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Air Force Materiel Command Office Of History

Welcome to the Air Force Materiel Command Office of History. 

History Museum Program LogoOUR MISSION

The mission of HQ Air Force Materiel Command History Office is to operationalize history, weaponize the archives, bring context to the discussion, and inspire and educate.


  • To be the force multiplier to all AFMC operations.

  • To build an agile Air Force Materiel Command History Program into the recognized, best-in-class history organization within the United States Air Force History & Museum Program and actively seek ways to help the commander tell the story of Air Force Materiel Command’s delivery and support of agile, war-winning capabilities.

  • To capture and keep the institutional knowledge of the Air Force Materiel Command.

  • To establish and remain an operationally integrated force for wartime and contingency operations.

  • To advance knowledge of Air Force Materiel Command history, heritage, and leadership challenges through research, analysis, writing, interpretation, service, and products.

  • To inspire Airmen with heritage and enhance continuous organizational learning across the entire AFMC enterprise with improved integration and outreach.

AFMC History in Brief

Air Force Materiel Command  traces its heritage to 1917 at McCook Field, a World War I-era, experimental engineering facility in Dayton, Ohio. With the creation of the U.S. Air Service in 1918, the organization became known as the Engineering Division and was expanded to include responsibility for the Air Corps' logistics system. It was redesignated the Air Corps Materiel Division in 1926. As the largest branch of the Air Corps, the Materiel Division was responsible for all aircraft and equipment research, development, procurement, maintenance, supply and flight tests.

The research, development and logistics functions were separated during World War II. However, they were subsequently reunited for several years during the late 1940s under the Air Materiel Command and structured around the strengths of technological superiority and worldwide logistics support. In 1950, the Air Research and Development Command was broken out as a separate organization devoted strictly to research and development. In 1961, Air Materiel Command was redesignated Air Force Logistics Command (AFLC), while the Air Research and Development Command gained the added responsibility for weapon system acquisition and was redesignated Air Force Systems Command (AFSC).

On July 1, 1992, AFLC and AFSC combined to form Air Force Materiel Command, a single, streamlined organization with an expanded mission. The new command built upon AFLC's expertise in providing worldwide logistics support -- including maintenance, modification and overhaul of weapon systems -- and AFSC's expertise in science, technology, research, development and testing.

The new AFMC has tremendous resources and responsibilities, directly controlling about 33 percent of the Air Force's budget. AFMC supports nine host bases and runs the Air Force's medical and test pilot schools. As with any outstanding organization, AFMC's most important resource is its people, a world-class work force with about 87,000 Air Force experts in matters ranging from the research laboratory to the flight line.

Today, AFMC remains committed to helping ensure the continued dominance of the United States Air Force in air, space and cyberspace.

History Articles

  • A Look Back....at the development of parachutes to 1945

    As aviation began to play an important role in military tactics and methods of aerial warfare changed rapidly, a “vital need for the development and availability of suitable parachutes” arose with major changes and developments between World War I and the end of World War II.
  • A Look Back… NAA B-70 Valkyrie Variants – A Future That Never Was…

    Like flying cars, human colonies on Mars and so many other futuristic ideas, the 1950’s vision of the tomorrow was filled with grand ideas that are just now coming to fruition. 
  • A Look Back…Peacemaker Personnel

    First flown in August 1946, just one year after the end of WWII, the XB-36 was the largest and heaviest air-craft ever flown at the time. The size, weight and complexity of the aircraft created many new problems to be overcome by the talented engineers and technicians working the program.
  • A look back: Early Air Force Uniforms

    The following is a look back at the origins of the distinctive USAF uniforms, what organizations oversaw the design and manufacturing and the early transition period of Air Force uniforms worn.
  • Looking Back: Winged Missiles, 1950-1975

    The latter part of WWII and beyond saw a significant development in weapons technology. Among them,
  • Flashback: The 1924 International Air Races

    In Rheims, France, six years after the Wright Brothers’ first flight, the world’s first air meet took place where prizes were awarded for various events such as highest altitude reached, longest flight, most passengers carried, and the fastest one, two, and three laps over a set 10-kilometer course.
  • History in Two: Early Beginnings to Privatized Housing

    Prior to the Military Housing Privatization Initiative that took place in Fiscal Year 1996, several
  • Flashback: The Navaho Missile: Part 2

    Note:  This is part two of a series on the Navaho Missile. Part one can be viewed at The Navaho
  • 78th anniversary of the Doolittle Raid

    April 18 marks the 78th anniversary of the Doolittle Raid, in which Lt. Col. James H. Doolittle, U.S. Army Air Forces, and Vice Adm. William F. Halsey Jr., U.S. Navy, led a joint bombing operation on the Japanese mainland aimed to inflict both material and psychological damage upon the enemy following the attacks on Pearl Harbor.
  • Looking Back to…the First Around the World Flight

    “A Look Back” is a product produced by the Headquarters, Air Force Materiel Command History Office that provides a photographic essay of a particular topic.

Our Team

  • Command Historian

    Yancy Mailes

    Contact Us

  • Archives and Research
    R. Ray Ortensie
  • Heritage and Exhibits
    Jack Waid