75 year partnership, Tinker and Midwest City

TINKER AIR FORCE BASE, Okla. --

For 75 years, Tinker Air Force Base and Midwest City have shared a mutually beneficial partnership that has enhanced the lives of those who live and work here.

During his recent the state of the city address, Midwest City Mayor Matt Dukes said this is an exciting time.

“This year, we celebrate our 75th anniversary and join Tinker AFB in celebrating their 75th, the Air Force 70th anniversary and the Chambers 75th anniversary,” he said. “Going forward, I plan to remain actively engaged with the community and Tinker AFB.”

Col. Kenyon Bell, 72nd Air Base Wing commander, said the partnership between the base and Midwest City is beneficial for everyone.

“It is not only financially responsible to search for efficiencies beyond our fence line, but it becomes a win-win for all parties in both reducing costs as well as building and strengthening community relationships,” the colonel said.

One such win comes in the form of a recently signed memorandum of agreement that starts the process of having Tinker’s trash service provided by Midwest City. Though not yet finalized, the long process has begun.

“We’re just as excited about the MOAs that don’t necessarily make money, such as the agreement we have that provides meals to the homeless with excess food from the dining facility,” said Trudi Logan of the 72nd ABW Civil Engineering Directorate. “It is our favorite partnership agreement because it is a good thing to do.”

Through the years there have been many MOAs signed with Midwest City to assist with everything from police, fire and rescue and ambulance crews to juvenile and jail services.

“Tinker AFB is an extremely fortunate military base when it comes to the mutual aid provided by our local police, fire and rescue, and ambulance crews,” said James Rollings, 72nd Security Forces chief of plans and programs. “In times of emergencies, a close working relationship with our civilian counterparts is a key to streamlining operations, reducing stress for our work centers and families, and returning daily life to a normal pace.”

Terry Ford, chief of Tinker’s Fire and Emergency Services, mirrored the SFS kudos. “We enjoy great mutual support with our MWC firefighters,” the chief said.

In 2013, the Community Partnership Initiative program, known as P4, brought public-public and public-private partnership opportunities together. Military and community leaders could identify common objectives such as police, fire and rescue and ambulance service and manage those available resources efficiently and effectively.

“Although Tinker, like many other military bases has a combination of legal jurisdiction areas, due to our boundaries bordering various local communities, the response and support from all our local first-responders is nothing short of great,” Rollings said. “The outstanding support our local communities provide to the base is inspiring. In the event of a police, or fire emergency or natural disaster, the combined forces of various agencies all stand ready and willing to assist Tinker AFB.” 

The latest realization of that support is evidenced by the reoccurring preparation meetings being held with all agencies as Tinker prepares for this weekend’s air show. 

“Tinker’s proximity to Del City, Midwest City and Oklahoma City means we have a legal boundary at our perimeter and gates, which abuts to those areas; as well as, falling within the Oklahoma County Sheriff’s police response area,” said Rollings. “Additionally, because of the close proximity to the metro-plex, the Federal Bureau of Investigations  is also a key partner should their services be required.”

Logan said Tinker Air Force Base will continue to carry on the legacy of partnering with community leaders.

“It’s a good thing to build those relationships and we are already looking at other long-range projects to carry on with Midwest City,” she said.