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April 02, 2009

OK Delegation Announces Altus AFB to Receive a Reserve Squadron

WASHINGTON, D.C. - U.S. Senator Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.) joined with other members of Oklahoma's Congressional delegation and Air Force leadership to welcome members from Altus' Chamber of Commerce and the Altus Military Affairs Committee for the 47th Annual Quail Breakfast in Washington, D.C.  During the breakfast, Senator Inhofe made an announcement of great importance to the community of Altus and the U.S. Air Force.

Senator Jim Inhofe: "I would like to announce today, on behalf of the Oklahoma Congressional delegation, that the U.S. Air Force has agreed to stand up a reserve squadron at Altus Air Force Base.  The 97th Air Mobility Wing at Altus is currently one of the only wings in the 19th Air Force that does not have a associated reserve unit.  The Air Force has committed to opening the new squadron but the actual timing and size of the squadron has yet to be determined.  This reserve squadron will enhance both the flying training mission at Altus and in the Air Force with operational tanker and airlift missions. The new reserve crews will provide a ‘Total Force’ schoolhouse for the C-17, KC-135, and, ultimately, the KC-X tanker. While I expect the squadron to grow slowly, the final number could grow larger as the squadron matures and Altus Air Force Base picks up the KC-X tanker centralized training mission.  I’m pleased that Secretary of the Air Force Donnelly and Air Force Chief of Staff General Schwartz could join us today for the Quail Breakfast and this announcement. This is great news for Altus, our state, and the United States Air Force.”

Congressman Frank Lucas: “Once again, the tremendous turnout of the Altus community to support the Altus Air Force Base received a very warm welcome from members of the Air Force senior leadership at their annual Quail Breakfast.  As with the many Quail Breakfasts that I have attended during my tenure in Congress, this year was once again an impressive experience.” 

Congressman Dan Boren: “I am pleased the Air Force announced today that a new reserve unit will soon be coming to Altus Air Force Base. This decision builds upon the strong relationship between the Air Force and the community of Altus. Oklahoma has a strong legacy of service and support for our nation’s military and their families.  I look forward to welcoming the members of this new unit to Altus and the great State of Oklahoma.”

Congresswoman Mary Fallin: “Altus Air Force base plays a key role in our national defense and is a source of great pride to the immediate community and the entire state of Oklahoma. The addition of a reserve squadron there will strengthen its position in the Air Force, ensure the vitality of the C-17 and KC-135 missions and pave the way for future programs coming to Altus. I will continue to work with my colleagues on the House Armed Services Committee to ensure the federal government meets the needs of Altus AFB and other military bases in Oklahoma.”

Congressman John Sullivan: “I am pleased to learn of the U.S. Air Force decision to stand up a reserve squadron here in Oklahoma at Altus Air Force Base.  This is a positive development for military readiness in our state, and across our country.  Our men and women in uniform make sacrifices every day for the safety and freedom of all Americans. I am proud to welcome these additional families to Oklahoma. This is good news for our state, and presents some great opportunities for Oklahoma.” 

Additionally, local leaders praised the decision today: 

Altus Mayor T.L. Gramling: “Senator Inhofe’s announcement of a new Air Force Reserve squadron at Altus is terrific news for the city and the base.  We are excited and welcome an increase of training activity at the base, which will undoubtedly have a positive economic impact on the city of Altus.  Altus Air Force Base is the core of our community and we are grateful for the great relationship that we have and will continue to have with the Air Force here.  Our federal delegation, led by Senator Inhofe, has worked tirelessly to ensure the strength of the military in Southwest Oklahoma.”
Joe Leverett, Chairman of the Military Affairs Committee: “The Altus Military Affairs Committee trip to Washington this year couldn’t have ended with greater news than the announcement of the reserve squadron.  We are excited to return to the Altus community and spread the word.  As the committee and our city leadership have long said, Altus has open air space, open ramp space and a community that loves the Air Force. We appreciate the service our local airmen and look forward to an even brighter future with them.” 


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