Mission - The mission of the 97th Operations Group is to initiate Global Mobility by expertly training airlift and aerial refueling aircrews to achieve global reach and power while simultaneously maintaining worldwide deployment capabilities.
The 97th Operations Group is the home of the Air Force's only KC-135, KC-46, and C-17 formal training units (FTU), responsible for initial and upgrade aircrew training for all three weapons systems.
The group consists of the 54th Air Refueling Squadron, 56th Air Refueling Squadron, 58th Airlift Squadron, and 97th Training Squadron, which train highly capable and qualified aircrew for USAF active duty, Air National Guard and Air Force Reserve along with 19 NATO and allied countries. The elite instructor corps provides training in specialized areas including: aerial refueling, airdrop, night vision goggle operations, low-level environments, assault zone landings as well as tactical procedures.
The 97th Operations Support Squadron’s airfield operations including weather, tactics, and aircrew flight equipment flights enable the daily flying operations required to accomplish student training.
All of these agencies work together, enabling the 97th Operations Group’s execution of the 97th Air Mobility Wing’s $410 million dollar flying-training program.
The 97th Operations Group is also leading the way with its Virtual/Enhanced Reality Training, Innovation and Generation Office (VERTIGO), whose innovative partnerships with AFWERX continue to explore the utilization of emerging technologies to train future students across all three airframes. Leveraging the experience of some of the Air Force’s top innovators, VERTIGO continues to push the leading edge to immerse students in virtual training environments that match what is found in the cockpit.
The incredible efforts of the 97th Operations Group’s instructors, as well as its military and civilian support personnel, make Altus the premiere training location for the future of America’s Air Mobility and enables it to be poised to provide real-world support in times of natural disasters and humanitarian crisis across the globe both now and well into the future.
(Updated as of October 2020)