19th AF command team makes first visit to AAFB

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

Maj. Gen. Phillip Stewart, 19th Air Force commander, and Chief Master Sgt. Justin Apticar,  19th AF command chief, visited Altus Air Force Base, Oklahoma, Jan. 25-27, 2023.

Stewart visited the base to get a firsthand look at “mobility’s hometown” mission, and this was his first visit to Altus since taking command in August 2022.

“Our goal was to show him how all of our assets work together,” said Maj. Chelsea Arnold, 97th Medical Group mental health flight commander. “We were able to show off what our base does and how we support the air-to-air refuelers with our C-17 [Globemaster III], KC-135 [Stratotanker] and KC-46 [Pegasus] missions.”

Stewart and Apticar engaged with leaders from the 97th Security Forces Squadron, 97th Logistics Readiness Squadron, 97th Maintenance Group and the 97th Medical Group.

They also toured the spouse coworking space in downtown Altus, which is a dedicated location that military spouses can telework or attend online classes from. There they met with members of the Altus Chamber of Commerce and Military Affairs Committee.

“You've got a fantastic community here,” Stewart said. “The relationship you have here with your base is like few bases in the U.S.”

To wrap-up their visit, both Stewart and Apticar held an all-call at the base theater, where they outlined their leadership philosophies, goals and visions for the next generation of Airman leaders.

“My philosophy is people, mission, team,” Apticar said. “Once the people are taken care of in all aspects, the mission gets accomplished, but none of you do it by yourself. We all do it as a team.”

Stewart highlighted the importance of front-line supervisors treating people with respect, executing the mission, and enforcing Air Force standards. He also highlighted AAFB’s accomplishments and praised Airmen for their hard work and dedication.

“Altus Air Force Base executes the mission and you should be very proud,” Stewart said. “It’s not a mission that’s easy. You are teaching and instructing on multiple airframes. No one accomplishes their mission in the Air Force better than the people at Altus AFB.”