Oklahoma military leaders converge for annual summit at Altus AFB

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. Cody Dowell
  • Altus Air Force Base Public Affairs

Military leaders from across the state gathered at the 97th Air Mobility Wing for the Oklahoma Commanders Summit, Feb. 3-4, 2020, at Altus AFB. The summit is held annually at a different military installation and aims to build cooperation and efficiency among the service branches.

Leaders from the Army, Navy, Air Force and Air National Guard, along with civilian representatives from agencies that work closely with the military, attended for the summit to discuss common issues affecting each service in the state of Oklahoma.

“The primary benefit of gathering like this, is to connect installation leadership across the state,” said U.S. Air Force Col. Paul Filcek, 72nd Air Base Wing commander. “This gathering allows us to organize our priorities when presenting to local and state representatives that have an effect on the military.”

The leaders shared their respective mission and practices, as well as pressing issues concerning each base. The summit started off with the opportunity to witness aircrew training on a C-17 Globemaster III, highlighting part of Altus AFB’s primary mission of training, Mobility Airmen.

“Installations like the 97th Air Mobility Wing are critical and can be undersold on how important training is,” said Filcek. “The mission here and at other training installations are the cornerstone of our nation’s military branches.”

Last year pressing topics included: the REAL ID Act, licensing reciprocity, innovation center, veteran retirement exemption, law enforcement certification, protecting military training space and DoD medical facility reorganization.

“I have been to number of leadership summits,” said Filcek. “I have seen nothing quite like the uniqueness of the Oklahoma Commanders Summit. I hope it continues to improve our state military network connections so that military leadership and military state representatives can continue to benefit overtime.”

The topics of discussion for this year’s summit included: quality of life initiatives, veterans benefits, hiring authority, infrastructures, medical services, installation security and exclusive issues pertaining to each installation.

“Each installation has a unique mission set and it’s a great opportunity for other installations to experience Mobility’s Hometown,” said Col. Matthew Leard, 97th AMW commander. “We all face slightly different versions of the same challenges, but during the summit, we get to come together to discuss issues and find the best way to address these issues for the future.”

The ability to have gatherings like the summit are a beneficial occasion for military leaders to address meet the needs of the installation.