OSU Agriculture students see what’s growing on AAFB

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Kari Degraffenreed
  • 97th Air Mobility Wing Public Affairs

Students from Oklahoma State University’s Agricultural Leadership Experience visited Altus Air Force Base, Oklahoma, Oct. 25, 2022, to see how the base connects with the surrounding agricultural community and what career opportunities AAFB has to offer young leaders in their field.

Every year, junior and senior students are chosen from the OSU Agricultural Leadership Experience Program to tour multiple organizations, ranches and institutions throughout Oklahoma to see what working in agriculture looks like.

The tour began with a brief by Maj. Caleb Egli, 97th Air Mobility Wing executive officer, about Altus’ mission, priorities and rich agricultural history. Egli explained the deep roots that connect the local community to the base through events like the annual cattle drive, “The Red River Thunder” airshow and the local rodeo.

“It’s hard to separate the local community from the base,” said Egli. “We have so many events that are either hosted by the base inviting the community in or the community inviting people from the base out. There are deeply rooted connections here.”

Next, the students visited the 97th Civil Engineer Squadron where they were met by Chuck Butchee, 97th CES deputy squadron commander and OSU alumni, and Dave Wallace, 97th CES installation chief. Both Butchee and Wallace work on several environmental projects for the base, including events such as the annual dove hunt and stocking fish in the nearby lake.

During their presentation, the duo gave the students a brief history of how they started their work on a military installation and how their combined backgrounds in service, environmental science, and organic chemistry helped prepare them for their current roles.