Since its activation as a multi-engine flight training school in 1943, the 97th Air Mobility Wing has been the cornerstone of southwestern Oklahoma for 77 years. With an average of more than 300 days of weather conducive flying each year and a generally flat landscape with few obstructions, the wing is the ideal location to carry out its mission: “We Train Exceptional Mobility Airmen.” Now referred to as “Mobility’s Hometown,” the 97th AMW trains over 2,000 air mobility students annually, to include students from 16 different foreign nations. Our vision is that we continue to execute “A Premier Installation Forging the World's Most Inspired, Proficient, and Adaptive Mobility Warriors to Deliver Airpower for America.”
Altus Air Force Base is comprised of four groups and 18 squadrons of Airmen (Active Duty, Reserve, Guard, and Civilian). The wing is also an award-winning installation, winning the Commander in Chief’s Award for Installation Excellence, Major General Eubank Award, Air Force Food Service Excellence Award, Air Force’s Best Patient Safety Program Award, the Department of Defense’s Patient Engagement Award, the AETC Medical Home of the Year, three AETC Safety Awards, 19th Air Force’s Top Gray Tail of the Year, Outstanding Weather Organization Award, and the Aircrew Flight Equipment Large Program of the Year.
The 97th Operations Group oversees the three squadrons directly supporting the wing’s flying-training mission. The 58th Airlift Squadron is comprised of instructor pilots and loadmasters who train Airmen on the C-17 Globemaster III. The 54th Air Refueling Squadron trains pilots and boom operators on the KC-135 Stratotanker. Finally, the 56th Air Refueling Squadron is home to the formal training unit for pilots and boom operators on the Air Force’s newest addition to air mobility: the KC-46 Pegasus. These three air mobility schoolhouses conduct initial and advanced specialty training programs for airland, airdrop, and air refueling mobility forces, providing global reach for combat and contingency operations, as well as relief operations.
The mission support group provides direct mission support to the three mobility aircraft along with base-wide infrastructure, to include communications, civil engineering, law enforcement, force/fire protection, contracting, disaster response, and other agencies to support the mission of the base.
The wing’s medical group ensures maximum wartime readiness and combat capability by promoting the health, safety and morale of active duty personnel, increasing the overall wellness of the base and local community.
The 97th AMW is also home to the unique, all-civilian maintenance group, responsible for all aircraft maintenance, sortie generation and maintenance support for the Air Force’s sole C-17, KC-135 and KC-46 formal aircrew training schools. The wing commander’s priorities are Mission, Airmen, and Community.
As the wing moves into the twenty-first century, it continues to perform its basic mission that it started back in 1943, providing a safe and comfortable location to train mobility Airmen on the intricacies of operating multi-engine aircraft.