46 Years of Partnership: Airpower and Agriculture community tour

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

To celebrate 46 years of partnership with the local agricultural community, Airmen from the 97th Air Mobility Wing took time to dive deeper into the relationship between southwest Oklahoma and Altus Air Force Base.

Thirty Airmen visited multiple locations around the area, including the Altus Dam at Lake Altus-Lugert, Western Oklahoma State College, and the Cotton Growers Co-op, Nov. 30, 2023.

This year, the tour, formerly known as “Farm City Week,” was renamed “Airpower and Agriculture” to better reflect the mission and intent of the event, giving Airmen an opportunity to gain an understanding of the local agricultural community, and for the local agricultural community to get a better understanding of the mission at Altus AFB.

“Less than 1.5% of Americans work in the military and less than 1.5% work in agriculture,” said Tom Buchanan, Lugert-Altus Irrigation District manager. “We have both here in Altus, where they help not only play a critical role in southwest Oklahoma, but our entire nation.”

As the Airmen of Altus strive to be good neighbors to the City of Altus and the surrounding communities, events like this are essential in fostering relationships.

“To me, it’s mind blowing,” said Donalyn Diaz, 54th Air Refueling Squadron unit program coordinator, in response to Buchanan’s insight on the agricultural impacts. “It’s inspiring that Altus is an essential part to both of these small populations in the U.S.”

Diaz has been a part of both communities for almost 30 years since her family moved to Altus AFB in 1989. She has since been molded by the two communities while holding multiple positions here on base since turning 19 years old.

“It makes me really proud,” she said. “It’s two different worlds coming together, for something bigger. It’s incredible to think about and it makes me emotional, because I’m proud to be from here.”

In January, the agriculture community will have the opportunity to learn more about Altus AFB’s mission by touring the base.