Training and preparing over 3000 pilots and maintenance technicians every year, Altus AFB is one of the most important military facilities established in Oklahoma. It is located only 6 km away from Altus, in the southwestern part of the state. Its main objective is to train some of the finest and experimented pilots in the Air Force. Currently, the base hosts over 2000 military troops, not to mention about close to 1000 family members and more than 2500 employed civilians. At the same time, the human communities around it host around 1000 retired troops who still depend and benefit on the on site facilities.
Until 1953, the place was nothing but a storage site for old fashioned aircrafts that were about to be replaced with more advanced units. The base was established in 1942, during World War II. Its mission hasn’t changed for more than 10 years. One of the most important aircrafts on site was B 17 F Memphis Belle. It was restored and displayed in Memphis until 2005, then it was deployed to the Air Force national museum from an Ohio military base.
When the Korean War started in the summer of 1950, the Air Force soon realized the necessity of more training spots for the pilots, therefore it reactivated the base and turned it into an active airfield. Many of the aircrafts were examined and restored, then sent to fight. During the Cold War, multiple units came and left Altus AFB, not to mention about some of the most important aircrafts. At the same time, 12 of the powerful Atlas F ballistic missiles for intercontinental use were stored and ready to be launched at anytime. However, they were kept for 4 years only, until 1965. They were then taken out of the defense strategy as they were outdated.
Over the history, some of the most important aircrafts stored at this base include the C 17 Globemaster III, C 5 Galaxy or KC 135.
The current name was given in 1953, after the base was initially established as AAF Advanced Flying School and was renamed two more times meanwhile.
The host unit at Altus AFB is the 97-th Air Mobility Wing. The unit was formed in the winter of 1947 and meant to be a temporary one, but its achievements and importance were later observed and turned it into a permanent group. Its mission is to train, prepare and support a bombardment division able to deal with any form of operations in absolutely any theater. It includes the operations group (four squadrons), the medical group (two squadrons), the maintenance directorate (three divisions) and the mission support group (six squadrons). The base also hosts the HQ AMC Det 2, among a few other associate tenant units.
When about to be deployed at Altus AFB, you need to start looking after a home early. The on site system is organized by the Balfour Beatty Communities, a privatized association run after the Air Force regulations. It deals with both on and off site accommodation, depending on your necessities.