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507th Air Refueling Wing Year in Review: Okies Around the World

Reservists from the 507th Air Refueling Wing return home following a deployment Feb. 17, 2017, at Tinker Air Force Base, Okla. More than 90 other Reservists deployed in December 2016 in support of air operations at Incirlik Air Base, Turkey, against the Islamic State group. (U.S. Air Force photo/Tech. Sgt. Lauren Gleason)

Reservists from the 507th Air Refueling Wing return home following a deployment Feb. 17, 2017, at Tinker Air Force Base, Okla. More than 90 other Reservists deployed in December 2016 in support of air operations at Incirlik Air Base, Turkey, against the Islamic State group. (U.S. Air Force photo/Tech. Sgt. Lauren Gleason)

Reserve Citizen Airmen from the 465th Air Refueling Squadron at Tinker Air Force Base, Okla., deliver fuel to an F-15C Eagle assigned to RAF Lakenheath, England, July 19, 2017. In a long-standing total force partnership between the Air Force Reserve Command and U.S. Air Forces in Europe, members of the 507th Air Refueling Wing are augmenting the 100th Air Refueling Wing July 1-29, 2017, to provide KC-135R Stratotanker air refueling support to the European theater of operations. (U.S. Air Force photo/Tech Sgt. Lauren Gleason)

Reserve Citizen Airmen from the 465th Air Refueling Squadron at Tinker Air Force Base, Okla., deliver fuel to an F-15C Eagle assigned to RAF Lakenheath, England, July 19, 2017. In a long-standing total force partnership between the Air Force Reserve Command and U.S. Air Forces in Europe, members of the 507th Air Refueling Wing are augmenting the 100th Air Refueling Wing July 1-29, 2017, to provide KC-135R Stratotanker air refueling support to the European theater of operations. (U.S. Air Force photo/Tech Sgt. Lauren Gleason)

Master Sgt. Tracy Lancaster of the 507th Air Refueling Wing command post hands her medical paperwork to Senior Airman Ashley Davis-Reyes, Medical technician with the 507th Medical Squadron, during an exercise deployment processing line Jan. 8, 2017, at Tinker Air Force Base, Okla. Reservists with the 507th Air Refueling Wing participated in the exercise in preparation for the upcoming nuclear operational readiness inspection in March 2016. (U.S. Air Force photo/Tech Sgt. Lauren Gleason)

Master Sgt. Tracy Lancaster of the 507th Air Refueling Wing command post hands her medical paperwork to Senior Airman Ashley Davis-Reyes, Medical technician with the 507th Medical Squadron, during an exercise deployment processing line Jan. 8, 2017, at Tinker Air Force Base, Okla. Reservists with the 507th Air Refueling Wing participated in the exercise in preparation for the upcoming nuclear operational readiness inspection in March 2016. (U.S. Air Force photo/Tech Sgt. Lauren Gleason)

Reservists with the 507th Civil Engineer Squadron frame out walls in the new emergency communications center in Bldg. 7017 Nov. 21, 2016, at Tinker Air Force Base, Okla. Construction on the 1,500 sq. ft. emergency communications center is expected to be completed by April 1, 2017. (U.S. Air Force photo/Tech. Sgt. Lauren Gleason)

Reservists with the 507th Civil Engineer Squadron frame out walls in the new emergency communications center in Bldg. 7017 Nov. 21, 2016, at Tinker Air Force Base, Okla. Construction on the 1,500 sq. ft. emergency communications center is expected to be completed by April 1, 2017. (U.S. Air Force photo/Tech. Sgt. Lauren Gleason)

A view of four U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds flanked alongside an Okie KC-135 Stratotanker assigned to the 465th Air Refueling Squadron, 507th Air Refueling Wing, as they await refueling May 18, 2017, on their journey to Tinker Air Force Base for the 2017 Star Spangled Salute Air Show. The air show, scheduled for May 20-21, will commemorate the 75th Anniversary of Tinker AFB. (U.S. Air Force photo/Tech. Sgt. Lauren Gleason)

A view of four U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds flanked alongside an Okie KC-135 Stratotanker assigned to the 465th Air Refueling Squadron, 507th Air Refueling Wing, as they await refueling May 18, 2017, on their journey to Tinker Air Force Base for the 2017 Star Spangled Salute Air Show. The air show, scheduled for May 20-21, will commemorate the 75th Anniversary of Tinker AFB. (U.S. Air Force photo/Tech. Sgt. Lauren Gleason)

The U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds fly over Tinker Air Force Base, Okla., May 18, 2017, before landing for the Tinker 75th Anniversary Start Spangled Salute air show. The event, scheduled for May 20-21, is free and open to the public. (U.S. Air Force photo/Tech. Sgt. Lauren Gleason/Released)

The U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds fly over Tinker Air Force Base, Okla., May 18, 2017, before landing for the Tinker 75th Anniversary Start Spangled Salute air show. The event, scheduled for May 20-21, is free and open to the public. (U.S. Air Force photo/Tech. Sgt. Lauren Gleason/Released)

Senior Airman Micheal Thomas, 738th Air Expeditionary Advisory Group guardian angel, provides armed overwatch for contractors and air advisors performing maintenance on an Afghan Air Force MD-530 Light Attack Helicopter, April 16, 2017, at Kandahar Air Wing, Afghanistan. Thomas is deployed with other Citizen Airmen from the 507th Security Forces Squadron, Tinker Air Force Base, Okla. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Katherine Spessa)

Senior Airman Micheal Thomas, 738th Air Expeditionary Advisory Group guardian angel, provides armed overwatch for contractors and air advisors performing maintenance on an Afghan Air Force MD-530 Light Attack Helicopter, April 16, 2017, at Kandahar Air Wing, Afghanistan. Thomas is deployed with other Citizen Airmen from the 507th Security Forces Squadron, Tinker Air Force Base, Okla. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Katherine Spessa)

Senior Airman Hunter Blackmon (right), a firefighter with the 386th Expeditionary Civil Engineer squadron here checks the heat resonating from an entry door during a training scenario Friday, August 11, 2017, at the PERSCO building at an undisclosed location in Southwest Asia. (U.S. Air Force photo by 1st Lt. Rashard Coaxum)

Senior Airman Hunter Blackmon (right), a firefighter with the 386th Expeditionary Civil Engineer squadron here checks the heat resonating from an entry door during a training scenario Friday, August 11, 2017, at the PERSCO building at an undisclosed location in Southwest Asia. (U.S. Air Force photo by 1st Lt. Rashard Coaxum)

Citizen Airmen from the 507th Maintenance Group at Tinker Air Force Base, Okla., recover a KC-135R Stratotanker following a training flight July 19, 2017, at RAF Mildenhall, England. The 507th MXG team work seamlessly with the 100th Maintenance Group. If an aircraft breaks, Reserve maintenance personnel will work the issue themselves or partner with the 100th MXG if parts or a specialty is needed. (U.S. Air Force photo/Maj. Jon Quinlan)

Citizen Airmen from the 507th Maintenance Group at Tinker Air Force Base, Okla., recover a KC-135R Stratotanker following a training flight July 19, 2017, at RAF Mildenhall, England. The 507th MXG team work seamlessly with the 100th Maintenance Group. If an aircraft breaks, Reserve maintenance personnel will work the issue themselves or partner with the 100th MXG if parts or a specialty is needed. (U.S. Air Force photo/Maj. Jon Quinlan)

Reserve Citizen Airmen from the 465th Air Refueling Squadron at Tinker Air Force Base, Okla., prepare to land a KC-135R Stratotanker at RAF Mildenhall, England, July 15, 2017. In a long-standing total force partnership between Air Force Reserve Command and U.S. Air Forces in Europe, members of the 507th Air Refueling Wing are supporting Operation Atlantic Resolve and augmenting the 100th Air Refueling Wing here July 1-29, 2017. (U.S. Air Force photo/Tech. Sgt. Lauren Gleason)
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Reserve Citizen Airmen from the 465th Air Refueling Squadron at Tinker Air Force Base, Okla., prepare to land a KC-135R Stratotanker at RAF Mildenhall, England, July 15, 2017. In a long-standing total force partnership between Air Force Reserve Command and U.S. Air Forces in Europe, members of the 507th Air Refueling Wing are supporting Operation Atlantic Resolve and augmenting the 100th Air Refueling Wing here July 1-29, 2017. (U.S. Air Force photo/Tech. Sgt. Lauren Gleason)

Citizen Airman Tech. Sgt. Bobby Jackson, a 465th Air Refueling Squadron boom operator from Tinker Air Force Base, Okla., refuels an F-15C Eagle flying out of RAF Lakenheath, England, July 19, 2017. In a long-standing total force partnership between Air Force Reserve Command and U.S. Air Forces in Europe, members of the 507th Air Refueling Wing are augmenting the 100th Air Refueling Wing here to provide KC-135R air refueling support to the European theater of operations, July 1-29. (U.S. Air Force photo/Maj. Jon Quinlan)
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Citizen Airman Tech. Sgt. Bobby Jackson, a 465th Air Refueling Squadron boom operator from Tinker Air Force Base, Okla., refuels an F-15C Eagle flying out of RAF Lakenheath, England, July 19, 2017. In a long-standing total force partnership between Air Force Reserve Command and U.S. Air Forces in Europe, members of the 507th Air Refueling Wing are augmenting the 100th Air Refueling Wing here to provide KC-135R air refueling support to the European theater of operations, July 1-29. (U.S. Air Force photo/Maj. Jon Quinlan)

Staff Sgt. Travis Krause, 507th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron crew chief from Tinker Air Force Base, Okla., performs a visual inspection on the wing of a KC-135R Stratotanker before flight at Glasgow Prestwick Airport, Scotland, Aug. 27, 2017. 507th Air Refueling Wing Reserve Citizen Airmen from Tinker AFB flew 16 aeromedical evacuation technicians from Scott AFB, Ill., to and from Scotland to provide in-flight medical training designed to strengthen skills and teamwork. (U.S. Air Force photo/Tech. Sgt. Samantha Mathison)
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Staff Sgt. Travis Krause, 507th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron crew chief from Tinker Air Force Base, Okla., performs a visual inspection on the wing of a KC-135R Stratotanker before flight at Glasgow Prestwick Airport, Scotland, Aug. 27, 2017. 507th Air Refueling Wing Reserve Citizen Airmen from Tinker AFB flew 16 aeromedical evacuation technicians from Scott AFB, Ill., to and from Scotland to provide in-flight medical training designed to strengthen skills and teamwork. (U.S. Air Force photo/Tech. Sgt. Samantha Mathison)

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Senior Airman Chad Belley, Staff Sgt. Justin Montgomery and Tech. Sgt. Michael Martin (left to right), heavy equipment operators assigned to the 386th Expeditionary Civil Engineer Squadron, removes the large debris from the cut spall area at an undisclosed location in Southwest Asia, Sept. 8, 2017. The dump truck is used to haul all the debris from the area and help eliminate the accumulation of foreign object debris on the airfield. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Jonathan Hehnly)

Reserve defenders from the 507th Air Refueling Wing Security Forces Squadron reunite with friends and family Oct. 1, 2017, at Will Rogers World Airport in Oklahoma City, following a six-month deployment to Afghanistan in support of Operation Freedom’s Sentinel. The Reserve Citizen Airmen served at Kandahar Air Base, Afghanistan, where they assisted the Afghan Air Force in their fight against insurgents. The team of Reserve defenders was part of a Fly Away Security Team, which is made up of Security Forces Airmen who travel with aircraft to provide extra security around unsecured foreign airfields. (U.S. Air Force photo/Tech. Sgt. Samantha Mathison)
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Reserve defenders from the 507th Air Refueling Wing Security Forces Squadron reunite with friends and family Oct. 1, 2017, at Will Rogers World Airport in Oklahoma City, following a six-month deployment to Afghanistan in support of Operation Freedom’s Sentinel. The Reserve Citizen Airmen served at Kandahar Air Base, Afghanistan, where they assisted the Afghan Air Force in their fight against insurgents. The team of Reserve defenders was part of a Fly Away Security Team, which is made up of Security Forces Airmen who travel with aircraft to provide extra security around unsecured foreign airfields. (U.S. Air Force photo/Tech. Sgt. Samantha Mathison)

TINKER AIR FORCE BASE, Okla. -- It’s been a whirlwind of a year here for the ‘Okies’ of the 507th Air Refueling Wing.

From Oklahoma to Europe and Southwest Asia, more than 1,100 Reserve Citizen Airmen of the 507th ARW, the largest Reserve unit in the state of Oklahoma, accomplished a great deal.

The 507th Operations Group flew the KC-135 Stratotanker for 2,666 hours, supported 685 sorties and provided more than 17 million pounds of fuel to 2,043 receiver aircraft. In addition, Citizen Airmen provided flight training to C-17 and KC-135 operators at a geographically separated unit, the 730th Air Mobility Training Squadron at Altus Air Force Base, Oklahoma.

The powerhouse of the wing, the 507th Maintenance Group, deployed 72 personnel, five aircraft and 53,000 pounds of equipment to Turkey; readying aircraft for 225 combat sorties and making 13 million pounds of fuel available to receiver aircraft. 

After deployment, the group rolled into a nuclear operational readiness inspection, followed by a sucessful unit effectiveness inspection. Maintenance personnel supported 35 missions to England, France, Scotland, Ireland, Canada, Florida and others putting Okies around the world.

Modernizing the fleet is one of the Air Force’s top priorities, and the Okies tackled two major aircraft modifications this year: The Large Aircraft Infrared Countermeasures modification and the Block 45 avionics upgrade.

 

The 507th ARW fulfilled a critical role within the Air Force Reserve and Air National Guard in the testing and fielding efforts to employ an operational LAIRCM pod defensive system, which provides laser-based missile-defense capabilities to the KC-135.

 

The Block 45 upgrade revamped the KC-135s cockpit by removing individual analog controls and consolidating them onto one LCD screen in a digital format. The Turkish and Chilean Air Force visited the 507th ARW to see the Block 45 avionics upgrade first hand.

This year, the 507th Mission Support Group deployed to Syria, Iraq, Kuwait, Afghanistan and other undisclosed locations in Southwest Asia in direct support of combat operations against ISIS for Operation Inherent Resolve.

The 507th Security Forces Squadron deployed in support of Operation Freedom’s Sentinel and safeguarded 600 personnel, 172 aircraft and 7,000 tons of cargo. In Afghanistan, they ensured the safety of 37 air advisors for a total of 1,800 hours.

The 507th Civil Engineer Squadron designed and constructed the first emergency call center in the Air Force with next generation 911 capabilities. This provided communications for eight departments, reduced emergency response times by 50 percent and saved the Air Force 3.4 million dollars. In addition, they completed 20 million dollars’ worth of facility improvement projects, which replaced aging infrastructure and increased efficiency in the workplace.

The 507th Force Support Squadron mobilized 273 Citizen Airmen for deployment, and processed 1.4K identification cards in support of joint services, retirees and dependents on base. The FSS’s 77 physical fitness leaders conducted 1,600 fitness assessments for members and led 15 fitness improvement classes, which enabled Airmen to improve their overall fitness and careers.

The “Port Dawgs” of the 72nd Aerial Port Squadron provided the military logistical functions for the port here. They managed 1,015 missions; moving 8,000 tons of cargo and 18,000 passengers in support of Operation Inherent Resolve.

The 507th Inspector General Inspections office organized two major inspections and earned a coin from the 4th Air Force commander. The team was lauded by Air Mobility Command during Global Thunder and the Management Internal Control Toolset validation rate soared to an all-time high of 98 percent for the wing, which proved the IGI office’s effectiveness in revitalizing the Commander’s Inspection Program.

This year marked the 75th Anniversary of Tinker Air Force Base and the 45th Anniversary of the 507th operating out of this base.  This year’s Star Spangled Salute Air Show celebrated that history.  The 507th ARW refueled the U.S. Thunderbirds in route to their performance and the air show in Oklahoma on May 18, 2017. The Air Show was held May 20-21 and had the largest crowds see to date.   

The 507th ARW Command Post continued to support U.S. Strategic Command Alert requirements in command and control. They won the AFRC Medium Command Post of the Year award for their efforts in mission capability and effectiveness.

The 507th ARW PA office showcased the Air Force story and the wing’s mission to 5.2 million audience members worldwide through traditional news media, social media, online and community relations events. They earned the Brig. Gen. Dalton Award for best overall communications program in support of the Air Force mission and the Staff Sgt. Christopher S. Frost Outstanding Communications NCO Award.