TINKER AIR FORCE BASE, Okla --
Attendees of the Greater Oklahoma City Chamber Forum luncheon received updates on Air Force Sustainment Center mission sets and initiatives from AFSC Commander Lt. Gen. Gene Kirkland July 21.
Two of those areas were key interest items for the chamber in past years - the KC-46 Maintenance Campus, which was the former BNSF railyard, and Building 9001, the former General Motors plant.
“The acquisition of [the railyard] in 2015, along with the former GM plant in 2008, has not only contributed significantly to national security, but also ensured the long-term viability of Tinker Air Force Base, an economic anchor for central Oklahoma,” Kirkland said.
Today, construction continues on the KC-46 campus, with two hangars providing three dock spaces complete and in use. Eleven more dock spaces are planned with completion later this decade.
AFSC is using Building 9001 to accommodate several functions including software engineering and advanced manufacturing.
“Space is a premium on Tinker and space for major repair and overhaul of aircraft components and engines even more so,” Kirkland said. “As the Air Force continues to grow our sustainment workloads, Building 9001 provided 2.5 million square feet of industrial space to meet that requirement, and to do so in a more cost-effective manner.”
The general also shared success stories from other bases within AFSC including Robins Air Force Base’s high school intern program at the off-base Project Synergy facility that was created through a base and community partnership.
“This creates a sustainable recruiting opportunity for AFSC for those much-needed engineers and allows the school board to build their career academy,” Kirkland said.
He also highlighted recent legislative changes that have eased the difficulty military spouses encountered trying to work after a permanent change of station move to the three states housing AFSC complexes. Oklahoma, Utah and Georgia have all enacted versions of a law aimed at honoring occupational licensing from other states, which allows military spouses to return to the workforce faster with fewer hurdles, he said.
“We enjoy outstanding support from all of our communities – whether in Oklahoma, Georgia or Utah,” Kirkland said. “The crucial role you play in recognizing strategic opportunities that ensure the sufficiency and longevity of the base and our sustainment mission is recognized at the most senior levels of the Air Force.”