Located in Wichita Falls, Texas, Sheppard Air Force Base opened in October 1941 as an Army Air Corps, originally provided aircraft mechanics training and aircrews during World War II. Sheppard Air Force Base received its name in honor of Texas Senator John Morris Sheppard, who co-sponsored the Maternity and Infancy Protection Act of 1921 and was a firm supporter of military preparations before WWII. Sheppard Air Force Base has the largest technical training wing as well the world’s only internationally manned and managed flying training program.
The base began as Sheppard Field on 300 acres just south of Kell Field, named for the businessman Frank Kell. A Texas cattleman, oilman, and philanthropist, Joseph Sterling Bridwell, sold the land to the U.S. Army for one dollar.
The host unit on Sheppard Air Force Base is the 80th Flying Training Wing’s mission is “To produce the world’s finest NATO pilots with the skills and attitude to succeed in fighter aviation”. It is home of the Euro-NATO Joint Jet Pilot Training Program. It is a uniquely manned multinational organization with a USAF wing commander and an Italian Air Force operations group commander in the top two leadership positions. Command and operations officers’ positions in the flying training squadrons rotate among the participating nations, while the commander of the 80th Operations Support Squadron is always from the USAF.
Officers from all 13 participating nations fill subordinate leadership positions throughout the wing. Nine nations–Belgium, Denmark, Germany, Italy, The Netherlands, Norway, Turkey, Spain and the United States—provide instructor pilots based on their number of student pilots. Canada, Greece and Spain do not have student pilots in training, but do provide one instructor pilot. The current non-active signatory nations, the United Kingdom and Portugal, do not send student pilots nor do they provide instructor pilots, but retain the right to do so at any time. As an example of this totally integrated structure, an American student pilot may have a Belgian instructor pilot, a Dutch flight commander, a Turkish section commander, an Italian operations officer, and a German squadron commander.
This coin is minted in nickel brushed with antique finish. The semi sandblasted background brings out the features and details of the coin. The obverse depicts the 82nd Training Wing squadron logo with beautifully colored enamel. The reverse shows the stunning blue enameled Air Force logo. The new Air Force symbol is based on the familiar World War II “Hap” Arnold wings and represents the service’s heritage. The symbol’s modern design represents the Air Force’s present and future leading edge capabilities defending the United States.
Each coin measures 1 3/4 inch (44mm) in diameter.
This is a surplus NWTM item. Packaging may vary.
This coin features an out of date design and will not be remade after product is sold out.