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507th ARW gains a new squadron, air mobility training mission

A C-17 Globemaster III receives fuel from a 507th Air Refueling Wing KC-135 Stratotanker in a recent training mission.  The 507th ARW received command responsibility for the 730th Air Mobility Training Squadron, the first classic associate unit in the Air Force. Reservists in the unit work next to active duty Airmen of the 97th Air Mobility Wing, training C-17 and KC-135 aircrew members for Air Education and Training Command. (U.S. Air Force Photo/Maj. Jon Quinlan)

A C-17 Globemaster III receives fuel from a 507th Air Refueling Wing KC-135 Stratotanker in a recent training mission. The 507th ARW received command responsibility for the 730th Air Mobility Training Squadron, the first classic associate unit in the Air Force. Reservists in the unit work next to active duty Airmen of the 97th Air Mobility Wing, training C-17 and KC-135 aircrew members for Air Education and Training Command. (U.S. Air Force Photo/Maj. Jon Quinlan)

TINKER AIR FORCE BASE, Okla -- The 507th Air Refueling Wing gained a new squadron and a new training mission assuming command over the 730th Air Mobility Training Squadron out of Altus Air Force Base, Okla.

The 730th AMTS is an Air Force Reserve Command unit which is charged with training aircrew on the C-17 Globemaster III, KC-135 Stratotanker and in the future, the KC-46 Pegasus aerial refueling aircraft. The reservists in the unit work next to active duty Airmen of the 97th Air Mobility Wing, training aircrew members for Air Education and Training Command.

The transition just made sense due to the proximity of the 507th to the "off-site" squadron at Altus according to wing leaders.

"We are so excited to be working with these outstanding Airmen and happy to be gaining a new mission," said Col. Brian Davis, 507th ARW commander. "This training is vital for the Air Force Reserve and with the addition of the KC-46 mission in the coming years, I can't think of a better team of reservists to train on the newest aerial refueling aircraft and the C-17 and KC-135."

The training squadron is made of up of a mix of traditional reservists and air reserve technicians who support over 2,100 KC-135 and C-17 students a year in 22 formal training courses for active, guard, reserve and international students. Nearly 25 percent of the instructor force at Altus is provided by the 730th. The squadron is split by weapon system as roughly half instruct in the C-17 and the rest in the KC-135. Initially, a handful of positions will transition to begin work with the new KC-46 training squadron when it comes online.

"This unit is another example of the Air Force commitment to Total Force Integration ... we are infusing TFI in our training every day and it starts at the school house," Col. Davis said. "These reservists work directly with active duty training units augmenting the instructors and they bring a tremendous amount of experience which enhances the training pipeline."

A familiar face, previous 507th Operations Support Squadron commander, Lt. Col. Michael Remualdo took command of the 730th AMTS as the unit transitioned to its new chain of command.

Administrative control of the 730th AMTS now falls with the 507th Operations Group here at Tinker with operational direction coming from AETC and the 97th AMW due to the training mission. The 730th was previously assigned to the 452nd Operations Group, March Air Reserve Base, Calif. This classic associate unit was the first of its kind mixing reservists with active duty.

The 730th AMTS activated in 1943 during World War II, and performed a variety of missions to include bombardment, night photo, tactical reconnaissance, troop carrier, tactical and military airlift in World War II, Korea, Vietnam and the Persian Gulf War. The unit first saw reserve duty when activated in the reserve on Aug. 1, 1947.

On Mar. 25, 1968, the 730th Military Airlift Squadron became the first associate reserve unit, which is when a reserve unit shares facilities and aircraft with an active duty unit. It was redesignated the 730th Airlift Squadron (associate) on Feb. 1, 1992 and then deactivated on March 19, 2005.

The 730th has flown many aircraft including the B-17 Flying Fortress, T-6 Texan, T-7 Navigator, T-11 Kansan, B-26 Marauder, F-51 Mustang, C-46 Commando, C-119 Flying Boxcar, C-141 Starlifter and now the C-17 and KC-135.