Welcome to Flightinfo.com

  • Register now and join the discussion
  • Friendliest aviation Ccmmunity on the web
  • Modern site for PC's, Phones, Tablets - no 3rd party apps required
  • Ask questions, help others, promote aviation
  • Share the passion for aviation
  • Invite everyone to Flightinfo.com and let's have fun

The best UPT base?

Welcome to Flightinfo.com

  • Register now and join the discussion
  • Modern secure site, no 3rd party apps required
  • Invite your friends
  • Share the passion of aviation
  • Friendliest aviation community on the web


Active member
Dec 6, 2001
I currently have an ANG UPT slot. That being said, I hope to be able to have a say in where I go to UPT. If that's the case, does anyone have an opinion on which base is the best? I'm not concerned about a social life (married, planning on studying). I just want a place that has a reputation as a good school and is a decent place to live. I wouldn't mind flying the T-6 if the opportunity presented itself.... Any opinions and/or advice would be appreciated!

Laughlin is the best, of course :D Bias not withstanding, I really enjoyed my time at LAFB. I was married with a 1 year old. Studied hard and partied hard on the weekends. San Antonio was about a 2 hour drive away (I think :eek: ) and that was a great place to hang out. We would get a room at Randolph or Lackland for really cheap and go party on the riverwalk. There is absolutely nothing in Del Rio. You do have Lake Amistad for water-skiing and stuff like that. The people of Del Rio were fantastic.

Good luck and enjoy every minute of it!


I heard Hell Rio just got a Chili's :cool:
SMan said:
If that's the case, does anyone have an opinion on which base is the best? I'm not concerned about a social life (married, planning on studying).

Columbus, MS would be a good choice for you:
Just enough weather to get you comfortable with actual instruments and give you a "down day" every now and then.
Plenty to do without being distracting: Excellent Hunting and Fishing, Water skiing, Big Cities within a weekend's reach (Memphis, New Orleans, Atlanta).
Excellent food: BBQ, Cat Fish and all the Southern staples.
Base housing is usually available when you arrive (good for a spouse who's not planning to work outside the home). If it's not, the local housing is reasonable.

You didn't mention what unit you're with (and I was too lazy to look for your other posts).

I wish you success!
I did Columbus and loved it, but I was single. I speak the language, being a native southerner myself, and I loved the whole CBM act. Weather is more of a factor at CBM than some bases, so depending on perspective that can be good or bad. I had buddies who loved Vance, Reese (closed), Williams (closed), and Laughlin as well. I know nobody who did UPT at Moody (just started training....after about a 25+ year hiatus), but Valdosta has nice folks and shiny new T-6s, so I'm sure it would be fine. I thought I did well marrying above myself when I met a beautiful Mississippi Southern belle that for whatever insane reason decided to join me on life's ride, but I"ve got great buddies who have married Texas, Arizona, and Oklahoma girls that were also lovely. You are married, but for those searching the boards for gouge I never saw one of those guys who was a "hermit" for 52 weeks do that well, but the guys who knew how to work hard and play hard all seemed to eventually come out on top (sts). A few even found the ultimate UPT souvenier...a wife :D

If you are married and plan on hanging close to home most of your year, I really think your attitude is more important than your location. If you want Del Rio, or Columbus, etc. for a particular reason then I hope you get it...it will make the year that much more enjoyable. What is most important, however, is your committment to A) do your best and B) help your classmates do their best as well. Do A and B and you will not only have a great time, but you'll make friends that will last a lifetime. Speaking of which....after visiting an out of town Eagle bro tonight I got home to find a UPT classmate had left a message on my machine. He helped me get hired by FedEx a few months back. Remember...if you want a friend, be a friend....these UPT guys are going to be in your life a long time.

And like Bill said above....I ate a ton of red beans and rice at Proffits Porch, some catfish from Ruebens, and skied ever chance I got on the Tombigbee. And single guys.....U of Alabama (1 hour), Mississippi State (45 minutes) and the Mississippi University for Women (15 minutes). Get the BOLDFACE down cold, get your first checkride under your belt, then enjoy the best year of your life.....

Good luck and enjoy!
Last edited:
Laughlin (Del Rio), of course

I vote Laughlin AFB. A junker car and a carload to San Antonio on weekends. Also cross the border junkets for tequilia.
Last edited:
Best UPT base

If you like heat, sure, go to Laughlin. If you like humidity and rain, sure, go to Columbus. But, if you want a great place to fly, with little distractions, an I mean very little, go to Vance.

I spent three years at Vance, and I have to say it was outstanding. The only drawback is the cold wind directly from the arctic in the wintertime. The atmosphere and the people are the greatest there. Go to Vance.

UPT base

I was at Laughlin for 5+ years and don't ever want to go back. I must tell you though, the flying was great and it would have been a perfect assignment if I had been able to leave right after UPT(or even after a "normal" 3 year tour).

I also spent a few months instructing at Columbus. I was impressed. Weather was worse(great for instrument flying), but the area had a lot more to offer.

I don't know much about Vance, but many of my friends who went there don't have many nice things to say about it. I have no opinion.

Blue Skies
Went to Vance here and I liked it pretty well. The bottom line is that all the UPT bases are about the same...they're all in little towns in the middle of nowhere yet they're all not too far from cities to get away to on the weekends. (Vance...Oklahaoma City, Laughlin...San Antonio, Columbus...New Orleans) I've heard they're starting up Moody in Valdosta, GA which is only a few hours from Atlanta and Jacksonville. Back in the early nineties they closed down the best bases such as William AFB in Phoenix (THAT would be the deal!!!). With that said, it's really not going to make much of a difference where you go unless you happen to be from nearby. Also, I don't mean to sound negative but I serioiusly doubt you'll have a say in where you go. Relax...it's only a year and it goes by fast. Good luck!
UPT bases....

My personal opinion...

I did the Laughlin AFB thing as a UPT student, did it again as a T-38 instructor on active duty, and doing it AGAIN as a T-38 instructor in the reserves...so I'm a little biased. I will tell you that overall WX is best at Laughlin in terms of how often you fly (This from comparing notes with Vance and Columbus). Also, the routes to and from the MOAs are straight forward because Laughlin owns ALL the airspace within about a 70 mile radius all on the US side. Downside...it's isolated...and it gets HOT during the summer. Any additional questions, please PM me...


Latest resources