Base Insider

Little Rock Air Force Base in Jacksonville, AR

Little Rock Air Force Base: A History of Excellence

Welcome to Little Rock Air Force Base, a military installation located in Jacksonville, Arkansas. Situated on 6,412 acres of land, this base is home to the 19th Airlift Wing, the largest C-130 Hercules aircraft wing in the Department of Defense.

In this article, we will delve into the rich history of this base, its mission, and the significant contributions it has made to the United States Air Force.


1.1 Location and Facilities

Little Rock Air Force Base is located approximately 17 miles northeast of downtown Little Rock, Arkansas. The base is adjacent to the Little Rock National Airport, providing convenient transportation options for military personnel and their families.

The facilities at Little Rock Air Force Base are state-of-the-art, designed to support a variety of missions. These facilities include hangars, maintenance buildings, training centers, housing units, and medical facilities.

With its well-maintained infrastructure, the base ensures its personnel have the necessary resources to accomplish their mission.

1.2 Mission

The primary mission of Little Rock Air Force Base is to provide combat-ready Airmen and support capabilities to contribute directly to the defense of the United States.

The base focuses heavily on training and maintaining mission-ready C-130 Hercules aircrews. The C-130 is a versatile aircraft that can perform a wide range of roles, including airlift, aerial refueling, and humanitarian missions.

Additionally, Little Rock Air Force Base supports various other missions, such as aeromedical evacuation, combat rescue, and special operations. These missions highlight the base’s adaptability and its commitment to ensuring the safety and security of our nation.


2.1 Establishment

Little Rock Air Force Base has a long and storied history, dating back to 1955 when it was established as the Little Rock Air Force Base.

The base was originally built to serve as a training facility for B-47 Stratojet bomber crews. Over the years, the base expanded and modernized to meet the evolving needs of the Air Force.

2.2 Strategic Air Command Era

During the Cold War, Little Rock Air Force Base played a vital role in the Strategic Air Command (SAC). The base became home to the 384th Bombardment Wing, operating B-47 Stratojets and later, B-58 Hustlers.

These aircraft were at the forefront of America’s nuclear deterrence strategy, ensuring the nation’s security during this tense time.

2.3 Tactical Airlift Mission

As the Cold War came to an end, the mission of Little Rock Air Force Base shifted from strategic bombing to tactical airlift.

In 1991, the 314th Airlift Wing was activated, marking a new era for the base. Little Rock became a hub for C-130 training and operations, a mission that continues to this day.

2.4 Global Reach

Little Rock Air Force Base has played a vital role in global military operations. During Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm, the base provided crucial airlift support, flying hundreds of sorties to transport personnel and equipment to the Middle East.

The base also contributed to humanitarian efforts, delivering aid to those in need around the world.

2.5 Modernization and Growth

In recent years, Little Rock Air Force Base has undergone significant modernization and expansion efforts.

New facilities and infrastructure have been built to support the growing demands of the Air Force. The base has embraced innovative technologies and practices, ensuring its relevance in an ever-changing world.

In conclusion, Little Rock Air Force Base is a military installation with a rich history and a commitment to excellence. From its establishment as a training facility to its current role as a center for C-130 operations, the base has consistently been at the forefront of military readiness.

With its state-of-the-art facilities and dedicated personnel, Little Rock Air Force Base continues to play a vital role in the defense of our nation.


3.1 Airlift Operations

At the heart of Little Rock Air Force Base’s mission is its dedication to airlift operations. The 19th Airlift Wing, the base’s host unit, is responsible for training and equipping C-130 Hercules aircrews.

The C-130 is a versatile aircraft known for its ability to operate in various conditions and terrains, making it an essential asset for military operations. The base’s strategic location allows for rapid deployment of personnel and equipment to global locations.

Airlift missions not only involve transporting troops and equipment but also humanitarian and disaster relief efforts. Little Rock Air Force Base has played a critical role in providing relief during natural disasters, such as hurricanes and earthquakes, both domestically and internationally.

3.2 Training and Readiness

Ensuring the readiness of its Airmen is of utmost importance to Little Rock Air Force Base. The base conducts comprehensive training programs to prepare aircrews for the challenges they may face in the field.

These programs encompass a variety of areas, including flight operations, maintenance, cargo handling, and emergency procedures. Simulators and training facilities at Little Rock Air Force Base provide realistic scenarios to enhance the skills and expertise of aircrews.

The base’s training programs focus on mission readiness, ensuring that Airmen are prepared to handle any situation that may arise during a mission. This emphasis on training and readiness contributes to the overall operational excellence of the base.

3.3 Partnership and Collaboration

Little Rock Air Force Base understands the importance of collaboration and maintains close partnerships with various organizations. The base works closely with the Arkansas National Guard, federal agencies, and international partners to enhance its capabilities and support joint operations.

These partnerships enable Little Rock Air Force Base to leverage resources and expertise from different entities. By working together, they enhance the effectiveness of military missions, improve interoperability, and strengthen relationships both at home and abroad.

This spirit of collaboration ensures that Little Rock Air Force Base remains an integral part of the broader military force.

3.4 Force Support

In addition to its primary mission, Little Rock Air Force Base is committed to providing support services to its military families and personnel.

The base strives to create a supportive environment that enhances the well-being and quality of life for its members. Little Rock Air Force Base offers a wide range of services, including family support programs, medical facilities, recreation centers, and educational opportunities.

These resources contribute to the overall welfare and morale of military families stationed at the base. The base’s comprehensive support programs recognize the sacrifices made by its members and aim to provide a sense of community and belonging.

3.5 Community Engagement

Little Rock Air Force Base actively engages with the local community, forging strong bonds and fostering mutual understanding. The base hosts various community events, allowing the public to experience military operations firsthand and learn about the Air Force’s role in national security.

Through outreach programs and partnerships with local schools, Little Rock Air Force Base promotes STEM education and inspires students to pursue careers in aviation and aerospace. The base’s involvement in the community extends beyond its military mission, demonstrating its commitment to being a good neighbor and contributing positively to the local area.

In conclusion, Little Rock Air Force Base’s mission focuses on airlift operations, training and readiness, partnership and collaboration, force support, and community engagement. Through its dedication to excellence, the base continues to uphold its legacy of service and plays a critical role in protecting our nation’s security.

Little Rock Air Force Base’s commitment to its mission ensures that it remains a vital asset in safeguarding our country and supporting global operations.

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