ALTUS AIR FORCE BASE, Okla. --
Gen. Mike Minihan, commander of Air Mobility Command, brought 17 of his AMC civic leaders to Altus Air Force Base, Oklahoma, April 26-28, 2023, to experience the “Mighty 97th” and its mobility aircrew training pipeline.
The AMC leaders had the opportunity to learn about the training mission at the 97th Training Squadron and the C-17 Globemaster III, KC-135 Stratotanker and KC-46 Pegasus formal training units. The visit included first-hand experience on a C-17 flight, where civic leaders witnessed air-refueling with a KC-46. They also participated in hands-on parachute packing at the 97th Logistics Readiness Squadron, witnessed some of the 97th Maintenance Group’s innovations up close, and met with Airmen from various career fields across the 97th AMW.
“Without the magic that exists in Altus and the partnerships across AMC, the mission doesn’t happen,” said Minihan. “The mobility force is heavily relied upon, especially now when the country needs it the most, and it's the teams like these that preserve the peace, prosperity, and the prestige of the greatest country ever.”
Civic leaders create a partnership between a military installation and the surrounding community. By sharing their experiences with their communities, relationships between civilian entities and military installations are strengthened.
“The AMC civic leader program exists to be a bridge between the Airmen in AMC and the communities in which they serve,” said Dr. Arlen Honts, AMC civic leader. “Trips to Air Force bases like Altus help us understand better how AMC works, which helps us as we educate our communities about how each of our home bases function. Listening to Airmen also allows us to advocate for them to our communities, community leaders, and to our legislatures.”
AMC provides five core mission sets to the Joint Force worldwide at any time; airlift, air refueling, aeromedical evacuation, Global Air Mobility Support System and command and control. The 97th AMW graduates more than 2,000 pilot students annually who are trained to fly and support these specialties and will go on to use their Altus training supporting AMC’s rapid global mobility mission.
“We are extremely proud of our mission and cultural connections with Air Mobility Command,” Col. Blaine Baker, 97th AMW commander said. “Having General Minihan and his dedicated civic leaders engage with our world-class team and community has been highly valuable for all. We are looking forward to continued partnership and progress as we continue to deliver airpower for America."