In Oct., 2010, United States Army Fort Sam Houston, the United States Air Force Randolph Air Force Base and Lackland Air Force Base, were merged to create Joint Base San Antonio.
Former Fort Sam Houston, located in San Antonio, is the namesake of the first President of the Republic of Texas, Sam Houston. During the mid-1870's, construction began on Fort Sam Houston which has now become one of the oldest Army installations with over 900 buildings in its historic district. The base holds one of the largest collections of military post structures with the Quadrangle being the oldest structure on base.
The Quadrangle was originally a supply depot which was used to house Geronimo and the captured Apaches while decisions were being made to determine their positions as either common criminals or prisoners of war. Today the building has been converted into an office complex that houses the Commanding General and staff of the North U.S. Army.
In 1975, Fort Sam Houston was recognized as a National Historic Landmark. Since then, it has become known as the "Home of the Combat Medic" and the "Home of Army Medicine" due to its outstanding Institute of Surgical Research (ISR) unit. The ISR is involved in humanitarian missions to foreign countries and is highly decorated. The unit has also flourished with research on skin grafting and preservation of blood vessels, the use of plasma extenders, the use of an "artificial kidney", and their expertise in caring for burn victims.
As of 2011, Fort Sam Houston has earned its nickname, the brain trust for the Army Medical Department, and its spot as the largest and most important military medical training facility in the world. They train over 25,000 students annually offering multiple affiliations academically for master and bachelor degrees. Universities such as Baylor and the University of Texas Health Science Center participate in these degree programs.
Development of Former Lackland Air Force Base began in 1941 and was originally considered a part of Kelly Field. About a year after its completion, Lackland AFB became an independent organization called the San Antonio Aviation Cadet Center. In 1947, Lackland Air Force Base earned its name from Brigadier General Frank Lackland. In 1950, the Air Defense command chose Lackland AFB as one of the radar stations built as a second segment of the permanent radar surveillance network and on July 21 construction began.In 2001, Lackland took over flying missions next to Kelly Air Force Base after the base had closed. Following the closure of Kelly AFB, Lackland took over areas such as Security Hill which houses Air Force Intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance agencies, as well as several other commands.
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