Built in the northern part of the state, Sheppard AFB is the most important and largest site for Air Education and Training Command. It is not just large, but also widely diversified, preparing the troops for plenty of unusual situations. The base is located in Wichita County. It was named in the memory of John Morris Sheppard, a Texas senator who was known for his support towards the military training before World War II started. The base is operated by the US Air Force.
The Texas base has been known to be a reference point on the US map for over half a century now. Its initial name was Sheppard Field. The US Army purchased the land for the construction from a farmer. He sold it for $1 only. The first air military troops got to the base in June, 1941. A few months later, it was officially opened as a training field for the Air Corps. The workers moved pretty fast with the main facilities. Although the base was still under construction, its schools opened their gates in October, 1941. The first class graduated in February, next year.
During World War II, Sheppard AFB was generally used as a training school. It turned regular students into professional pilots. At the same time, the school prepared technicians and instructors, glider mechanics and flight engineers. While most studies were designed for beginners, the professional pilots were also sent here for advanced courses to force them to push their limits. The base reached its peak of over 46000 inhabitants after World War II ended, when the troops were being discharged. As the war ended, the base was also considered to be useless, so it was disestablished in 1946. It remained under the jurisdiction of a few engineering groups. At the same time, the National Guard used the base for various training techniques.
The control of the base was taken over by the Air Force in 1948. It was also reopened and taken through a series of improvements and upgrades. Ever since then, the base was used to service in most conflicts conducted by the United States of America, in Korea, Vietnam, Kuwait, Afghanistan or Iraq. Some other less important operations took place in Bosnia or Suriname. The base also played a significant and useful role throughout the Cold War.
Sheppard AFB currently hosts the 82nd Training Wing, the 80th Flying Training Wing and the NCO Academy. The 82nd Training Wing is responsible for over 80000 trained pilots every year, while the programs held by the 80th Flying Training Wing are being attained by participants from over 13 NATO countries. The three units act together in a solid relationship while trying to provide professional and expert global combat capability for any potential conflict.
Before getting to Sheppard AFB, you need to call the office responsible with the accommodation to find out about your options. You will be given a sponsor to help you out throughout the process. Your options imply on site or off site accommodation and an army based or a privatized system. The temporary guests can stay at a hotel too.