Located on the Mississippi Gulf Coast, the 81st Training Wing is host to 2nd Air Force, the 403rd Wing (AF Reserve) and the single largest employer on the Mississippi Gulf Coast. Keesler trains more than 28,000 students annually with an average daily student load of more than 2,700. The 81st TRW is a lead Joint Training Installation, instructing not only Air Force, but Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Coast Guard and civilian federal agency personnel. Keesler’s mission is enduring.
We provide a wide array of capabilities in over 160 career field specialty training courses from 8 operating locations in the continental United States. Our mission is to train, develop and inspire warfighters.
81st Mission Support Group Commander
81st Mission Support Group Senior Enlisted Leader
Marine Corps Detachment Commanding Officer
Marine Corps Detachment Executive Officer
Keesler's training mission is the responsibility of the 81st Training Group -- the largest electronics training group in the world. On any given day, more than 3,000 students attend classes in one of over 160 courses. Accredited by the Commission of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, the group is a Community College of the Air Force institution. The 81st Training Group annually provides training to more than 30,000 officers, airmen and civilian employees of the Air Force, Air Force Reserve, Air National Guard, Army, Navy, Marine Corps, other DOD agencies and DOD contractors, as well as allied nations. Technical resident courses include career fields such as personnel, information management, air traffic control, finance, manpower, communications-electronics maintenance, computer operation, maintenance and programming, weather, metrology, aircraft warning and control systems and radio operations. Seven other locations provide additional training, including tactical air control, postal operations, satellite-wideband equipment maintenance, and visual/broadcast information.
The 81st Medical Group operates one of the largest Air Force medical facilities in the Air Force. Its primary mission is to maintain medical readiness for worldwide contingencies by providing quality, cost-effective health care for more than 25,000 enrollees, including almost 8,500 active-duty members. In addition, the 81st MDG commander oversees the Gulf Coast Multi-Service Market, which includes five military medical treatment facilities from Mobile, Ala., to New Orleans, coordinating care for 80,000 eligible beneficiaries along the Gulf Coast.
"Excellence" is the watchword of Keesler's largest support organization, the 81st Mission Support Group. Working with a team of more than 1,600 personnel, the Mission Support Group provides administrative, personnel, civil engineering, transportation, morale and welfare, recreational, communications, supply, base security, and contracting services to an estimated 75,000 people who use base facilities and resources. The ability to bring these resources together for the betterment of Keesler Air Force Base and its populous is why our motto is...One Team, One Fight!
The Second Air Force mission is to provide the best-trained, combat-ready forces! To carry out this mission, Second Air Force manages all operational aspects of nearly 2,700 active training courses taught to approximately 150,000 students annually in technical training, basic military training, medical and distance learning courses. Training operations across Second Air Force range from intelligence to computer operations to space and missile operations and maintenance. Courses are primarily taught at four resident training wings - Keesler; Goodfellow, Lackland and Sheppard Air Force Bases, Texas; and a training group located at Vandenberg AFB, California. Aside from the resident bases, Second Air Force operates 92 training detachments around the world, which provide advanced aircraft maintenance continuation training. Headquarters Second Air Force accomplishes its mission through the work in four main arenas: Joint Expeditionary Tasking, Mission Support, Staff Judge Advocate and Safety.
The 403rd Wing is the largest flying organization at Keesler, and the only Air Force Reserve Command wing in Mississippi. With a military manning authorization of more than 1,400 reservists, including 250 full-time air reserve technicians, the wing performs dual missions: tactical airlift support during peace- and war-time contingencies, and aerial weather reconnaissance supporting the Department of Commerce.
Keesler AFB is also the home of the 85th Engineering Installation Squadron (EIS), of the 688th Cyberspace Wing (CW), which is the Air Force's only active duty EIS. The almost 200 AFSPC Airmen and Civilians of the 85th EIS can design, engineer, and install the full range of C&I equipment and components typically found at a fixed site and other specialty systems unique to expeditionary forces.
They are also the only organization in the DoD to provide specialized engineering services such as electromagnetic hazard and interference investigations and High Altitude Electromagnetic Pulse (HEMP) protection. During contingencies, the 85th EIS can deliver their unique skills to the warfighter within 72 hours - anywhere in the world, which is why their motto is, "With Pride, Worldwide!"
In early January 1941, Biloxi city officials assembled a formal offer to invite the U.S. Army Corps to build a base to support the WWII training buildup. The package included an early airport, the old Naval Reserve Park, and parts of Oak Park sufficient to support a technical training school with a population of 5,200 people.
On 6 March 1941, the War Department officially notified Mayor Braun that Biloxi had been selected. The War Department activated Army Air Corps Station No. 8, Aviation Mechanics School, Biloxi, Mississippi, on 12 June 1941. City officials wanted the base named after a notable figure in the local area's history, but it was War Department policy to name installations after service members killed in action. In late June, Mayor Braun received word that the new school would be named in honor of 2d Lt Samuel Reeves Keesler, Jr., of Greenwood, Mississippi. Lieutenant Keesler had died of wounds during World War I while serving in France as an aerial observer assigned to the 24th Aero Squadron, U.S. Army Air Service. On 25 August 1941, Army Air Corps Station No. 8 was officially designated as Keesler Army Airfield.
The 81st Training Wing replaced Keesler Training Center in July 1993, taking on the mission of specialized technical training in electronics, computers, maintenance, weather, radar, precision measurement, network controllers, and personnel and information management for the U.S. Air Force, the Air Force Reserve, the Air National Guard, other DOD agencies and foreign nations.