Since its activation as a multi-engine flight training school in 1943, the 97th Air Mobility Wing has been the cornerstone of southwestern Oklahoma for 77 years. With an average of more than 300 days of weather conducive flying each year and a generally flat landscape with few obstructions, the wing is the ideal location to carry out its mission: “We Train Exceptional Mobility Airmen.” Now referred to as “Mobility’s Hometown,” the 97th AMW trains over 2,000 air mobility students annually, to include students from 16 different foreign nations. Our vision is that we continue to execute the “World’s Premier Training, Performed by Elite Airmen, in the Air Force’s Community of Choice.”
Altus Air Force Base is comprised of four groups and 18 squadrons of Airmen (Active Duty, Reserve, Guard, and Civilian). The wing is also an award-winning installation, winning the Commander in Chief’s Award for Installation Excellence, Major General Eubank Award, Air Force Food Service Excellence Award, Air Force’s Best Patient Safety Program Award, the Department of Defense’s Patient Engagement Award, the AETC Medical Home of the Year, three AETC Safety Awards, 19th Air Force’s Top Gray Tail of the Year, Outstanding Weather Organization Award, and the Aircrew Flight Equipment Large Program of the Year.
The 97th Operations Group oversees the three squadrons directly supporting the wing’s flying-training mission. The 58th Airlift Squadron is comprised of instructor pilots and loadmasters who train Airmen on the C-17 Globemaster III. The 54th Air Refueling Squadron trains pilots and boom operators on the KC-135 Stratotanker. Finally, the 56th Air Refueling Squadron is home to the formal training unit for pilots and boom operators on the Air Force’s newest addition to air mobility: the KC-46 Pegasus. These three air mobility schoolhouses conduct initial and advanced specialty training programs for airland, airdrop, and air refueling mobility forces, providing global reach for combat and contingency operations, as well as relief operations.
The mission support group provides direct mission support to the three mobility aircraft along with base-wide infrastructure, to include communications, civil engineering, law enforcement, force/fire protection, contracting, disaster response, and other agencies to support the mission of the base.
The wing’s medical group ensures maximum wartime readiness and combat capability by promoting the health, safety and morale of active duty personnel, increasing the overall wellness of the base and local community.
The 97th AMW is also home to the unique, all-civilian maintenance group, responsible for all aircraft maintenance, sortie generation and maintenance support for the Air Force’s sole C-17, KC-135 and KC-46 formal aircrew training schools. The wing commander’s priorities are Mission, Airmen, and Community.
As the wing moves into the twenty-first century, it continues to perform its basic mission that it started back in 1943, providing a safe and comfortable location to train mobility Airmen on the intricacies of operating multi-engine aircraft.
To learn more about the heritage of Altus AFB, click here.
The KC-135 Stratotanker provides the core aerial refueling capability for the United States Air Force and has excelled in this role for more than 50 years. This unique asset enhances the Air Force's capability to accomplish its primary mission of global reach. It also provides aerial refueling support to Air Force, Navy, Marine Corps and allied nation aircraft. The KC-135 is also capable of transporting litter and ambulatory patients using patient support pallets during aeromedical evacuations
Read more about the KC-135 Stratotanker.
The C-17 Globemaster III is the newest, most flexible cargo aircraft to enter the airlift force. The C-17 is capable of rapid strategic delivery of troops and all types of cargo to main operating bases or directly to forward bases in the deployment area. The aircraft can perform tactical airlift and airdrop missions and can transport litters and ambulatory patients during aeromedical evacuations when required. The inherent flexibility and performance of the C-17 force improve the ability of the total airlift system to fulfill the worldwide air mobility requirements of the United States.
Read more about the C-17 Globemaster III.
The KC-46A is intended to replace the U.S. Air Force's aging fleet of KC-135 Stratotankers which has been the primary refueling aircraft for more than 50 years. With more refueling capacity and enhanced capabilities, improved efficiency and increased capabilities for cargo and aeromedical evacuation, the KC-46A will provide aerial refueling support to the Air Force, Navy, Marine Corps as well as allied nation coalition force aircraft.
Read more about the KC-46A Pegasus.