ALTUS AIR FORCE BASE, Okla. --
It’s no secret to Airmen that Altus AFB is one of the more remote stateside duty stations in the Air Force. There is a stigma that seems to stick to remote duty locations such as Altus, which is Airmen will have a lousy experience during their assignment.
The good news is, an assignment at Altus AFB doesn’t have to be a negative experience. In fact some members of the base are here by choice.
“I have been stationed here for 13 years. August 4th will be 14 years,” said Tech. Sgt. Robert Black, NCO in charge of main shop at the 97th Logistics Readiness Squadron. “Initially I didn’t choose to be here, but then I got to know people and got involved with all the events downtown. Everything just kind of started forming for me here; everything I needed was here. I met my wife here and the people I’ve met have become a second family. The way I see it, I left home once and I don’t really want to do it again, so I’m settled in here.”
Black, who came from a rural upbringing, was drawn to put down roots here in Altus.
“With my background as being from the country, I was able to buy land and a house out in the middle of nowhere here,” said Black. “I have horses and there is hunting, fishing and a bunch of outdoor activities here. “
Other than the usual outdoor activities, Altus also has an Annual Rodeo and Rodeo Committee in charge of planning the event each year.
“Rodeo is a big part of my life, so with the local rodeo that’s here and being on the Rodeo Committee, it has just kind of kept me here,” Black said.
Not everyone comes from a rural area or is comfortable with outdoor activities, but the truth of the matter is, Airmen should push themselves into new experiences.
“If this isn’t your realm of small town life, I would recommend you get out and try new things; get outside of your comfort zone,” said Black. “Get involved with stuff in town like the VFW, the Altus Rodeo, the Rockin Rumble, the chili cook off and the Christmas parade. There is a lot of stuff to do. There are several lakes and campgrounds within reasonable driving distance … I would say just get out and experiment."
If Airmen need information about local activities and events some great sources for them are Altus AFB Outdoor Recreation, the Public Affairs office, 97th Force Support Squadron, and the local newspaper, the Altus Times.
As for Tech. Sgt. Black, he hopes to finish his career in Altus.
“At this point now, I am hoping to spend all 20 years here,” Black said. “I kind of accidentally submitted another in place BOP, so if it gets approved I won’t be disappointed. If we do get orders somewhere else, it’s what the Air Force wants, it’s where I’ll go, but I would like to finish out my career and retire here.”