History of the 97th Contracting Flight prior to 1991 is not available; however, there has been a procurement function at Altus Air Force Base since the reopening of the base in 1953 under the Tactical Air Command. The flight and the base later became a part of the Strategic Air Command; in July 1968, the Military Airlift Command assumed command of all related airlift units.
Prior to its activation, the 97th Contracting Flight was the base procurement office until April 1985 when it relocated under the Deputy Commander for Resource Management. In 1990, the unit was renamed the Operations Contracting Division.
In early 1991, the unit transferred from the 443rd Military Airlift Wing Resource Management and aligned under the 443rd Supply Squadron. Later that year, it became the 443rd Contracting Squadron and realigned under the 443rd Logistics Group.
In June 1992, the base came under the Air Mobility Command. In October 1992, the 443rd Contracting Squadron was inactivated and the 97th Contracting Squadron stood up and became part of the 97th Logistics Group.
In July 1993, all units on base again changed command, this time to the Air Education and Training Command.
In August 2002, 97th Logistics Group deactivated and the squadron moved to the 97th Mission Support Group.
In June 2014, the Squadron redesignated as the 97th Contracting Flight and remained assigned to the 97th Mission Support Group.
The flight, comprised of 14 civilians and 14 military personnel, serves as the key business adviser to the wing commander and staff for acquisition and contracting. It contracts for all supplies and equipment not stocked by the supply squadron. It negotiates architect-engineer design contracts as well as purchases and administers construction contracts for alterations, maintenance, and repair of real property. It carries on negotiations and administers all service contracts and contract repair of equipment, receives and processes purchase requests, provides administrative support and generates various listings and reports using the standard procurement system. The flight manages and oversees the small business program, the quality assurance program, and the Government Purchase Card Program for the base. Total annual contracting program is about $30 million.
The unit's commitment to quality and excellence earned it the distinction as the Best AETC Small Contracting Unit Awards in 2003, 2005, 2008, 2014 and 2015 and achieving the coveted "Outstanding" Rating for the HQ AETC Inspector General in 2006. Historically, the flight has also garnered Air Force Outstanding Unit Awards for the following years: 1992, 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 1998, 2000, 2004, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, and 2013.
(Current as of April 2019)