TINKER AIR FORCE BASE, Okla. -- This year marks the 45th Anniversary of the 507th Air Refueling Wing operating out operating out of Tinker Air Force Base, Oklahoma. The 507th ARW is the largest Air Force Reserve Command flying unit in the state of Oklahoma. Reporting to Fourth Air Force, the 507th ARW performs daily missions both locally and around the world in support of Air Mobility Command and U.S. Strategic Command's national emergency war order requirements.
“We have been at Tinker for 45 of its 75 years, and the support of the base and surrounding community is unlike any other in the U.S. Air Force,” said Col. Douglas E. Gullion, 507th ARW commander.
The wing operates and maintains eight KC-135R Stratotanker aircraft, providing world-wide aerial refueling to U.S. and NATO aircraft in times of peace, war and national emergency. The 507th ARW trains aircrew on the Reserve KC-135 and the Reserve C-17 Globemaster III at a geographically separated unit, the 730th Air Mobility Training Squadron at Altus AFB, Oklahoma, where KC-46 Pegasus flight training will begin in the near future.
“With the diversity of missions that the 507th and its subordinate units perform, you can bet that our Airmen are an active part of the nation’s defense and support,” said Gullion. “We support all types of missions; from domestic disaster relief to the war against ISIS.”
Today, the 507th ARW consists of three subordinate groups and 11 squadrons while employing more than 1,100 men and women. The 507th ARW is made up of Reserve Citizen Airmen, many of whom live and work in our Oklahoma communities in addition to their Reserve commitment. Approximately 200 members of the 507th are traditional civilian employees or dual status Air Reserve Technicians who serve as a support cadre.
The 507th ARW Reservists fly two to three missions daily and off-load millions of pounds of fuel in support of operations worldwide. The 507th ARW flies over 3,000 hours annually in support of national defense requirements. Additionally, the wing serves as the support backbone for the 513th Air Control Group, the Air Force Reserve’s only associate E-3 Sentry Airborne and Warning Control System. The 507th ARW also provides peacetime personnel and support functions for the 35th Combat Communications Squadron. Expeditionary medical support rounds out the wing to make it one of the Reserve Command’s most valuable assets.
“We are fortunate to have strong partnerships with associate units on Tinker Air Force Base,” said Maj. Jon Quinlan, 507th ARW chief of public affairs. “The Oklahoma City Air Logistics Complex, the Air Force’s primary KC-135 engine maintenance facility, is a critical neighbor. The partnership gives us the ability to support depot requests involving modification projects and future upgrades to the Air Force’s tanker fleet.”
The 507th ARW operates a daily KC-135R Stratotanker aerial refueling alert capability in support of U.S. Strategic Command. According to Quinlan, the nuclear deterrent alert requirement could not be met without support from the U.S. Navy’s Strategic Communications Wing ONE which is also an associate unit here on Tinker AFB.
The 507th Operations Group oversees three subordinate units: 465th Air Refueling Squadron, 507th Operations Support Squadron and the 730th Air Mobility Training Squadron.
The 465th ARS is one of three flying organizations in the 507th OG, incorporating pilots and traditional operations functions. The squadron operates eight Boeing KC-135R aircraft. Reservists, both pilots and boom operators, fly and maintain worldwide mission-ready status and regularly deploy in support of contingency operations.
The 507th OSS incorporates traditional operations support functions such as Intelligence, Aircrew Flight Equipment, Combat Crew Communications, Operations Plans, war plans and flight records maintenance.
The 730th AMTS is a geographically separated unit operating at Altus Air Force Base, Okla. The 730th AMTS is charged with training aircrew on the C-17, KC-135 and in the future, KC-46 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 507th Maintenance Group brings all maintenance support activities under a single commander. The group staff is small, consisting primarily of quality assurance personnel supporting intermediate level maintenance. Additionally, due to the deactivation of all Maintenance Operations Flights, group staffs now support aircraft records, maintenance reporting, personnel support and military training.
The 507th Maintenance Squadron is responsible for periodic KC-135R inspections, fabrication repairs, propulsion, air refueling boom maintenance, aircraft fuel systems and aerospace ground equipment.
The 507th Aircraft Maintenance Squadronis responsible for directing all organizational level maintenance and generation of KC-135R aircraft.
The Mission Support Group commander oversees five squadrons: The 507th Security Forces Squadron, 507th Civil Engineer Squadron, 507th Logistics Readiness Squadron, 507th Force Support Squadron and the 72nd Aerial Port Squadron.
The 507th SFS is tasked to provide air base ground defense and to protect weapon systems and support personnel. The squadron’s Combat Arms Training and Maintenance section trains wing personnel in the use of small arms.
The 507th CES trains and equips engineering teams for worldwide combat support. The squadron’s personnel can perform rapid runway repair, structural bomb damage repair, firefighting and crash rescue.
The 507th LRS carries out all other logistics staff functions, including those pertaining to transportation, supply, contracting, fuels, maintenance training and plans.
The 72nd APS personnel load, unload, and process airfreight arriving from and departing to locations worldwide.
The 507th FSS provides personnel management and services support such as lodging, fitness, food, recreation and mortuary affairs to the entire 507th ARW and the 513th ACG. Additionally, a communications element consisting of wing knowledge operations, unit telecommunications, radio systems, and small computer support falls under the command.
The 507th ARW has its own medical squadron. The 507th MDS monitors the medical, dental and mental health of all members in the 507th as well as the personnel in the 513th ACG. Major focus areas are: Maintaining processes and records for annual physical and dental assessments, currency in immunizations, and monitoring occupational environments. The medical squadron operates out of Tinker Air Force Base’s 72nd Medical Group and integrates with the staff. If mobilized, staff members are trained to support a fixed or mobile field hospital site.
35th Combat Communications Squadron (10th Air Force)
The 35th CBCS, a stand-alone Air Force Space Command unit that reports to the 960th Cyber Operations Group, Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland, Texas. Squadron members can be rapidly deployed anywhere in the world to set up, from scratch, a Theater Air Base to include: satellite communications, telephone switching bands and base computer networks. They can perform setup, operation and maintenance of voice and data communications systems essential to wing operations, including radio, telephones, teletype and computer systems.
1st Aviation Standards Flight
The 1st ASF, located at Will Rogers Airport in Oklahoma City. The 1st Aviation Standards Flight falls under the 413th Flight Test Group, Robins Air Force Base, Georgia. This unit, working in tandem with the Federal Aviation Administration, performs flight inspections of navigational aid radar and instrument procedures at military and civilian installations in the United States and overseas. The flight operates from Will Rogers International World Airport, Oklahoma City and augments the Air Force Flight Standards Agency Detachment 1, the on-site active duty unit. The 1st ASF consists of approximately 23 people. They fly and help maintain the FAA’s Bombardier “Challenger” 601, 604 and 605.