The 97th Force Support Squadron's lineage began Sept. 11, 1947, when the unit was first activated as Squadron D, 97th Airdrome Group at Eielson Air Force Base, Alaska. The unit also served at Biggs AFB, Texas and Eaker AFB, Ark. before moving to Altus AFB, Okla. where it was aligned under the 97th Mission Support Group. On May 5, 2008, the unit was re-designated as the 97th Force Support Squadron.
The squadron supports the training, airlift and refueling missions of the 97th Air Mobility Wing by providing top quality manpower, civilian personnel, military personnel, lodging, dining, education, professional development, library, family support, child care and leisure services. The squadron has 520 personnel and manages a $12.2M annual operating budget. Force Support is also an integral part of the Aerospace Expeditionary Force with 78 members on deployment teams.
The squadron is comprised of five flights. The Manpower and Personnel Flight consists of military and civilian personnel along with manpower. Military personnel handle all personnel issues pertaining to active-duty, reserve and retired service members and their dependents. Included in the military personnel areas of responsibility are: assignments, decorations, promotions, deployment processing, reenlistments, separations, training and casualty assistance. Civilian personnel provides advice and assistance to commanders and supervisors on federal personnel rules, regulations and procedures concerning Department of the Air Force, Department of Defense and Non-Appropriated Fund employees for the following areas: recruitment, training, labor relations, compensation and conduct/discipline. The Manpower and Organization office is dedicated to supplying innovative management services to help the wing manage its manpower resources. In addition they act as the focal point for the Wing's Best Practice program and Air Force Productivity programs.
The Sustainment Services flight provides lodging for temporary duty and transient personnel, operates dining facilities for the enlisted work force and aircrew, and provides fitness and sports programs, activities and facilities for all assigned personnel. The Solar Inn Dining Facility provides high quality hot, nutritious food service to all enlisted and aircrew personnel annually in support of the Air Force readiness and peacetime mission. The Red River Inn annually accommodates 6,035 guests staying 106K bed-nights in 345 rooms throughout 13 buildings. The Fitness Center improves the quality of life and morale while preparing the military personnel for deployment by displaying excellence in physical fitness and athletic programming and competition.
The Airman and Family Services flight provides active duty members, retirees, DoD civilians and their families a wide range of services: relocation, information and referral assistance; Air Force Aid; financial guidance; spouse employment, transition; and Family and Life skills. It is a support base for families when the sponsor is away. The AFRC also provides Base Leadership with consultation services and resources to enhance quality of life and mission readiness. This flight is also responsible for our Child Development Center, Family Child Care and Youth Center, providing child development services and a broad spectrum of recreational and educational opportunities youth and their families of Altus AFB.
The Force Development Flight offers a variety of professional development, educational services and support to Team Altus members. The flight has a broad academic offering for enlisted, officers, civilians and their dependents in furthering their education. Additionally, the flight provides professional military education through the First Term Airman's Center for Airmen that are experiencing their first duty station and also the Airmen's Leadership School as Airmen prepare to advance into the ranks of non-commissioned officers. Our career assistance advisor is available to all military and civilian employees on the base to guide them in choosing their career paths and offering continuing professional education classes to further their knowledge, skills and abilities. The Altus AFB Library supports the community through their services, providing education and reading materials for all ages.
The Community Support Flight provides efficient, solvent, affordable, adaptable and customer-driven integrated food, outdoor recreation, bowling, golf and community-driven programs. Additionally, the flight provides leisure-time facilities and equipment to meet the social and recreational needs of the Altus community. Leisure-time facilities include Club Altus, Freedom Community Center, Outdoor Recreation, Galaxy bowling center, Windy Trails golf course, Skills Development Center, Auto Skills Development Center, swimming pool, paintball and archery ranges.
The Resource Management Flight offers financial and Information Technology (IT) support for the squadron. In addition to managing over $2.4M in annual contracts and almost $2M in APF operating funds, The Resource Management flight also oversees 17 Government Purchase Card accounts and 23 NAF Purchase Card accounts. The NAF Accounting Office prepares all NAF financial statements, processes payroll for NAF employees, and acts as the central cashier for all NAF activities. Our IT section supports over 400 desktop PC's and Laptops, as well as over 70 public PC's on 12 servers. In addition to providing support to the standard ".mil" user, FSS IT also configures, installs, and maintains a separate ".com" network.
The Marketing Department is here to spread the word about the Force Support Squadron and all the activities and resources that we offer. We gather information from each of the flights with regard to upcoming activities and events on-base and then create flyers, posters and other advertising material to let the base know what's going on. In addition, we've harnessed the power of the internet and social networking sites, such as Facebook, to reach the maximum number of people possible. We put our flyers on our website along with menus, hours of operation and other important information. We also publish a weekly newsletter called The Force Report that goes out in a base-wide email and is inserted into the weekly newspaper, The Freedom Flyer. In addition to marketing our materials, we take pictures at events, and assist Activity Managers with marketing plans to ensure that we get the word out to the max number of people in ample time to ensure max participation at our events.
For more information visit https://www.altusfss.com/
(Updated as of August 2017)