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United States Air Force Tail Codes
Latest update: April 2024
USAF Tail Codes
Code Code reference Named after Base Comments
AC Atlantic City City Atlantic City IAP, NJ  
AF Air Force Heritage Pueblo Memorial, CO  
AK Alaska State JB Elmendorf-Richardson, AK  
AL Alabama State Montgomery (Dannelly Field), AL  
AP     NAS Pensacola, FL  
AT ANG AFRC Test Center Squadron Tucson IAP, AZ  
AV Aviano Base Aviano AB, Italy  
AZ Arizona State Tucson IAP, AZ  
BB Beale Bandits History Beale AFB, CA See additional info.
BD Barksdale Base Barksdale AFB, LA  
CA California State Moffett Federal Airfield, CA  
CB Colombus Base Columbus AFB, MS  
CH Creech   Creech AFB, NV  
CI Channel Islands Base NAS Point Mugu / Channel Islands ANGS, CA  
CO Colorado State Buckley AFB, CO  
D 100th ARW Heritage RAF Mildenhall, UK  
DC District of Colombia State Andrews AFB, MD  
DM Davis-Monthan Base Davis Monthan AFB, AZ  
DP Dog Patchers Squadron Davis Monthan AFB, AZ  
DR     Davis Monthan AFB, AZ  
DY Dyess Base Dyess AFB, TX  
ED Edwards Base Edwards AFB, CA  
EL Ellsworth Base Ellsworth AFB, SD  
EN ENJJPT Squadron Sheppard AFB, TX See additional info.
ET Eglin Test Base and role Eglin AFB, FL  
FF First Fighter Heritage Langley AFB, VA  
FL Florida State Eglin AFB, FL  
FM Florida Makos State & nickname Homestead AFB, FL  
FT Flying Tigers   Moody AFB, GA  
GA Georgia State Robins AFB, GA  
GF Grand Forks Base Grand Forks AFB, ND  
HD     Holloman AFB, NM Holloman Drone??
HH Hickam Hawaii Base JB Pearl Harbor-Hickam, HI  
HL Hill Base Hill AFB, UT  
HO Holloman Base Holloman AFB, NM  
HT Holloman Test Base and role Holloman AFB, NM  
IA Iowa State Des Moines IAP, IA  
ID Idaho State Boise (Gowen Field), ID  
IN Indiana State Fort Wayne, IN  
JS     Melbourne IAP, FL JSTAR??
JZ     New Orleans JRB, LA Jazz??
KC Kansas City City Whiteman AFB, MO  
LA Louisiana State Barksdale AFB, LA  
LF     Luke AFB, AZ  
LI     Suffolk County AP  
LN Lakenheath Base RAF Lakenheath, UK  
LV Las Vegas City Nellis AFB, NV  
MA Massachusetts State Barnes Municipal Airport, MA  
MD Maryland State Baltimore / Martin State AP, MD  
MI Michigan State Selfridge ANGB, MI  
MM Malmstrom Montana?   Malmstrom AFB, MT  
MN Minnesota State Duluth IAP, MN  
MO Mountain Home Base Mountain Home AFB, ID  
MT Minot Base Minot AFB, ND  
OF Offutt Base Offut AFB, NE  
OH Ohio State Springfield (Beckley MAP), OH  
OK Oklahoma State Tulsa IAP, OK  
OS Osan Base Osan AB, South Korea  
OT Operational Test Role Edwards AFB, CA  
PR Puerto Rico State Luis Muñiz Marin IAP. Puerto Rico  
RA Randolph Base JBSA-Randolph, TX  
RS Ramstein Base Ramstein AB, Germany  
SA San Antonio City Lackland AFB, TX  
SC South Carolina State Mc Entire ANGB, SC  
SJ Seymour Johnson Base Seymour Johnson AFB, SC  
SP Spangdahlem Base Spangdahlem AB, Germany  
ST Sheppard Training Base Sheppard AFB, TX  
SW Shaw Base Shaw AFB, SC  
TD     Tyndall AFB, FL Tyndall??
TR Tonopah Range   Tonopah, NV  
TX Texas State Fort Worth JRB, TX  
TY Tyndall Base Tyndall AFB, FL  
VN Vance Base Vance AFB, OK  
VT Vermont State Burlington IAP, VT  
WA Western Airlines Heritage Nellis AFB, NV See additional info.
WI Wisconsin State Truax Field, Madison, WI  
WM Whiteman Base Whiteman AFB, MO  
WP Wolf Pack Heritage Kunsan AB, South Korea  
WR Warner-Robins   Palmdale Regional (USAF Plant 42), CA  
WW Wild Weasel Heritage Misawa AB, Japan  
XL Roman Numerals for “40.” Commemoration Laughlin AFB, TX See additional info.
YJ Yokota Japan?   Yokota AB, Japan  
ZZ See comment Heritage Kadena AB, Japan See additional info.
Additional tail code information
BB (courtesy of the 9th Reconnaissance Wing Public Affairs Office and the 1st Reconnaissance Squadron):

The BB is just a base designator for a military plane. Different agencies use different sources to identify bases, ICAO is a 4-digit code used internationally so Beale would be KBAB, IATA uses a 3-digit code so again Beale would be BAB.

The prevailing theory for the BB is it stands for Beale Bandits. A name used frequently for Beale activities in years past, predominantly by the Beale little League when it existed “Beale Bandit Baseball".

EN (courtesey of the 80th Flying Training Wing Public Affairs Office):

“EN” refers to ENJJPT, the Euro-NATO Joint Jet Pilot Training program.

WA (explained by the Thunderbirds on their Instagram account):

Las Vegas Airport was opened in 1929 as a small dirt airfield and was later sold to Western Air Express in 1932, who used the airfield as a stop between LA and Salt Lake City. The city of Las Vegas purchased the airfield and leased it out to the U.S. Army for their Flexible Gunnery School during WWII. After WWII ended, the airfield became the home of advanced pilot training and was later renamed “Nellis Air Force Base”.

XL (courtesey of the 47th Flying Training Wing Public Affairs Office):

The name “Team XL,” was introduced in 1982 to commemorate the 40-year anniversary of Laughlin’s founding. The Public Affairs office created the “XL” from the Roman Numerals for “40.” The numerals were loved so much by the base population and local community that it stuck and became part of Laughlin’s identity.

ZZ (explained by 18th Wing on the Kadena website):

The code of "ZZ" was chosen due to the fact that the code "KA" had already been used by the 457th Tactical Airlift Wing stationed at Cam Rahn Bay in Vietnam, and the fact that the wing was already using the letter "Z" as the first letter of their old tail code. Wing leaders saw the "ZZ" code as a mark of distinction.