Great minds think together: 97 AMW welcomes Vance and Sheppard AFB chapel teams

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Heidi Bucins
  • 97th Air Mobility Wing Public Affairs

The 97th Air Mobility Wing chapel team welcomed chapel staff from Sheppard and Vance Air Force Bases for a visit, Jan. 19, 2024.

The event was held to share best practices, foster partnerships, and improve care for Airmen, while sharing the mission of the 97th AMW.

Participants toured the 54th Air Refueling Squadron, where they experienced a KC-135 Stratotanker Boom Operator Weapons System Trainer that is used to provide hands-on training for boom operator students.

Lt. Col. Duane McCrory, 71st Flying Training Wing chaplain, explained why gaining a new perspective was important.

“Many of our students at Vance AFB come to bases like this after they graduate,” said McCrory. “It is helpful to see the next step in training so we can get a sense of what they’ll be doing next and how to mentor and counsel them.”

Chapel personnel also visited the flightline where they got to tour a KC-46A Pegasus aircraft. The tour ended at the base chapel, where leadership held a luncheon and team briefings.

Lt. Col. Edward Sanders, 82nd Training Wing Individual Mobilization Augmentee to the wing chaplain, shared why the tour was important to attend.

“Today was helpful,” he said. “We were able to discuss some of the challenges that we face within training missions and ways we can work together, finding new ideas to overcome those obstacles.”

The outcome from the tour was clear for Capt. Ryan Hansard, 97th AMW chaplain, as he expressed the significance of hosting the event.

“Our tour was a resounding success, fostering collaboration amongst Sheppard, Vance, and Altus AFB,” said Hansard. “Together we’ve strengthened relationships, shared best practices, and are better equipped to care for Airmen.”