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The Little Rock Air Force Base is home to over 6,000 military personnel and 2,000 civilians. The base is the home of Combat Airlift. It is the only C-13 training base for the Department of Defense. Here C-130 pilots, navigators, flight engineers, and loadmasters for all branches of the United States military are trained. The 19th Airlift Wing is the host unit which reports to Air Mobility Command. The 314th Airlift Wing, an associate unit, reports to Air Education and Training Command. The U.S. Air Force Mobility Weapons School also reports to Air Mobility Command. The 189th Airlift Wing of the Arkansas Air National Guard is also located here at the Little Rock Air Force Base. The 189th AW also reports to Air Education and Training Command.
Jacksonville, Arkansas is located about 20 miles north of Little Rock. The community started out quite small, but gained in size during the late 1800s. After World War II, the people of Arkansas asked the United States Air Force to consider putting a base somewhere in the center of the state. Jacksonville was soon chosen as the site and the Little Rock Air Force Base came into existence.
Little Rock Air Force Base was authorized in 1953 and opened on January 24, 1955. By June of that year there were several stone buildings, ordnance igloos, and a track and loading platform completed. The Little Rock Air Force Base was opened to limited air traffic on September 9, 1955. Jacksonville has continued to grow consistently ever since bringing Little Rock Air Force Base to the small town. Today, the now widely-known city and the base provide many job opportunities for the people of Arkansas.