Air Force Material Command: Our Heritage
Air Force Materiel Command (AFMC) traces its heritage back to 1917. The command’s earliest antecedent is the Airplane Engineering Division located about two miles west of today’s Wright-Patterson, AFB’s (WPAFB), Area B, at McCook Field. McCook Field started as a World War I-era experimental engineering facility in Dayton, Ohio. Later in 1918, the Fairfield Aviation General Supply Depot was organized at Wilbur Field (now a part of Area A at WPAFB). The Airplane Engineering division and Fairfield Aviation General Supply Depot combined in 1926 forming the Air Corps Materiel Division. This Division, the largest branch of the Air Corps, maintained responsibility for all aircraft and equipment research, development, procurement, maintenance, supply, and flight test.
The Wright brothers with the newly assembled Wright Model 1904 Flyer II at Huffman Prairie near outside of Dayton, Ohio, May, 1904.
Mechanics school students study an airplane fuselage Jan. 25, 1918.
During WWII, women worked at the Fairfield Air Depot at Wright-Patterson field repairing engines for combat aircraft.
With the creation of the Air Force, another change occurred with the creation of the Air Research and Development Command (ARDC) on 23 January 1950. This command dedicated itself strictly to research and development. Air Materiel Command remained; however, it was redesignated on 1 April 1961 as Air Force Logistics Command (AFLC). On the same date, ARDC gained the added responsibility of weapon system acquisition, and was redesignated Air Force Systems Command (AFSC).
The ADM-20 Quail missile, here undergoing repair at Oklahoma City, 1962, was to serve as a decoy to confuse enemy radar tracking US bombers.
“This new command became a single, streamlined organization combining expertise in research, development, acquisition, and testing.”
On 30 June 1992, the Air Force inactivated AFLC and AFSC, allowing for the introduction of a new command, AFMC, on 1 July 1992. This new command became a single, streamlined organization combining expertise in research, development, acquisition, and testing. Additionally, AFMC and its antecedent commands performed the Nuclear Systems Management mission for the Air Force. In 2016, the command received an additional core mission; Installation and Mission Support.