Oklahoma Congressman Frank Lucas visits the ‘Mighty 97th’

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Miyah Gray
  • 97th Air Mobility Wing Public Affairs

Oklahoma Representative Frank Lucas and his team visited Altus Air Force Base, Oklahoma, April 22, 2022, to learn about the base’s training mission, surrounding community impact, and future installation infrastructure improvements.

After an initial briefing, 56th Air Refueling Squadron aircrew members hosted Lucas and gave a first hand-tour of a KC-46 Pegasus to demonstrate the wing’s newest weapon system capabilities and modernization of the United States Air Force’s next generation aircraft.

Col. Blaine Baker, 97th Air Mobility Wing commander, said Lucas’ visit to Altus provided him a valuable glimpse into the wing’s newest mission, as the sole training location of all USAF KC-46A Pegasus aircrews.

“We were thrilled to welcome Congressman Lucas back to Mobility’s Hometown,” Baker said. “It is important for him to spend the time seeing how we train the most inspired, proficient, and adaptive mobility Warriors. Our hopes for his visit are that he gained a better understanding of our unique mission here at the Mighty 97th and the mobility airpower we provide America."

Lucas’ team saw new installation updates to the base gate, the growth of base housing and future building plans to update Mendel Rivers Elementary school.

“It’s important that we show leaders that we don’t only train Airmen,” said Maj. Karissa Greene, 97th Force Support Squadron operations officer. “We also have a large presence in the community and we’re ready to help wherever and whenever we can.”

Lucas finished his tour by visiting base dormitories. The dorms are currently under construction, but when completed, will house over 100 Airmen.

Lucas’ said his visit to the 97th AMW is indicative of the need for Congress to support the base’s mission and the Airmen stationed here.

“We'd like to think that our commitments in Congress are meeting both the equipment and technology needs of Altus AFB, and also the quality of life requirements,” said Lucas. “We will step up to help you address the things that you're going to have to step up to. We have to be prepared in every way.”