Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio Texas is the starting point of a future Enlisted Airmen attending Air Force Basic Military Training. But Lackland AFB is also home to a magnificent outdoor museum of Air Force war-fighting aircraft from every era of U.S. military history called Warbirds Memorial Park.
These magnificent jet fighters, also coined Warbirds or War Birds are put on static display in the heart of San Antonio’s Lackland Air Force Base.
These war fighter jets were used to unleash their destruction and wrath upon our Nation’s enemies from past military campaigns, wars and conflicts.
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Warbirds Memorial Park Lackland Air Force Base
When we were parked at Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio, Texas in early 2017, we caught up with our RV buds, Tim and Emily from OwnLessDoMore for a couple weeks.
While there, Emily and I took a power walk over to the War Birds Park so she could show me some cool airplanes at Warbirds Memorial Park.
Warbirds Memorial Park walkway circled around the ceremonial parade field. On the outer parameter of the parade field is an amazing collection of original Warbirds of past wars and conflicts.
This incredible static display of warfighter jets and aircraft gives visitors of all ages an up-close-and-personal look at these incredible aircraft that credits our Air Force’s fighting success.
Visitors can touch the planes and feel their vibrant spirits from war’s past. While they’re awesome to look at and cool to touch, these special Warbirds are not for climbing on.
One of my favorites is the SR-71 Blackbird. Like all of the Air Force aircraft exhibits, the Blackbird is larger than I thought. Visitors can walk completely around and touch the Blackbird’s fuselage.
Truly, the Blackbird is one of those you gotta see it to believe it static displays.
The SR-71 first flew in December 1964 and retired by NASA in 1999. For over 30 years, the Blackbird spy plane flew over Mach 3 speeds; the fastest plane that could outfly any missile. And, this Warbird ranges 3682 miles without fueling.
To put that into perspective, New York City to San Francisco spans only 2572 miles.
|Manufacturer:||Lockheed Aircraft Corporation|
|Length of Nose Probe:||4′ 11″|
|Wing Span:||55′ 7″|
|Wing Area:||1,795 ft. sq.|
|Wing Aspect Ratio:||1.939|
|Wing Root Chord:||60.533|
|Wing Dihedral Angle:||0 degrees|
|Wing Sweep:||52.629 degrees|
|Inboard Elevon Area:||39.00 ft. sq.|
|Outboard Elevon Area:||52.50 ft. sq.|
|Total Vertical Rudder Area:||150.76 ft. sq.|
|Moveable Rudder Area:||70.24 ft. sq.|
|Rudder Root Chord:||14.803 ft.|
|Rudder Tip Chord:||7.833 ft.|
|Empty Weight:||59,000 lbs.|
|Maximum Weight:||170,000 lbs.|
|Fuselage Diameter:||5.33 ft.|
|Maximum Speed:||Mach 3.3+ (Limit CIT of 427 degrees C)|
|Cruising Speed:||Mach 3.2|
|Engines:||2 Pratt & Whittney J-58 (JT11D-20A) with 34,000 lbs. of thrust.|
|Range:||3,200 nautical miles (without refueling)|
Other Military Warbirds
Each of the military aircraft are provided with a placard tells their historic significance to their warfighting efforts.
History of Military Aircraft Nose Art
Nostalgic military aircraft nose art began for practical reasons of identifying friendly military units.
What started as simple creativity evolved to express the individuality often constrained by the uniformity of the military.
Aircraft nose art was brought to life to evoke memories of home and peacetime life. It is a kind of psychological protection against the stresses of war and the probability of death.
In other words, aircraft nose art was a morale keeper for the crew.
Air Force Basic Military Training Instructor’s Building
On the opposite side of the ceremonial parade grounds visitors viewing area (bleachers) is the Air Force Military Training Instructors (MTI’s) Building.
✰ READ MORE ✰ If you can get the chance, we highly encourage you to attend an Air Force Basic Military Training Graduation in San Antonio, Texas
Medal of Honor Memorial
One of the most notable and heartstring-pulling exhibits is the Medal of Honor Memorial. This monument lists all the Air Force Medal of Honor Recipients.
Military Working Dog Memorial
At the opposite end of the parade field and at the Air Force Warbirds Park is a newer memorial dedicated to our Nation’s Military Working K-9’s in 2009.
The Military Working Dog Teams National Monument is a monument to military working dogs located at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland in San Antonio, Texas. Stated by the Airman Heritage Foundation,
“It is most fitting that the MWD National Monument was established at JBSA – Lackland. Historically, the base has been the recruiting and training facility for the U.S. Armed Services military working dog program since 1958. It also provides training for working dogs for other government agencies. Lackland is also home of the Holland Veterinary Military Working Dog Hospital, the only one of its kind.”
While we have visited many military memorials nationwide, including several in Washington D.C., the Military Working Dog Memorial, to us, was very moving.
Perhaps it’s our love for animals but mostly it’s because of our appreciation of these war dogs that were stationed with our son’s Cavalry units in Iraq and Afghanistan had their own war dogs.
Since we connected on a personal level, seeing this memorial brought tears to our eyes because these brave Military K-9s serve and sacrifice alongside our Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, Marines and Coast Guardsmen in war and peacetime.
The back of the memorial wall is a beautifully etched mural of military working dogs from all five branches of the military.
The Military Dog Handler’s helmet gets filled daily with coin donations from visitors.
An Enlisted Story
There are several notable ‘…an enlisted story’ brass placards placed between applicable Warbirds.
They highlight an Enlisted Airmen of the Air Force for their bravery and gallantry during their service.
Considering Lackland Air Force Base is home to the Air Force’s Basic Military Training facility, it’s only fitting to have their stories told here to inspire our Country’s newest Air Force Enlisted Airmen.
Wrapping up your visit to the U.S. Air Force Base Lackland Warbirds Park
We hope you enjoyed getting a small glimpse of this amazing display of Air Force Warbirds.
This unique collection is much more extensive with other military aircraft that you’ll just have to visit Warbirds Park for yourself.
If you’re a military historian or military history enthusiast, we highly recommend visiting this fabulous display of military aircraft.
But what’s great is it’s not just a military outdoor museum. It’s also a wonderful place to walk, run or meditate. There’s just something amongst these Warbirds that sends a peaceful message ‘we’re watching over you’.
Lastly, if you’re in San Antonio and have military base access (military or DOD ID), you attend the youngest generation of over 700 Airmen graduate from Air Force Basic Military Training.
Would you like to visit Warbirds Park at Joint Base San Antonio Lackland?
Any Military and DoD ID card holder can visit the Joint Base San Antonio Lackland Warbirds Memorial Park and museum.
All other US citizens with a valid state or government issued ID (such as a current driver’s license) can visit the museum during hours of operation.
The East Luke Visitor Control Center can issue a pass to visit the museum after all members of your party have been vetted and cleared through the system. ONLY the East Luke Visitor Center can issue passes to the museum at Lackland Air Force Base.
Lastly, if you’re bringing your RV and don’t qualify to stay at the Lackland AFB FamCamp, check out RV Life’s RV Parks in San Antonio.
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If you’re looking for a great RV Park, check out Alsation RV Resort in nearby Castroville.
Other fun things to do in San Antonio
Air Force Basic Military Training Graduation Ceremony in San Antonio, Texas
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One Reply to “Warbirds Memorial Park – Lackland AFB in San Antonio”
Where’s the USAF F-4 Phantom II UH-1 Huey?