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U. S. Air Force Tail Codes

Tail Codes
USAF jet fighter Tail Codes

Tail Codes are markings usually on the vertical stabilizer of U.S. military aircraft that help to identify the aircraft's unit and/or base assignment and other information that is not unique.

This is not the same as the Air Force Serial Number, Navy Bureau Number, aircraft registration number, or Buzz Number.

Since 1993, all Air Force units, including Air Force Reserve and Air National Guard, utilize this system.

Two large letters identify the home base, or in some organizations, an historic legacy. Air National Guard units usually use the two-letter state abbreviation as a tail code.

The Air Force aircraft Serial Number is also usually marked on the tail.

The first two digits of the serial number indicate the year in which the aircraft was ordered, the remaining digits being a sequential number within that year.

List of Commonly Used U.S. Air Force Base Tail Codes

Tail Code U.S. Air Force Base
AF USAF Academy, CO
AK Elmendorf AFB, AK
AK Eielson AFB, AK
AU Maxwell AFB, AL
BB Beale AFB, CA
BD Barksdale AFB, LA
CB Columbus AFB, MS
CC Cannon AFB, NM
CO Buckley ANGB, CO
CR or CS Peterson AFB, CO
DB Dobbins ARB, GA
DC Andrews AFB, MD
DM or DR Davis-Monthan AFB, AZ
DY Dyess AFB, TX
ED Edwards AFB, CA
EG Eglin AFB, FL
EL Ellsworth AFB, SD
EN Sheppard AFB, TX
ET Eglin AFB, FL
FC Fairchild Republic AFB, WA
FF Langley AFB, VA
FF or FL Patrick AFB, FL
FM Homestead ARB, FL
FT Pope AFB, NC
GA Robins AFB, GA
GF Grand Forks AFB, ND
HI or HL Hill AFB, UT
HO or HT Holloman AFB, NM
HV Vandenberg AFB, CA
JS Robins AFB, GA
KC Whiteman AFB, MO
KS or KT Keesler AFB, MS
LA Barksdale AFB, LA
LF or LR Luke AFB, AZ
LK Little Rock AFB, AR
MM Malmstrom AFB, MT
MO Mountain Home AFB, ID
MT Minot AFB, ND
MX Maxwell AFB, AL
MY Moody AFB, GA
NJ McGuire AFB, NJ
NM Kirtland AFB, NM
OF Offutt AFB, NE
OK Tinker AFB, OK
OT Eglin AFB, FL
OT Cannon AFB, NM
PF Peterson AFB, CO
SA Kelly AFB, TX
SH Tinker AFB, OK
SJ Seymour Johnson AFB, NC
SM McClellan AFB, CA
SW Shaw AFB, SC
TF NAS JRB Fort Worth, TX
TY Tyndall AFB, FL
VN Vance AFB, OK
WA Nellis AFB, NV
WE Tyndall AFB, FL
WM Whiteman AFB, MO
XL Laughlin AFB, TX

 

Photographs Showing U.S. Air Force Tail Codes

Tail Code "DM" (Davis-Monthan AFB) on a Fairchild-Republic A-10A Thunderbolt II, Air Force Serial Number 75-0298 355th Wing, Davis-Monthan AFB
Tail Code "DM" on a Fairchild-Republic A-10A Thunderbolt II, Air Force Serial Number 75-0298, 355th Wing, Davis-Monthan AFB

Tail Code SH (Tinker AFB) on F-105D Thunderchief, Air Force Serial Number 62-4360
at the Charles B. Hall Airpark located at Tinker Air Force Base, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
F-105D S/N 62-4360 at the Charles B. Hall Airpark located at Tinker Air Force Base, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

Tail Code LF on McDonnell-Douglas F-4D Phantom II, Serial Number 66-8812, at Tyler, TX
Tail Code LF on McDonnell-Douglas F-4D Phantom II, Serial Number 66-8812

F-15 Eagle S/N 74124, Tail Code EG (Eglin AFB), at the Air Force Armament Museum, Fort Walton, Florida
F-15 Eagle S/N 74124

F-15A Eagle of the 325th Fighter Wing, Tail Code TY (Tyndall Air Force Base, Florida) (photo by Michael Hoschouer)
F-15A Eagle at Tyndall Air Force Base, Florida

 

 

F-16 Fighting Falcon S/N 80573, Tail Code ET (Eglin AFB), at the Air Force Armament Museum in Florida
F-16 Fighting Falcon S/N 80573

F-16 Fighting Falcon, AF 790307, 27FW, Tail Code CC (Cannon Air Force Base), Clovis, New Mexico (photo by Andrew Hersey)
F-16 Fighting Falcon, AF790307, 27FW, on display at Cannon Air Force Base, Clovis, New Mexico

F-16 Fighting Falcon, Tail Code AK (Eielson Air Force Base), near Fairbanks, Alaska (photo by Michael Hoschouer)
F-16 Fighting Falcon on display at Eielson Air Force Base near Fairbanks, Alaska

F-16C Falcon, Tail Code CO (Buckley Air Force Base), Colorado (photo by Michael Hoschouer)
F-16C Falcon on display at Buckley Air Force Base, Aurora, Colorado

Tail section of SR-71A Blackbird, S/N 61-7967, Tail Code BB (Beale AFB)
Tail section of SR-71A Blackbird, S/N 61-7967

Tail Code SH on F-4D Phantom II, Serial Number 66-7518, Tail Code SH (Tinker AFB), Oklahoma City
F-4D Phantom II S/N 66-7518 at the Charles B. Hall Airpark located at Tinker Air Force Base, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

Tail section of F-105 Thunderchief, S/N 57-803, Tail Code HI (Hill AFB), on display at the March Field Air Museum in California
F-105 Thunderchief, S/N 57-803, on display at the March Field Air Museum in California

 

 

A variety of Air Force tail codes, Pima Air and Space Museum, Tucson, Arizona
A variety of Air Force tail codes