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OK Governor experiences rapid global mobility firsthand

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Oklahoma Gov. J. Kevin Stitt is greeted by U.S. Air Force Col. Blaine Baker, 97th Air Mobility Wing (AMW) commander and Chief Master Sgt. Cesar Flores, 97th AMW command chief, upon arriving at the base, July 22, 2021, at Altus Air Force Base, Oklahoma. The governor was joined by several of his cabinet members to see an up-close demonstration of the aircrew training on the base. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Cody Dowell)

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U.S. Air Force Maj. Curtis Sinewe, 97th Operations Support Squadron director of staff, goes over flight plans for Oklahoma Gov. J. Kevin Stitt and his cabinet members, July 22, 2021, at Altus Air Force Base, Oklahoma. The plan involved having the group board two C-17 Globemaster III’s for a first-hand experience of the rapid global mobility 97th Air Mobility Wing Airmen provide to the modern Air Force. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Cody Dowell)

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U.S. Air Force Maj. Curtis Sinewe, 97th Operations Support Squadron director of staff, talks with Oklahoma Gov. J. Kevin Stitt aboard a C-17 Globemaster III, July 22, 2021, in the skies of Southwest Oklahoma. The C-17 provides rapid strategic delivery of troops and cargo in support of combat, contingency and relief operations. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Cody Dowell)

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U.S. Air Force Stephen Spirlock, 58th Airlift Squadron instructor loadmaster, looks at a C-17 Globemaster III trailing his aircraft, July 22, 2021, in the skies of Southwest Oklahoma. Viewing the second aircraft while airborne was one of the maneuvers shown to Oklahoma state officials to showcase the capabilities of Mobility’s Hometown. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Cody Dowell)

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U.S. Air Force Master Sgt. Bradley Edwards, 58th Airlift Squadron evaluator loadmaster, goes over a pre-departure brief for passengers aboard a C-17 Globemaster III, July 22, 2021, at Altus Air Force Base, Oklahoma. Edwards went over the rules of the flight and procedures in case of an in-air emergency. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Cody Dowell)

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Oklahoma state officials watch as a platform used for airdrop training exits out of a C-17 Globemaster III, July 22, 2021, in the skies of Southwest Oklahoma. Typical in-flight C-17 aircrew training can consist of aerial refueling, low altitude maneuvers, airdrop, and cargo weight distribution performed by pilots and loadmasters. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Cody Dowell)

ALTUS AIR FORCE BASE, Okla. --

Oklahoma Gov. J. Kevin Stitt got a close look at the rapid global mobility and training capabilities of Altus Air Force Base, Okla. during a visit July 22, 2021. 

Airmen gave Stitt an “orientation flight” on a C-17 Globemaster III to demonstrate the strategic capabilities the aircraft provides to the global mobility requirements of the modern Air Force.

“As an aviator myself, I was in awe of the capabilities of the C-17 and the role it can play in supporting operations around the globe,” said Stitt. “It was amazing to see how quickly the C-17 can stop on a short runway and the precision with which it can drop important supplies or deliver troops to strategic areas.” 

C-17 aircrew training, along with KC-135 Stratotanker and KC-46 Pegasus aircrew training, includes advanced specialty training programs for air land, airdrop, and air refueling mobility forces designed to provide global reach for combat, contingency and relief operations.  

Col. Blaine Baker, 97th Air Mobility Wing commander, said he was grateful for the opportunity to showcase the wing’s critical mission to the governor, as well as the Airmen who make it possible. 

“We are thrilled to have Governor Stitt here with us,” Baker said. “It is so special for him to spend the time to see the incredible mission of the 97 AMW. We train exceptional mobility Airmen and we generate and deliver airpower for America. Our hopes are with his visit that he would leave with a better understanding of our mission. More importantly, he gets to share that experience with our fantastic Airmen and what the Mighty 97th brings to the defense of America.”

Stitt, along with several members of his cabinet, praised Altus’ role in national defense during his visit and expressed support for the work 97th AMW Airmen do in the Southwest Oklahoma and Texoma regions.

“Mobility’s Hometown has an incredibly valuable mission and plays a key role in defending the freedom we all cherish,” said Stitt. “I am so proud of the work being done by the 97th AMW and I’m grateful to live in a state where we strongly support our military and the hardworking men and women who keep us safe.”

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