AFCLC Outreach Team/Maxwell Public Affairs

Celebrating 100 years of history, Maxwell Air Force Base is one of the most notable Air Force Bases in the country. Its deep roots in aviation and education in Central Alabama began with the Wright Brothers and dawn of flight in the U.S. and continues on today. The home to Air University and the Air Force Culture and Language Center, Maxwell Air Force Base serves as the hub for airpower education.

The base’s origins date back to 1910 when the Wright Brothers opened their civilian flying school on an abandoned cotton field near Montgomery, Alabama; but, closed the school after only 10 weeks of operations. In 1918, a year after the United States declared war on Germany, the War Department established an Aircraft and Engine Repair depot on the site of the former Wright Brother’s School. A few years later in 1921, a congressman convinced the War Department to assign the 22d Squadron to the installation and a year later, renamed the installation Maxwell Field. It was named in honor of 2nd Lieutenant William C. Maxwell, a Natchez (Atmore) native, who died in the Philippines. Maxwell died when his aircraft struck a flagpole. He was swerving to avoid striking a group of children.

In 1928, the War Department announced the relocation of the Air Corps Tactical School (ACTS) from Langley Field to Maxwell. This ushered an era of major construction and airpower education at Maxwell Air Force Base. In 1946, the end of World War II, Air University formed. Air University quickly became the Air Force’s academic center and a key component of the Air Education and Training Command (AETC) focusing on professional and continuing education.

To better serve the entire Air Force, Air University continued to expand. This growth included the formation of the Air Force Culture and Language Center. Founded in 2006, AFCLC embraced the Air Force Chief of Staff’s intention to improve Airmen’s cross-cultural competence. Using culture and language training, AFCLC has been able to reach and educate thousands of Airmen. The Center’s resources for the Air Force include: field and culture guides, eMentor online language training courses, online culture courses through the Community College of the Air Force, and the Language Enabled Airman program.

Currently, Maxwell Air Force Base and the 42nd Air Base Wing supports more than 25,000 active duty, reserve, civilian, and contract personnel and continues to grow. The Air Force Culture and Language Center is proud to call Maxwell Air Force Base home and joins the base in celebrating 100 years of history.