texas hosted more schools, including the Advanced Flying School and the School of Combat Observers. Some of the aircrafts were also replaced with more advanced units.
After 1950, the Aerospace Medical Center was relocated to this base. In 1963, the School of Aerospace Medicine was dedicated by John F. Kennedy. This was his final action as a USA president. The next day he was assassinated, on November, 22-nd, 1963. The end of the Vietnam War represented a slight decline in the history of the military base. Its importance was not as big and its general objectives were reduced to one only – research operations for the Air Force.
After the 1995 commission for base closure and realignment, Brooks City-Base was among the first military bases targeted by the officials. The base officials were challenged to improve the facilities in order to survive. By 2005, the base was again targeted by a similar commission. It seems the requirements were just too big to be accomplished. 2011 represented the last year of this location as a military base. These days, it is owned and run by the local authorities, with a few military remains bringing back good old memories. The last unit left the base on September, 1-st, while the few USAF employees left there were gone within two weeks.
There aren’t any units supporting Brooks City-Base these days. However, the past includes some great names in the American history. Some of the most important tenant units include the 67-th Aero Squadron, the Air Corps Balloon and Airship School, the 2510-th AAF Base Unit or the 306-th AF Base Unit. When it comes to major commands, the most resounding names count the Department of Military Aeronautics, the Gulf Coast AAF Training Center and the Continental Air Forces.