Air Force Lackland

How Long is Air Force Basic Training?


Air Force Basic Training is seven weeks of training at Lackland Air Force Base. Over the course of seven weeks trainees will experience physical and mental exhaustion to see if they have what it takes to be a United States Airman. Here is what you can expect to happen over the seven weeks at Air Force Basic Training.

The Air Force are currently revising the Basic Training Schedule. We will update the blog with the relevant information once we have the new confirmed schedule. Information remains correct as of August 2018.

Air Force Basic Training Week Zero

Air Force Basic Training officially begins the minute trainees step off the bus at Lackland Air Force Base.

Like you’ve probably seen in the movies and heard stories about, the first day at basic training can be a culture shock. Trainees will be assigned a Military Training Instructor (MTI), who will immediately begin shouting orders.

Events that will occur during week zero:

  • In-processing
  • Receive first haircut
  • Learn their reporting statement (trainees should learn their reporting statement before they ship.)
  • Receive their flight assignment (a group of trainees that will train together for the duration of Air Force basic training)
  • Get issued clothing and equipment for training
  • Learn drill basics
  • Receive their individual duty assignment (a task/responsibility the trainee will have during training)

Week Zero may seem like a long week for trainees as their is a lot of sitting around and waiting, but training will pick up quickly the following week.

Air Force Basic Training Week One

For many trainees the challenge really begins during Week one, when they will begin to be challenged mentally and physically.

The days during training will begin early in the morning and go on late into the evening. Week one will be a long week of adjustments, as trainees begin to get a taste of what their new life will be.

Events that occur during week one:

  • Learn about entry control procedures (leaving and entering an area)
  • Learn the importance of fitness and nutrition
  • Go to medical and dental appointments
  • Learn about Air Force history
  • Receive their ID
  • Go over individual and flight drill
  • Get briefed on dorm preparation (making beds, folding clothes, etc.)
  • Learn Air Force rank insignia (trainees should try to memorize rank and insignia before they ship.)
  • Be issued their weapon
  • Learn about the parts that make up their weapon

Trainees will be taught a lot during the first week, it can be overwhelming as they are still trying to adjust to their new surroundings and routine.

Trainees who prepare themselves before they ship are likely to be more confident during this first week of training.

We’ve put together all you need to know to help prepare you for Air Force basic training, along with some of our tips to help you along the way.

Air Force Basic Training Week Two

By week two, trainees should begin adjusting to their new schedule and lifestyle. Early mornings and physical fitness will be routine to them as they truly begin transforming into their new self.

Trainees will begin to learn more about the deep heritage and history of the Air Force, that they will soon become proud of.

Events that occur during week two:

  • Trainees will receive career guidance
  • Learn about handling and maintaining their weapon
  • Go over Air Force history
  • Begin basic leadership and character development
  • Go over cyber and basic situational awareness

Week two will be filled with a lot of academics that trainees will be expected to learn and remember, this education will be applied through out training and their career in the United States Air Force.

Air Force Basic Training Week Three

As each week in training continues more and more will be expected by the Trainees to continue to perform at the highest level.

Week three’s main focus will be about detecting and how to counter diverse different types of threats.

Events that occur during week three:

  • Begin to mentally prepare for combat
  • Go over the law of armed conflict (the law of war)
  • Receive an introduction over Air Force combatives
  • Learn about antiterrorism/Force Protection
  • Receive their service uniform

Week three of Air Force basic training will focus on the important roles of the United States Air Force in preparing for any threats or attacks to our nation.

During this week trainees will get a glance at the importance their role will play in the future of the Air Force.

Air Force Basic Training Week Four

Trainees are officially past the half way point of training. By week four many trainees have fully adjusted and started gaining confidence in their training. Although they may be half way through they still have a lot to learn, and many more challenges to face.

Week four will be a hands-on week of training where trainees will learn defensive fighting techniques for combat.

Events that occur during week four:

  • Trainees will experience the gas chamber
  • Learn first aid in order to properly save lives
  • Go over cover and concealment for combat purposes
  • Taught different firing postitions
  • Learn defensive fighting positions
  • Review Foundational Expeditionary Skills Training (FEST)
  • Receive Air Expeditionary Force prep

Week four will be physically and mentally exhausting as trainees begin to develop the skills and knowledge necessary for combat. All of this training will be put to the test during week five.

Air Force Basic Training Week Five

Week five of Air Force Basic Training will put all trainees have learned so far to the test. Trainees will deploy out into the field, for the first time, for five days of combat scenario training.

Trainees will experience many different types of activities and maintain their own chain of command. This is will be their time to show what they are made of.

Events that will occur through out week five (also known as beast week):

  • Five day in-field training (BEAST)
  • Pugil stick battles
  • Combat Arms Training and Maintenance (CATM)
  • Leadership exercises

Upon completion of Beast Week, many trainees will feel more confident in their abilities and begin anticipating graduation.

Air Force Basic Training Week Six

With only two weeks left in Air Force basic training it’s time for trainees to be tested on everything they’ve been learning.

Week six will be a big evaluation week to ensure that trainees are ready to graduate and join the United States Air Force.

Events that occur during week six:

  • Learn about financial management for your military career
  • Learn how to cope with combat stress
  • Discover Air Force career path
  • Have a written test
  • Get evaluated on drill and  receive an inspection
  • Be given a physical fitness test

Trainees are so close to the finish line. Staying focused the sixth week of training is essential to study and pass exams so that they can enjoy next week’s festivities with friends and family for Air Force basic training graduation.


Air Force Basic Training Week Seven

The highly anticipated, week seven. Week seven is all about celebrating the accomplishments and transformation that trainees have made over the course of basic training.

Week seven is when trainees will finally be reunited with friends and family during graduation events, and earn the title of United States Airman.

Events that occur during week seven:

  • Get briefed on technical school (where Airmen will go after graduation)
  • Airman’s run
  • Airman’s coin ceremony
  • Airman’s parade
  • Graduation

To learn more about the events that occur during graduation read our Air Force Basic Training Graduation post.

Know someone who is going to Air Force basic training? Learn about sending your First Letter to basic training, and how to support your trainee through out the seven weeks.


  1. our son is in the Sept 4th class of the Air Force & we were told that the last 2 weeks 7 & 8 were going to be swapped.Is this correct? we are trying to follow what is going on each week & want to make sure it is correct. Any info you can provide us would be greatly appreciated.

    1. What is normally Week of Training 7 is now Week of Training 8, since they graduate at the end of Week of Training 8 now.

  2. Can you tell me the date of the class that is starting this week is graduating on 15 March? That is what we were told, and now just heard they are graduating on 17 March (Sunday)? Thanks

    1. Hi Janet, Air Force Basic Military Training (BMT) is 8 1/2 weeks long. A trainee starting at BMT the week of 15 January 2019 is scheduled to graduate on 14 March 2019. Graduation weekend starts the 14th with the Coin/Retreat Ceremony and ends on Sunday, 17 March 2019. If you have further questions, you can also send us an email at Have a great day!

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