58 AS Airmen showcase C-17 capabilities to Altus, Vance AFB civic leaders

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Trenton Jancze
  • 97th Air Mobility Wing Public Affairs

Airmen from the 58th Airlift Squadron showcased C-17 Globemaster III capabilities and mission to civic leaders from Altus and Vance Air Force Base, Oklahoma, June 6, 2023.

During their flight, civics leaders had the opportunity to witness air refueling as well as ask the air crew questions about the mission. After their flights, the civics leaders gathered for a discussion with the 97th Air Mobility Wing commander, Col. Blaine Baker, and 71st Flying Training Wing commander, Col. Jay Johnson.

The 97th AMW’s mission is to “train exceptional mobility Airmen” on the KC-135 Stratotanker, KC-46 Pegasus and C-17, while the 71st FTW’s mission is to “train the world’s best pilots to defend our nation” utilizing the T-1A Jayhawk, T-6A Texan II and T-38C Talon. The civic leaders had the opportunity to witness first-hand the important connection between the two bases’ missions.

“Overall, it was a great opportunity,” said Mary Beth Tischler, 97th Operations Group honorary commander. “It is interesting to see where our pilots start their training, especially on such a small plane. It’s exciting to also see how the training all starts in another small town in Oklahoma, before they come to Altus. After today, you can really tell the importance between the two bases.”

Altus AFB trains 70% of all mobility aircrew members in the Air Force, while Vance AFB trains more than 300 pilots a year, 60% of whom move onto Altus for their formal training on the KC-135, KC-46, or C-17.

“I got to witness first hand the airpower that flies over Altus every day,” said Cody Nelson, Altus Military Affairs Committee member. “The professionalism and dedication that the aircrew has truly shows why they’re the best in the world. I am beyond proud to call Altus home and the thriving relationship we have with Altus Air Force Base.”

During their discussion, Baker reinforced why experiences like these are important for both our military and civic leaders.

“It means a lot to bring these two groups together,” he said. “Both our mission and Vance’s mission are critical in today’s Air Force, but that doesn’t happen without great civic leaders that support our Airmen and our communities. Today was about connecting our civic leaders, but also showcasing what we do and how important our connection truly is.”