The 502nd ABW continued to perform the installation support mission at Maxwell and Gunter until 1 October 1994. That day, the 502nd ABW inactivated once again and the 42nd Air Base Wing took over installation support for Maxwell and Gunter.
On 9 November 2005, President George W. Bush endorsed the recommendations of the Base Realignment and Closure Commission (BRAC), and signed them into law. One of the recommendations called for the implementation of joint basing. Joint basing involved a single entity that managed the support functions of two or more adjacent DoD installations. The commission felt that combined support functions eliminated duplicated efforts and created a single efficient organization. For San Antonio, the commission recommended joint basing for the three major installations around the city; Fort Sam Houston, Lackland AFB, and Randolph AFB. The Air Force, as the lead service for Joint Base San Antonio (JBSA), looked to one of the few wings with a history of accomplishing an installation support mission, the 502nd Air Base Wing.
On 1 August 2009, the 502nd ABW activated once again, this time to perform the vital joint base mission. Because of its central location in San Antonio and Bexar County, Texas, the Air Force activated the wing at Fort Sam Houston. This also marked the return of a major Air Force presence to Fort Sam Houston for the first time since 1917. Unlike its prior activations, the 502nd ABW did not replace a unit. The wing gradually built its staff over the next few months, while it coordinated with the support functions at Fort Sam Houston, Lackland AFB, and Randolph AFB, in anticipation of JBSA achieving Initial Operational Capability (IOC). When IOC occurred, the 502nd ABW assumed the installation support mission for the three installations.