STARBASE began in 1989 as an idea in the minds of three people. Barbara Koscak, a Michigan elementary school teacher, Brigadier General David Arendts (Ret.), Commander of the 127th Fighter Wing at Selfridge Air National Guard Base in Michigan, and Lieutenant Colonel Rico Racosky, an F-16 pilot and creator of dream + action= Reality.

Their dream was to create a program which responded to the needs of youth through a curricula of goal setting skills and stimulating hands-on math and science activities, coupled with drug demand reduction.

The very first program was funded with a grant from the Kellogg Foundation, establishing a pilot program at Selfridge. After a year of classes, Senator Carl Levin of Michigan, responding to a letter of support from Lieutenant General John Conway, Commander of the Air National Guard, sought the additional support from Georgia Senator Sam Nunn. In the summer of 1992, Senators Levin and Nunn presented the STARBASE program to Congress for funding under the Department of Defense budget. In October of the same year, President George H. Bush signed a bill into law making funding available for the next seven years.

STARBASE ROBINS was the 18th STARBASE to begin operations with its inaugural classes in 1996. It is one of numerous civil-military cooperation initiatives approved by Major General Robert A. McIntosh, United States Air Force, Chief of Air Force Reserve.