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Congressman Lamborn visits Altus AFB

  • Published
  • By Tech. Sgt. Robert Sizelove
  • 97 Air Mobility Wing Public Affairs

On Oct. 30, 2020, 97th Air Mobility Wing leaders hosted Rep. Doug Lamborn, a Colorado Congressman, for a tour of Altus Air Force Base, Oklahoma.

Lamborn is the ranking member of the House Armed Services Subcommittee on Readiness, which oversees Department of Defense policy and programs related to the military’s ability to operate.

“Ours is a broad mandate, and includes things such as training, equipment maintenance and infrastructure,” said Lamborn. “I work closely with the committee chairman to ensure our warfighters have the ability to project and sustain power, particularly as the strategy shifts in focus to great power competition."

Lamborn’s visit to Altus was primarily focused on the tanker mission and to gain insight into the KC-46 Pegasus program.

“We need to understand how these challenges are impacting the Air Force’s ability to support the combatant commands,” said Lamborn. “It is one thing to get a briefing in Washington, but I prefer to hear directly from the men and women closest to the issue.”

In addition to increasing his knowledge of the wing’s aircraft and capabilities, the tour gave Lamborn an inside look into what it takes to carry out the wing’s mission to train exceptional mobility airmen.

“We try to get out to bases as often as possible to see first-hand what state they are in, how well military members and their families are supported, and to gain perspective about the priorities for infrastructure investment,” said Lamborn. “Resources are limited and we have to make sure they are prioritized against the most pressing needs in the field."

Lamborn also shared his thoughts on the KC-46 and KC-135 Stratotanker’s role in supporting global mobility.

“It was fascinating to go up in the new KC-46 and operate the boom with its remote visual system, and then compare that to the manual boom operation procedures of the older KC-135,” said Lamborn. “It was amazing to learn that the KC-135s in service today have been flying since the late 1950s and early 1960s. Yes, they’ve been upgraded over the years, but the fact that they’re still flying is a testament to both the original manufacture and to the excellent maintenance ever since.”

The tour concluded with a briefing on proposed quality of life initiatives, including future housing improvements in the Altus community. Lamborn left Altus armed with firsthand knowledge of the wing’s mission and what the U.S. Congress can do to help keep Altus growing as an Air Force installation.

“It is always an honor for me to see our great service men and women in action,” he stated. “I truly appreciate their service and the time they spent to help me better understand their mission and the challenges they face.”