Tinker Air Force Base sets the stage for advanced military readiness and community integration

  • Published
  • By 2nd Lt. Kaseyann Cornwall

Tinker Air Force Base hosted its inaugural State of the Base event on April 30 at the Reed Conference Center in Midwest City, Oklahoma, discussing future military innovations and community partnerships.

The event provided community stakeholders with the latest updates and opportunities to ask questions directly to Tinker senior leaders. The discussions highlighted Tinker’s integral role in national defense, its impact on local economic growth, and its strategic adaptations to emerging global threats by aligning with the Department of the Air Force’s Great Power Competition.

GPC is central to the U.S. national defense strategy and addresses the challenges posed by adversaries. It emphasizes the Air Force's need to enhance its military readiness and capabilities to effectively deter and compete against adversaries. It aims to ensure that the U.S. can maintain its global leadership and prevent conflicts by being prepared to win in potential confrontations, thus preserving peace through strength in an increasingly complex global environment.

The panel for the event included eight separate wing commanders who directly impact national defense every day in very different ways. Col. Abby Ruscetta, 72nd Air Base Wing and installation commander, and leaders from across the base were the panelists:

  • Brig. Gen. Brian Moore, Oklahoma City Air Logistics Complex commander
  • Stephen Gray, 448th Supply Chain Management Wing director
  • John Sneden, Air Force Life Cycle Management Center program executive officer for propulsion
  • Col. Kenneth Voigt, 552nd Air Control Wing commander
  • U.S. Navy Capt. Britton Windeler, Strategic Communications Wing 1 commodore
  • Col. Matthew Ghormley, 507th Air Refueling Wing commander
  • Col. Shelby Dreyer, 137th Special Operations Wing commander

The inaugural event served as a prime opportunity to showcase Tinker's diverse missions and how critical it is to ensure each wing is intimately in lockstep supporting one another. From the Air Base Wing enhancing readiness through installation security and efficient logistics to the integrated capability delivery through sustainment in the OC-ALC, Tinker also relies on the 448 Supply Chain Management Wing to plan and execute requirements for aircraft, engines, intercontinental ballistic missiles, and other support equipment. AFLCMC is key in producing propulsion system innovations to enhance the U.S. Air Force's competitive edge in high-stakes environments. Their mission directly correlates to the 552 ACW's ability to achieve command and control superiority and the Navy's nuclear deterrence, decisive factors in modern warfare. Parts on jets, jets in the air, fuel in the jets – it's all part of the missions at Tinker AFB – no matter the aging aircraft or evolution of technology. Due to the 507 ARW's ability to refuel our aircraft to extend the global reach and the 137 SOW's ability to conduct asymmetric warfare, the Airmen are more equipped and ready to deliver combat power for America.

Later in the event, Ruscetta announced that Tinker’s direct and indirect combined economic impact on the community for fiscal year 2023 was $6.69 billion. This includes $1.88 billion in payroll, $260 million in construction spending, and $1.3 billion in locally produced goods and services. “We are the largest single-site employer for Oklahoma,” said Ruscetta. “Our employees across Tinker come from 44 of the 77 counties across the great state of Oklahoma.”

The 2024 State of the Base event showcased Tinker's strategic priorities and reaffirmed its community and economic development commitment. Each commander at the event provided insightful details on their respective roles, underlining the comprehensive and integrated approach required to sustain and enhance the U.S. military's readiness and strategic capabilities in the face of evolving global challenges.

To watch the State of the Base visit Tinker’s Facebook page and YouTube channel.