basic military training | Texas Public Radio

basic military training

Johnny Saldivar / 502nd Air Base Wing Public Affairs

Coronavirus has prompted the Air Force to lessen the number of trainees who report to Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland for Basic Military Training, raising concerns about whether the service will be able to maintain its end strength.

SARAYUTH PINTHONG / U.S. AIR FORCE

For recruits in Basic Military Training at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland, typical mornings used to start with a pre-dawn wake up to the sound of reveille, quickly followed by an intense workout, breakfast, showers and chores.

Trainees lived and exercised in close proximity. Recruits would hold one another's ankles while doing sit-ups, circle the running track together, and chow down at eating facilities at the same time. Sleeping bays were normally packed with about 60 people.

It was all part of a time-honored system the Air Force used to produce new troops.

Carson Frame / TPR News

Joint Base San Antonio is taking steps to prevent the spread of coronavirus on the installation and in the wider community. Base leaders held an hour-long virtual town hall Wednesday night to answer questions about force protection. More than 31,000 viewers tuned in.

JBSA-Lackland is home to the Air Force's only enlisted recruit training program—graduating about 40,000 new airmen each year. Because those trainees live and work in close quarters, they are especially vulnerable to coronavirus transmission.