A century of innovation

From Brooks Air Force Base to Brooks City Base to Brooks

This area of South San Antonio has over a century of history to its name, including pioneering space exploration discoveries and a visit from President John F. Kennedy. Brooks Air Force Base was named after Sidney J. Brooks, a native San Antonian who was killed in a solo training flight en route back from Hondo to Kelly Field.

Many innovations were made at Brooks School of Aviation Medicine and then the School of Aerospace Medicine, including early flight instruments, the backpack parachute, and medical procedures such as MRIs and Lasik surgery.

After the Air Force Base was added to the BRAC (base realignment and closure) list, this corner of San Antonio went through many evolutions, until the 100th anniversary of the base in 1917. In 2017, the name was officially changed to Brooks to align with the identity as an up-and-coming community with a vision as big as Texas. Today, anyone can live, work, learn, play, or stay in the area as there are new residences, businesses, and job opportunities [link to Work page] being added all the time.

Brooks Air Force Base San Antonio Texas

1917


Brooks Field established as an Army Air Corps installation to provide advanced flying training for young cadets. During the early days of aviation, pilots only flew during the day, never at night or in bad weather.

military aviation plane Brooks San Antonio

1927


School of Aviation Medicine moves to Brooks Field from New York.

Brooks Field San Antonio Texas

1947


Brooks Field becomes Brooks Air Force Base. To take off, pilots would chase JACKRABBITS through a field of grass and when they reached the same speed as the rabbit, they knew they were going fast enough to pull the stick back to go airborne.

School of Aerospace Medicine Brooks San Antonio

1957


Groundbreaking for new facilities at Brooks to house the School of Aerospace Medicine. Many aerospace medicine discoveries made at Brooks Air Force Base were used to develop modern medicine down on earth, including the invention of the MRI machine and Lasik surgery.

Brooks Air Force Base San Antonio Texas

1995


Brooks placed on and then is removed from the BRAC closure list.

Hangar 9 Brooks San Antonio Texas

1997


Planning between the Air Force and City of San Antonio produces “City Base Concept.”

Brooks Air Force Base San Antonio Texas

1999


Congress enacts Brooks City Base Project special legislation; amends it in 2000.

brooks Development Authority Brooks San Antonio

2001


City of San Antonio establishes the Brooks Development Authority; State of Texas creates military base redevelopment authorities.

historic sites San Antonio Texas Brooks

2002


Brooks Air Force Base is conveyed to BDA creating “Brooks City Base,” a unique partnership among the U.S. Air Force, the City of San Antonio, the State of Texas and the Brooks Development Authority.

Brooks Air Force Base San Antonio Texas

2005


Air Force missions at Brooks City Base are designated to relocate as a result of 2005 BRAC decision.

Brooks Air Force Base closes

2011


Air Force mission presence at Brooks ceases on September 15; 94 years of military activity.

Brooks San Antonio Texas

2013


Brooks redefines its mission and vision as a catalyst of economic development that continues to enhance opportunities for those who live, work, learn and play here.

Live Brooks San Antonio Texas

2017


The former Brooks Air Force Base turns 100 years old, while the development known as Brooks City Base turns 15 years old, kicking off a unique year-long celebration called the Quincetennial. During this eventful year of milestones, Brooks City Base becomes Brooks to align our name with our identity as an up-and-coming community with a vision as big as Texas.