OKLAHOMA CITY, Oklahoma --
The 14th Annual Tinker and the Primes Conference wrapped up Thursday with a keynote address from Brig. Gen. Chis Hill, commander of Tinker Air Force Base’s Oklahoma City Air Logistics Complex, on the transformative role that the ALC has in maintaining readiness within the U.S. Air Force.
Hill addressed the significant changes the OC-ALC has undergone over the last decade not only in what it produces, but also in its role within the United States Air Force. Compared to when the ALC represented the Air Logistics Center and was known as the “maintenance wing,” in its current form as OC-ALC, it has transitioned into a much more active role over years past.
“The ALC of today is not the ALC of 10 years ago,” Hill said. “Today we maintain, repair and overhaul aircraft, aircraft components, aircraft engines and we develop software. Those are our four main product groups and that is a change of the ALC of old. Those of you who have had experience from 10, 15 years ago will recognize that we’re now the doers and that’s an important part of our transition.”
With a team of over 9,800 military and civilian personnel, Hill hit home the pivotal role that the OC-ALC has played in national defense. He highlighted how Tinker has already produced almost 170 of a planned 215 aircraft, 33,000 exchangeable products and 333 engines of a planned production line of a little over 500.
Emphasizing the role that partnerships and collaborations have in the success of the OC-ALC, Hill highlighted the need to maintain strong ties between the industry, academic and government partners that contribute to the overall success of OC-ALC, both internally and externally.
“None of us can be successful by ourselves and it is absolutely imperative that we have clear communication, understanding, transparency, credibility and accountability across all of these partnerships,” Hill said.
These partnerships have been central to establishing what Hill described as the readiness balance that the Air Force is looking to establish in driving wartime readiness. With constraints on material affordability impacting operations and goals, committed partnerships are what Hill said could provide the solution to those problems.
“What we need is improved material supportability and what we really need for that is transformative partnerships,” Hill said. “There’s real opportunity here and I’m going to tell you our best relationships are based on trust. They’re based on the way we communicate when things go bad and it’s really important to understand why we believe in partnerships.”
Col. Paul Filcek, =72nd Air Base Wing Commander, closed the conference with a presentation on the interdisciplinary role that Tinker and the 72nd Air Base Wing plays in national defense.
As the self-described mayor of Tinker, Filcek pointed out the complex system Tinker AFB has in housing the Air Force Sustainment Center, the OC-ALC, five wings and 45 agencies working to sustain the base’s mission and strategic role within the Air Force.
While serving as the Air Force’s largest depots, sustaining approximately 76% of the Air Force weapon systems through the OC-ALC, Filcek said that the base’s forces and capabilities made it more than just a depot and instead a key operational support base for the Air Force.
“From an operational perspective, not a depot perspective and not a volume perspective by sustaining 76% of the Air Force, three full-up wings stand ready, on watch 24/7, 365,” Filcek said.
Filcek also highlighted the major infrastructure updates the base has been undergoing to not only make the installation’s gates compliant and its perimeters more secure, but also in making it’s WWII-era buildings more modern to support operational readiness.
With nine current mission projects, two future projects between Fiscal Year 2020 and FY 2025, and 12 rollover facility, sustainment, restoration and maintenance projects in FY 2019, Filcek said that business at Tinker is booming.
“All we hear is depot, depot, depot. There’s a lot drummed up in the 72nd Air Base: we are fast with our contracting vehicles, we are deep in our wishlist for military construction and sustainment, and we are ready for business,” Filcekl said.