Randolph Aux Reopens In Seguin, Continuing Town's Support Of Military Flight Training
The sound of a Air Force plane landing is something the residents of Seguin haven’t heard in a long time. After circling in formation, pilots with the 560th Flying Training Squadron set down in a single T-38C Talon on the brand new landing strip at the Seguin, Texas airport.
Local military and civilian dignitaries gathered at the air field Tuesday to celebrate the reopening of the Randolph AFB Auxiliary Field. A reconstruction project had forced Joint Base San Antonio-Randolph and the Seguin airport, northeast of downtown San Antonio, to combine their missions for the last three years.
LTC Joel DeBoer, Commander of the 560th, said small as it is, the Seguin airport is critical to Air Force training because it reduces missions that have to operate out of JBSA-Randolph. He said for the last three years, Randolph runways have been overcrowded with different types of training missions. “We have T-31 and T-38 aircraft on our runway at Randolph on the east side and trying to mix those aircraft can create a lot of traffic problems.”
The Seguin Airport is the auxiliary training facility for the JBSA, serving as the take-off area and landing site for pilots who are training future instructors. Seguin has a history of serving the Air Force since 1941. But the runway needed to be replaced, a reconstruction that took over three years.
During that time, DeBoer said the Air Force had to change flight paths to accommodate new developments in Seguin.
“We kind of redrew the lines around some of those areas that have been built up. So we purposefully avoid over-flying of noise sensitive areas, of built-up areas, of schools, of everything else we take into account," he said.
Seguin Mayor Don Keil said Seguin residents overwhelmingly support the Air Force’s return to their backyard. “Actually we haven’t heard very many concerns. We’re all patriotic Americans here and we know the importance of the Air Force here and what it does for our country," he said.
The Air Force trains more than 100 instructors a year out of the Seguin airport —instructors that move on to teach undergraduate pilots in three other locations around the U.S.